Click on Any Picture in This Feature for a Full Size View
World Press Test Launch of the Ducati 1098R Feb 1st, 2008 - FastDates.com may not have been invited to Ducati's world press introduction of the 1098R 08 Superbike this week at the Jerez grand prix track in Spain because Ducati's new bike introductions are reserved for print media only for some stupid reason (FastDates.com has more sportbike readers than America's Cycle News and Roadracing World newspapers combined). But we are privy to getting Ducati's Press Kits the same time as everyone else (unlike the Japanese manufacturers who ignore the internet media altogether), so sit back and read the official press launch of the new 1098R 08 - the most significant race bike from Ducati since the 998R - before you'll get to read it in those print magazines weeks from now!
With the tighter production rules for World Superbike starting this year, 2008, this limited production 1098R which actually displaces 1198cc, produces as much horsepower and more torque than Troy Corser's factory 999F07 racebike from last season. Pull off the lighting equipment and add racing slicks, and for US $39,995 you've got a bike that's capable of winning in AMA National Superbike. For a privateer that sounds like a lot of money, but for a team like American Honda faced with having to develop an all new race CBR1000 from scratch again (and based on their loosing track record the last 3 years with the outgoing CBR) were sure Neil and Miguel would give anything to be able to slip Honda bodywork over this 1098R.
Ducati development test rider Vittoriano Guareschi puts the 1098R through its paces.
Here's what Ducati has to tell us:
The 1098 R is the ultimate Superbike. The most advanced, most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle ever built, with the highest torque-to-weight ratio in the sport bike category. It is the product of a team of designers and engineers focused on one objective only- to win. The lightest, most powerful twin-cylinder bike ever and true competition-level traction control system supplied as standard for maximum track performance.
The "R"is a race bike, pure and simple. Its competition specification and superior components together with advanced electronics and race-proven chassis technology deliver a level of performance that empowers you with confidence and capability.
World Superbike rule changes mean that the road-going "R" version is closer than ever to the factory race bike. The 1098 R is not a replica - it's the real deal. An incredible 180 hp L-Twin Testastretta Evoluzione engine in a race-winning Trellis chassis set-up tips the scales at an unbelievably lightweight 165 kg (364 lbs) and comes with a race kit that introduces Ducati Corse's world championship winning traction control system.
Once again, Ducati raises the bar and sets the world standard for sport bikes while turning the heads and racing the hearts of enthusiasts throughout the world.
1098 Technology: Trademark Ducati features like the high tail section, compact front end, twin under-seat silencers and single-sided swing arm are just some of the features that turned the 1098 models into an instant award-winning success. When launched in November 2006, the 1098 and 1098 S introduced a number of firsts for Ducati and production sport bike design. It was the first production motorcycle to have the amazing stopping power of Brembo Monobloc brakes, the first to have a data acquisition system integrated as standard equipment and the first to use an ingenious construction method for its weight-saving single-sided swingarm. More firsts for a road-going Ducati included the direct application of MotoGP technology, like the power producing GP6-derived elliptical throttle bodies and the use of the information-rich instrumentation originally developed for the World Championship-winning Desmosedici GP7.
The "R" version of the 1098 is not only the flagship of the Superbike family, but also the platform on which the very latest Ducati Corse technologies are expressed in street bike form. The 1098 R takes all the original 1098 features, reduces weight even further and adds an extra 20 horsepower, traction control, sand-cast crankcases, titanium valves and con-rods, TTXR rear suspension and much more to produce the most awesome performance ever seen in this category.
The 1098 R comes with a race kit, which is intended for track use only, boosting power output from 180 to approximately 186 hp. The kit consists of a 102dB carbon fibre slip-on muffler kit by Termignoni and a dedicated ECU. The ECU not only has reconfigured mapping to suit the racing mufflers, but also initiates the system dialogue that controls the DTC (Ducati Traction Control) system. The 1098 R is the first ever production bike to be fitted with a true competition-level traction control.
MCN rides the 1098R at the Ducati Jerez Press Intro Our buddies at Motor Cycle News in England share with us the first riding impression
This ain' t your father's 1098! Sand cast engine cases with larger cylinder bores that displace 1198cc
1098 R Testastretta Evoluzione Power
The 1098 R engine represents the finest twin-cylinder technology in the world. It produces 180 hp (132.4 kW) @ 9,750 rpm and 99.1 lb-ft (13.7 kgm) of brute torque @ 7,750 rpm in standard mode and an astonishing 186 hp when using the supplied race kit, which is intended for track use only.
