Because the restrictions of Grand Prix races prohibited Ducati-style motorcycles from competing, Ducati stepped out of the Grand Prix racing world in the 1970s. However, in 2001, Ducati began designing an engine to satisfy Grand Prix restrictions and be competitive on the track. This new bike was first released in 2002 and made a good showing at Grand Prix races over the next several years. In 2007, a Ducati Desmosedici won its first Moto Grand Prix World Championship title. In 2008, Ducati created a street-legal Desmosedici motorcycle for sale to the general public. Speed demons who wish to ride a motorcycle at almost 200 miles per hour can have their chance on the 2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR. The Ducati company says that this motorcycle is identical to a Grand Prix racing bike other than the addition of lights and a horn.
Speed was the only consideration in the design of the 2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR. Therefore, this bike is not suited for long distance driving. The fuel economy is terrible, at only 23 to 26 miles per gallon of premium gasoline. With the fuel tank holding less than four gallons, drivers will have to stop for gas after every hundred miles. Then again, with a seat, chassis, steering, suspension and riding position designed for racing speed, drivers will need to stop often to work the kinks out of their bodies.
The appearance of the Desmosedici RR is eye-catching. The bodywork is stylish and aerodynamic, perfectly mimicking the looks of an authentic Grand Prix racer. The Alan Jenkins-designed body was obviously created with maximum velocity in mind. Two color schemes are available. Both the solid red scheme and the red and white scheme will attract attention anywhere.
Of course, the real heart and soul of the Ducati Desmosedici is the engine. For this bike, Ducati designed an incredibly lightweight, high-performance engine. The Desmosedici engine uses racing technology and state of the art engine architecture to create a reliable, powerful engine. The engine is perfectly balanced, a necessary consideration on a machine that can hit almost 200 miles per hour. Ducati used its traditional 90-degree, longitudinal-twin engine. This engine has the typical Desmosedici valve train system controlling the 16 valves of the engine.
The 2008 Ducati Desmosedici is a bike after which motorcycle enthusiasts will lust. The Desmosedici has only two negatives. First, Ducati only made 1500 of these motorcycles. Anxious buyers had to get in line to buy one of these gorgeous bikes. Second, at over $72,000 each, the cost of these motorcycles is out of reach for the majority of owners.