2011 Ducati Superbikes

Major upgrades for the 1198, price remains unchanged.

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Ducati

Ducati just released details on its 2011 Superbike lineup, revealing a substantially upgraded 1198 and a new model called the 1198SP. The base model 1198 is now essentially identical to last-year's S-version, complete with traction control and a quick-shifter as standard equipment. The S has been discontinued in favor of the higher-spec SP that benefits from suspension upgrades and—finally!—a slipper clutch.

In addition to eight-level adjustable DTC traction control and a new, electronically activated DQS quick shifter, the base 1198 also features the Ducati's DDA data analyzer as standard equipment. DDA is basically a value-added lap timer that allows performance-savvy owners to gather, download and compare speed, rpm, throttle position, gear selection and other pertinent data from lap to lap during any given riding session. Despite these substantial electronic upgrades the MSRP remains unchanged at $16,495—making this year's 1198 a great value and a serious sales threat to the similarly equipped BMW S1000RR.

In addition to the Ohlins fork and other upgrades that distinguished last year's 1198S, the 1198SP is further improved this year with the addition of a top-of-the-line Ohlins TTX rear shock and the Ducati Performance slipper clutch, something we've long wished for on this big V-twin. Just like the base model, DTC traction control, the DQS quick shifter and DDA data analyzer are standard equipment here. The aluminum fuel tank is likewise carried over from last year, with new graphics incorporating an unpainted stripe down the center to show it off. The SP sees a slight $100 increase in MSRP, to $21,995.

Ducati's smaller-displacement 848EVO, an early-release 2011 model, receives a third paint option, an eye-catching matte white bodywork offset with blood red wheels and frame.

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