Ad closing in seconds....

DUCATI 848 (2007-2013) Review

Published: 25 March 2020

Updated: 03 April 2020

The Ducati 848 isn't just a small 1098, it's much more than that

DUCATI 848  (2007-2013)

The Ducati 848 isn't just a small 1098, it's much more than that

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The Ducati 848 isn’t just a small 1098, it’s much more than that. The 848 is a proper fast (top speed is 166mph), fine-handling, gorgeous Ducati superbike in its own right.

It’s no longer the poor relation to its big brother, like the 748 and 749 used to be. Although the more powerful 1098 is faster in a straight line and around a track, in the real world the Ducati 848 is every bit as fast.

In 2010 our Chief Road Tester Michael Neeves was lucky enough to race a Ducati 888 Challenge. He reported "it’s the best handling, most agile, sweet steering Ducati I’ve ever had a proper go on". High praise indeed. 

Also in 2010, Ducati launched the 848 Dark. This version cost £700 less than the stock 848 despite sharing the same 849cc engine, steel trellis frame and high quality chassis parts.

Watch: Ducati 848 vs Ducati 1098

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Chassis-wise the Ducati 848 is almost identical to the 1098, save for slightly lower-spec, but still fully-adjustable, Showa forks and Brembo radial brakes. These cheaper units don’t harm the 848’s performance through the bends one bit though. Most significantly the Ducati 848 has a half-inch narrower rear wheel and a 180-section rear tyre, which gives the 848 greater agility and lighter steering than its bigger brother. In true Ducati superbike style the 848 is rock-solid stable in the corners, at the expense of slightly slow steering through flip-flop chicanes and very tight hairpins.

Engine 5 out of 5

The liquid-cooled Desmodromic, 849cc V-twin Testastretta (Italian for ‘narrow head’) engine was designed and developed specifically for the Ducati 848; it’s not just a cheaper, sleeved-down version of the 1098’s motor. Making a true 122bhp and 66ftlb of torque at the rear wheel the Ducati 848’s motor is not only is very strong, but the power delivery is super-smooth and very linear, too. Compared to the 749, the Ducati 848 makes 20bhp and 10ftlb more, while weighing almost 30kg less.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Modern day Ducatis don’t tend to suffer the electrical and mechanical maladies they used to, and like the 1098, Ducati has slashed servicing costs on the 848. Build quality is top notch, from the deep pearlescent paintwork to the high-end components used throughout.

Reader query: Is water getting into my Ducati 848?

Q: I've a Ducati 848 that won't start after I've washed it. I don't jet wash it or over soak it, but straight after washing the diagnostics light comes on and it won't turn over. It also seems like the dash takes longer than normal to light up.

If I switch the ignition on and off sometimes the diagnostic light doesn't come on and it will start - but it's really intermittent. If I leave it for 12 hours or so it starts no problem. It's been into the garage but they can't find anything wrong.

A: This bike had a recall on the battery earth, so it could be worth checking this out either yourself or with a main dealer. The recall number is RM2008/047. But I think it’s more likely that water is sneaking inside the kill switch or the ignition connections.

Why not try ‘showerproofing’ the kill switch with some rags and a plastic bag before you clean it next? If that doesn’t work move onto those connectors.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Ducati 848 isn’t cheap. You’re undoubtedly paying over the odds for the badge on the tank, but on the other side of the coin depreciation is lower than a Japanese superbike. But expensive as it is, you do get a lot of beautiful, exclusive Ducati motorcycle for your money.

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

Equipment 5 out of 5

Although an expensive used buy you are getting a very high spec motorcycle. The Showa rear shock is the same as the 1098’s, a chunky single sided swingarm and a multi-function LCD dash, which is a replica of the unit used on Casey Stoner’s MotoGP Desmosedici. Options include the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA), which is an on-board plug-in datalogging system, that records lap times, throttle position, engine speed, engine temperature and distance travelled.

