Ducati 1098S VS. KTM RC8 1190 - Same Difference

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Brandon Bones, Adam Campbell

2008 Ducati 1098S | Price: $19,995
Hard Parts

Ducati's Testastretta Evoluzione engine motivates the 1098S, topped with MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies said to flow 30 percent more air than conventional round bodies. Oversquare cylinder dimensions make the motor rev quicker, and a narrow valve angle provides a straighter shot into reshaped combustion chambers. Magnesium valve covers reduce weight.

Super-light, forged and machined Marchesini racing wheels drop 4 pounds of unsprung weight compared to the base-model 1098. The latest version of Ducati's signature single-sided swingarm, composed of stiffer castings at the pivot, wheel hub and suspension link connected with fabricated aluminum sections, is lighter and stronger than before.

Ohlins FG511 fork is fully adjustable with ti-nitride coated sliders that minimize stiction to communicate even the most subtle change in road conditions to the rider. The 46PRC shock features a top-out spring to enhance ride quality. Rear ride height is adjustable independent of spring preload.

Brembo's mighty M4-34 Monobloc calipers, machined from a single piece of alloy for higher rigidity and greater distortion resistance, clamp down on 330mm rotors mounted to the front wheel. A radial-pump master cylinder offers better feedback with less lever travel, for improved modulation.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 245mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 10.06 sec. @ 140.8 mph
Valve train: DOHC, 4v desmoFront tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa ProTop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 2.96 sec.
Displacement: 1099ccRear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa ProFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 36/33/34 mpg
Bore x stroke: 104.0 x 64.7mmRake/trail: 24.5/3.8 in.Colors: Red, black
Compression: 12.5:1Seat height: 32.2 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: Marelli EFIWheelbase: 56.3 in.Warranty: 24 mo./unlimited mi.
Clutch: Dry, multi-plateFuel capacity: 4.1 gal.Contact:
Ducati North America
10433 Bandley Dr.
Cupertino, CA 95014
Transmission: 6-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 438/413 lbs.
Frame: Tubular-steel trellisMeasured horsepower: 136.2 bhp @ 9500 rpm
Front suspension: 43mm Ohlins inverted cartridge fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound dampingMeasured torque: 79.7 lb.-ft. @ 8000 rpm
Rear suspension: Single Ohlins shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston radial calipers, 330mm discs

"Ready to Race" might be KTM's corporate slogan, but it also describes the Ducati's ergos. With one of the longest seat-to-bar reaches on the market and a minimal, 1.5 inches of bar rise, the Ducati stretches you out and lays you down. Perfect at 170 mph; less so at legal speeds.

Big valves, even bigger throttle bodies and a quick-revving motor give the 1098S a decided power advantage over and above 6000 rpm. Power drops off quickly after the 9500-rpm redline, though, and the hard rev limiter kicks in at 10,500, so short-shifting works best.

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