2008 Ducati 1098 S

The 2008 Ducati 1098 S retails at $20,995, and features several upgraded components over the entry level, $15,995 1098 model, including Öhlins suspension components, lightweight Marchesini wheels, and a data analysis system that connects to PCs via USB.

With the release of the 1098, Ducati created a stir not only in the public world, but also in the racing world, specifically the Superbike World Championship. In an attempt to even the ‘field’ of competition, WSBK regulations provide for concessions to motorcycles depending on the number of cylinders in their engine design. The fewer the cylinders, the more concessions, and with its two cylinder V-twin design Ducati was able to capitalize on many of these concessions.

Ducati argued that the current engine design was end-of-life and that it would be too expensive to keep the 999 competitive. The 2007 WSBK rules limited V-twin engines to 1000cc, so Ducati effectively did not have a guarantee that the 1098 was eligible for entry in the premier class. Before releasing the 1098, Ducati lobbied the FIM to update the WSBK rules to accommodate its new bike, threatening to withdraw from WSBK competition if the rules weren’t changed.

Other manufacturers were not happy about racing a bike with a larger engine, especially when that bike belonged to Ducati, which has historically dominated WSBK competition, and Suzuki even threatened to withdraw if the rules were changed. Ducati prevailed when, in June 2007, the FIM announced that the engine capacity limit would increase to 1200cc for 2008.

The 1098 shares more design elements with the older 998 than with its predecessor the 999, such as horizontally placed headlights and a non-integrated exhaust system. Another carry over from its 998 heritage is the single-sided swingarm which is decidedly Ducati. This step back to a more traditional Ducati design has been welcomed by many Ducati fans who criticized the design of the 999. The Ducati 1098/1098 S/1098 R are available in black, red or yellow.

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