Ducati 848 – Budget Bologna Sports Bike

Introduced late 2006 ready for the 2007 model year, the Ducati 848 replaced the 749. 

The 848 had to carry the torch as Ducati’s middleweight as the smaller sibling to the flagship 1098.   

The Ducati 749 had a short but good run and had been introduced by Ducati to re-enter Supersport World Championships in the middleweight class. 

However, Ducati needed something more suitable for the biking public once they had opened the door with the 749 and that is where the slightly bigger capacity 848 came into play. 

It was 2013 before the Ducati 848 was replaced by the Panigale 899 after a run of 6 years in production.

Let’s take a look at the Ducati 848 and everything it has added to Ducati’s legacy.

Table of Contents

Ducati 848 Review

Giandrea Fabbro headed up the design team for the new Ducati superbike 1098 and 848, both bikes sharing the same frame and bodywork. 

There was no compromise when it came to the Ducati 848 and 1098 design. Ducati’s technical department had to fit in with Fabbro’s styling ideas and that is just the way it was. Although, the designer was very clear that it was going to be the technical aspects that made the bikes successful. 

The Ducati 848 in stunning ice white
Ducati 848

The Desmo engine used was tried and tested and Ducati didn’t feel the need to stray from this design for the 848. It provides plenty of torque and there is no real need to work through all the gears all the time, it is very smooth through the mid-range, with only slight wobbles at low-revs. 

This makes the bike very suitable for road riding with a gentle power delivery. 

It is also super smooth to take on the track, it isn’t snatchy and will leave you to focus on watching your lean angles and lines. 

The engine in the 848 is known for its reliability and has increased service intervals over and above its predecessor. Service every 7500 miles, belts every two years with valve clearances checked at 15,000 miles.

The only model to receive a quickshifter was the Ducati 848 EVO. Standard Ducati 848 owners were keen to add quick shifters to their bikes. Unless fitted properly these can cause gearbox problems so that is something to be aware of. 

There is a wonderful balance with the Ducati 848 of performance/agility and weight. This makes for excellent precise handling that will please any rider on the road or track. 

You have full adjustability with the suspension and it is perfectly competent. The 848 Evo came with Ohlins which is an obvious improvement so could be something to be considered if the Showa systems are just not up to your premium expectations.   

The Ducati 848 is about as comfortable as any other sportsbike. It isn’t quite as aggressive as the iconic 916 ergonomically but it’s still no sports tourer.

The most common theme with Ducati’s mid-range bikes over and above the flagship big boys in the line up is that for real-world situations they are actually better motorcycles. 

They are better out on the road, cheaper so less risk to take on track days and they have a full-range of usable power, unlike a 1000cc plus machine where only a select few on the track can make use of the excess power. 

There are a bunch of accessories that you can add to the Ducati 848. Carbon bolt on parts, taller screens, aftermarket exhausts etc. You could also look at swapping out the clutch lever to alleviate the heavy action.  

It is only in low revs that the Ducati 848 stutters and feels not quite as smooth as one would like, the running costs are a little high (as with any Ducati) and the clutch is heavy. 

These are the only few niggles that I can come up with that go against the Ducati 848.

Is the Ducati 848 considered a good bike?

The Ducati 848 was replaced by the Panigale 899 in late 2013, which is largely considered the best middleweight motorcycle, so the 899 does overshadow the 848 considerably. 

The 899 was equipped with electronics as standard like ABS, traction control etc, it weighed 5kg less and had increased power and torque.

However, that is not to say the Ducati 848 is a dud. Far from it actually, all it means is that evolution happened and in this case the later model was a better bike. 

Bennetts reviewed the Ducati 848 and left it with a glowing report:

“If you want a machine that encapsulates the sheer joy of riding and won’t scare the bejesus out of you, the Ducati 848 is a great option. In no way a compromise, it is an excellent middleweight sportsbike in its own right that with nearly 140bhp on tap is hardly left lacking in terms of its performance!” Bennetts.

The fact is if you want a sportsbike from Ducati that has spot on performance then the 848 could be the bike for you, especially when you look at prices compared to the later 899.

You could save up to £4,000/$3,000 and still get a worthy contender for a weekend track bike or back road warrior.  

So, yes the Ducati 848 is a great bike and the 848 EVO is an even better bike. 

