Ducati Desmosedici RR vs. 1098R - Money No Object

When Only The Best Will Do

By: Brian Catterson, Aaron Frank, Photography by Rich Chenet

Hard Parts

Ignore the model designation-this Testastretta Evoluzione V-twin measures 1198cc. A 2mm bore and 3.2mm stroke increase take advantage of World Superbike's 1200cc displacement limit for twin-cylinder bikes. Bigger pistons, bigger valves, higher compression and bigger throttle bodies all contribute to the R's almost 30-bhp advantage over the base 1098.

The steel-trellis frame is manufactured from ALS 450 tubing, a low-carbon steel alloy with admirable strength-to-weight properties and high corrosion resistance. The subframe is aluminum on the monoposto R-model (saving weight), and the latest-version of Ducati's single-sided swingarm combines cast and welded-sheet sections to optimize the strength/weight balance.

The back end is held up by Ohlins' latest shock technology, the TTX "twin-tube" design that facilitates positive pressure build-up in both directions and decreases internal gas pressure for reduced cavitation and friction. Up front, the fully adjustable Ohlins FG511 fork is Ti-nitride coated to minimize stiction and maximize front-wheel feedback.

Brembo's radial-mount M4-34 Monobloc calipers are identical to those on the Desmosedici, and are machined from a solid block of alloy to clamp down on six-button, alloy-carrier rotors with minimal distortion and maximum force. A radial-pump master cylinder decreases lever travel and improves feedback-essential when modulating this much braking force.

Ducati 1098R | Price: $39,995

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-twinFront brake: Dual four-piston Brembo radial calipers, 330mm discsWeight (tank full/empty): 422/397 lbs.
Valve train: DOHC, 8v, desmodromicRear brake: Single two-piston Brembo caliper, 245mm discMeasured horsepower: 163.0 bhp @ 9500 rpm
Displacement: 1198ccFront tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa SPMeasured torque: 90.3 lb.-ft. @ 7750 rpm
Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.9mmRear tire: 195/55-ZR17 Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa SPFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 33/30/31 mpg
Compression: 12.8:1Rake/trail: 24.5 deg./3.8 in.Colors: Red
Fuel system: Marelli EFISeat height: 32.2 in.Availability: Now
Clutch: Dry, multi-plate slipperWheelbase: 56.3 in.Warranty: 48 mo., unlimited mi.
Transmission: 6-speedFuel capacity: 4.1 gal.Contact:
Ducati North America
10443 Bandley Dr.
Cupertino, CA 95014
Frame: Tubular steel trellis with single-sided aluminum swingarm
Front suspension: 43mm Ohlins inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Ohlins shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping

With peak horsepower hovering solidly in the 160s, you might be forgiven for thinking this is the dyno trace of a liter-class inline-four. The torque curve is the telltale V-twin giveaway-not even the strongest liter-bike can approach the 1098R's 60-plus lb.-ft. reading in the neighborhood of 3500 revs.

Uber-Olympian Michael Phelps is said to have the perfect swimmer's body; his freakishly long torso and arms also make him perfectly suited for the 1098R's long reach and low bars. Pegs mount high and rearward-good for cornering clearance and forward weight bias, not so good for comfort.

By Brian Catterson, Aaron Frank
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