The Ducati 848 superbike simply carries on as a 2010 model year, but manages to offer a different kind of middleweight rush. It is all about the Italian way of building a racing bike with lights and mirrors, so that can never pass without leaving quite a big impression in the always opened heart of a passionate sports motorcycle rider.
Design and engineering remind us of the 1098. In fact, the 848 is a 1098 at a smaller performance scale, which can only make things sound more interesting. Ducati’s latest idea of a middleweight resumes to combining a 370 pounds dry weight with the 134 hp at 10000 rpm and 70.8 lb-ft of torque at 8250 rpm developed by the liquid-cooled 849.4 cc, L-Twin cylinder, four valves per cylinder Desmodromic engine, which was specially developed for the bike.
Using a Marelli electronic fuel injection system and just the right gearing, the motor meets Euro3 regulations without sacrificing performance. The gearbox is a six-speed unit and couples with the engine through a wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. You know what that means don’t you? Easy to pull, great feedback provider, all translating into impressive time laps.
The tubular steel trellis frame meeting the fully adjustable 43mm Showa upside-down fork at a 24.5-degree angle and the fully adjustable Showa monoshock are all the result of the Ducati 848 being built with performance in mind. The bike rides on Marchesini 5-spoke light alloy 17-inch wheels with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa rubber.
Considering the engine and chassis capabilities, there’s nothing to stop a rider from having an extremely good time on it unless he decides to hit the brake levers and determine the Brembo calipers (4-piston, 2-pad) to squeeze the 320mm discs up front and 245mm single disc at the rear (this only gets a 2-piston caliper). Stopping power is claimed to be more than needed for this bike, but it was put it to the test anyways, so read on for more.
Ducati may not have set the 2010 standard 848 superbike apart from the previous model year, but they do offer an extremly cool Nicky Hayden Edition exclusively for the North American market. While keeping the same power-to-weight ratio, the Hayden edition comes with an American inspired paint scheme and the racing celebrity’s signature on the gas tank. Only 150 such bikes have been made and they wil hit dealerships on July 7.
With the 848, Ducati goes mainly against the Japanese middleweight supersport motorcycles, which are all powered by 600cc inline-four engines. Given the 848’s L-Twin performance figures, it is easy to expect it to make quite a big impression in comparison to the Honda CBR600RR, Yamaha R6 and the R6S as well as to the Suzuki GSX-R600 and Kawasaki ZX-6R.
A single look at the 2010 Ducati 848 superbike is enough to make it clear to everyone that the 1098 R was a direct source of inspirations. The sharp headlights and air intakes are by now Ducati trademarks and so is the tiny nose.
On the sides, the fairing is smooth and the aggressive cooling scoop remind us once again of the bike’s bigger sibling. But so does the 4.1 gallons gas tank, the very thin rider seat, which is positioned at a fair 32.6-inch distance from the ground, as well as the rear tail section. On Japanese supersport bikes, this is as sharp as possible (especially on the R6), but Ducati’s designers seem to be more forgiving with passengers and offer decent padding. We don’t know for sure if that’s because of the exhaust silencers being positioned underneath the seat, but it is definitely an advantage, one that helps the bike stand out as being made in Italy.
Another feature that speaks about the European style is the single-sided swingarm, which allows that Y-spoked rear wheel to be instantly noticed. Both rims are black painted regardless of the chosen color. This can be Red, Pearl White or Matt black.
While we like the 848 a lot, 2010’s special edition model is the closest thing you get to a racing bike with headlights. The 848 Nicky Hayden gets the Hayden Laguna Seca Special Livery with Red frame and Black wheels, which is guaranteed to turn heads.
Ducati is worthy of appreciation for exploring a challenging segment and managing to offer an original blast of which riders already brag about. We’ve come to find that the 848 is all about offering the ideal power-to-weight ratio and a riding position that sacrifices the rider’s back over sharp handling. Not all riders like it, but all of them surely take it in consideration.
