If 600cc aren't enough and 1,000cc scare you, Ducati has you covered with the 2011 Superbike 848EVO
. The freshly-updated Italian middleweight aims to cross swords with the Suzuki GSX-R750, the long-time leader in this market segment.
With superior displacement, improved power and a razor-sharp frame, the 848EVO sets the record straight for every contender to the crown.
Ready for war
|The 848EVO is styled after the larger 1198 and adds matte black paint – a bit drab but still racy. (Photo: Filip Bertrand)
Equipped to put some 1,000cc or larger superbikes to shame, this two-wheel masterpiece boasts sleek yet aggressive lines, impressive engine performance, an hydraulically-controlled clutch, premium Showa forks and shock, and Brembo brakes with braided lines. Forget leisurely rides to marvel at the scenery; it's about the fastest times and putting on a show at the track.
The 848EVO is styled after the larger 1198 and adds matte black paint – a bit drab but still racy. I could spend hours staring at it from every angle. Very few motorcycles arouse as much desire, yet this one's design is a few years old.
All the best features from Ducati can be found on this model, including a comprehensive instrument panel heavily inspired from the GP bikes, a Trellis frame, lightweight wheels and a superb single-sided swingarm.
The 849cc Testastretta twin-cylinder engine with wet clutch gets revised cylinder heads, pistons, combustion chambers and camshafts for 2011, increasing the compression ratio from 12.1:1 to 13.2:1., output from 134 to 140 horsepower (at 10,500 rpm), and torque from 70 to 72 lb-ft (at 9,750 rpm).
Also revised, the brand's famous desmodromic system now allows higher valve lift, while the ECU receives new injection maps. The result is an engine that revs higher and stays alive all the way to the electronic cutoff.
At low revs, the transmission appears to be an odd match for the L-twin's power curve, as if the latter wasn't generous enough. Such is not the case, however, as the engine allows spirited accelerations out of corners from just 3,500 rpm. It even pulls really hard from 4,500 rpm, overtaking most 600cc bikes in the ensuing straightaway.
|At low revs, the transmission appears to be an odd match for the L-twin's power curve, as if the latter wasn't generous enough. (Photo: Filip Bertrand)