First seen by the public on November 7, 2007, Ducati released the 848 as the replacement to their lackluster 749. And in the same way the 749 was a toned 999, the 848 is a smaller version of their flagship Superbike, the 1198 (which was a 1098 when first released). Like its big brother, the Ducati 848 was totally changed from the ground up, reverting back to a more traditional Ducati look with under-seat exhaust and single-sided swingarm. Directly targeting the middleweight and supersport market, with a completive price of $13,995, the Ducati 848 is still more pricey than the standard Inline-Four Japanese 600, though it offers nearly the same level of Italian passion as the $16,000-plus 1198, while still performing on par with the best middleweights in class.
The Ducati 848 is an all-new design representing Ducati’s effort to “redefine the middleweight sportbike class.”
Ascetically, the Ducati 848 looks nearly identical to the 1198, with the exception of the available slick color white scheme. Don’t fret though, it’s still available in the tradition Ducati red. It also features a smaller engine, the 849cc trademark “L-Twin” powerplant as Ducati calls it (90-degree V-Twin in our terms). As for the other differences between it and the 1198, these include a wet clutch, slightly down-graded radial Brambo front brakes and different Showa suspension, all aimed at keeping the price down. Otherwise, the 848 is essentially a smaller and tad slower version of the 1198. On the other hand, it does tip the scales a bit lighter, which is a plus.
But don’t think for a second the Ducati 848 lacks any performance in the real world. Despite being one of the best price-point Ducati Superbikes to date, it delivers far superior performance to any previous middleweight machine the Italian company has ever produced.