DUCATI 748 (1994 - 2003) Review
- A real classic bike with keen following
- Almost identical to iconic 916
- Several versions; all beautiful
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£300|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
In its day, the Ducati 748 wasn't deemed quite as special as it should have been. Back in the mid '90s and noughties, when it came to sportsbikes biggest was always the best. Those were the days of the FireBlade, R1, GSX-R1000 and of course the Ducati 916 and 999 superbikes.
- Related: Ducati Panigale V2 review
So the 748 and its successor, the 749 were never regarded as serious sportsbikes. But now we’ve all grown up a bit we can admit the 748 and 749 were indeed lovely. What's more, they can represent a relatively thrifty route into Ducati ownership with early 748s costing around £4400. But prices can go right up past £10,000 for cherished, low-mileage versions and even more for homologation specials like the 748SPS.
The Ducati 748 is nearly identical to the iconic Ducati 916 but with a smaller engine (and narrower rear wheel). That means sublime handling on smooth surfaces, terrible comfort, high running costs and a feel-good experience most other motorcycles can’t touch. And few motorcycles match the simple, gorgeous curves of the Ducati 748.
- Related: Sigma Ducati 853 conversion for 748
Over the years there have been six versions of the Ducati 748 - the orignal Biposto (two seat), the 748SP, the 748SPS, the 748E, the 748S and the hardcore 748R. Head to the model history section of this review to see the differences.
It's also been so successful that it's considered a true classic now, with the number of bikes registered in the UK falling to very low numbers indeed, and used prices rising as a result. You can find a decent online community for this bike at Ducati Forum.
The 748 was replaced by the Ducati 749 in 2003.
What was it like in 1994?
When Ducati announced it was making a smaller-capacity superbike most assumed it would be a mere shadow of the glorious 916 - very quickly they were proved wrong.
The 748 arrived and not only looked exactly the same as the 916, it shared most of its components. The frame, swingarm and look were identical and the 748 even came with inverted forks, something no other supersport bike of the time had. It may have been priced at a salty £10,000, almost the same as a brand new Aprilia RS660 (which actually makes more power) now! But on specs alone the 748 easily justified its price.
Who cared if the clutch was still ridiculously heavy, the turning circle horribly limited, riding position akin to torture and some of the build quality suspect? The 748 looked stunning, revved like a nutter and handled like a dream. Far from a cheap re-hash of the 916, the 748 proved to be an excellent standalone model in its own right.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The 748 inherited all of its 916 big brother's handling prowess. As with any Ducati, initial reports on the 748 said it felt slow to turn in and although a narrower rear tyre of 180/55 compared to the 916's 190/50 helped the smaller bike's agility slightly, the 748 was still no match for the inline fours.
Yes, it’s heavy by today’s standards but was more nimble than the bigger 916 and 999 thanks to that narrower rear tyre and smaller engine, which has less rotating mass and inertia.
The Ducati 748's stability mid corner is phenomenal. It’s a motorcycle that makes fast cornering seem slower like the CGI scenes in a Hollywood action movie - that’s the magic of a great chassis.
On a bumpy road or commuting through town, you’ll curse the tall first gear, stiff suspension and crippling wrist heavy riding position the Ducati 748 offers.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Although relatively peaky for a V-twin, the 748 still has a fair degree of grunt but revving it mercilessly is what it’s all about and is what makes it such fun to ride.
For a 750cc sportsbike from Ducati, it’s not that fast. Around 90 genuine bhp at the rear wheel is less than a Kawasaki Z750.
The power the 748 does produce it delivers in a satisfying, torquey manner which makes the most of the motorcycle's available grip. Vibration’s through pegs and bars are present but never intrusive.
The 748 is small, ultra-racy and more like an early ’90s supersport 400 or 250cc two-stroke in spirit.
