Ducati 1098S VS. KTM RC8 1190 - Same Difference

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Adam Campbell, Brandon Bones

2008 KTM RC8 1190 | Price: $19,498
Hard parts

Engine
A bigger bore (103mm) and longer stroke (69 mm) add up to 1148cc displacement, but thanks to right-sizing, KTM's latest LC8 engine is lighter and more compact than the 999cc version that powers the firm's other twins. Double overhead cams are chain-driven and cam followers activate eight valves, for a simple, compact cylinder head design.

Chassis
The RC8's trellis frame, welded in the company's Mattighofen facility, is made from chromoly steel and weighs less than 17 pounds. The swingarm is constructed from a mix of cast parts and sheet-metal sections to save weight and increase strength. The subframe pivots to adjust seat height by .8 of an inch.

Suspension
Suspension comes from long-time KTM partner WP. The fork offers 10mm of preload adjustment, 32 clicks of compression damping and 28 clicks of rebound. An eccentric fitting in the rear suspension linkage permits a 20mm ride-height adjustment. Shock access, for adjusting preload, is unparalleled.

Brakes
More of the same Monobloc action on the KTM, with a pair of radial-mount Brembos up front clamping down on 10-button, 320mm rotors. Each caliper contains four separate brake pads (one per piston) for improved cooling. The rear brake is a two-piston caliper, also made by Brembo, matched to a 220mm disc.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 75-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 220mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 10.27 sec. @ 138.1 mph
Valve train: DOHC, 4vFront tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa ProTop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.05 sec.
Displacement: 1148ccRear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa ProFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 40/35/36 mpg
Bore x stroke: 103.0 x 69.0mmRake/trail: 23.3/3.5-3.6 in.Colors: Orange/black, white
Compression: 12.5:1Seat height: 31.7-32.5 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: Keihin EFIWheelbase: 56.3 in.Warranty: 36 mo./36,000 mi.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipperFuel capacity: 4.4 gal.Contact:
KTM North America, Inc.
1119 Milan Ave.
Amherst, OH 44001
440.985.3553
www.ktmusa.com
Transmission: 6-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 441/416 lbs.
Frame: Tubular-steel trellisMeasured horsepower: 134.9 bhp @ 10,250 rpm
Front suspension: 43mm WP inverted cartridge fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound dampingMeasured torque: 75.4 lb.-ft. @ 7000 rpm
Rear suspension: Single WP shock, adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discs

Ergos
Adjustability is the key word here, with multiple settings for seat height, footpeg position and handlebar rise. Roomy, too: The 18.6-inch seat-to-peg measurement is the longest of any sportbike we've measured, and the 3.6-inch bar rise is bettered only by Buell's 1125R.

Dyno
The RC8's torque curve is flatter than a tabletop, and stout too, delivering upwards of 60 lb.-ft. of torque anywhere on the tach.
Horsepower builds strongly right up to 10,000 rpm and then flattens without falling off, leaving a nice cushion of over-rev should you need to carry a gear through a corner.

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