The specification of this engine underlines its no-compromise race technology. To help contain the massive Keri power output, the crankcases and cylinder heads have been sand-cast produced, a process that improves the molecular quality of the casting, increasing strength while ensuring that intricate shapes are achieved with absolute accuracy. Confirming the 1098 Rios race specification by minimizing weight and increasing performance, the crankshaft connecting rods are made in titanium saving 130 g over the stock 1098 rods while reducing their reciprocating forces and improving crankshaft acceleration. Cam belt covers molded in carbon fibre and cam covers cast in magnesium alloy complete the lightweight package. The result is a weight saving of 5.6 kg (12.34 lbs) over the 999 R engine and 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) less than the 1098.
One throw on the crank is shared by the two rods set into 2 cylinders positioned 90-degrees apart.
The increased capacity of 1198.4 cc is the product of a larger bore and stroke of 106 x 67.9 mm and is fed through four titanium valves per cylinder and compressed to a ratio of 12.8:1. The valves, which are chrome nitride (CrN) coated, have been increased in diameter by approximately 5% to 44.3 mm for the inlet and 36.2 mm for the exhaust. They are actuated by rocker arms that are super-finished for reduced friction and fatigue, and double overhead camshafts with radical profiles that achieve approximately 16% more lift than the standard 1098.
These incredible valve performances are only possible because of Ducati 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, but with the Desmo system the valve is mechanically closed with the same accuracy as it is opened, enabling steep cam profiles and radical cam timings. This system is used on every single Ducati motorcycle including the world-beating Desmosedici MotoGP bike.
The 1098R's piston are identical in design to the pistons in the D16 MotoGP bikes with no side skirts below the rings, whatsoever. We also know the GP bike run aluminum piston pins to reduce weight even further to achieve higher RPM. There's no word if the production 1098R gets aluminum pins, but we'd guess its a trick part that will definitely find its way into the team's 1098F08 World Superbikes.
The pistons utilize the same design developed for the Desmosedici in the Ducati MotoGP program by using a distinctive double-ribbed under crown to achieve high strength with minimal piston wall surface area and, therefore, less friction. In this way, the 106 mm RR58 alloy components are able to operate reliably at high rpm while delivering incredible performance.
The 1098 R elliptical throttle bodies have been increased 6.5% in size compared to the 1098, a diameter now equal to 63.9 mm. For the first time on a road-going Ducati, twin injectors are used on each cylinder. The first centrally mounted injector feeds through a 4-hole nozzle while the second offset injector feeds through a 12-hole nozzle ensuring progressive and fluid power delivery throughout the rev-range. With this configuration the system has the capacity to provide much heavier fueling when used in competition.
The gearbox shares the same ratios as the 1098 and 1098 S, except for 3rd, 4th and 6th gear, which has a higher ratio so as to be able fully exploit the speed gained from the supplied race kit or additional performance modifications. Also with performance in mind and because of its high resistance to fatigue, the gears are machined from the same high-strength steel used in Ducati Corse race applications with 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gears being subjected to a shot-peening treatment that further ensures their strength and reduced fatigue. The dry, multi plate slipper clutch reduces the destabilizing effect of aggressive downshifting and helps provide the fine control required when used under extreme track conditions.
The 2-1-2 exhaust system, which complies with Euro 3 emission standards, is formed in 52 mm-57 mm diameter tubing with a wall thickness of 0.8 mm (.030 in) and terminates with Ducati trademark twin under-seat mufflers beautifully formed in super lightweight titanium and stainless steel.
The 1098 R chassis and suspension components are the results of detailed study and a performance first priority approach to development. The goal was to achieve even more weight saving while building in strength and rigidity to manage the incredible power of the new 180 hp engine. The result is an impressive 16 kg (35 lbs) overall vehicle weight reduction compared to the 999 R and an impressive 6 kg (13 lbs) over the already lightweight 1098 S.
Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the 1098 R Trellis frame features main section tubes in ALS 450 with a diameter of 34 mm and 1.5 mm thickness to achieve a total weight of just 9 kg (19.8 lbs) and an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. Race-proven with hundreds of victories, the Trellis design remains the chosen engineering solution by Ducati Corse and a feature of every Ducati motorcycle.
Front subframe: As with all the models in the Superbike family, the front subframe is produced in magnesium alloy to reduce the weight to just 0.61kg (1.3 lbs). While its construction ensures secure, rigid support for the headlamp, instruments and fairing, the weight-saving around this high, forward position contributes considerably to overall "feel" and control of the machine.
Rear subframe: Underlining its competition intention, the 1098 R is designed as a true "monoposto" with no provisions to carry a passenger. By producing the rear subframe in aluminum alloy it has enabled a 50% weight reduction (compared to biposto models) to 1.3 kg (2.8 lbs).
Single-sided swingarm: The 1098ís unique single-sided swingarm is made up of main operational components in aluminum castings so as to ensure strength around the pivot points, wheel hub and suspension links, with fabricated aluminum sections used to fuse the construction into a single, beautifully engineered component. For the "R" model, the swingarm is finished in black to denote its racing status as well as to contrast sharply against the racing gold wheels.
The 1098R comes with the steering head angle set at 24.5 degrees of rake, but the internal assembly is offset and is designed to be removed and reversed 180-degress to 23.5 degres which is what the Ducati Corse racing team usually uses for optimal handling.
Ducati Corse Stock and Optional 1098R Steering Head Components
STEERING ANGLE 24° CENTERED
STEERING ANGLE 23,5 OFFSET +5 or 24,5° OFFSET -5
STEERING ANGLE 24° CENTERED OFFSET ±5
STEERING ANGLE 24,5° OFFSET +5 or 23,5° OFFSET -5
Stock, Complete Assy
STEERING ANGLE 23° CENTERED or 25°
STEERING ANGLE 25° OFFSET -2.5 or 23° OFFSET +2.5
Rear Suspension: Working together with the single-sided swingarm and an efficient linkage is a fully adjustable ÷Ohlins TTXR single shock. Used for the first time on a Ducati production bike, this exclusive shock gives top performance while enabling considerable weight-saving over similar components produced with traditional technology.
The TTXR uses twin tube technology and offers totally separate damping adjustment in compression and rebound. It uses experience gained in MotoGP to minimize friction and reduce the risk of cavitation under extreme conditions. A vitally important feature of the rear suspension system is the ability to adjust rear ride height independent of spring pre-load and other suspension settings, critical when seeking the perfect set-up for personal riding style or track conditions.
Front Suspension: The front the of new 1098 R boasts fully adjustable 43 mm ÷Ohlins with low friction Titanium Nitride sliders feature radial Monobloc caliper mountings. The unique look of these mountings further endorses the no-compromise racing specification of the 1098 R. The ÷ohlins set-up offers superior road holding, delivers precise feedback, and enables every rider to be more confident and in control. The ÷ohlins package is completed with a control-enhancing, fully adjustable steering damper.
Brembo Monobloc calipers: The 1098 R is also equipped with Brembo's Monobloc caliper racing technology. The M4 calipers use four 34 mm pistons and two large surface pads for maximum stopping power. The calipers are machined from a single piece of alloy compared to the bolt-together construction of conventional ones. The Monobloc design has much higher rigidity and resistance to distortion during extreme braking and gives a much more precise feel at the brake lever. The massive 330 mm discs and Monobloc caliper technology combined with the legendary stability of Ducati Trellis frame and the 1098 Rios lightweight 165 kg (364 lbs) now makes world championship level brake performance available for the road.
Super lightweight wheels: One of the most effective ways to improve the handling and performance of a motorcycle is to reduce its unsprung weight by using superior lightweight wheels. The 1098 R uses lightweight Marchesini Y-shaped spoke wheels created from forged then machined alloy and finished in "racing gold". Both front and rear wheels achieve a lower moment of inertia and unsprung weight to enhance the 1098 R's change of direction and braking performance.