To save costs when creating the 748, Ducati retained the 916's bottom end (although with altered gear ratios) and simply fitted different cylinders and heads. With an 88 x 61.5mm bore and stroke giving it a true 748cc capacity, the 748's piston was not only 6mm narrower, it travelled 4.5mm less distance within the engine when compared to the 916 - thus allowing Ducati to increase the rev-limit.
Where the 916 had developed a reputation as a lazy relaxed motor, the 748's engine had a totally different character. A slightly weaker bottom end gave way to a surprisingly fast-revving top end that took off in a very un-Ducati fashion at 6000rpm.
Road tests of the day compared the 748 to the likes of the Yamaha RD350LC and FZR600 due to its frenzied top end, which eventually stopped at an impressive 12,500rpm.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Bought new and maintained by experts with a money-no-object approach problems might still arise with the 748. Get an abused motorcycle or skimp on maintenance and four figure bills could become reality. Check cam belt changes have been done and be aware rocker arms can fail.
Our Ducati 748 owners' reviews show that this bike has been a hit with owners in terms of the riding experience, but it doesn't fare particularly well on the reliability front. Common issues include the cost of servicing and maintenance, and also the unweild, uncomfortable ride. You can expect fairly expensive servicing too.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Yes, you can get a faster motorcycle for less money. You can get a more reliable motorcycle for less money. You can also get a more practical motorcycle for less money. But you’d be hard pushed to find anything with the charisma, cachet and feel good factor as an early Ducati 748. A cherished, low mileage Ducati 748 will only appreciate in value.
The 748 will always be a popular choice for the Ducati purist and that iconic Massimo Tamburini design looks as good today as when he penned the 916, which was launched in 1994.
It’s the same rule with the smaller Ducatis as the big ones: keep them regularly serviced and they’ll give you trouble-free miles.
Some of these smaller-engine Ducatis have been run on a shoestring though, so you need to be even more diligent before you buy. Walk away from anything without a full service history, no matter how cheap it appears to be.
Collectors pushed the used prices of 916 models through the roof long ago but the 748 took a little longer to appreciate, meaning you can get one for around the £6000 mark in 2022.
While there are the usual Ducati gremlins to watch out for, the 748 is generally a pretty sound buy. Machines at the cheaper end of the scale tend to have mid-teen mileages. An SP version with low miles might cost you over £8000, though, but the value is unlikely to drop in the future.
The 748 may not be the fastest bike out there, but it looks stunning and if you can accept its quirks and costly service schedule, it's a brilliant used buy.
What to look out for
Electrics: If there are problems with the idiot lights or clocks, check the multi-connectors that are cable-tied to the frame, as water can easily penetrate them.
Wheels: Early models had 'soft' wheels that dented or buckled easily. Spin each wheel and watch, or hold an edge against the rim and check they are true.
Clutch: Clutches come in for stick. The slave cylinder weeps, the bearing and push rod goes dry and the clutch basket and plates wear and hook.
The Ducati 748 scores a fat zero for luxury – but this is a race motorcycle on the road. Mirrors are terrible, comfort’s poor for most sizes of bikers – at least the instruments are clear and the fast idle beautifully crafted.
Termignoni silencers (with the matching EPROM chip) are the top choice for the Ducati 748 and worth paying more for. Ducati paddock stands and dust covers add to the special feeling when you see this motorcycle in your garage.
|Engine type||V - Twin|
|Frame type||Steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||220mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£300|
16 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||103 bhp|
|Max torque||54 ft-lb|
|Top speed||150 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.8 secs|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
- 1994: Ducati 748 Biposto launched. Original base, two seat motorcycle.
- 1994: Ducati 748 SP launched. Racy version of the Biposto. Single seat, Ohlins suspension, carbon bodywork plus more.
- 1997: Ducati 748SPS launched. More racy version of SP – titanium con rods, lightweight frame and more.
- 2000: Ducati 748E launched. Replaced the Biposto as the ‘base’, two seat model.
- 2000: Ducati 748S launched. Racy version of the E. TiN coated forks, 5 spoke wheels, single or dual seat.
- 2000: Ducati 748R launched. Even racier than the S. Same frame as the ‘Foggy Rep’ 916.
