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

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.

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 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.

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
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

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.

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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