2009 Ducatis Break Cover at Milan

A monster-motored naked and 1200cc Superbike debut


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Pictures of Ducati’s new Streefighter might have leaked before the launch, but the impact of seeing the new beast romping onto the stage at the Milan show was quite something. Just one glance at the aggressive SF and you see that this is a take-no-prisoners tool.

With the Ducati 1098-derived motor boasting a claimed 155 horsepower and 373 pounds of alleged dry weight, Ducati reenters the power-naked arena with a creature that bears little resemblance to the good old, Monster S4R. The frame is firmly based on the 1098, too, so those are mainly the few bright red body parts that create quite a bold choreographic effect with the sharpish front headlight leading the way.

Ducati's latest naked beast has more in common to the 1098 than the Monster.

Designers worked hard to keep the SF very narrow, which is a good thing, that also resulted in a tallish gas tank that looks a bit like the one in the first series Aprilia Tuono and slightly ungainly. Should be a wheelie monster, though ...

The Streetfighter S adds Ohlins suspension, forged Marchesini wheels and traction control.

At the other end of the stage, the new 1198 superbike bathed under the spotlights. Main reason to groove: larger V-Twin engine based on the 1098R Superbike-homologation streetbike, which, following SBK rules, offered a full 1200cc. Claimed peak horsepower is a stout 170. The S version is said to weigh in at 169 kg (373 lbs), giving this street Superbike a metric power-to-weight ratio of 1:1.

The new 1198, with a claimed metric power-to-weight ratio of 1:1, will replace the 1098 and 1098S .

Japan’s liter-sized sports bikes are not going to have an easy year. Other niceties include a new traction control that will work also with street silencers (the previous system could destroy the catalizer and was hence used only with track-day open pipes) and sexy new cast wheels.

The last new offering for 2009 is of course the 1100 Monster that Duke road-tested already, so that’ll be all for tonight from Milan. Stay tuned tomorrow for more show highlights.

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