So what about the DTC, you ask? On the 1098R, the DTC was clearly audible when it kicked in--the hard rev-limiter made all kinds of noise as it popped. On the 1198, the DTC is much more transparent. The smooth surface and the sticky rubber may be partially to blame for the DTC being hard to detect, but there were a few indicators that revealed its use. Firstly, the LEDs atop the gauge cluster double as a shift light and as a marker to tell you the level of DTC being applied. I could see the series of lights come on as I got on the throttle, but the more telling signs were the complete moments of silence when the system would cut fuel to the engine--as if someone turned off the bike. Granted, these moments were brief, but the system works in stark contrast to that on the 1098R--it's so smooth you hardly know it's there. Even with it set on the maximum level, the LEDs would flash more often, but the seat-of-the-pants feeling was hard to detect. While racers and track junkies might appreciate the transparency of the new system, the average rider who depends on being able to feel and hear the traction control might be left disappointed. Short of looking at the information from the DDA, the average rider will be hard pressed to gauge for themselves whether or not to dial in more traction control.
You asked for it and here...
You asked for it and here it is; the mirrors on the 1198 extend 30mm further than its predecessor and actually makes them somewhat functional.
Racing Improving The Breed
So do the lessons learned from Ducati's latest superbike championship translate to its road models? Consider this: Troy Bayliss lapped the Portimao track two seconds faster than the quickest World Superstock rider...aboard a bone stock 1198, complete with lights and mirrors! While mere mortals like you and I can only dream of having that kind of talent, the 1198 is no doubt a step up from its 1098 predecessor, and for $16,495, there's plenty of reason to be upset if you currently own the old model. The $21,795 1198S packs a lot of performance and technology bang for the proverbial buck, and while it's just a step behind its racing homologation cousin it also costs half as much. There's no doubt the bike is impressive, but we'll hold off on calling it a winner until we get one stateside to thoroughly put through its paces. The 1198S should be available in early spring with the base model to follow shortly thereafter.
'09 Ducati 1198/1198S
Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC L-twin
Bore x Stroke: 106.0 x 67.9 mm
Induction: Marelli EFI, single-valve oval throttle bodies equivalent to 63.9mm dia. Single injector/cyl.
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 24.3 deg/3.8 in. (97mm)
Wheelbase: 56.3 in. (1430mm)
Claimed dry weight: 377/373lbs
Seat height: 32.2 in. (820mm)
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gal. (15.5L)