THE MOD SQUAD
Ducati’s belting V-twin has a midrange that will bring tears to your eyes. PB shows you how to get the best out of the already astonishing superbike.
The best advice from PB’s team of experts on how to improve the already excellent Ducati 1098/1198
THE 1098/ 1198 models are massively significant for Ducati. Not only did the 1098 introduce the world to the firm’s first all-new superbike engine since water cooling and a four-valve head arrived in 1987 with the 851, but the 1198 was also the last of the belt-driven cam Ducati sportsbikes as the Panigale dumped this system for chain-driven cams in 2012. Beyond this, the new generation of Ducati also helped banish thoughts of the ill-fated 999 and, in the words of the great modern poet Justin Timberlake, brought sexy back...
So that’s the dull history bit out of the way. What is more significant to anyone looking at buying a used Ducati is the fact the 1098, and to an even greater extent the 1198, is the last Ducati sportsbike to rely on good old-fashioned V-twin stomp rather than a high-revving top end. When it comes to sheer torque, no V-twin does it better than the Testastretta Evoluzione – and that list includes the Panigale’s Superquadro. You don’t go looking for drive on a 1098/1198; it hits you in the face as soon as you open the throttle. And that’s what makes them so special.
Mimicking the classic look of the 916, but bringing it up to date through elegant refinements, the 1098/1198 models not only look stunning, they also come with thoroughly modern tech. All models feature Ducati’s DDA datalogging system as standard and the 1198s (and the 1098R) even bring traction control and (on the SP) a quickshifter to the party. Add to this the option of Öhlins suspension and lightweight Marchesini wheels on the S versions and you can see why the Ducati 1098/1198 models are held in such high esteem.