- 2002: All models of Ducati 748 discontinued.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI 748 (1994 - 2003)
35 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 748 (1994 - 2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£300|
I had 3 versions of the 748. Started on a 2000 E , then moved up to a 2001 748S, then spent 6 years with the 2001R, and then 7 on the final 2002R.Bad stuff first: The R is a different bike to the other versions, and I wouldn't really recommend it as someones frist 748. An S model would be a much better choice. The R really is a race bike with lights, and as such it's a terrible bike round town. Dodgy shower injectors mean it surges and stalls in traffic (even with a Power Commander fitted) and it's standard rubbish slipper clutch makes pulling away from lights etc nerve racking, particularly hill starts. It's a very focused bike and not easy to ride, though so rewarding when you get it right. They are also complete money pits; the last service on mine cost over £1500, and I did some of the work myself!But yes, there is a reason I had 748Rs for 13 years, and that is they are the most fun bike I've ever ridden on the open road, or track! No bike has even brought such a grin to my face! They have so much character. They look stunning, particularly the 2002 model (which looks pretty damn similar to the uber exotic 998R), they sound amazing (especially with a half or full Termi system ). No, they're not fast compared to Jap 600s, but as people have said else where, it's all about the torque and the handling. And no jap bike will give you the same sense of character or offer you so much fun!One final thing, if you're thinking of getting an R, maybe avoid the 2001 version. Mine was a flipping diaster financially, something was always going wrong with it. I also once bought a 2001R with a 853 kit which self destructed on the way home from the dealers. The 2002 version seemed much more reliable. To give some idea of how much I loved the 748R: During my ownership of the 2002 model, I also had a 998s FE (Final Edition) with very low mileage, and even though I knew that it would be the best investment (dealers are asking around 20k nowadays), I sold it to keep the R, because at the end of the day that was the bike I enjoyed riding the most.Sadly my last R was completely destroyed when some dozy car driver pulled out on me. There's few around nowadays (one less now that's for sure..), they're quite sought after and the insurance company gave me got twice as much as I paid for it, which meant I could buy a 2016 Mv Agusta 800 RC, another limited edition model, which is arguably even more beautiful than the 748R. Its fast, fun, and seems very reliable, but it hasn't got the soul of the Ducati. I wouldn't be surprised if I get another R one day. Every one should have a 748R at least once in their lives. Prices are going up though, so I should probably get one sooner rather than later!
Not comfortable around town. Cant take pillions on the R models, as they have an alloy sub frame
My 2001 model R was not reliable in the sightest. The 2002 model was a lot better,
It's a race bike with lights!
Buying experience: Privately and from a dealer
Version: 748 SP
Annual servicing cost: £300
Stunning looks, hairs stand on the bike of your neck when firing it up and it draw's attention every where I take it, for most its a child hood hero bike! My video review - https://youtu.be/3Jp7HnYa4Fw
Feels & sounds so special, on a back road I'm hard pushed to find a bike I enjoy more in my collection but at the same time if your stuck in traffic for more than 5 minutes it certainly puts a downer on the trip as your wrists are destroyed from the aggressive riding position and heavy clutch.
The sound and the way it picks up at 8,000 rpm never fails to put a smile on my face, even more so when it pops & cracks on the over run (Termi's as standard on the SP model)
Given the age and it being Italian it is really well put together upon taking it apart for the big cambelt service recently but the electrical connections/ loom do let it down compared to the Japanese superbikes of the 90's. Stripping it down is a matter of seconds with the quick release fairings!
The biggest downer on owning a Ducati is the Cambelt interval service.. Its not the worst job but compared to a chain driven camshaft it does make you wonder if it was simply a money making scheme. Another thing to keep an eye out for is the rocker arm plating failing, symptoms of this can be seen in the strainer when servicing.