Fairing and Finish: Wind-tunnel development has enabled excellent aerodynamic penetration, allowing the rider to take a perfect racing stance, effortlessly. Great care has been taken in the design of the air supply ducts so to ensure efficient air-flow through radiator and oil coolers as well as provide ample air delivery to the airbox feeding the powerful Testastretta Evoluzione engine. The fairing belly-pan, tank lower side panels, seat assembly and front fender in carbon fibre are contributing factors to the overall performance of the machine.
In true "R" style, the red bodywork sports white background number plates on the tail section and nose fairing. The front and rear Marchesini wheels are finished in "racing gold", exactly the same as the F08 official factory race bikes and the fairing belly-pan, front fender and side panels are left in a contrasting natural carbon fibre finish.
Finally, the small red, white and green tricolore graphic, neatly shaped between the twin headlamps in the nose fairing, proudly underlines the Italian design, style and precision race engineering of this motorcycle.
DUCATI SUPERBIKE 1098 R TESTASTRETTA EVOLUZIONE
L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Dry multiplate with hydraulic control slipper clutch
Tubular steel Trellis frame in ALS 450
1430 mm / 56.3 in
24°30' / 24,5°
28°30' / 28,5°
Öhlins 43 mm fully adjustable upside-down fork with TiN
Front wheel travel
120 mm / 4.7 in
5-spoke in forged light alloy 3.50 x 17
Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins TTXR monoshock with top-out spring. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Rear wheel travel
127mm / 5in
5-spoke forged light alloy 6.00 x 17
2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad.
245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Fuel tank capacity
15.5 L (of which 4 L reserve) / 4.1 US gal (of which 1 US gal reserve)
165 kg / 364 lbs
820 mm / 32.2 in
1100 mm / 43.3 in
2100 mm / 82.6 in
Digital MotoGP derived unit displaying: Speedometer, rev counter, clock, scheduled maintenance warning, warning light for low oil pressure, fuel level, oil temperature, fuel reserve, trip fuel, neutral, turn signals, average speed, average fuel consumption, remaining fuel metre, immobilizer, options and management for DTC (Ducati Traction Control accessible only with race ECU fitted). DDA system enabled.
2 years unlimited mileage
Single seat only. Retail: $39,995 USA with Race Kit Silencers & ECU
Electronics Instrumentation: Desmosedici-style digital instrumentation is taken from Ducati MotoGP World Championship winning GP7 project. This pure racing, minimalist solution has no switches or buttons to compromise its clean lines. Instead, information additional to the default read-out is managed by handlebar-mounted switch gear, allowing the rider to scroll through and select from various menus. The default read-out 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. The instrument display also doubles as a control panel for the activation of the data acquisition system as well as listing lap times recorded by using the high-beam flash button as a stopwatch. For the 1098 R, fitting of the race kit initiates dialogue between the race kit ECU and the display to activate the DTC (Ducati Traction Control).
Traction control: For the first time ever on a production motorcycle, a true competition-level traction control system comes integrated into the 1098 R electronics as standard equipment. Activated by fitting the race kit ECU, which is designed to be used with the race mufflers and so intended for track use only, the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system is accessible via the digital instrument display and offers eight levels of control.
The DTC is the same system developed and used by Ducati Corse for their world championship winning MotoGP and World Superbike projects and offers a choice of eight profiles developed by professional racers. Each profile has been programmed with a wheel-spin tolerance matched to progressive riding levels of skill and confidence from one to eight. Underlining the fact that this is a professional system intended strictly for track use only by competent riders, profile eight has been developed by the official Ducati MotoGP test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi.
Choose the profile that best suits the track conditions and riding style and, upon activation, front and rear wheel sensors compare speed differential to sense when rear traction is being broken (wheel-spin). Using exactly the same software logic developed and used by Ducati Corse, instant electronic adjustment to the ignition advance or a pattern of spark cuts initiates immediate control over power output so as to restore traction at the rear wheel before re-establishing normal power delivery. In this way, DTC provides an incredible advantage during mid-corner acceleration.
Once again Ducati raises the bar for the sport bike category by transferring its MotoGP race technology into production.
Data acquisition: Supplied with the 1098 R, the Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA), which includes PC software, a USB-ready data retrieval card and instructions, enables owners to review and analyses the performance of the bike and its rider, and make comparisons between various channels of information.
