We’ll have to wait until the Milan show to see the really exciting stuff (mainly the firm’s new cruiser – the Diavel), but Ducati’s offering at Intermot certainly gets our thumbs up. As a starter, this is all very tasty indeed.
By far the best bit of Ducati’s 2011 range is the introduction of the 1198SP. Harking back to when Ducati made SP and SPS versions of its 916 range, the 1198S boast the same package of the 1198S with the addition of an Ohlins TTX shock, DQS quickshifter, slipper clutch and lightweight aluminium tank (as seen on the current 1198S Corse, it also adds 2.5 litres to the capacity). This is the first time any production Ducati has been blessed with a quickshifter – currently the top-of-the-range 1198R doesn’t even have one. The machine weighs in at just 168kg, a kilo les than the current S (thanks to the tank).
The standard 1198 gets DTC traction control, DQS quickshifter and DDA data analyser as part of the ‘basic’ package – all welcome additions to the stock machine. We’ve already seen the 848 EVO, the first bike to be presented by Ducati for 2011, with its Brembo Monobloc brakes and new steering damper.
The Streetfighter range gets a new lick of paint, while the Monster 696 is blessed with a new set of 43mm Marzocchi forks and higher bars, as well as new paint options.
If this is the starter, we can’t wait to tuck into the main course at Milan.