MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves has just been riding Ducati’s brand new 1098R superbike at its world launch at Jerez in southern Spain. This is what he has to say:
“Ducati is back to its decadent best with this homologation special which is the closest a road going Ducati has ever been to a World Superbike. As well as all the top spec cycle parts and hefty price tag of £24,000 the two main points of interest are its new 1200cc engine and its traction control, the first time such a system has ever been fitted to a road going motorcycle.
- Watch the 1098 take on its v-twin rivals
- What's better a 1098 or 999?
“The Ducati doesn’t feel too dis-similar to the 1098S to ride but we’ve just lapped four seconds faster on the 1098R than we managed at the same track in similar conditions a couple of months ago on the 1098S. Almost all of this is down to its extremely powerful 186bhp engine.
“What’s more, the eight stage traction control system really works. On its most limiting on level eight, which is it’s full on setting, it’s easy to make the traction control work. It feels like a rev-limiter and sounds like the pit lane speed limiters from MotoGP.
"It’s a strange sensation to be able to go round a hairpin at full throttle and not crash. On this setting the system can be too intrusive and you can end up going slower which is why there are eight settings for you to choose from, depending on the conditions and the rider skill level.
Read more from the launch in the January 30 edition of MCN.