Today, machines such as the Triumph Daytona 675R and the MV Agusta F3 have brought a new dimension to middleweight supersports machines.
And with this new 848 Evo Corse Ducati is both following in the footsteps of the previous 748 and 749 and promising to move things up a notch further still.
In short, the limited edition Evo comes with all the toys normally the preserve of high-end superbikes such as DTC (Ducati’s traction control system) which is identical to that on Ducati’s recently-launched Panigale, and DQS, Ducati’s quick-shifter system.
On the downside, the Evo also costs £11,999, which pushes the mid-capacity Ducati into standard superbike territory.
Can it cut it on both road and track – as its Corse name suggests?
Even though the Evo Corse is ‘only’ an 848 and not the powerful 1198 or new 1199 Panigale, I never wanted any more power or felt I was losing out around the tight turns of Mallory.
I rode in the 848 Challenge race series last year at Silverstone and even around the fast GP track the ‘smaller’ Ducati in no way feels slow. Reduced power also makes the Evo comparatively easier to ride, especially around such a small track. And with DTC added you can also get on the power sooner and sooner.
On top of that, the Evo’s new quick-shifter helps even further by allowing you to keep on the throttle without shutting off between changes.
Yes, the Ducati V-twin delivers great gobs of torque but in 848 guise still loves to be revved to its 11,000 redline. It has lovely fuelling and is not too intimating, with a delivery that is smooth and progressive and not snatchy like the 1198. This, combined with the excellent DTC, makes the Evo so easy to ride.
On the road the set-up is equally impressive. On fast A-roads the suspension glides over imperfections and corner entry and apex speeds are increased as the springs let you know what’s going on.
Keep tapping on the quick-shifter, stay in the mid-range (above 6000rpm) and you’ll be really surprised by how fast you’re travelling.
Read the full test in the March 21 issue of MCN.