The Ducati 1098 is perhaps the bike the world was waiting for after the iconic 916, a Ducati sportsbike in its purest form and at its absolute peak.
It followed the Ducati 999 which lacked the sales of previous models and so the 1098 stepped the whole game up another level. Taking its style cues not from its predecessor which arguably had gone in a direction many were unimpressed with but reverted back to the design of the stunning Ducati 916.
Ducati built the bike the people demanded and forgot about racing regulations regarding engine capacities etc for a moment.
While it was replaced by the Ducati 1198 in 2009 which boasted more power and torque, the 1098 pioneered a new wave of Superbike with a new engine and new standards set.
I am going to take you right back to where it all started, give you all the information you could possibly need on the 1098, followed by a quick guide if you are in the market for one.
Let’s get into it.
Ducati 1098 Review
By 2007 Ducati had won more World Superbike Championships than any other manufacturer and more races than all other manufacturers combined. Since 1990 they had taken home the Manufacturers Trophy 14 times and therefore were at the peak of their superbike success, nothing was going to bring them down.
The new evolution of the flagship Superbike was to be no exception to the expected perfection coming out of Bologna and for 2007 the Ducati 1098 was ready for its introduction to both the road and track in its various guises.
Gianandrea Fabbo was the senior Ducati designer at the time and the man who led the charge on the 1098, the bike was in the works alongside the Ducati Corse at the time.
Upon its release the bike was the most powerful production V-twin ever made with its 90° V-twin pushing out 160 horsepower at 9750rpm.
The latest Panigale V4 is capable of 214 horsepower at 13,000rpm but that wouldn’t have been a feat possible without the 1098 and the EVOluzione engine.
The previous Ducati 999 had been a shift in design, created by Pierre Terblanche. It was bulkier, less slick, had a double-sided swingarm and overall looked more boxy. As a result it didn’t match the sales figures of the bikes that had been styled in the way of the 916 (748, 996 and 998).
So, for the 1098 a switch was made to twin oval underseat exhausts, the single-sided swingarm and old style headlight layout all a nod to the 916.
However, as much as Fabbo knew that a switch back to the 916 style wise would be smart, he also knew that he couldn’t ignore the positive aspects Terblanche had produced with the 999.
Ergonomically the Ducati 999 was superior to any preceding machine with adjustable levers, controls, pegs, seat, bars, etc. There was an improved steering angle which made manoeuvring the bike easier at low speed and furthermore Terblanche built a machine where maintenance was no longer an over-exasperating chore.
Gianandrea Fabbo took all of these positives and incorporated them into his new Ducati 1098 design.
To be clear the public demanded a bike from Ducati that was fast, and the 1098 is very fast. The lower gears just want to unleash the power and encourage you to slip the clutch up through the range.
The EVOluzione engine was the pinnacle of Ducati’s L-twin engine design which Ducati had committed to as being the ultimate engine layout for performance.
Up until this point World Superbike Championships Regulations had restricted V-twin engines to 1000cc. Ducati lobbied against this when the 1098 was in production based on the claims that the 999 was no longer competitive against Japanese superbikes with four cylinders.
For 2008 WSBK rules changed stating the new limit for V-twins would be 1200cc, while great for Ducati and their new 1098 race bike, other manufacturers were not best pleased about this decision.
The 1099 cc engine had the highest torque-weight ratio that any motorcycle beforehand had ever witnessed.
Nearly every component of the new engine had been swapped out and modified, it was for sure the star of the show.
Bennetts “When you ride a Ducati 1098 you not only get that lovely lazy V-twin power delivery, you also get a serious amount of poke…the 1098 is more than a match for the Japanese inline four litre bikes of the era and yet it doesn’t feel anything like as intimidating to ride and that makes it special. And it handles far more naturally as well.”
Some press at the time went on to claim the new 1098 rode like a Japanese inline four but actually did it better than the Japanese machines themselves.
I would suggest this is true up until you come to compare the precision steering of the Japanese bikes, as hard as Ducati tried they just couldn’t claim the top spot on this basis.
If a rider went from a big Japanese inline four, you would instantly notice just how narrow (like all twins) the Ducati 1098 feels.
The way the 1099 cc engine is placed in the chassis allows for a great sense of freedom when sitting in the saddle, you can move around and get comfortable, finding exactly the right position.
With a wet weight of under 200kg given the amount of power that comes out of the 1098, it is considered to be relatively lightweight and should be manageable for most riders.
The only issue may be the seat height of 840mm, it’s not going to be great for those with a short inseam.
The seating position compared to previous models and other sportsbikes is relatively neutral.
Don’t get too excited though, you won’t be touring on the 1098 but it just means you can spend more time in the saddle and you can adjust as you go. The bike encourages you to hang off it in corners but equally if that’s not your thing just point and the 1098 will go.
The forks give great feedback on the front, combined with the chassis, handling is precise and assured.
