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.
Sinarback eMotion 75 | 1/25 sec | ISO 25