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New Ducati 848 EVO Gives Middleweight Buyers More

Maybe following the vagaries of international currency exchange isn’t your area of interest or expertise, but there may be some savvy watchers of those markets who will make out like bandits, sportbike-wise. That’s because Ducati announced its first new 2011 model, the 848 EVO, which offers more power and better braking—but the same price tag as the old 848. By waiting until 2011, prospective 848 buyers will get more bike for the same amount of money. International monetary debt crises can be your friend. 

Like the Hypermotard 1100 EVO, I got to test earlier this year, the EVO moniker designates the bike as a development of a prior model, rather than a whole new bike. Ducati claims the upgrades were based on feedback from AMA Pro Racing, so it’s no surprise that the biggest change is more motor. Cylinder heads, throttle bodies, pistons and camshafts have been altered to raise output to 140 horsepower and 72.3 ft.-lbs. of torque, up from the 2010’s 134 hp and 70.8 ft.-lbs. Those throttle bodies are probably Seimens units, in contrast to the Weber-Marelli equipment from prior years. One-hundred-forty hp—probably around 125 at the back wheel—was eyebrow-raising for an open-class Japanese inline-Four not too long ago, but this is a middleweight Twin: a fact Ducati is leveraging to crown the 848 “the most powerful motorcycle in its category.” True enough, although having a 248cc advantage helps.

The extra power is no good without control, so the chassis gets upgrades as well. A steering damper is now standard, and the bike is delivered with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber—trackday ready. But the real plum in this superbike pudding is the addition of Brembo monobloc racing calipers. The rigid, one-piece units offer substantially better feel and power than the old bike’s lower-spec items. Dry weight drops by a pound, to 369.

More power, better brakes; should be more money, right? That’s where you currency fans come in. What with the uncertainties in the entire world economy, the Euro finds itself weaker against the dollar than it’s been since 2005, weak enough that monobloc calipers cost Americans what multi-part calipers did last year. The result? The matte-finish 848 Dark is $12,995, the same price as the 2010. Ducati red will run you a grand more.

31 Comments

  1. kpaul says:

    All Ferrari sports cars and all Ducati sport bikes should only come in Red. :)

    • PBSPEED says:

      Seriously?! C’mon…….. I’ll take a 599 in white and an 848 EVO in DARK….I don’t go to purist parties…..to each his own though:)

      • Justin says:

        Sheeeeeeiiii…..

        Instead of letting Ducati paint my bike, I’ll get $100 worth of red paint, $200 worth of clearcoat, and I’ll be sparkling with $700 still in the bank. Sounds like a deal.

  2. PBSPEED says:

    Nice upgrades as many people were asking for an 848S. Not quite there as it would receieve a price hike to have the Ohlins and Carbon bits. Either way, sweet as ever, and 140 HP is impressive out of the 848 twin. Thanks to Steve Rapp and Bobby Fong I suppose. Oh, and the red and white aren’t $1000 more per se’, the DARK is $1000 LESS…

  3. Robert says:

    Big, I mean really BIG savings here. Unless of course you’d like your bike painted. Then it will cost you a grand more. Right.

  4. Paul says:

    Jimbo, why not just get a KTM Superduke? Great bike, and it sounds like it’d be what you’re looking for. As for the EVO… performance, character, value, YESSSSSS. I even think the matte black improves the styling!

  5. jimbo says:

    Of all the imaginary non-existent naked bikes, an 849 Streetfighter tuned for torque would be my preference. The bike would be not-too-difficult to swap between supermoto and sport touring application. Most sane street riders my age (56) would prefer torque over peak power on a modern performance bike. I’d love hydraulic self-adjusting valve lash and a clean, low maintenance final drive like belt or lightweight shaft.

    It seems strange that of all the dozen or so classifications no such bike exists. Just thinking of a low-400 lb curb weight naked bike with this type of performance envelope is a pleasing pastime. Riding one would probably be even better.

    • jimbo says:

      I owned a Ulysses with similar motor. Though I’m sure it has some merit I’m thinking the motor is just a bit long in the tooth. I like the look very much. At 575 lbs curb weight the XL is about 125 lbs heavier than my preference. But I do intend to ride one when it arrives locally. Thanks for mentioning it!

  6. NJ Bears Fan says:

    A wonderful bike just get better in several ways. Decent (OK, not Japanese “great”) pricing. Thanks Ducati!!!!!