Previous twin Ducati’s always had one downside and that was the sluggish steering; Fabbo and the design team set out to change this for the latest iteration. The steering on the 1098 has a sharper steering angle than any other V-twin model.
Suspension is fully adjustable therefore it easy to adjust for different road conditions and riders weight etc. which is a nice touch and another reason why the Ducati 1098 is a suitable everyday sportsbike.
A wide tank sits up front to contrast the narrow body and allows you to plug your knees into position for maximum grip and control.
Around town would be the only situation where the 1098 doesn’t thrive, in this instance the heavy clutch and underseat exhaust is going to get you tired and hot pretty quick. Traffic is not this bike’s friend.
Brembo brakes are equipped on the front and rear and they do their job exceptionally well. At the time the braking system was praised as one of the best to ever feature on a motorcycle.
Ducati 1098S, 1098R, 1098 Streetfighter
Ducati would release several variants of the 1098 all of which had their own tweaks to make them suitable for purpose.
The 1098S was released in 2007 alongside the Biposto (Base Model). It was the performance sports model and many components were upgraded to get the most out of the 1098 engine.
Ohlins suspension package graced both the front and rear giving excellent feedback between the road and rider while taking swift care of any imperfections on the road without much interference. An adjustable Ohlins steering damper delivered extra control and stability.
Marchesini lightweight wheels replaced the stock ones and this saved 1.9kg in weight alone. The change of wheels is immediately noticeable in handling and braking.
Among other weight saving features a carbon fibre front fender was fitted. The general rule of thumb with supersport machines is that the lighter they can be made, the better the performance.
A standout feature of the 1098S was that it came with the Ducati Data Analyser. This allows the rider to analyse their stats from their ride, with the idea that they can improve their performance with each run. USB compatible for riders to transfer data to their computer.
Ducati engineered the S by testing it rigorously as if it was a bike for competing. Therefore if something didn’t make the ride better it wasn’t used.
For 2008 the Ducati 1098R was unleashed.
It featured a bigger 1198cc engine capable of producing 180 horsepower and 134 Nm of torque. The bike featured sand-cast engine casings among other upgrades.
The bike was solely produced so that Ducati could compete in Superbike racing championships. In fact the difference between the 1098R sold to the public and the bike used to race was so closely related that the specs barely differed.
The 1098R was exceptionally fast and came with a full Ducati traction control system which was the first of its kind on any road bike.
There is no question about the riding position of the model which is unapologetic racing. The Monobloc Brembo brakes are ferocious when you need them.
Further to which there is a replica MotoGP dash which holds all your useful information and traction control system which provides 8 different riding modes to play with.
It is a thoroughbred race bike and at that it is one of the most technically advanced for the time. The 1098R is considered one of the greatest machines Ducati have produced.
Lastly it is worth noting the 1098 Streetfighter that was released in 2010.
The 1098 engine remained largely the same but in a new naked bike style package.
Yes, it is more comfortable than a traditional sportsbike. However, it is not as comfortable as some Japanese competitors mainly because Ducati still wanted to keep their aggressive edge and remind everyone of the sheer power that is produced from the engine. Therefore it is sort of a mid-way riding position between sportsbike and traditional upright streetfighter.
Ducati 1098 on the track
In 2008 Troy Bayliss won the World Superbike Championship Title on the 1098.
The same title was also won in 2011 on the remodelled 1198.
Ducati produced around 500 units of the 1098R Bayliss Limited Edition, to celebrate the championship win.
The 1098 also won the 2008 British Superbike Championship.
Members of the Motorcycle Design Association have voted the Ducati 1098 as the best bike design of 2006. Over 130 bike designers, design consultancies and in-house design teams voted with the Ducati taking the overall prize. MCN
“Ducati and its awe-inspiring 1098 has delivered a knockout blow to its competitors with the 2008 International Bike of the Year trophy, winning the coveted award with 22 total votes, 13 higher than the next closest motorcycle, the Triumph Street Triple. This award goes to the best motorcycle of the year and is voted on by 15 independent motorcycle publications” AutoBlog
Cycle World awarded the 1098 their Best Superbike award on its release.
It is safe to say that the 1098 became a firm favourite among the press and public at the time of its release and continues to be favoured even today.
A Reliable Ducati?
Thanks to Fabbo taking the lead from Terblanche and maintaining longer service intervals with the 1098 maintenance is much easier and more affordable than it was on previous models.
Regular servicing is imperative to keep the 1098 running, providing that it is kept on top of it will do you more than a good turn.
On early bikes the swingarm collected water which could cause the lower shock mount to rust so keep an eye out for this. It is an easy fix by drilling a hole for the water to escape.
Fuel Pump and Ignition relays can be a problem so the best thing to do is swap them at every service, simply because it is a cheap job to do and it will save you problems down the line.
Overall the 1098 is deemed a reliable and solid bike, but as always look after it and it will look after you.
Is the Ducati 1098 considered a good bike?