You get a speedo, rev counter, fuel light oh and some grey foam surrounding it all... yes its basic but what more do you need with that sound track
Buying experience: So far nothing unexpected, washing it with a pressure washer is best avoided with the electrics
I need to dispel the reliability myth. I've owned mine since 2000, used commuting in London, road trips to Ireland, France (every year), Belgium, Lux, Germany. Numerous track days. It has never let me down. Servicing is a touch pricey. I have it serviced by an indie specialist which keeps prices tolerable. But in all that time I have not needed to replace anything beyond normal consumables. It even had the original 1999 battery in it until recently and still started on the button every time. It's certainly not the most comfortable bike out there but it is still sublime to ride, not ideal for commuting but it is so small and narrow that cheeky little filtering manoeuvres are possible. And it is still the best looking bike ever made. Just seeing it parked in my garage gives a warm feeling.
Annual servicing cost: £300
This is my Second 748, had Biposto in 2003 and loved it but sold it with regret. Picked up my R in mint condition in 2012, yes its an old bike and a bugger to ride slow. but when you open it up and hear it scream at 130+ mph you understand why you own one. Its the most beautiful bike to look at from every angle and becoming like hens teeth.
When ridden fast and hard, a 2 around town
Keep it serviced every year and run it up every weekend . its not a jap bike it needs TLC
its an old bike but with all the gear of its day
Buying experience: don't buy one unless its clean and has service bills.
Bought on a whim and used as a commuter. Was it a smart move? Nope. But do I regret it? Not at all. The bikes not comfortable, its engine's aggressive and unforgiving in town. Its got no rider assists and its high maintenance but my god, what a bike. Its at home on twisty open roads as its a precision cornering machine. It will not like you if you bring it into town where you'll hear it grumble and spit angrily through its pipes. Its dry 'clink clink clink' clutch acts as a reminder that you shouldnt be stationary. Throwing it around town is easy enough but be warned its got a turning circle of a bus. If you're not ready with the clutch, if it stalls randomly the rear will lock and bring you down. More points to be aware of is its high maintenance and if you skimp on it it'll bite back. So why buy a bike like this? Well you'll have to test one to understand. I think the Italians were trying to design biking perfection and they go pretty close, be it at a high maintenance cost.
And perhaps that's why I rate this bike so high, it makes me smile, time and again. It's vastly underpowered compared to even the 600s of the same era, but I feel confident while turning that I am in control, hence the lean angles become sharper, and I smile. I simply enjoy riding this motorcycle, even though it was the 916 I was always after. Due to several thousands of dollars discount I opted for the identical 748. I no longer had any patience to save up the rest of the summer - and so life with a 748, and it's good. I will be either installing an 853cc kit or a 916/996 motor when one presents itself. I've traveled extensively on the 748, a 1200-mile round trip to Indy for MotoGP and back summer 2013 and I was comfy for an hourly stint before I needed to stretch; I'm 6' so maybe that tells you something about the diminutive yet capable ergonomics? I was able to simply slide back in the saddle, rest my girth on the fuel tank, relax my elbows and carry on. Remarkable. When speaking of Ducati it is almost obligatory to mention servicing, and I would caution everyone owning one to strictly adhere to the service intervals. I change belts religiously at 6k miles, and inspect valvetrain at 12k. Expensive, but the only way to ensure reliability. My most enduring memory (however fresh) of this motorcycle is the rush of excitement I would swell with after the aforementioned long journey home from Indy once the mountain roads opened up into twisty, tight elevation changing passes. Smiles abound! One of the most amazing road bikes I've ridden.
If you look at this bike in a way that is at all sensible, you will get another bike. Tragically, I looked at this bike and all sence was knocked out of me, I had to have it! Now i do, I love it!!!! i will not get rid of it... I'll lose the house paying the extreme running costs before I let this bike go.
