You get a Showa rear shock the same as the 1098’s, a chunky single sided swingarm and a multi-function LCD Although expensive, the £9500 asking price does buy you a very high spec motorcycle. But expensive as it is, you do get a lot of beautiful, exclusive Ducati motorcycle for your money. You’re undoubtedly paying over the odds for the badge on the tank, but on the other side of the coin depreciation is lower than a Japanese superbike. At just £500 short of ten grand the Ducati 848 isn’t cheap.
In true Ducati superbike style the 848 is rock-solid stable in the corners, at the expense of slightly slow steering through flip-flop chicanes and very tight hairpins. Most significantly the Ducati 848 has a half-inch narrower rear wheel and a 180-section rear tyre, which gives the 848 greater agility and lighter steering than its bigger brother. These cheaper units don’t harm the 848’s performance through the bends one bit though. Chassis-wise the Ducati 848 is almost identical to the 1098, save for slightly lower-spec, but still fully-adjustable, Showa forks and Brembo radial brakes.
Build quality is top notch, from the deep pearlescent paintwork to the high-end components used throughout. Modern day Ducatis don’t tend to suffer the electrical and mechanical maladies they used to, and like the 1098, Ducati has slashed servicing costs on the 848. Compared to the old 749, the Ducati 848 makes 20bhp and 10ftlb more, while weighing almost 30kg less. Making a true 122bhp and 66ftlb of torque at the rear wheel the Ducati 848’s motor is not only is very strong, but the power delivery is super-smooth and very linear, too. The new liquid-cooled Desmodromic, 849cc V-twin Testastretta (Italian for ‘narrow head’) engine has been designed and developed specifically for the Ducati 848; it’s not just a cheaper, sleeved-down version of the 1098’s motor.