Normally used on race bikes only, the system records numerous channels of data including throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine temperature, distance traveled, laps and lap times. The system also automatically calculates engine rpm and vehicle speed data so as to also display gear selection as an additional channel of information. At the end of a ride or track session, up to 2 mb (approximately 3.5 hours) of data can be downloaded to a PC ready to compare, analyze and get an inside view of the performance of both the rider and the 1098 R.
Data can be analyzed in graphic form with options to zoom into detail of specific sections. Dragging a trace along a timeline to reveal individual values of the above listed channels enables the user to analyze performance in the same way that data technicians are able in factory teams.
The New Testastretta Evoluzione Engine The Testastretta Evoluzione engine is the crowning glory of Ducati’s development and perfection of the L-Twin engine. World Superbike dominance for the last 15 years is the result of continual commitment to twin-cylinder technology and the 1098 Testastretta Evoluzione, the most powerful twin-cylinder production engine in history, is a fitting reward to our engineers’ continued ingenuity.
The 1098 engine is immediately recognizable by its completely new compact cylinders and cylinder heads. Other 1098 innovations and revisions are less obvious as they reside inside the Evoluzione’s engine cases, but whether external or internal, every new development was conceived to create a lighter, more efficient, more powerful and ultra-compact engine for the new generation of Ducati Superbikes.
The 1098 capacity is a result of a significant increase in the bore and stroke of the Evoluzione motor. Highly ‘over-square’, it now sports a big 104mm bore and a relatively short 64.7mm stroke. To optimize the benefits of the new, big Ducati Twin, the cylinder heads have been completely redesigned and, when combined with advanced MotoGP induction technology, enable even the standard specification 1098 to produce more power than the previous extreme Testastretta ‘R’ engine.
The Evoluzione features a reduction in the angle between intake and exhaust valves allowing highly efficient, straight intake ducts and newly shaped combustion chambers that contain racing size ‘R’ valves (42mm inlet, 34mm exhaust), operated by radical ‘R’ derived camshafts. The new cylinder heads also benefit from fewer components and include magnesium covers to achieve a staggering weight-saving of over 3kg (6.5+lbs).
After optimizing the Evoluzione cylinder heads, engineers then focused upon releasing the potential of the new design by feeding them with MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies. With a 30% increase in air flow over conventional throttle bodies, the new elliptical shape contributes an incredible 5hp increase to the record-breaking motor. 1098 owners will be the first to feel the power of this MotoGP technology on the road.
The Testastretta Evoluzione is the lightest Ducati Superbike engine ever, thanks to close scrutiny of every engine component. A total of 5kg (11.1lbs) has been saved by reducing the weight of many components, including transmission gears and the gear selector drum as well as the oil pump and primary gears.
The Testastretta Evoluzione’s increase in power is protected by a highly efficient oil cooler with increased surface area and an advanced coolant radiator assisted by lightweight, high flow electric fan assemblies. The compact and intricate design of the cooling system integrates perfectly with the 1098’s wind-cheating aerodynamics and sleek lines.
Finally, the 1098 is complemented by an all-new exhaust system. Significantly lighter, it has been engineered with a power-increasing symmetrical 2-1-2 layout that uses 52mm-57mm diameter tubing with wall thickness reduced by 30% to 0.8mm (.030in). The system terminates with Ducati’s trademark twin under-seat silencers, delivering that unmistakable signature sound of the big bore 90° L-Twin.
Chassis & Suspension Advanced chassis
The 1098 chassis and suspension have received the same detailed study and performance first priority approach. The goal was to achieve considerable weight saving while building-in strength and rigidity to manage the new high-powered Testastretta Evoluzione engine. Each and every component not only contributes to achieving superior road holding and stability, but when assembled, become a system with value far greater than the sum of all its parts.
Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the 1098 Trellis frame has been designed with a simplified tube layout featuring main section tubes increased in diameter from 28mm to 34mm, while being reduced in thickness from 2mm to 1.5mm. The result is a 14% increase in rigidity and a weight saving of 1.5kg (3.3lbs).
Our engineers were encouraged to re-think the construction technique of the 1098’s unique single-sided swingarm. The solution was to produce the main operational components using individual aluminum castings so as to ensure strength around the pivot points, wheel hub and suspension links, with fabricated aluminum sections used to complete the construction into a single, beautifully engineered component.