■Type: L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, liquid cooled
■Bore x Stroke: 94×61.2mm
■Compression Ratio: 12:1
■Power: 134hp (98.5kW) @ 10000rpm
■Torque: 70.8lb-ft 96Nm @ 8250rpm
■Fuel injection: Marelli electronic fuel injection, elliptical throttle bodies
■Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and lambda probe. Twin stainless steel mufflers
■Gearbox: 6 speed
■Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24
■Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.84:1
■Final Drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39
■Clutch: Wet multiplate with hydraulic control
■Standard: Euro 3
Chassis and Dimensions
■Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame in ALS 450
■Wheelbase: 1430mm (56.3in)
■Front Suspension: Showa 43mm fully adjustable usd fork
■Front Wheel Travel: 127mm (5in)
■Front Wheel: 5-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17
■Front Tyre: 120/70 ZR17
■Rear Suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Showa monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
■Rear Wheel Travel: 120mm (4.7in)
■Rear Wheel: 5-spoke light alloy 5.50 x 17
■Rear Tyre: 180/55 ZR17
■Front Brake: 2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo calipers 4-piston, 2-pad
■Rear Brake: 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
■Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.5l – 4.1gallon (US)
■Dry Weight: 168kg (370lb)
■Instruments: Digital MotoGP derived unit with displays for: Speed, rev counter, lap times, time, air temp, coolant temp, battery voltage, A & B trips, fuel reserve trip, scheduled maintenance. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, oil pressure, fuel reserve. Plus: Integrated immobilizer system
■Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
■Body Colour (Frame/Wheel): Red (red / black) – Pearl white (racing gray / black) – Matt black (racing black / black)
■Seat Height: 830mm (32.6in)
■DDA: DDA system-ready for Ducati Performance accessory
■DTC: Not available on this model
■ABS: Not available on this model
■The incredible valve performances of our engines are only possible because of Ducati’s unique Desmodromic system, where valve closure is activated mechanically.
■At high rpm it would be almost impossible for the valve to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe if it were relying upon a normal valve spring. With the Desmo system, the valve is closed mechanically with the same accuracy as it is opened, enabling steep cam profiles and radical cam timings.
■This system is used on every single Ducati power unit including our world-beating Superbike and Desmosedici MotoGP engines.
Power & torque curves
■The 848 produces 134hp (98.5kW) @ 10,000rpm and a high accelerating 70.8lb-ft (9.8kgm) of torque @ 8,250rpm.
■The 848’s lightweight crankshaft assembly operates 94mm pistons powering through short 61.2mm strokes.
■Further refinements in the 848 engine include a sophisticated wet clutch that weighs 1kg (2.2lbs) less than its dry counterpart, has a much longer service life, improved clutch feel and quieter operation.
848 Testastretta Evoluzione
■With the first twist of the wrist, the powerful rush of the Testastretta Evoluzione engine confirms that the rules have changed. The potent 848 is powered by a liquid cooled, L-Twin, Desmodromic engine that produces 30% more power than the 749 it replaced.
■The super-efficient power unit exhausts through a lightweight 2-1-2 system equipped with a catalytic converter and lambda probe to conform to Euro3 regulations.
■The highly advanced 848 engine was the first Ducati Superbike to introduce vacuum die-cast crankcases, formed using Vacural® technology, a process that achieves a significant weight saving and ensures consistent wall thickness and increased strength.
Magnesium alloy covers
■Attention to weight reduction is further underlined with the cam covers cast in magnesium alloy.
Elliptical throttle bodies
■The 848 engine is fed by MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies which are equivalent to a diameter of 56mm. Representing a 30% increase in air flow over conventional throttle bodies, the elliptical shape contributes to a considerable power increase.
Magnesium front sub-frame
■Producing a front subframe in magnesium underlines the attention to weight-saving detail in the Ducati Superbike range. Its construction provides secure support for the headlamp, instruments and fairing, and the weight-saving around this high, forward position contributes considerably to overall ’feel’ and control of the machine.
■Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the lightweight Trellis frame features 34mm main section tubes with a material thickness of 1.5mm. The result is an incredibly rigid construction that remains one of Ducati’s lightest frame solutions ever.
■Through decades of racing and development, Ducati has proven that innovative chassis engineering and evolutionary frame advancements win races. The tubular Trellis frame, used on every Ducati motorcycle, is a signature design element.
■This unique Ducati frame is light, rigid and beautiful thanks to its ingenious Trellis design and use of high quality ALS 450 tubing. Each tube is mitred and micro-fusion welded in a complex triangulated pattern and our incredibly strong L-Twin engine cases are functional ’stressed members’ of the chassis.
■The dual construction technique used for the single-sided swingarm allows the main operational components to use individual aluminium castings so as to ensure strength around the pivot points, wheel hub and suspension links, while lightweight, fabricated aluminium sections are used to complete the construction into a single, beautifully engineered component. The 848 swingarm is colour finished in natural aluminium.