How to turn the Ducati 848 into a superbike killer

In standard form the Ducati 848 is one of MCN's favourite sports bikes. It has all the grunt, style and the bombastic soundtrack of its bigger brother the 1198, with added agility and a revvier, more involving engine. It was born for corners – it’s the exotic, twin-cylinder take on the legendary Suzuki GSX-R750.

You don't have to spend the thousands of pounds on your 848. Lots of bolt-ons don’t make much difference to performance. Here is the gear to get to turn your 848 into a superbike-killer

  • Fully-adjustable 1098R/1198S Ohlins forks and 1198S Ohlins rear shock. They have a plusher action and finer adjustment range compared to standard – and give the 848 a completely different character. The forks are the most expensive bolt-on. Forks: £1809.06 Shock: £847.
  • Forged aluminium wheels from a Ducati Hypermotard are lighter than standard so help the 848 change direction faster and save unsprung weight too. £1191.
  • Ducati Performance dry slipper clutch stops the 848 clattering into the corners when changing down through the gears. The exposed, anodised red clutch looks cool and sounds like a proper Ducati race bike. £811.
  • Lighter, sexier and louder than stock, a Ducati without Termis would be like MotoGP without Rossi. £1210.

Total: £4059.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2007
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £10,995
Used price £5,300 to £11,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £220
Performance
Max power 122 bhp
Max torque 66 ft-lb
Top speed 166 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 27 mpg
Tank range 93 miles
Specification
Engine size 848cc
Engine type 8-valve, V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 168kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2007: Ducati 848 launched.

Other versions

None

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 848 (2007-2013) 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 848 (2007-2013)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
5 out of 5

All you will every wish for and more 848 EVO, sounds as good as it looks, what a brilliant ride, what a blast.

04 April 2020 by Grant John Neville

All you will ever need in a Superbike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brilliant brakes from the bigger 1098.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sounds Awesome, and you can feel the power, blowing out the cobwebs.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Like everything in life, no one is perfect rate Ducati 4.5 / 5, the rear indicator did drop off, maybe the heat of the sexy exhaust and the rubber, fan relay gone, stator wire burned out.............then thanks to Ethanol in the fuel (Not. Ducati Fault, had to change the fuel pump) and me leaving the bike in storage........so now when the bikes is stored i use Blaze 100 (without ethanol), but when running around lower octane without the corrosive ethanol............as it runs cooler (note I am no expert on fuel grades). Thanks to the racing mechanic at Ducati Alabang, he has the bike running perfect....
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Initially, I thought Ducati, Philippines were over price the labour and parts, now they have got great mechanics, that go that extra mile to get things almost perfect, at smaller labour costs.
Equipment
5 out of 5
What else do you from a Red Sexy Italian Ducati Motorcycle.
Buying experience

Bought the only one in White and they resprayed to Sexy Seductive Ducati Red. The Manager Mr Gambi, did a great job in sales and follow up. Many thanks.

5 out of 5

The super 848evo

20 July 2016 by Chris

Absolutely faultless, an amazing, user friendly bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Handles like a dream. Just point it into a corner and it goes where you want. Brembos are amazing.
Engine
5 out of 5
Just enough power and a flat torque curve, no surprises. Keeps up with any litre bike down any A road.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I've had two in the last five years and both totally faultless. Great build quality , it just feels solid and reliable.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The value has only dropped 1800 in over 3 years of ownership. Servicing costs are much cheaper than most people think.
Equipment
4 out of 5
No electronic rider aids but you don't need them, it's so forgiving.
Buying experience

Bought it from Italia moto in Lincoln, and always go there for servicing, not the cheapest but very professional.

4 out of 5

848 evo 2012

12 November 2015 by Trelloh

Handling, performance, comfort, glorious sound and pretty all very much up there. Let down only by fuel consumption and a small reliability issue.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Superb on all fronts
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Rear wheel bearing badly worn after only 3500 miles. Otherwise brilliant.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Running costs quite high for a low mileage machine. Slightly more expensive to buy next to the opposition. Failed first mot with rear wheel bearing worn and only 3500 miles on clock :( very expensive repair/replacement of hub.
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Dealer purchased demo bike. £9.5k in April 2013 with 1200 miles on clock.