Highlighting the way in which individual components are influenced by each other, the new lightweight Trellis frame and single-sided swingarm have enabled a more compact and further weight-saving rear suspension linkage system that features separate lower pick-up points for the push-rod and suspension unit. This ‘tandem’ design effectively reduces stress around the linkage pick-up area of the Trellis frame. Working together with this highly efficient linkage is a fully adjustable Showa single shock for the 1098 and an incredible Öhlins shock for the 1098 S. A vitally important feature of the 1098’s rear suspension system is the ability to adjust rear ride height independent of spring pre-load and other suspension settings, critical when seeking the perfect set-up for personal riding style or track conditions.
The fully adjustable 43mm Showa forks with a special low friction Titanium Oxide-treated sliders on the 1098, and spectacular 43mm Öhlins with low friction Titanium Nitride sliders on the 1098 S, both feature radial Monobloc caliper mountings. The unique look of these mountings further underlines the no-compromise racing specification of the 1098. Both front suspension solutions are professionally track-tuned and offer superior road holding, deliver superior feedback, and help every rider to be more confident and in control.
Mono Bloc Brakes
With a Superbike as capable as the 1098, superior stopping power is fundamental. The 1098 is the first production street bike to use Brembo’s Monobloc caliper racing technology. The M4-34 calipers are machined from a single piece of alloy, vs. the bolt-together construction of conventional calipers. The Monobloc design has much higher rigidity and resistance to distortion during extreme braking, and therefore gives a much more precise feel at the brake lever. The 1098 also introduces for the first time on a Ducati, big 330mm discs which, when matched to the Monobloc calipers, achieve spectacular braking power. Despite the larger diameter, their weight has not increased due to the use of racing-style narrow braking surfaces. The use of Monobloc technology combined with the legendary stability of Ducati’s Trellis frame and the 1098’s overall weight savings has made world championship level brake performance available for the road.
Super lightweight wheels
The weight saving of 250g achieved on the front wheel substantially reduces the moment of inertia and enhances the 1098’s change of direction and braking performance. The rear wheel is just as impressive with a complete redesign for its single-sided swingarm application that has resulted in a reduction of over 1kg compared with traditional Ducati single-sided swingarm fitments. Both the 1098 and 1098 S benefit from the lightweight Marchesini Y-shaped spoke wheels, but the ‘S’ goes even further by using machine finished forged-aluminium, a special process normally reserved for the production of race wheels. Another first for Ducati is the mounting of 190/55 rear tyres, our widest ever, and the new standard for traction and control.
Exploiting every opportunity to reduce weight where possible, engineers chose to produce the front subframe in magnesium. While its construction ensures secure, rigid support for the headlamp, instruments and fairing, the weight-saving around this high, forward position contributes considerably to overall ‘feel’ and control of the machine.
Carefully designed not only for aerodynamic efficiency but also to hug the sleek lines of the chassis, the 1098 enables the rider to blend effortlessly into the race-oriented riding position. Great care has been taken in the design of the air supply ducts so to ensure efficient air-flow through radiator and oil coolers as well as provide ample air delivery to the airbox feeding the powerful new Testastretta Evoluzione engine. Molded in lightweight Terblend®, the bodywork’s form becomes a considerable contributing factor to the overall performance of the machine by helping reduce weight even further while allowing the rider to effortlessly ‘tuck in’ from the wind stream and turbulence to achieve maximum straight-line track speed. More really good stuff.... Click and go to Paddock Garage for big
1224 Screensavers of the 999F05 and
sexy pictorials of all the FastDates.com Calendar Angels
Ducati 1098R 08 Adjustabe Steering Head Update Update 4/18/08 - Ducati Corse has confirmed exclusively to FastDates.com, that the steering head assembly on the 1098R 08 production Superbike is to designed be use adjustable steering head components. This will correct our only complaint of the base 1098/S model Superbikes which have a fixed 24.5 degree steering head angle, making it difficult to turn into corners.
The 1098R 08 stock Rotating Steering Assembly Bearing Cage is actually designed to turned 180 degrees, and then put back into the frame to change the "as delivered" steering head angle from 24.5 to 23.5 degrees. The only problem being, the factory only drilled the Rotating Steering Assembly Bearing Cage to be indexed in one posting with the frame steering head's Locating/ Lock Pin - and that's in the 24.5 degree setting as delivered.