■The lightweight 848 features progressive and consistent race-bred braking performance as standard equipment with a tried and tested formula that includes twin radially mounted Brembo callipers each with four 32mm pistons gripping 320mm discs. On the rear is a Brembo two-piston calliper and 245mm disc.
■The 848 features fully adjustable 43mm Showa forks.
Lightweight 5-spoke wheels
■The lightweight front wheels used on all Ducati Superbike models substantially reduces the moment of inertia, enabling a faster change of direction and enhanced acceleration and braking performances.
■The 848 is equipped with Y-shaped, 5-spoke wheels by Enkei which are finished in black, and fitted with Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa PRO 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear tyres.
■Carefully designed for aerodynamic efficiency and to hug the sleek lines of the chassis, the Superbike bodywork enables the rider to blend effortlessly into the correct riding position.
■Its race-developed fairing design ensures perfect integration with the cooling system by providing efficient flow through the advanced, large surface area coolant radiator, which is assisted by lightweight, high flow electric fan assemblies and oil coolers. Aerodynamically shaped air ducts positioned just below the headlamps are precisely calculated to provide ample air delivery to the pressurised airbox.
■The lightweight bodywork contributes considerably to overall performance by reducing weight, protecting the Testastretta Evoluzione engine’s power output, and assisting the rider to effortlessly ’tuck in’ from the wind stream and reduce drag to achieve maximum straight-line track speeds.
Showa rear suspension
■The rear is controlled by a fully adjustable Showa single shock.
■The digital display is programmed with a stopwatch function that, when enabled, can be triggered by using the high-beam flash button and each recorded time stored in a memory. After your journey or track session, the times or lap times can be recalled from the memory and scrolled through by using the instrumentation buttons on the left-hand switchgear.
■Ducati Superbikes are equipped with adjustable levers that operate Brembo radial-type master cylinders with remote reservoirs. Add easy-to-use switchgear with stopwatch function and DTC and DDA management and it becomes clear that functionality plays a major role alongside performance.
■The horizontal twin headlamps, a signature Ducati style from the iconic 916, are modernised with the latest lighting technology. Two polyellipsoidal units light the way with a powerful beam while maintaining an aggressive look to the front of the machine in pure Ducati Superbike tradition.
■The rear light employs a specially designed strip of LEDs enhanced by a high diffusion lens shaped into the sleek lines of the tailpiece. The same LEDs are intensified for brake lights.
■The directional indicators also use the latest in LED technology for illumination. The frontal indicators are beautifully integrated into the rear view mirrors.
Mirror extension kit
■All Superbike mirrors come with an optional spacer kit enabling an extension of 30mm over the standard mirror stem length.
■The instrument display also doubles as a control panel for the activation of the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA) system, which is available as an accessory from Ducati Performance. The bike has been built ‘system-ready’ for the data acquisition kit, which consists of special DDA software and a memory key that slots into a plug under the seat. The same plug also doubles as the connection for a handy new battery charger available as an accessory from Ducati Performance.
■At the end of a ride or track session, up to 4mb of data can be downloaded ready to compare, analyse and get an inside view of the performance of both you and the bike.
■This pure racing digital instrumentation originating from Ducati’s MotoGP project has no switches or buttons to compromise its clean, minimalist lines. Instead, information additional to the default read-outs is managed from the left-hand handlebar-mounted switch gear, allowing the rider to scroll through and select from various menus.
■The display, which has a bright white LED back lighting, presents rpm and speed, with the former displayed across the screen in a progressive bar graph. Optionally, the rpm and speed can be displayed in numeric values. Additionally, it displays lap times, DTC level selected (if activated on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) time, air temperature, coolant temperature, battery voltage, two trips and a trip that automatically starts as the fuel system goes onto reserve.
■Warning lights illuminate to signify neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, low oil pressure, fuel reserve, DTC intervention (if activated on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) and scheduled maintenance. The instrument display is also used as the control panels for the DDA (DDA kit supplied as standard on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) and DTC systems as well as listing lap times recorded by using the high-beam flash button as a stopwatch.
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, 3, 40132 Bologna – Italy.
Tel. +39(0)51 6413343 – Monday trough Friday 10.00am – 11.00am and 2.00pm – 4.00pm