After the Ducati 748 in 1994 and the Ducati 749 in 2003, Italian manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. announced the arrival of a new superbike in 2007 with an even higher engine displacement than the aforementioned two. Called the Ducati 848, the new bike was essentially a smaller-displacement version of the larger 1098, which was released the same year. Coincidentally, the 2008 Ducati 848 will set a few precedents in its manufacturer’s history.
The 2008 Ducati 848 represents the first time that a bike from Ducati uses a wet clutch. This was a swift departure from the dry clutch used on previous machines, which is a device built for performance and characterized by its noise. The wet clutch, on the other hand, emanates less noise, is lighter, and provides longer service intervals than the dry clutch. With this device installed on the 848, Ducati was placing less emphasis on a closed course circuit feel for its street racing-oriented sport bikes.
The wet clutch of the 2008 Ducati 848 is harnessed to a six-speed manual transmission, which means that Ducati still wanted to retain the excitability of driving a sport-oriented bike. The gearbox is paired with a four-stroke longitudinal-twin cylinder, four-valves-per-cylinder desmodromic engine called the ""Testastretta Evoluzione."" The engine is where the bike gets its three-digit suffix; it displaces at 849.4 cubic centimeters (rounded down to 848). The 2008 Ducati 848 generates 134 horsepower at 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) and 70.8 pound-feet of torque at 8,250 RPM. The bore and stroke is measured at 3.7 by 2.41 inches, or 94 by 61.2 millimeters. Also, Ducati integrates a liquid cooler to each 2008 Ducati 848 engine to prevent overheating and consequently malfunction. Peak fuel capacity for the bike is 4.1 gallons.
Each 2008 Ducati 848 has halogen headlights for exterior lighting, an engine immobilizer as a theft deterrent, rearview mirrors for improved visibility during driving, all-wheel disc brake layout for superior braking, and an exhaust guard for occupants’ protection from the exhaust heat. Huge 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, a front and rear fender, and aggressively styled plastic covering add to the bike’s sporty look.
The 2008 Ducati 848 weighs 370 lbs. and possesses a wheelbase of 58.3 inches. The two-piece seat, large enough for a driver and one passenger, is set at a height of around 33 inches.
Overall, the 2008 Ducati 848 shares many of its components with its larger 1098 counterpart, such as its body style, steel frame, and fuel tank. However, the 848 became the bigger seller. Ducati moved more than 1,200 units within the bike’s first six months in the market. Such sales performance vaulted the 2008 Ducati 848 past the 1098 to the position of the fastest-selling Ducati motorcycle in history, accounting for 20 percent of Ducati’s sales in the North American market. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the bike is $13,495.