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

A blast from the MotoGP past, when men were men and racebikes displaced 990cc. Dimensionally identical to the GP6 racer, the 90-degree V-4 maintains the irregular, "Twin-Pulse" firing order (0/90/290/380-degree sequence). The 16 valves are desmodromically actuated (thus the name), the cams are gear-driven and materials are exotic: magnesium case covers, titanium valves and con-rods.

It wouldn't be a Ducati without a steel-trellis frame, paired with a carbon-fiber subframe. Built from four different sizes of tubing, the RR frame is 80 percent (!) stiffer torsionally than the 1098, and employs the engine as a stressed member. The massive aluminum swingarm, which pivots in the engine cases, is "only" 35 percent stiffer than the 1098's single-sided arm.

Suspension comes straight from the MotoGP paddock. This is the first production streetbike with pressurized fork damping, housed in remote reservoirs on each hlins leg. The Ohlins shock under the swingarm offers a dizzying array of adjustments: 20 low-speed compression settings, 48 high-speed positions and 25 clicks for rebound damping.

Another first for a production streetbike: A race-style remote adjuster for the front radial master cylinder allows the rider to adjust brake-lever travel on the fly via a knob located above the left clip-on. Brembo Monobloc calipers and 330mm rotors are identical to those on the 1098R-and just as impressive.

Ducati Desmosedici RR | Price: $72,500

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-4Front brake: Dual four-piston Brembo radial calipers, 330mm discsWeight (tank full/empty): 430/396 lbs.
Valve train: DOHC, 16v, desmodromicRear brake: Single two-piston Brembo caliper, 240mm discMeasured horsepower: 179.8 bhp @ 13,800 rpm
Displacement: 989ccFront tire: 120/70-ZR17 Bridgestone Battlax BT-01Measured torque: 77.4 lb.-ft. @ 10,000 rpm
Bore x stroke: 86.0 x 42.6mmRear tire: 200/55-ZR16 Bridgestone Battlax BT-01Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 46/39/43 mpg
Compression: 13.5:1Rake/trail: 23.5-24.5 deg./3.9 in.Colors: Red
Fuel system: Marelli EFISeat height: 32.0 in.Availability: Now
Clutch: Dry, multi-plate slipperWheelbase: 56.3 in.Warranty: 36 mo., unlimited mi.
Transmission: 6-speedFuel capacity: 5.7 gal.Contact:
Ducati North America
10443 Bandley Dr.
Cupertino, CA 95014
Frame: Tubular steel trellis with aluminum swingarm
Front suspension: 43mm Ohlins inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Ohlins shock with adjustable spring preload, high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping

The Desmosedici's 989cc V-4 was designed to perform wide-open on the racetrack, so the steep, top end-biased dyno trace is no surprise. The 1098R makes more peak torque, but the D16 makes more than enough-over 70 lb.-ft. between 9000 and 14,000 rpm-and spreads it over a much broader range.

Ergonomically speaking, the Desmosedici RR is almost identical to the 1098R. The D16's bars are lower and its pegs are higher, though both are within a half-inch. A wider frame (to accommodate the V-4 motor) and a bigger, 5.7-gallon fuel tank make the Desmo feel larger from the saddle.

By Brian Catterson, Aaron Frank
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