DUCATI 1198S (2008 - 2011) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
Power: 168 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Low (373 lbs / 169 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £9,500 - £17,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

This is truly one of those motorcycles that everybody should be allowed to ride once in their life. One of the best V-twins ever made.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Since the original 1098 all of Ducati’s superbike range now feels more Japanese to ride – plenty of room behind the bars, standard seat-to-bar-to-peg dimensions etc. This bike is designed for fast flowing corners and consequently struggles to stay on line in the tightest of tight corners, but as the ride height and suspension are fully adjustable it just needs time and care to get the ride geared towards the rider.

Engine

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

Figures are just figures even when Ducati claim 168bhp, but whatever figure we find smearing the rear Pirelli tyre, rest assured this engine is one serious powerhouse. Torque alone gets the Ducati 1198S shifting the earth backwards on its axis, and then the power takes over to make point-to-point roads seem like a Scalextric course.
The gearbox is sweeter than sugared almonds, and the lump doesn’t vibrate anywhere near as bad as you would think a mighty V-twin should.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Several centuries of V-twin production should mean Ducati has reliability issues well and truly sorted. Obviously the bike has a serious amount of electronic aids but even so, electrics are not a big issue with Ducati these days.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Considering the 2009 1198S is essentially the 2008 homologation special Ducati 1098R but with a much lower price tag it’s a bargain.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

For your money you get Ohlins road track forks and rear shock, a traction control system that is 8-way level adjustable (and brilliant), facility to record, download and replay throttle postion, speed, gear, traction control activity and so on. There’s a lot to be said for the race-spec Brembo front brakes and it would be all good.

Specs

Engine size 1198cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v Desmodromic, 90° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 169kg
Front suspension Rebound and compression damping,
Rear suspension Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Front brake 2 x 330 discs with 4-piston Mononbloc calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £400
New price -
Used price £9,500 - £17,000
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 168 bhp
Max torque 97 ft-lb
Top speed 185 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 9.75 secs
Tank range 135 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2006: the 999 series is reinvented to the all new stunning 1098 range.
2006: 1098 base model, 160bhp
2006: 1098S, 160bhp, Ohlins suspension, datalog facility
2008:1098R, race-ready special, sand cast engine cases, titanium conrods,180bhp, Ohlins suspension, race exhaust and modified ECU supplied
2008: 1098 Tricolour, 160bhp, red/white/green paint, gold frame, race exhaust and modified ECU supplied

Other versions

There is a base level version imaginatively entitled 1198. It has the same engine and output figures, but no traction control, datalog, Ohlins suspension and fancy MotoGP replica wheels. A great bike in itself all the same.

Owners' reviews for the DUCATI 1198S (2008 - 2011)

5 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 1198S (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 1198S (2008 - 2011)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
5 out of 5 My lovely bike.
14 November 2020 by John Anderson.

Year: 2009

Annual servicing cost: £400

I have always been a superbike rider, this is the only one that ticks all the boxes. Handles like riding on rails. Never let me down. Worst feature... Only 84 miles between fuel stops, makes planning longer journeys tricky. I would love an aluminium tank with more capacity. Ducati traction control makes me nervous when it cuts in, so I turn it off, keeps me sharp, focused and respectful.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

About 50 miles I've had enough. Pillion 20 miles!! In the middle of summer, waiting at traffic lights, motor temp hits 106C fans come on and start to fry my manhood ! Brembo brakes, one finger stoppie, can't beat that.

Engine 5 out of 5

Motor exceeds my nerve by a country mile...

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Dry open Clutch needs tender loving care. When noise gets unbearable, replace the basket and plates. Frame had weld spatter on, which I failed to notice when looking over the bike before purchasing. Rust then started to appear on the high spots. Known issue with Ducati, but they failed to take their mistake on the chin. Disappointing to say the least.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Depends on whether it's a timing belt service. Budget on £600

Equipment 5 out of 5

Awesome motor, and the sound of it. Pirelli Super corsa SC2 makes it even more fun.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer. £10,500 Feb 2013 No intention of selling.

5 out of 5 Awesome
12 September 2014 by ivoruren

I've had my 1198 since 2010 . It's awesome I've done over 20,000 miles on it.The only downside is the fuel capacity. It doesn't do many miles before the fuel light comes on.But I've riiden it to Mugello and back, over 3600 miles in ten days and it's a great bike for long trips. 5250 revs 100 mph.Easy cruising. The other problem was rubbish main dealer sevicing ! Eventually took the bike to a specialist and he found lots of things that were NEVER done by the main dealer. So, don't believe what everyone syas That "You must get a Ducati with full history" I think One tha's been looked after by it's owner or specialist serviced is far far better.It's the most torquy bike around and has got MASSIVE mid range grunt.

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 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 21st century v twin
21 June 2010 by H2pots

I've been riding v twins for quite a few year now (rsv mille, sp2) and bought a 1198 this year. The big duke really is light years ahead of anything i've had before. Acceleration when using all the revs from second gear can only be decribed as ferocious and trying to keep the front wheel on the deck is impossible. The engine is stunning with power all through the revs, as with all big twins there is a big lump of torque lower down and firing out of corners is great. The handling light, responsive and forgiving with a front end like nothing i've ever ridden, so much feedback. The brakes are 4 pot radial brembo's up front, we all know how good they are, two finger braking is enough to have your eyeballs popping out. For a race rep the comfort is surprisingly good, it's by no means a sports tourer though and motorway miles take their toll on your wrists but you don't buy a 1198 for touring do you??? The looks of the bike are by far the best in the class (in my biased opinion) with not a bad angle to see. the only bike that comes close in looks is the mv agusta f4. Overall the Duacti 1198 is a superb performance motorcycle that will excite you as soon as you open the garage door. As MCN say, everybody should experience one of these bikes once in their life.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 1198S
15 April 2010 by gmengelk

Absolutely perfect bike. Every detail (from brakes to frame to engine) is great and has its own character which one enjoys and appreciates through time.

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
4 out of 5 My 2009 1198
03 February 2010 by topendz

I've had my white 1198 for about 9 months. It's winter now so the bike was put away 2 months ago with 12,000km on it. It's served me well so far with the only issue being a leaking radiator at the top left hard mounting point. This is a common issue with a large percentage of 1098/1198 bikes. It's failed to start a couple of times due to the flaky antenna for the imobilizer, wiggle the antenna and it seems to fix itself. Other than that is has been bullet proof so far. I don't baby it and wrote it for 15 solid hours from Toronto to Deals Gap this summer. I'll report back on season 2.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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