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DUCATI 1198SP (2010-2012) Review

Published: 09 November 2010

Updated: 21 November 2014

Short of the homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198

DUCATI 1198SP  (2010-2012)

Short of the homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Ducati’s 1198SP features an electronic quickshifter, an Ohlins TTX rear shock, slipper clutch and a lighter, larger 18-litre fuel tank. Overall weight over the 1098S is down 1kg to 168kg dry. Apart from the limited edition homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198. It’s a brutally grunty machine, which needs a good suspension set-up but in the right hands and the right conditions it’s epic. The larger fuel tank is much needed and the quickshifter and slipper clutch makes track riding easier. It has an eight stage traction control system, but compared to the next-generation systems on the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 Factory SE, it now seems basic.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

We all know Ducati superbikes can be unstoppable on track, but on standard settings the SP is set-up conservatively and slow to change direction. There’s a lot of weight transfer from front to rear when you unleash the massive torque from the engine and call upon the fiercely powerful Brembo monobloc front brakes. There’s plenty of adjustment in the Ohlins front forks and the new Ohlins TTX rear shock to suit rider and conditions, though. This is a track bike with lights through-and-through and while long distance runs are do-able, the extreme riding position and hard seat can soon be uncomfortable.

Engine 4 out of 5

There’s no question the 1198 SP’s brilliant 170bhp motor is a thing of dynamic and sonic brilliance but it’s on the verge of being too grunty for its own good. In the lower gears all it wants to do is wheelie when you’re hard on the throttle, which sounds like a good thing, but in practical terms it’s not. On tight tracks and roads it can be hard work feathering the throttle and clambering over the front end to keep the front wheel down, especially between corners. With the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) on a high (intrusive) setting, wheelies make the DTC cut the power abruptly. For most riding conditions we prefer the power characteristics of the smaller-engined 848 Evo.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

As you’d expect, the 1198SP is beautifully put together and nicely finished. As far as reliability goes, Ducati's are more reliable than they once were.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

You’re always going to pay extra for that badge on the fuel tank, but it’s pretty good value for what you get in terms of performance, electronics, heritage and looks. You can get more performance and electronic riding aids for less, though, in the shape of the Aprilia RSV4 Factory SE and BMW S1000RR. Find a Ducati 1198 for sale.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

As well as the electronic quickshifter and slipper clutch, which calms the 1198SP’s engine braking into corners, for a smoother entry, the Ducati is bristling with goodies. It has Ohlins forks, shock and steering damper, Brembo monobloc radial brakes, Marchesini wheels, carbon front mudguard, magnesium fairing bracket, traction control and datalogging.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £17,995
Used price £11,300 to £13,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Max power 170 bhp
Max torque 97 ft-lb
Top speed 175 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Tank range 132 miles
Engine size 1198cc
Engine type 8v, V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 168kg
Front suspension 43mm Ohlins forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Single Ohlins TTX shock, fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 330mm discs with Brembo monobloc four-piston radial caliper.
Rear brake 245mm disc with twin-piston Brembo caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

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
2010: 1198 introduced

Other versions

1198 - Has the same engine and output figures as the 1198S but no traction control, datalog, Ohlins suspension and fancy MotoGP replica wheels. A great bike in itself all the same.


1198R Corse Special

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their DUCATI 1198SP (2010-2012) 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 1198SP (2010-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5


01 August 2011 by scientifix

I am not sure if anyone actually expected this to be a bad bike, i suppose the question is if you really can justify the extra spend over a rsv4 factory APRC (which you can pick up for 4grand cheaper. I guess if your going to be using the either for track only work then get the aprilia, though I'm not certain that it will hold its value as well as the Duc. BMW certainly won't. all told 1198 sp has all the kit you would need for either. Don't bother if you see your chiropractor regularly. Expect many envious glances track / street. Some welcome and some not. will add more info as time goes on. I gave in to my inner evil and am not regretting it yet....... DO IT

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
5 out of 5

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