Available only with the 1098R model's frame (and not the 1098, 1098S, 848), an adjustable steering head angle was offered on all previous generation 916-999 Ducati Superbike models. However it now requires much more more disassembly and work than the previous externally adjusted toothed cam adjuster, and a lot more money if you are serious about setting this bike up for the track or tight canyon roads,
The BIG problem with the adjustable 24.5 / 23.5 degree steering head assembly on the new 1098R08, which we discovered when we tried to make this change on our bike, is that the factory intentionally tried to fix it at 24.5 degrees by drilling the Rotating Steering Assembly Bearing Cage with just (1) Locating/Lock Pin -in the 24.5 degree position. When you remove the Locating/Lock Pin and rotate the angled Steering Assembly Bearing Cage 180-degrees around from the 24.5 to the 23.5 degree setting, there is no positioning hole at the 23.5 degree setting to insert the frame's Lock/ Locating Pin into.
The top triple clamp, the steering damper needs to be removed, the front end of the bike elevated off the ground, and possibly the front forks removed. But the advantage of this new design for a racebike is it allows for use of many other steering angles and offset from center for a plethora of handling adjustments. But at a price of around $713 - $1693 for each different steering head spacer or a complete assembly with bearings, no one but Team Ducati is going to be playing with these for different track and rider setups. (See all the optional part numbers, below).
Which leaves us with 2 choices
to change to change the steering head angle on the 1098R:
1. You remove the Rotating Steering Assembly Bearing Cage and drill it yourself for a locating pin hole, exactly 180-degrees on the other side of the assembly. It's best to have a qualified machine shop do it as it does need to be spot on at 180-degrees on the other side of the round Steering Assembly Bearing Cage, otherwise the steering angle could be slightly different if you turn Left vs, Right. Or
2). You can order the correctly drilled part from Ducati Corse for just $1683!
This price is for the Complete Assembly including bearings shown below, Part No. 3431091A
The other Part Numbers listed below for other Steering Assembly Bearing Cages,are a mere$713 each, we assume without bearings. And not all the part numbers are currently available.
Just for your own information the Ducati Corse parts catalog for the 1098RS Superbikes as raced by Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus show the bike to be delivered with a 24.0 degree set-up, Steering Assembly Bearing Cage Part No. 34310151A
The Ducati Corse factory Superbike team usually run their bikes at the 23.5 degrees steering head angle, as this is the best setting for quick handling, maneuverability, safety and lap times.And that all the Japanese production superbikes GSXR, CBR, R1, ZX all come fixed at 23.5 degrees to confirm this as the ideal best setting for a superbike. As well as do most MotoGP bikes including the World Championship winning Ducati GP07.
So despite all the glowing press launch reports that the 1098R was an incredibly handling bike, in a controlled press launch environment with no other bikes to compare it to, it might have seemed that way. Plus, there is the kiss-ass factor as you might suspect, and no journalist wants to give a poor review at a new bike launch that will piss off the manufacturer, have their adverting pulled pulled from the magazine, and get them blacklisted from future new bike launches as this does happen.
But as a long time Ducati Superbike owner, racer, suspension engineer and moto journalist, I can tell you that all the Ducati Superbike models do not handle very responsively at the stock setting of 24.5 degrees.
We assume Ducati Superbikes are delivered this was for the safety of inexperienced riders on the track. But even then, all other Ducati production street bikes have their steering head angles fixed midway at a quicker 24.0 degrees.
Cycle News Update 4/15/08 Issue # 13 - In a 5-way Liter Bike Shootout at Button Willow Raceway (bylined intentionally to outside contributing editor Steve Atlas so the manufacturers can't get too pissed at Cycle News) the paper compares the four major Japanese 1000cc Superbikes which all have 23.5 degree steering head angles, against the base 1098 Ducati (same as the 1098S model) which has a fixed 24.5 degree angle steering head.
They credit the 1098 with: "The Ducati has an awesome engine - good bottom end, great torque, the best of the bunch." They go on to say, "The chassis of the Ducati is awesome- it's a pure racer all the way through," says test rider/racer Chuck Sorensen. "This isn't to say the Ducati was perfect on the racetrack: it still struggles in tight corners, as turn-in and side-to-side flick ability take more effort than some of the Japanese machines. Once in the turn, however, it makes up for the added effect. It takes more effort than some to get on its side or change direction in a hurry."
