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In addition to the Ducati Streetfighter, we can exclusively reveal the Ducati 1198 and Ducati 1198 S. The big story here is the new engine, which adopts the 1098 R's 1198.4cc engine. Here, that engine makes 170bhp and 97lb/ft of torque, halving the performance gap between the 1098 and 1098 R. But, to us, the exciting thing is the traction control that comes as standard on the 1198 S. Click the image above for the gallery of large photos or click through to read more.
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That traction control is used as both a performance and safety
enhancer, allowing riders to get on the power harder and earlier
without fear of sliding. It uses the same software as Ducati's
MotoGP and World Superbike machines, offering a choice of 8 setting,
each allowing progressively greater degrees of slip. Front and rear
wheel sensors compare speed differentials to determine when traction is
lost, altering the fuel injection to bring things back in line.



The 1198 S also comes standard with a data acquisition system that
records throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine
temperature, distance travelled, laps and lap times. This information
can be downloaded onto a USB stick, and then accessed on a computer.
New this year is the ability to track when and how much traction
control is used. Data acquisition will be optional on the 1198 and 848
as well.



The new Testastretta Evoluzione engine is the heart of both bikes.
Generating 170bhp at 9,750rpm and 97lb/ft at 8,000rpm, it uses the same
106x67.9 bore and stroke as the 1098 R World Superbike competitor.
Compared to the 1098, the valve diameters have been increased by 4% to
43.5mm inlet and 35.5mm exhaust; the camshafts achieve 10% more lift;
the throttle bodies are 13.3% larger at 63.9mm in diameter, identical
to those of the 1098 R; the engine also gains R-spec gear ratios. The
1198 engine is the lightest ever used in a Ducati superbike, weighing
3kg less than that of the 1098 despite its larger capacity. This is
thanks to a new vacuum die-cast manufacturing process used on the
crankcase. Weight is also saved by the gold-colored magnesium alloy cam
covers.



The 1198 S replaces the stock Showa suspension with Öhlins items and
adds an Öhlins steering damper. It also gains 7-spoke GP-replica
Marchesini wheels and a carbon front mudguard. Our information, which
hasn't yet been officially verified, has the 1198 coming in at $16,495
in the USA, while the 1198 S will retail for $20,995.

The 1198 will be available in red or white with a black frame and grey wheels. The 1198 S comes in red or black with a bronze frame and wheels.



Like the Ducati Streetfighter, publishing this story is going to be
somewhat controversial. The 1198 isn't scheduled for official release
until the EICMA show in Milan on Monday. Ducati failed to include Hell For Leather in its list of publications made privy to this embargoed
information and therefore isn't subject to any contractual obligations
or agreements to keep any of this private. Since Ducati didn't enable
us to compete on a level playing with other media outlets, we had no
choice but to move forward with publication once we obtained these
materials. This isn't an embargo break; had we been subject to any
contract or agreement we would have honored it. This is a good
old-fashioned leak.



If you haven't already, make sure you check out our gallery of large
1198 shots by clicking the image up top or by clicking here. You should also check out how the 1198 compares to its rivals in our 2009 Superbike Showdown.

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