Ok so i've had it a year and a half and i've only had it up and down the drive. up until last week when i track dayed it. So this is purley a track bike perspective. To be honest, it would struggle to cut it as an everyday bike, i'll explain why during this review. Ok so first things first, the bike looks stunning, there is no denying that! it has been well designed dimensionaly and functionally. all the cables and parts are easy to access and beautifully manufactured (a bit like alfaromeos). On getting on the bike you will immedaitely notice the padding (or lack of) on the seat, this is emphasised by that rock hard suspension (similar to the set up i have on my race worked ZXR, thats how hard it is) the bowed seat almost forces you into an arched racing postion, my bike 'had' cam adjustable rearsets this coupled with the ride hight adjustment allowed me to set ride postion up nicely (even for a tally) the instruments are clear and nicely made with little touches of italian art to remind you your straddling a piece of exotica! Starting the bike: The key sits nicely into its slot by a recess in the tank surrounded by lush carbon. in its little hidey hole it stays without presenting distraction. turning the key you here the fuel pump charge the system with a powrfull buzz. clicking the fast idel on the bars is a pleasure in its own right, its beautifully made and effective. My bike starts up first time every time and doesnt splutter, choke or groan. Now, dry clutch . . . ., the bike sounds like an old spitfire on start up. to be honest i like that dry clutch rattle. but any one stood by would think your bike was knackered. if you tune your ears to listen over the rattle or just feather the cluth you can listen in to that sweet twin again bubbling over in a rythmic manner. after a few minuets you can flick off the fast idel and let the bike tick over. Pulling away: Its the first thing lee noticed, and i dont know who designed it, but that sidestand is a accident waiting to happen, its spring loaded and apparently prone to snapping. My trust in it is minimal and im over catious putting it on the stand! Once your comfy, pulling the hydraulic clutch in and pushing it into gear is very smooth, no jolting or banging. I've had hydraulic clutches on trials but never road, in a word its cracking. Putting the revs up and letting the clutch out is a task, first time you do it, you'll stall, second time, you squeel that dry clutch. once you have the knack its still a task and slow riding is never going to be achievable in fact below about 10mph is really jolty and very uncomfortable. The engine: the second best part of the bike, once your going you'll get a shock at how freely that V twin revs. and with 70ft lb of torque it pushes and pushes. now i cant help but feel an inline 4 750 would be faster, but it would lack the torque, which ultimately gives fantastic drive out of a corner. Its linear to apply which so the back wheel never tries to fight its way out on you mid turn, but then you can feel that risk ever present as it puts all 100BHP down on the track. swtiching gears is lovely and smooth and the ratios were perfect for cadwell, That clutch has a massive part to play in that. wheelying in the first 3 gears, the bike red lines at 13,000rpm, even at these crazy speeds that desmo set up makes the engine feel so repsonsive and composed (very different feel to spring assisted valves). Frame: stiff as you like, im a big fan of tubular frames. they offer fantastic mid corner composure, the down side is you get streams of feedback from the bike, too much to process some times. bottom line is handling is the bikes best feature (by a country mile) Suspension: No good for the road, its rock hard. the setup of the bike makes squatting and diving minimal. getting that mid stroke shock travel both front and rear was a fairly easy and the steering dampener helps soften some of the endless feedback. Brakes: them brembos have some immense stopping power, and i found that over taking pre corner entry on the brakes very easy and composed. the feel was progressive and certainly not aggressive. the back break was light and could be snatchy, i kept rear braking to a minimum. Overall: an awsome trackday package, tooled up to the nines to benefit a hard rider in every way. Engine outright power lacking slightly, but this is more than made up in torque. A tall order to get away with this bike on tho road, and personally I wouldnt bother unless its your 2nd weekend in july blaster. solid, composed bike with attitude, what more can you ask from ducati twins note: i had prielli diablo super corsas fitted to mine and they offered immense grib and feedback. definately a harder compound for the road. Written for my forum Read more: http://teessidebikers.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=bikereviews&action=display&thread=9093&page=1#ixzz1Nw0sUnlw
I had an 848 which I had to sell to help fund a conservatory. Bit of money left at the end with which I bought my 748. I was worried about the lack of power, the brakes, weight and age after my 848. Need not have worried, yeh it's not as fast and its a bit heavy, but this bike like my 848 eats corners, stops on a sixpence and has enough power to have you grinning like a loon. Mine has a few extra's which the previous owner purchased, Leo Vinci SBK exhaust, open clutch and a few bits of carbon. So far (touch wood) she has been utterly reliable and ok servicing is dear, but what would you rather have, a beautiful Italian superbike or an anonymous Japanese inline four.
