The success of the 848 is all about the less-is-more philosophy. The following sums up the major displaces one more cubic centimeter than its name suggests: a 94mm bore and 61.2mm stroke equals 849cc. Claimed horsepower is 134 at 10,000 rpm and torque is 70.8 ft-lb at 8250 rpm. Marelli fuel-injection and engine-management components control Motogp-derived oval throttle bodies (equivalent to 56 sq mm) feeding 12:1 compression-ratio combustion chambers. The 848 engine is slightly less oversquare than that of the 1098, which has a 1.61:1 bore-to-stroke ratio versus 1.54:1 for the 848, partially explaining why the 848 doesn't have a significantly higher rev limit. Ducati's trademark desmodromic valve actuation is used.
The 848's dash appears identical to the 1098's, with a bar-graph tach and multifunction display. Ducati's data analyzer is available as an option and records speed, rpm, throttle position and other information for analysis on a PC.
The 848's fully adjustable 43mm Showa fork comes straight off the standard 1098 and works without complaint. The twin 320mm brake rotors, however, are 10mm smaller, providing all the stopping power we could ask for while being far less touchy than the supersensitive and powerful 1098 units. Radial-mounted Brembo M4 calipers have four 32mm pistons and two pads per disc and are two-piece units rather than the monoblock calipers used on the 1098. The end result is an excellent compromise that still offers all the superbly linear stopping power we can use.
Ducati claims that a large portion of the 848's weight savings (6.5 pounds) is due to the vacural casting used for the engine cases. The forced vacuum die-casting method is said to reduce porosity, gas inclusion and oxidation issues in the cases, resulting in much higher dimension precision and greater ductility for the aluminum alloy. This is the first time that such casting technology has been used for the testastretta evoluzione engine platform. An additional 2.2 pounds is saved with a wet clutch that offers quieter operation and much longer service life than the previous dry-clutch system.
The 848's narrower 5.50x17- inch rear wheel and 180/55Zr-17 tire (versus 6.00x17-inch hoop and 190/55Zr-17 skin on the 1098) contribute to lighter steering characteristics, quicker handling and a greater willingness to change lines midcorner compared with its big sister. Given the 848's more user-friendly power delivery and correspondingly lower peak output figures, the smaller rim and rubber are an excellent compromise that rewards the rider with a more nimble and forgiving chassis, precisely what was needed for getting up to speed quickly on a tricky, unfamiliar circuit like Almeria.
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90-degree v-twin, 4 valves/cyl., desmodromic valve actuation
Displacement: 849cc Bore x stroke: 94 x 61.2mm
Compression ratio: 12:1
Induction: Marelli eFi elliptical throttle bodies equivalent to 56mm
Front tire: 120/70Zr-17 pirelli Dragon Supercorsa
Rear tire: 180/55Zr-17 pirelli Dragon Supercorsa
Brake/trail: 24.5 deg./3.8 in. (97mm)
Wheelbase: 56.3 in. (1430mm)
Seat height: 32.6 in. (830mm)
Fuel capacity:4.1 gal. (15.5L)
Claimed dry weight: 370 lb. (168kg)