Last updated on August 10th, 2015
Le moto sono Fantastiche
P. is back and, as I promised, this time I will tell you about my current bike. A bit of backstory first, though… Don’t worry… Yeah, I know. I promise it won’t take long!
Everyone knows Ducati, right? Multiple-times-winner of the Superbike championship (along with a MotoGP one in 2007), often recognized as the ”Ferrari of motorcycles”, Ducati always produced high class (and high-performance) bikes. Everyone a bit into motorsport will surely know about the glorious ”916”, designed by Tamburini (who later worked on the sexy MV Agusta F4), the 916 is world-wide recognized as being quite possibly the most gorgeous bike ever produced. And yes, even by today standards.
Quick anecdote: Looking at the 916 from above, you can see the shape of a stylized female body. Sexiness. Emphasized by the iconic ”Ducati-Red” color.
Anyway, MY bike, a Ducati 1098s, is, stylistically, the direct evolution of the ”916” (Ducati decided to completely forget about the ”999-series”, in terms of design. Can’t blame them). Put the two bikes side to side, and you’ll see what I mean: the double-undertail-exhaust, the mono swingarm…it’s the evolution of the breed.
I should start by saying that my bike isn’t the standard ”stock” model, it’s the ”S” one. What does it mean? The ”S” stands for Sport of course, and back in 2007, costed quite more than the base 1098. The base model stacked at 17.000 €, while for the ”S” you had to spend 23.000 €. Quite a lot eh? Well, yes. But if you have fine tastes, you’ll appreciate what the bike offers you:
- Carbon fiber front fender.
- Forged Marchesini aluminium wheels
- Ohlins front fork
- Ohlins rear suspension
- Ohlins steer dampener
- Carbon fiber rear fender
- The DDA (Ducati Data Analyzer, for trackdays)
Treating my bike like a lady, I couldn’t help myself but to buy even more Ducati Performance parts, namely:
- Even more carbon fiber parts (the fairings under the seat, the heel protectors on the pegs, the exhaust protection, the dry clutch cover, etc.)
- Ergal Ducati Performance dry clutch
- A couple of carbon fiber/ titanium exhausts made by Akrapovic (see video below)!
- Forged Ducati Performance clutch and front brake levers
I’m 100% positive that the list will not stop anytime soon.
Some people (me included) consider this as music so… turn it up to eleven!!!
So what about the bike itself?
The first time I tried it, I was mindblown. And almost literally blown away by the monstrous torque and raw power that this Italian, purebreed, 160hp V-twin was capable of. Bear in mind that my previous bike was a 180hp Suzuki GsxR 1000cc, so I wasn’t really a rookie, speaking of high-power-superbikes. But the Ducati…the Ducati was a visceral experience. Something that everybody should try, sooner or later. This bike has a ”soul” and you feel it the very moment you press the start button. The ‘Duc coughs a couple times, and then ROARS with a thunderous voice. You hop on her, and the vibrations coming from the V-twin give you the impression that you’re listening to, and sitting on, a beating heart. You start riding, slowly at first, scared by the menacing aura emanating from her, ranging from the stiff racing suspensions, to the overpowered Brembo brake calipers.
And you curse the day you bought one. That’s because, as most internet-meme say, ”you’re doing it wrong”. The ’98s isn’t simply made to just cruise around, this beast has been designed for one purpose only:
That’s it. She’s noisy, she’s uncomfortable, she’s hard to turn. But the moment you take her to a track, and ride her the way it’s meant to be…oh my. The joy.
I’ve lately been on a trackday at the San Martino del Lago Circuit with her, and my, oh my, I fell in love again. She’s a sword on chicanes, she’s stable and surgically precise when you take on whatever type of bend, and she propels you out of corners with the force of a raging bull, the moment you twist your right wrist. One thing that old-school riders will appreciate, is that the ’98 doesn’t have any kind of electronic device. No anti-spin, no traction control, no anti-wheelie. Nothing. This Ducati is old school in many ways. It’s one of the last bikes built around the concept of: ”If you’re going fast, it’s because you have the skills to do it”. Not like nowadays bikes, where there’s a little computer controlling everything.
This, as I said, is a purebreed stallion. And that’s why I’m so deeply in love with her.
Coming next will be my adventures touring with a big enduro on the Italian mountains!