Had a 748e (loved it),then a 600rr(ok),then a zx9r(well ?). Now ive got a 748r amazing bike so much character,handling is sublime,looks amazing,noise awsome,grin factor 10
My 2002 748s will never be sold! Brought New and covered 31000 miles this bike has never let me down. Its spends a week in France every year and had a long hard journey to Imola and back. If your thinking of buying one, give it a go. You wont regret it.
What Can I say about the 748s it's absolutly fantastic, the handling of this bike is something else, i dont think i'll have anything else now other than a ducati, everything about it just oozes with class, great looks still, great handling, a good racing feel, only bad point i'd say was through town bit crampy, overall im impressed with what ive got, very rewarding.
Just turned 20 and brought one of these. Served my apprenticeship on various bikes from a 500cc Royal Enfield to a 125cc Lambretta scooter. I have to say the Ducati brings a smile to my face every time I see it let alone ride it. If you pull your finger out and look after it you will have no problems. Comfort is terrible (even for a young un')and mirrors are for aesthetics, but just look at it! Is there a more beautiful motorcycle? (excluding my Lambretta) Sounds great too....
I've owned old & new sportsbikes, including a gsxr 600 k4 bought new,lovely bike....then ten months later I saw this 748 for sale, my head said no, but my heart said yes! I took a chance, and I've never regreted it yet. If your looking for a bike that makes you feel special, take a chance with the ducati 748....you wont regret it!!
Having had various bikes including a harris 2 1100 my recently acquired 748 has performed better than most including the harris and i now want to buy a 999 anyway the 748 has excellent road handling and the termis make it sound as good as it looks. Strengths: Delivery of power from the twin is excellent & the handling is second to none with excellent front brake makes me grin from ear to ear. Weaknesses: Back brake poor, lights not the best and perhaps the need to work in the higher end of the rev range to get her moving but thats fun.
In 2004 I took my Ducati Sport 900 in for its annual service and decided to take a 748S out for a test. 200 metres down the road and I knew I had to have one. I traded and bought her later that day. Every time I look at her in the garage I know I made the correct decision. She rides as good as she looks too. Plenty of usable power, handles beautifully. Its only my bottle that holds her back, or lack of should I say. More than enough grunt and speed. Had an early teething problem with frayed wire shorting the rectifier regulator out but since then she's been trouble free. You buy this baby though with your heart not your head because you know that she's not going to come cheap to run. If you love Italian looks then this is the baby for you. Strengths: Stunning looks, handling and that lovely grunty torque as you pull away. Weaknesses: This baby is not cheap to run, you're never going to have a standard service cost and there's no point in scrimping or cutting corners. Ducati service costs are more expensive to start out with anyway but you know it's worth it.
I picked up my 748 on Saturday and have not stopped grinning sice, what a fantastic bike. I was motor cycle courier for 6 years and have riden and owned lots of bikes. Apart from a Supermoto the 748 is everything bikings about, lots of useable power and fun. It handles like its on rails looks the dogs. Strengths: Looks/Style, sound, performance. Weaknesses: None yet.....watch this space.
I bought my bike after I had a really bad spill on my GSXR 750. Jap sreamers.... I really wish I hadn't listened to the geezer who said "why don't you get a Duke" It's a fantastic bike when it's running, unfortunately it's as temprimental as moxt women... It's now mid July, sunny, ideal biking weather. Mines in the garage, won't start so I can't get it the 50 miles to the closest place that will look at it.... Strengths The usual.....sounds awesome, looks awesome, turns heads......when it's running!!!! Weaknesses Electrical problems. Lack of people who want to look at it when it's playin up...!!
