BMW Motorrad Spezial

Ducati 1198 R Corse

Ducati 1198 R
After a recent run of retro-themed bikes, I’ve been waiting for a contemporary machine to catch my eye. And finally, Ducati has delivered the goods with a 2010 model that will probably be regarded as an all-time classic in 2030. The $39,995 1198 R Corse is a special edition of the 1198, with mostly cosmetic changes. That’s a testament to the soundness of the 1198 platform, but the bike does come with a ‘race kit’ for true power junkies. The big bore Desmo 90° L-Twin produces 180 hp in standard mode and 186 hp when using the race kit (“intended strictly for track use only”, Ducati says). You also get a Termignoni racing exhaust system with carbon fibre mufflers and a rear paddock stand. The gearbox has a very high ratio 6th gear, “fully enabling the speed increase achieved from additional performance modifications (suggested for track use only).” But the highlight for me is visual—the gorgeous fuel tank. Weighing 1kg (2.2lb) less than the stock tank, it also boosts capacity by 2.5 litres to 18 litres (4.75 US gal). And it’s brush-finished and clear-coated to maintain a factory team look. Molto bella.

Ducati 1198 R
Ducati 1198 R
Ducati 1198 R

  • Greg

    Wow…. now that is a gorgeous bike.

  • CMC

    It looks even better in person…

  • I love the Ducati but I never found it ‘fair’ how they could re-use the same design over and over again, each time with a higher price. While I understand that Ducati is a small company and needs to re-coup as much machining costs as possible, it won’t kill them to at least add some variation in the air ducts on the side panels. Even MV does it with their incalculable variations on the F4.

  • Bald Shaun

    Sen Heng, MV made gradual tweaks to the F4 because the styling hasn’t changed in over a decade. The most recent model is the only one that has seen significant cosmetic updates. So I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. Ducati definitely does major overhauls to their super bikes more frequently than that. Even if they don’t change the plastics much from year to year, they do make performance oriented improvements. That’s more important. Besides, Ducatisti don’t like it when you shake things up too much. Remember the reaction to the 999?

    And yes, the 1198R is gorgeous. The exposed aluminum tank looks the business.

  • Cookey

    … as for updates Ducati seems to have a talent for significant change whenever they do a comprehensivly new superbike… 851/888 – 916/996/998 – 999 – 1098/1198 all very distinct i’d say. They do get a little more mileage out of their designs but i’d say they can afford to when for the most part they look so damn good.

    If anyone needs a bit of a prod to freshen up (totally re-think) their styling i’d be looking to Suzuki’s GSXR’s.

  • $40 G’s. Wow, I guess I have to be a collector or a real Ducati enthusiast to get behind that invoice. I thought the ZX14, which has more HP was stout at $15k, but this ups the bar. I do like the sound of the Ducati motor, though. A real distinct thumper.

    I guess if you have to ask the price, right?

  • very nice. only problem is by 2030 the computer that controls everything on these new bikes (just like new cars) would of packed it in and it won’t be going anywhere!

  • I just lost it.

  • richM

    Clearly inspired by the DSC flying tiger bike.

  • This bike is really likely to become a great part of Ducati history, but I don’t personally like it very much. And the price seems to me too high for such motorcycle.

  • 4Cammer

    Nice, the tank is pure art that will have all the guys at Starbucks talking. A bit over the top in regards to graphics. Ducs do not need graphics.

  • Tin Man 2

    Harley had better hurry up and sell MV Agusta, Ducati is now making the best looking bikes. It seams the small companys( Ducati, Triumph) are on the ball.

  • Chris

    I touched 1198R #1

    Saw god

  • Carson


  • Piet

    Yes the 1198 R looks great but the real money has gone into the engine and gearbox. Titainium valves, rods etc. twin injectors per cyl, sand cast casing, shot peined gears etc etc. you could never build that into an S for the same money!

  • Carn

    Lovely & all that – but a bit boring

  • These things are even lovelier to ride. My review is of the earlier 1098R but almost identical machines under the paint.