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.

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents - Du­cati | Photography Jon Urry Words

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.

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