  7. Mike D. says:

    Here to the ones saying they could get more bike for the same amount of $$$.

    YES, U ALL R CORRECT but people who look-buy this bike don’t really care about it but rather that they own a DUCATI.

    Posers? Maybe……. Previous Ducati Owners? Sure….. Someone looking to have something different than JAPAN Inc…Possibly.

  8. will parker says:

    Bike looks good, but a Suzuki 750 will smoke it for alot less $..

    • monsterduc1000 says:

      Doubt it. Not only is the gsxr BUTT UGLY compared to this fine machine, the Duc is much lighter, has similar hp, has more torque and way better brakes. Unless squidzuki comes out with a much lighter, more powerful, better handling 750 in 2011, this is the primo middleweight.

      • Fmcmullen says:

        Not wanting to start a “what bike is better”…you do know the 848 races in the AMA (Supersport & Daytona Sportbike) against 600cc bikes? The 848 can’t even beat the 600’s in that series…how do you expect it to beat a 750cc machine?!?

        • monsterduc1000 says:

          Because the ducati is a bike that is WAY more expensive to develop, and really, look at the riders they have. Steve Rapp is alright, but he is getting old. Throw him on a gsxr 750 and he still wouldn’t be any better.

          You can’t compare a race bike to a street bike. Just look at the bmw 1000. Dominates on the street, can’t win in wsbk.

          • Fmcmullen says:

            Good points…I have a 750 for the street & track, but I think I would love to have the EVO for a dedicated track bike.

    • mr duc says:

      If you can ride a 140 hp and 369 pound bike to its full potential, you are getting you bikes free anyway.

  9. Vroooom says:

    I’m with Kawatwo, throw this engine into a lighter multi.

  10. Kawatwo says:

    An 848 Multistrada with about 10 grand knocked off the price of the big one would be nice.

  11. mpolans says:

    Meh…remind me again why they upped the supersport displacement limit for twins from 750cc to 850cc? Bring back a 748 with similar power and I’d be impressed. Until then, it seems Ducati is living by the rule of, if you can’t win with the existing rules, have them changed to favor you.

  12. W Devine The Woodlands, TX says:

    Wonderful package…. plenty of power and lightweight!!!!

  13. Pete Hag says:

    Gimme gimme gimme Want want want YYYEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  14. Cowboy says:

    Now put that motor in a middleweight Hypermoto – PLEASE!!!!!!

  15. Old town hick says:

    Think of the grey as the “discount” color.

  16. Mike D. says:

    They can keep the Red (looks AWESOME too but geting old), Stealth rocks my boat the rigth way. lmao.

    edpix: An ST i think would eat into the MultiStrada sales ? I would like to see it anyways… Detuned 1198 so it’ll last forever and “decent(comfy)” Ergos.

  17. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous but the most road-camouflaged (in gray) bike I have ever seen. Better pay the $ for red just for the safety benefits…

  18. kpaul says:

    Very nice. But I have to have red. It’s cool to see Ducati doing well in AMA racing. Would love to see Kawasaki and Honda come back also have the Buell 1190 RR legal in Superbike. Now is a good time to buy. I expect the Euro to climb against the dollar until or if the Congress and President get some fiscal restraint. Expect Japanese bikes to get more expensive as yen continues to appreciate. Now if only we had an American motorcycle company that say made V-Twin sportbikes to take advantage of the lower dollar. Oh well one can only dream of a Buell 1190 RR now. http://www.erikbuellracing.com/motorcycles/1190RR/ Maybe I can put lights on it and be street legal Too bad it can’t race in AMA.

  19. edpix says:

    That all sounds great except for the $1000 premium for Red!

    Actually the grey looks nice but there is no way the red should cost a grand more. it’s not like they have the additional time for adding graphics as the Red is a one color job too!

    Nice upgrade Ducati, now wheres the new ST with an 1198 engine?

    • Matt says:

      Random thought – back when the new superbike generation rolled out, there was concern Ducati would lose exclusivity. Maybe this red paint premium plays that dynamic.

    • Ruefus says:

      Ducati purposely dropped the ST line to give and keep focus on it’s core business – sportbikes and nakeds.

      With the new Multistrada, don’t hold your breath for a new ST.

    • Fred says:

      I think the premium is reflective of demand and not necessarily effort/cost.
      Personally, I like the grey!