DUCATI 1098R (2008 - 2011) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
Power: 180 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Low (364 lbs / 165 kg)


New N/A
Used £22,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Ducati back to its decadent best with the exotic, reassuringly expensive new 1098R. Built in limited numbers so the Italian firm can race it WSB, the 1098R forms the basis of their F08 factory racer. In fact, never has the road bike and the racer been so close, thanks to ever tightening rules in the World Championship. Aside from different pistons and a smattering of detail changes the 1099R is exactly the same as the bike Troy Bayliss rode in 2008. The 1098R is incredibly rapid, thanks to its 1200cc engine, and full traction control system, the first time such a system had been fitted to a road bike. 

Watch the first ride of Ducati's 1098R

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

With fully adjustable TTX twin-tube Ohlins rear shock and 43mm forks the Ducati’s ride quality is superb. The suspension is plush while still offering up lots of control when the tyres are loaded up during cornering, acceleration and braking. The riding position is unapologetically racy with high-set pegs and low clip-ons, the slim-line fuel tank helps you move around the bike with ease on track, but doesn’t give you anything to grip onto when the ferocious Monobloc Brembo radial caliper brakes are applied. You just have to hang on for dear life.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

What a masterpiece! Compared to the 1098, the engine is lighter, stronger and has a bigger bore and stroke, taking the capacity up to 1198.4cc, bang on the WSB limit for twin-cylinder machines. Peak power is 180bhp, which rises to 186bhp with the carbon fibre racing Termis and race ECU fitted (supplied). Torque is a staggering 99.1ftlb. Compared to the standard 1098 or 1098S the ‘R’ is an animal. It’s almost impossible to keep the front wheel on the floor in the first three gears and it keeps on pulling hard for as long as the road or track allows. Throttle response from the twin-injector fuel-injection system is perfect.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

A limited edition motorcycle built to racing standards so build quality is beyond question. Remarkably it has the same service intervals as the standard 1098, which, thanks to the increase of the quality and reliability of components is far longer than the old 999 and 916-range of bikes.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The 1098R represented the most technologically advanced sportsbikes of its time and most importantly serves the role of bedroom wall dream bike. Not since the demise of the old 998R had a Ducati been so lusted after and riding the 1098R is every bit as good as you dreamt it would be. A truly sensational machine and worth every penny.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

Loaded with all the usual goodies you expect from a limited edition Ducati the 1098R came with a carbon bellypan, tank infils and front mudguard. There’s the Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Marchesini forged aluminium wheels, single-sided swingarm, on-board datalogging system, MotoGP replica dash…the list goes on. The piece de resistance, of course is the traction control system. With the race pipes and ECU fitted the traction control is enabled and you’ve got eight modes to choose from. On setting ‘eight’ there’s full-on traction control and on number ‘one’ the system allows a fair degree of wheelspin. We tried the system on the track at the bikes launch in Jerez and was blown away with how good it was. Once the system kicks in the ignition retards and it feels like you’ve run into a rev-limiter. On the number ‘eight’ setting we reckon it would be impossible to highside!


Engine size 1198cc
Engine type 8-valve, V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 165kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 330mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/55 17 in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £250
New price -
Used price £22,000
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 180 bhp
Max torque 99 ft-lb
Top speed 185 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 9.27 secs
Tank range 100 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2008: Ducati 1098R launched.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the DUCATI 1098R (2008 - 2011)

4 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 1098R (2008 - 2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI 1098R (2008 - 2011)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
5 out of 5 Fantastic visceral experience a true Ducati
05 September 2022 by JP

Year: 2008

This is absolutely the greatest Ducati I have ridden bar none. It feels like a Ducati, it turns like a Ducati it has soul like a Ducati …. I cannot put into words the experience. It’s visceral. The last of the long stroke Ducati's vs. the newer 1199 high revving twins. It’s torque it’s fast it wants to throw you off and I love it for that. Pay attention on this one.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are perfect very sensitive to input.

Engine 5 out of 5

Best part of the bike.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Awesome 🤩

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

It’s a Sunday bike … so besides oil changes it been great.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It’s an R

5 out of 5 Huge fun, and good long-term investment
18 September 2021 by Peter Cook

Year: 2008

Annual servicing cost: £250

Awesome performance, surprisingly docile engine, but rocket ship acceleration. Also the skinny V-twin layout makes it perfect for filtering in the city.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

The absence of a pillion seat makes life a little simpler (where partners are concerned)!

Buying experience: I bought it privately from a Sheikh in Qatar 12 years ago, and it's probably worth at least what I paid for it then. I paid £21,000 then. The fact that it is so valuable means that I am overly cautious riding it compared with my other bikes.

5 out of 5
12 March 2021 by Duc Rider

Year: 2008

The bikes best bits are that it looks amazing. It sounds fantastic, although not quite as tuneful as the 916 series of bikes...the induction noise is there but more harsh. The R model sounds slightly harsher than the S...probably due to the cams etc. As an everyday ride...don't bother. As a Sunday thrash...incredible. Stuff of dreams. All the usual Ducati traits...stability, deceptive speed etc etc. Its light, manouvres easily at speed. Is terrible at low speed or in traffic. Hot, awkward, clutch grabs etc. To just sit and look at in your garage or hallway...perfect. Get the. Termi's

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Having had the correct springs and damping set up for my weight by MCT, the bike is a dream.

Engine 5 out of 5

Incredible engine. Power is everywhere. Thats the good news. the bad news is the issues that come with Dukes...primarily heat from under the seat, and its lack of tractability around towns and at 30mph and below. This bike is simply not designed for this.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

never missed a beat

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Full Termi is a must

5 out of 5 Awesome and the rest
06 September 2008 by rumpus

Words couldn't explain how good this bike is. Okay I will write a review.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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