These are the first pics of the Ducati 1198, which replaces the 1098 in 2009. Like with the 1098, the 1198 also has a cousin – the 1198S – with both bikes getting the 1198cc engine which was earlier fitted on the 1098R. However, while this engine makes 180bhp and 140Nm of torque in the 1098R, here it only makes 170bhp and 131Nm of torque.
While both bikes are likely to have somewhat similar performance, the 1198S gets a full data logging system and a traction control system that’s controlled by software that comes from Ducati’s MotoGP and WSBK bikes. This system comes with all of eight settings to allow you to fine-tune the way it works, so now if you’re really brave enough, you can start opening the throttle that little bit earlier while exiting those 200km/h corners.
With 170bhp at 9,750rpm and 131Nm of torque at 8,000rpm, Ducati’s 1198cc Testastretta Evoluzione L-twin fitted to both the bikes is likely to cause some worries for the latest four-cylinder litre-class tackle from Japan, and should be more than a match for bikes like the Aprilia RSV4, KTM RC8 and BMW S1000RR.