After owning a 2001 ZX12R I went over to the dark side and bought a 1992 750SS,got knocked off that and with the insurance and compo' money bought Daisy, a 2000 748SPS and what a bike! Fantastic on the open road or round town, long hauls a bit of a pain in the a!*e but worth it for the grin factor. The beast all round bike I have ridden since my RD350LC Eddie Lawson rep' when I was 18! Strengths: Fantastic noise from the 50mm Termis, Italian exotica looks. Weaknesses: NONE
Wasn't sure about the duke at first, what with all the rumours about reliability, but bought a 2001Y 748R. OK, it sounds like a bag of spanners when its idling and the slipper clutch I fitted is VERY noisy but when its going the induction roar and race termis sceaming, it sounds like its coming from hell. It was my first bike and was a great bike to learn the trade on as it inspires so much confidence. Strengths: The noise, handling, looks, exotica and the noise again, there is no other noise like it!! Weaknesses: The neighbours dont like me starting it a 5.30 am, and I can't stop buying little bits for it!
Awesome bike to own - very rewarding when pushed, and it loves to be pushed. Makes most sense on a race track where you can rev it hard and set it up. Suspension a bit harsh for the real world, crashes over square edged bumps and ridges in the road. Uncomfortable around town and requires a lot of attention to coax between cars in heavy traffic. But then it was never meant for town stuff. Strengths: Engine, style, and how it all comes together like no other bike in the twisty bits. Better than a 916/996/998 as it is less intimidating, and more rewarding in the real world - as you can rev the hell out of it and not endlessly be running out of road and into the hedge or angry police. Weaknesses: Harsh suspension, doesn't cope in traffic.
Excellent bike had 900ss before this one and had 2 buy this 748 when it was on the market been resprayed and powder coated and added some termis too. Awesome bike in performance and looks. Watched some people getting their picture taken beside this bike just last week. What 10 year old bike can claim that! Strengths: looks, performance . RELIABILITY. Weaknesses: none.
Bought bike after a bike gap (back to college and a baby girl). always loved the 916 but could never afford one. chose this '98, 12k mileage beastie over a new zx 636. excellent handling, all the lads love a go on it too. it is a long term purchase though and loads of mods etc. i love it more every time i go out and it gets more looks than the usual drivel! it also keeps up well, especially the twisties. needs a new battery now. Strengths: handling looks sound ease of spares and mods. Weaknesses: service costs.
Bought as first bike after a gap of a few years, mainly on looks rather than performance. Cornering is superb, very well balanced and forgiving, oodles of torque and the cans throaty burble attract admirers in towns. Straight line top end OK but don't place any bets, but for a fun A road blast I can't get the shit eating grin off my face. Strengths: It looks superb and handles the same. Headturner and peeps ask you about it wherever you stop. Weaknesses: Tough clutch, long runs can get a bit "knees round your ears" stiff but at 40 that could just be me!!!
Bought in 2003 as a summer ride out and track day machine. Unfortunately this dea turned out to be flawed as the attraction of the little 748 has taken over and I love to be on it all the time. I have respayed all the panels and given it the foggy 1999 rep kit treatment. Looks and sounds fantastic with twin termis at the rear. Been caught out in the rain many times on it and the italian elecs were fine. Naff sprung sidestand and lack of lock in traffic slightly lets this bike down. Useless headlights, but who wants to ride in the dark on this great bike. Luvvin it!!!! Strengths: Handling, V-twin, Sound. Weaknesses: Sidestand, Headlights, Servicing Costs.