5 out of 5

Incredible 848

04 August 2009 by dazw22

Not enough superlatives for this bike. Stunning to look at, stunning to ride. I went from a cbr600rr7 to this and I thought that handled and went. Bought an 09 from KJM superbikes with 750 miles on for a huge saving on new. Had to get back to a twin after 12 months of riding a 600 four, missed the torque and the oomph out of the corners and blimey this bike does not disappoint. Can't wait to get out again if the weather will ever let me.

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

great but needs work

26 July 2009 by urban-ryder

right first off I love this bike,everything about it has refreshed my love of bikes.I have rode a few different bikes over the years (a cbr1000rr being my last bike) but I havent had so much fun in the corners since the days of my trusty old nc30.This bike handles like a 600 but with a hell of a lot more grunt.There is a few things that need done to this bike to make it better(did I just say that lol), firstly the seat...or lack of it. yes I know its a full sports bike and this helps you feel the feedback but dam its hard on you the first few times you ride it, it also catches you out when you grab a handfull of the sweet brembo brake system and your launched sliding into the tank with a force that will leave you infertile for a few weeks. this can be fixed(slighty) with the ducati Neoprene Race Seat which stops you sliding about and is slightly softer on the rear. next on the list is the rear hugger,or lack of one.ok most owners probably will never have it out in the rain and mud but everything gets thrown into the back of the engine.lastly the handling.......needs a stearing damper if your the type to push in on a bit on the bumpy roads and the rear end is far too hard! each bump throws you out of your seat if your a light rider like me,13 stone with all my gear on.I checked the rear sag and its set at 12mm of movement!! A lot of owners put an ohlins rear shock on with a 1098 ride height adjuster as they cant get enough adjustment from the standard showa kit.once these things are done then your laughing.when I had the blade it was a great bike(maybe spoiled me with its handling) but I was getting bored with the point and shoot superbike after the fourth year of our relationship.I had origanlly wanted a 1098 after a run in one but the costs were out of my range so I took a 848 out for a run.....wow..... its not a mini 1098,its a totally different bike.Its a better road bike than the 1098 like the 1098 is a better track bike than the 848.One of the loves from this bike is the way the power is delivered and the note from the engine in the higher rev range, tucked behind the screen im grinning from ear to ear.roll on the twistys.

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

Twin Peaks

26 July 2008 by ROBBIE61

A superb bike with its own identity. Plenty of performance, great styling and desirability. No reliability issues to date and affordable servicing. As to the 848 'looking Japanese' - Laser eye surgery is available for those suffering from cataracts.... Highly recommended, in red or white and a credible alternative to the GSXR 750.

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

Loving it

23 June 2008 by omayj

Only just getting it run in so not yet fully stretched its legs but fell in love within 10 miles on the test ride. More comfortable and smoother than the 748 - good looking bike, although I've had a Ducati rider tell he thinks it looks Japanese (!). Biggest problem is the white or the red. I've got red. Great bike if a little expensive compared to its peers.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-

Photo Gallery

  • DUCATI 848  (2007-2013)
  • Ducati 848 review action
  • Ducati 848 review static
  • Ducati 848 review detail
  • Ducati 848 review action
  • Ducati 848 review action
  • Ducati 848 review action
  • Ducati 848 review detail
  • Ducati 848 review detail
  • Ducati 848 review detail
  • Ducati 848 review detail
  • Ducati 848 review action
  • Ducati 848 review action
All related reviews
All DUCATI 848 for sale
Bauer Media

Bauer Media Group consists of: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Company number: 01176085, Bauer Radio Ltd, Company Number: 1394141
Registered Office: Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA H Bauer Publishing,
Company Number: LP003328 Registered Office: Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London, NW1 7DT.
All registered in England and Wales. VAT no 918 5617 01
H Bauer Publishing are authorised and regulated for credit broking by the FCA (Ref No. 845898)