The Ducati 1098 even by today’s standards is considered one of the best sportsbikes in history.
There are very few mechanical issues that the 1098 throws up, especially ones that can’t be avoided by regular maintenance and servicing.
As you move up the range the S and R models have clear performance enhancing features that make them exceptional compared to the Biposto model.
Overall, I think the S model is the one to shoot for as the best all rounder as it has extra features over and above the Biposto but is not as extreme as the R model.
“There´s no doubt about it, the Ducati 1098S is a real rider’s motorcycle, pure and uncompromising in its pursuit of the ultimate sporting experience.” Carole Nash
While the bike is lacking in terms of catering for a pillion, that is about the only downside. Ask yourself, do you really want to be riding with a passenger when you have one of the best Italian sportsbikes to enjoy?
The 1098 Streetfighter is an exceptionally beautiful street bike and will turn heads wherever it goes. If you want to stand out backed by race track performance that is the bike to go for without a shadow of a doubt.
Ducati 1098 Specs (Standard 2007 Model)
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Four Stroke, 90°, L Twin Cylinder, DOHC, Desmodromic, 4 Valves per Cylinder –
Testastretta EVOluzione engine
- Bore x Stroke – 104 x 64.7
- Compression Ratio – 12.5:1
- Marelli Electronic Fuel Injection System
- Clutch Wet
- 6-Speed Gearbox
- Max Power – 160 horsepower
- Max Torque – 122.4 Nm
- Final Drive – Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Tubular Steel Trellis Frame
- Front Suspension – Showa 43mm adjustable upside-down fork
- Rear Suspension – Showa Monoshock, Aluminium Single-Sided Swingarm
- Front Brakes – 2 x 330mm Discs, 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single 245mm Disc, 2 piston caliper
- Rake – 24°
- Height – 1100mm
- Length – 2100mm
- Wheelbase – 1430mm
- Seat Height – 840mm
- Dry Weight – 173kg
- Fuel Capacity – 15.5L
Ducati 1098 Top Speed?
The 1098 top speed is said to be around 175mph.
FastestLaps puts the Streetfighters top speed at 155mph and its 0-60 time at 3.1seconds.
Ducati 1098 0-60 Time
0-60mph on a 1098 is said to be below 3 seconds. There are so many factors that come into play with finding out a 0-60 speed as it is mainly down to the rider’s skill.
The added element with the 1098 is the crazy amount of torque in first gear which makes launching without doing a wheelie near impossible.
Some riders on Ducati forums have claimed a 0-60 time of 2.69 seconds/2.71seconds.
Across the board 3 seconds or just below seems to be pretty standard.
Ducati 1098 current second hand prices?
In the UK as it stands the 1098 Biposto sits on average at around £7,000-£9,000.
Mileage can be as high as 20,000 miles but rarely seems to exceed this with most models on the market advertised with pre-10,000 miles racked up.
There is currently a Bayliss Rep 1098S for £12,000 advertised on Autotrader and it is in immaculate condition.
£12,000-£14,000 is the going rate for a 1098S with the coveted R models reaching prices of £18,000 like this example.
The 1098 Streetfighter sits on the market between £7,500-£9,000.
In the US $8,000-$10,000 is the going rate for a standard 1098 model such as this example found on Cycle Trader.
$9,000-$12,000 will get you a very nice 1098S such as this Tri-color example, the dealer in Arizona is not too clear on pricing but making an offer within the remit of $10,500 you should be able to nail this one.
For a 1098 Streetfighter you will be looking at around $7,000.
1098R models will start at $15,000 like this one on RareSportsbikesForSale, although they soon shoot up in price to $20,000 and over.
When looking for a 1098 be sure to pick one up with extensive service history and maintenance receipts.
This is assurance that the bike has been looked after throughout the previous ownership. If you keep this up, you will likely have few issues with the bike.
Is the Ducati 1098 likely to be a future collectable Ducati?
The 1098 shifted people back on to the Ducati train if they had ever left after the somewhat weak offering of the 999.
The train wasn’t an ordinary one, it was all singing, dancing with disco lights and people at the time lapped it up.
You don’t produce a bike that WSBK rules have to change to accommodate, and one with the highest torque-weight ratio ever recorded without it making a lasting mark.
It is safe to say that the 1098 is one of the best road-going race bikes that was ever created not just by the Italians but from marques the world over.
With such a legacy it is safe to say that Ducati fans will be collecting the 1098 for many years to come.
The obvious models to get a hold of that will hold their value over the years are the S followed by the R models.
Given the craftsmanship, fine detail, impressive service intervals and increased reliability over previous models, I would be happy to pick up a 1098 over and above the 916.
This may seem controversial for some, but the fact is the 1098 is simply an evolution of the 916 and with evolution comes refinement, progress and enhanced performance.
The 1098 in all its variants is an impressive motorcycle that got the Italian company back on track as creators of beautiful sportsbikes that can go toe-to-toe with anything other manufacturers can throw at it.