Bought very low mileage SPS second hand and first wondered what all the fuss was about. Once run in and new rubber had settled, it all became apparent. Best balanced bike I've ridden in 20 years, including many superbikes. Front end is awe inspiring and turns with absolute precision. Engine pulls well and once I'd adjusted to the lower revving style of the twin the speed came with deceptive ease. However, after its first, hard days serious thrashing it broke! Top end of the engine clattered louder than the clutch! OK, I think. It has so many strengths & serves up riding pleasure by the sack load, so I can even put up with a fragile engine. Trouble was parts took so long to arrive I hardly got to ride the thing. Other owners I know have all had similar experience. Overall a bike that reminds you of what bike riding is all about, nailing the twisties! But don't expect it to be every day transport. Strengths: Balance, precision, traction in short one of the best chassis to have two wheels bolted to it as well as one of the sexiest looking bikes ever made. Weaknesses: Build quality on par with lots of other Italian exotica. (looks like gold built from tin) Engine seems to by the weakest part of the machine. Not in terms of performance but durability is certainly questionable.
I bought the bike as a track bike in 748RS trim. The difference between this and a standard 748R is considerable. The bike was very fast -a real supersport racer. The reason i say 'was' is because it blew up... The only reason this happened was because we failed to maintain our schedule of a rebuild every 1000 kilometres. Despite this I loved the bike... sticking it to bigger bikes on track was extrmemely satisfying... even though you have to ride like a maniac to do so!
Resisted writting report until now. Hunnymoon period over and still love her! The strange thing is that the 748 I find bloody comfortable? Only down side is servicing cost.
It's the first bike ive ever owned & ridden, seems quite comfy to me but I have no bikes to contrast it with! Looks &sounds like nothing else. A stone smashed a headlight and cost me over £ 300 to get fixed! The 749 is out now, so my one is one of the last 748s made I think. Body coloured mirrors, smooth fairing, and braided brake hoses all standard on the 2002 model. Is it a good first bike ? I don't want my money back. I do wonder about the sanity of any willing pillion riders on bike.
You know what it's like when you see the girl of your dreams and think 'I've got to have her', well that was what it was like with my 748. All my spare cash goes on little trinkets for her and touch wood the wife hasn't noticed yet. Come in with a new pair of shoes and she goes off on one, pop an Ohlins damper on the bike and she doesn't bat an eyelid. The bike's everything I wanted and more. Most Jap bikes I've owned I've wanted to change after a year or so but the 748 is here for the duration. Get one.
The first time I rode it, I thought it was broken, it clattered and crunched like it was going to blow, but now I'm used to it it's the most amazing thing I'v owned, it handles better than any bike I have ever ridden, it pulls like fu*k, everyone, and I mean everyone, notices you, and when you get home you just want to go straight back out again.
Stable handling, incredible brakes, great on bumpy roads, suprisingly quick. Similiar style to my old Jota's, heavy clutch,loads of character, prefer my Hayabusa for general use. This bike is too good to use. Will keep indefinately.
Sounds like a sack of spanners when you start it, except for the exhaust note (still ace on stock cans)... Pulls away cleanly, very balanced, and pulls strongly unlike anything I've ever ridden before... Doesnt have the same "sledgehammer shove" like a 4 pot rice burner, and as a result is deceptively fast... The sound of the engine rattles soon fades and you get sucked in by the induction "WHHAARRRRPPPP" and the sound of the exhaust... the only other sound is the metallic thwap of the valves being slammed shut desmodromically. Comfort has been massively improved by removing the roll pins in the bars so I can tild the brake levers away from me a bit (at 6 foot 5 inches my arms were all in the wrong place...) bent elbows has taken all the weight off of my wrists and overall its as comfy as my zx6r so far... Things I dont like? its stalled twice on me at roundabouts while slowing down, amy just need the tickover raising, other than that just the cleaning, with something as stunning as this, even the slightest grubby mark means it has to be cleaned...
The harder you ride it, the better it gets...The front end has inspired more confidence than any other bike in my 11 years riding. Despite religious cleaning, the fairing fasteners are losing their finish and will be replaced soon. The single seat looks trick and different as it's plain yellow, not SPS replica.
Bike feels much more stable and predicatable in turns than my 1999 GSXR600. Handling is superb, I am riding smoother and faster than before. Torque can be a bit of a handfull in the wet!