And while the editors never figured out why, we'd suggest it was, in part, the base model Ducat's 1098's fixed ultra slow 24.5 degree steering angle, that made the 1098 average 2 seconds slower around Button Willow with a 1:43.1 sec lap time, compared to the quickest Jap bike, the Kawasaki ZX-10R at 1:40.80, or the slowest, the Honda CBR1000RR at 1:42.1 sec.
But if the test launch 1098R bikes could have had their steering head angles reset to the ideal 23.5 degree angle, it would have handled even better. Below, direct from our inside sources at the Ducati Corse Racing Department are the available stock and optional steering head parts for changing the production 1098R's steering angle. - Jim Gianatsis, Editor and Owner Owner: Ducati 916, 996R, 999R, 1098R
Championship Racers An inside look at the World Championship Ducati bikes and riders.
Instruments & Lighting Instrumentation
Desmosedici-style digital instrumentation is taken from Ducati’s MotoGP GP7 project. This pure racing, minimalist solution by Digitek has no switches or buttons to compromise its clean lines. Instead, information additional to the default read-outs is managed by handlebar-mounted switch gear, allowing the rider to scroll through and select from various menus. The default read-out 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. The instrument display also doubles as a control panel for the activation of the data acquisition system as well as listing lap times recorded by using the high-beam flash button as a stopwatch.
With the purchase of the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA), which includes PC software, a USB-ready data retrieval card and instructions, owners are ready to review and analyse the performance of the 1098 and its rider, and make comparisons between various channels of information. The DDA is available from Ducati Accessories, and is supplied as standard equipment on the 1098 S.
Normally used on race bikes only, the system records numerous channels of data including throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine temperature, distance travelled, laps and lap times. The system also automatically calculates engine rpm and vehicle speed data so as to also display gear selection as an additional channel of information. At the end of a ride or track session, up to 2mb (approximately 3.5 hours) of data can be downloaded to your PC ready to compare, analyse and get an inside view of you and your 1098’s performance.
Data can be analysed in graphic form with options to zoom into detail of specific sections. Dragging a trace along a timeline to reveal individual values of the above listed channels enables the user to analyse performance in the same way that data technicians are able in factory teams.
Lights and Indicators
The horizontal twin headlamps, a signature Ducati style of the iconic 916, have been updated using 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 the 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 under braking.
The directional indicators also employ the latest in LED technology for illumination and are beautifully integrated into the rear view mirrors.
FastDates.com Takes the DRE Racing School.
Click here for the story!
Ducati Riding Experience features 2 top Grand Prix Tracks
The popular Ducati factory produced Ducati Riding Experience held in Europe now includes the Mugello GP track in Spain, together with Imola in italy. The DRE courses are aim both at those wanting to increase their streetbike riding skills, and for those who want to improve their racing skills. The courses consist of a full day of riding sessions combined with classroom time.
Eleven the appointments for this year; nine of them will take place on Enzo and Dino Ferrari racetrack in Imola, while the other two will be hosted at the International Mugello circuit, famous worldwide because it’s where every year the MotoGp Championship takes place as the unique Italian round.
The 2005 edition of Ducati Riding Experience saw a massive influx of attendees, both male and female: women average it’s been increased ( 43% women and 57% men, vs. 38% women and 62% men in 2004). Another interesting figure is that 15% of people was foreigner. The possibility to rent the gear has been a great success: in 2005 edition has been rented 1.100 technical gear items.
The DRE school presents an impressive line-up of instructors including World, European and National champions and features five different classes for all skill levels.
The cost of the course includes: the use of motorcycle, lunch and the open cafè area, welcome kit, the presence of a photographer and special rates at nearby hotels. It does not includes any type of insurance. This year's edition of the DRE also introduces an opportunity to rent riding gear (leathers, helmets, gloves, boots) at the time of registration on www.ducati.com.
It would be also possible to present on line the course to someone else.
FastDates.com Takes the DRE Racing School.
Click here for the full story!
Registration and information
The registration will be done through www.ducati.com
beginning Feb 15th, 2006.