Ducati upped the ante, unleashing a bike with an 849cc engine that weighs no more than competitors in the 600cc range. In fact, the Superbike 848 weighs 44 pounds less than its 749cc predecessor. To shed pounds, Ducati uses vacural molding, a fabrication process that inhales molten alloy directly into die casts to create a seamless piece of aluminum. This eliminates the need to fasten multiple pieces with welds and bolts that weaken a structure and add weight.
Vacural molding lightens the engine casing and produces a more rugged throttle body, the part that delivers air to the cylinder heads. As in last year's 1098 model, Ducati uses a low, wide throttle body, which allows the cylinder heads to be more compact, and thus lighter.
The single-sided aluminum swing arm (Ducati's signature rear-wheel suspension) is made of multiple components. But the company reinforced the joints to make it stiffer than previous swing arms, so it finally matches the feel of a traditional double-sided suspension.
Boasting 134 horsepower, this 370-pound Italian stallion achieves a power-to-weight ratio not seen since Rocky Balboa's early years.
How does one say "Crotch Rocket" in Italian?
I had a Ducati 1098 last summer. Brand new from the dealer. I had nothing but trouble with it. The fuel injection was wrong and it continually stalled while moving. The worst part is that the lights would shut off whenever the engine got too hot.
The designers decided to make this bike pretty instead of a performer. The 848 and the 1098 have identical bodywork and the problem is that no air can get to the electronics which are placed directly next to the front header. This was an obvious answer to my problem which was also a problem for most other 1098 owners. Ducati's statement was that there is nothing wrong with the bike! What terrible customer service! This motorcycle was dangerous to ride because it essentially had no lights or turn signals once it got up to operating temperature. The 848 is nearly identical to the 1098 in design.
I have many hours of track time on motorcycles and many, many more street hours. I know what I'm talking about.