DUCATI DESMOSEDICI RR (2007 - 2009) Review


  • A MotoGP bike with lights and a numberplate
  • 200bhp motor means prodigious pace
  • Amazing handling for keen riders

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Power: 200 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Low (377 lbs / 171 kg)


New N/A
Used £80,000

Overall rating

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

There’s no other way to describe the Ducati Desmosedici RR than as a MotoGP bike with lights; it really is that close to the real thing.

The 200bhp motorcycle is a replica of Ducati’s Desmosedici GP6 MotoGP machine, which Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau rode in 2006 and features the same chassis layout, bodywork and ‘long bang’ 989cc V4 engine architecture. There has never been a road motorcycle like the Ducati Desmosedici RR, it’s so stiff, fast and focussed that it makes R1s seem soft and cuddly by comparison.

Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews of the bike known as the Desmo, you may want to join a community. We'd suggest the Desmo Owners Club.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Unless you’re going to push the Ducati Desmosedici RR as hard as MotoGP rider can, you’re never going to get the best out of it. Such is the stiffness of the chassis there’s very little feel from the Desmosedici RR even at fast racetrack speeds, although you get more feel as you start to push harder. On the road the Desmosedici is going to be a waste.

Where a 1098 or R1 will flatter you with its user-friendly nature the Ducati is quick to tell you that you’re not good enough to ride it. It is the best handling road motorcycle ever built; you just need to be Casey Stoner to appreciate it.

Ducati Desmosedici RR in action on Knockhill race circuit, piloted by Michael Neeves


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

Although devilishly powerful the Ducati Desmosedici’s V4 motor is far more docile and user-friendly than you’d imagine. It makes power smoothly from tickover all the way to 13,800rpm, although as the motor spins past 10,000rpm the power starts to get very intense. There’s bucketfuls of grunt on tap too, so much so that you can go a gear higher though corners and it’ll still pull hard. Like one of Ducati’s V-twin engines, the Desmosedici is deceptively fast, not like a screaming in-line-four superbike, which feels twice as fast as it’s really going.

Reliability & build quality

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

Like the MotoGP machine the Ducati Desmosedici RR is built to an exquisite level of quality; there’s simply nothing you can buy that comes close. Unlike the race bike the Desmosedici RR actually comes with a three-year warrantee and three-years free servicing, which is an astonishing feat from Ducati.

Riding the Ducati Desmosedici RR on a trackday

Our Ducati Desmosedici RR owners' reviews are positive in the main. While its value for money is an understandable concern, the score is brought down by someone who went for a test ride and didn't gel with the bike. For that reason it's not a particularly representative score. 

But this is a highly strung, desirable appreciating classic. It's not going to be peanuts to run.

Value vs rivals

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

Ducati could have sold the Desmo for a lot more than it's £40K price tag and it would still be have been worth it. If you could imagine how much a car would cost that was this close to a top racing machine? Probably millions, if it could ever happen, which it never would or could. If you can find one for sale and you have the cash we recommend you snap it up sharpish. 

Watch: Ducati Desmosedici RR vs Superleggera V4 on track

In 2020 we pit two of the most desirable Ducatis against one another on track to find out which one we preferred - the Desmo or the new Superleggera V4 - as part of our Dream Ducatis film. Get our video verdict below...


5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is built like a MotoGP bike so it’s dripping with exotic parts. The Desmodromic motor is packed with titanium, specially coated alloys and magnesium. The fairing, mudguard, heel guards, fairing bracket are all from carbon fibre and the exhaust heat shield is from a carbon/ceramic composite. The LCD display is the same as the GP7 MotoGP motorcycle and like the 1098 it comes with a datalogging facility.

Marchesini wheels are forged magnesium and the rear is shod with a special 16-inch Bridgestone BT-01R tyre. The Brembo front brake set-up is the same as the wet set-up Ducati use in MotoGP and the front brake span adjuster is on the left handlebar for easy reach. The list goes on…


Engine size 989cc
Engine type 16-valve, V4, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 14.1 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 171kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable
Rear suspension Fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 330mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 200/55 x 16 in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price £80,000
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 200 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 190 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 10.09 secs
Tank range 120 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2007: Ducati Desmosedici RR launched.
  • 2009: bike goes off sale.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the DUCATI DESMOSEDICI RR (2007 - 2009)

5 owners have reviewed their DUCATI DESMOSEDICI RR (2007 - 2009) 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 DESMOSEDICI RR (2007 - 2009)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
5 out of 5 Surely destined to be regarded as one of Ducati’s finest road going sports bikes.
25 September 2023 by Pete B

Year: 2008

Worth reflecting on this bike after 15 years of ownership. At launch it was all about the spec and the tech. Now, when compared to the latest from Ducati and others, it’s more about a visceral and analogue experience that if anything feels more thrilling now than it did all those years ago.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride is harsh but not outside of what you’d expect for a bike of this nature, the brakes are old school without abs etc and are powerful and progressive.

Engine 5 out of 5

Six out of five, simply an all time great engine. From tickover to the insane 13,800 redline, it’s a smooth rush of torque and power. And the noise, holy moly, the noise. One of the few machines that sounds even better when you’re riding it than watching one one a fly by.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I had a regulator failure ten years in and Ducati refused to correct a paint defect on the tank.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

So far it’s been no more costly to run than one of Ducati’s more mainstream superbikes. Non - service related parts prices are however simply eye watering.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Should really have come with a front paddock stand and the tyre warmers promised at launch were never included, however in all other respects the bike was well equipped with all the expected goodies.

5 out of 5 Amazing
06 October 2014 by doug3426

It's a motogp bike it's a dream, had one for for weeks on loan, I'll never forget them

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
5 out of 5 Not for straight line fanatics
14 August 2009 by Rumoy

So since when does going out for a test ride count as being an owner for a review? The package overall is phenomenal, the bike's suspension needs to be set up for the individual rider, it's stiff as hell from the crate. Standard equipment from the carbon to the slipper clutch to the engine and noise turns heads. There have been a number of recalls, everything works on mine just fine. Given the amount of titanium and other exotic bits it's hard to criticise value. The bike is all about the engine and the handling and the looks, I'd say the engine is the most stunning of the three. Best stay with a Busa, dray horses and thoroughbreds don't mix.

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 5 out of 5
1 out of 5 too small
27 April 2009 by BUSA666

took a test ride on the ducati, after getting off my 08 hayabusa. the ducati is really uncomfortable, and really small... and been a ducati, i bet it won`t be very reliable, in years to come..

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
5 out of 5 Awesome
24 March 2008 by scottch

It's worth the wait, the money, the sleepless nights and is more than all your expectations.

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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