Ducati 848 Specs

Engine/Transmission

  • Engine – Four-Stroke, 90° L Twin, DOHC, Desmodromic, 4 Valves per Cylinder
  • 848cc
  • Bore x Stroke – 94 x 61.2
  • Liquid-Cooled
  • Compression Ratio – 12.0:1
  • Marelli Electronic Fuel-Injection
  • Exhaust – Two Stainless Steel Mufflers
  • Clutch – Wet Multiplate with Hydraulic Control
  • 6 Speed Gearbox
  • Max Power – 125 horsepower
  • Max Torque 90Nm
  • Final Drive – Chain

Chassis/Dimensions

  • Frame – Tubular Steel Trellis Frame
  • Front Suspension – Showa 43 mm adjustable upside down fork
  • Rear Suspension – Showa Monoshock with Aluminium single-sided swingarm
  • Front Brakes – 2 x 320 mm Disc, Brembo 4 piston calipers
  • Rear Brakes – Single 245 mm Disc, Brembo 2 piston calipers
  • Rake – 24.5°
  • Trail – 103 mm
  • Length – 2095 mm
  • Height – 1090 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1430 mm
  • Seat Height – 830 mm
  • Dry Weight – 168kg
  • Fuel Capacity – 16 litres

Ducati 848 Top Speed?

I have seen various reports about the top speed of the Ducati 848 and the top speed ranges from 156mph – 168mph. 

I would suggest 160mph seems to be about right and the most likely to be accurate. 

Ducati 848 0-60 Time

The Ducati 848 0-60 time is 3.3 seconds and it can cover the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds

The Ducati 848 EVO Corsa can go from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and does the quarter mile in 10.4 seconds

Ducati 848 Current Second Hand Prices

The Ducati 848 ranges from £5,000-£8,000 in the UK with some examples spiking either side of that price range.

This 848 Streetfighter is priced at £6,799 and is in very good condition, with recent service and and R&G accessories. 

There is also an 848 EVO for sale priced at £5,495. It has just shy of 30,000 miles on the clock and is tidy, although it does have Category C panel damage, presumably where it has been dropped.

For that price though you are getting a very powerful machine that has plenty more miles in it; and it is a bargain for an EVO version of the 848.

In the US prices seem to start from $6,500 and shoot up to $13,000. Cycle Trader has multiple Ducati 848 EVOs listed currently, that are well worth checking out.

If a standard Ducati 848 is what you are looking for then SmartCycleGuide has one listed for $8,000 and it has less than 2,000 miles on the clock from new. 

Is the Ducati 848 likely to be a future collectable Ducati?

The Ducati 848 is a difficult bike when it comes to predicting whether it will become a classic. 

The likelihood is that the 848 EVO will continue to be coveted as it is now and value will likely rise in coming years which is largely down to the fact the EVO was the better performing model and most modern. 

The Ducati 848 EVO version is one of the most loved Ducati’s and equally one of the rarest to get a hold of.

So is the 848 Hayden, another limited edition model for 2010 which tied in with Hayden successful run at the MotoGP in 2009. 

I would think that in general the Ducati 848 is a great bike for Ducati lovers who don’t want to pay silly prices and therefore it will retain a niche in the market. 

However, in terms of collectability I think that the Ducati 848 will only be a collectable bike for hardcore collectors that will want a complete collection. The fact is that the Ducati 749 and particularly the Panigale 899 are more likely to become future classics and hold more importance. 

Ducati Streetfighter 848

Streetfighter 848
The Streetfighter 848

Ducati released the Streetfighter 848 in 2011 in the shadow of the Streetfighter 1098. 

Using the 848 desmo engine, Ducati built a naked streetfighter machine and it wasn’t a bad build. MCN rate it 4 out of 5. 

It has parts pulled together from the Diavel and Multistrada, to make it what it is and Visordown nail it with their opening statement:

“Ducati’s baby Streetfighter. Smiles like your Nan, punches like a pub doorman” 

It is deceivingly brutal and a great machine all round. 

Ducati 848 EVO

The Ducati 848 EVO

The Ducati 848 EVO was a boosted version of the 848 with more horsepower and more torque. 

It was the evolution of the standard 848 and as such had been revised to get the most out of the model with new components and details. This included mono-block Brembo brake calipers and a steering damper mount. 

Overall, as well as being the most recent it is considered to be the model that is most in line with modern sportsbikes and so this may be more suitable for those used to modern conveniences. 

For many the performance Brembo brakes are enough to make the extra cash needed for the EVO worth the money. 

There was a limited edition Ducati 848 EVO Corse for 2012 and 2013. It is thought that there were less than 2,500 of these models ever produced. 

Verdict

I have to admit that the Panigale silhouette is one of the best of any sportsbike ever and therefore the 899 has captured my spirit. With that said, I can’t knock the Ducati 848 and for the time it was the peak of premium motorcycles (with the exception of the bigger sibling).

What is not to love? Incredible performance, excellent value, and Ducati quality.

The Streetfighter on the other hand does have the ability to turn my head. Give me one of those over and above a Yamaha MT-07 all day everyday.

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