Ducati 848 - Ten Nine Eight In Miniature - First Ride

Lighter Makes Righter For This 370-Pound, 134-Horsepower Middleweight

By Roland Brown, Photography by Milagro

One welcome chassis change is the narrower 180mm rear tire that greatly enhances agility through tighter bends. Minimal steering input and great stability, combined with nearlimitless cornering clearance and the tenacity of the sticky Pirelli Supercorsa Pro radials, let the 848 unravel the twistyAlmeria track at a blistering pace. Even on standard settings, the suspension gave impressive control with minimal pitching under braking or acceleration, despite the compact wheelbase. On the track my only chassis-related concern was lack of room for my long legs (I'm 6-foot-4), but roadgoing comfort will likely be lacking, despite Ducati's claims of all-around ability.

The 848 is still a superbike, just a slightly less powerful, more rider-friendly one. It might look innocent in white, but in performance and personality, it is blood-red Ducati all the way.

Tech Spec
The chassis from the flagship 1098 Superbike fitted with a smaller, sweeter 849cc V-twin.

Other category-busting middleweights such as the Suzuki gSX-R750 and Triumph Daytona 675.

Price: $12,995
Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-twin
Valve train: DOHC, 8v
Displacement: 849cc
Bore x stroke: 94.0 x 61.2mm
Compression: 12.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Claimed horsepower: 134.0 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Claimed torque: 70.8 lb.-ft. @ 8250 rpm
Frame: Steel trellis with single-sided aluminum swingarm
Front suspension: 43mm Showa inverted fork adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Showa shock adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Supercorsa Pro
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Pirelli Supercorsa Pro
Rake/trail: 24.5/3.8 in.
Seat height: 32.3 in.
Wheelbase: 56.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.1 gal.
Claimed dry weight: 370 lbs.
Colors: Red, white
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mi.

Ducati nails its performance targets square on the nose, but needs to address the aggro ergos if it wants a true all-around sportbike.

Ducati north America
10443 Bandley Dr
CA  95014
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