WORLD PREVIEW OF NEW MONSTER 696 - SUPERBIKE RANGE COMPLETED WITH INTRODUCTION OF NEW 848 AND FLAGSHIP 1098 R MODEL
The entire Ducati world will take up a display area of 800 sq. meters (Pavilion 18, Stand D65) at the 65th edition of the EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition, Milan from 6-11 November. New bikes, new accessories and a new line of apparel all form part of the innovative 2008 line-up for the Bologna manufacturer, which is also celebrating its recent world title victory in MotoGP.
In a press conference held before the exhibition officially opened, Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati Motor CEO, met representatives from international media to illustrate the Bologna-based company's fantastic results on a sporting and commercial level - a confirmation of its recent unprecedented success.
"The continuous growth that Ducati is experiencing is confirmed by positive economic and financial results for the third successive quarter, which we have presented to our investors", declared Del Torchio at the press conference. "The new products that we have brought to EICMA represent the result of the research and the technological development that Ducati is offering with this new range. They also confirm that Ducati is a company which is based on product and will make up our sales target for the next few years. Our future plans are clear and precise: Ducati will continue to be the leader in the premium bike sector, confirming the passion, the Italian style, the unrivaled design and the superior track-honed performance that make up our DNA".
The undisputed star of the Milan Show is the new Ducati Monster 696. Refined style and design are the clear motivations behind the new Monster and the continued perfection of the Desmo engine ensures that its 'saint and sinner' image will impress any rider. A comfortable and confidence-inspiring chassis combine with the famously smooth and powerful Ducati L-Twin engine to provide the most enjoyable riding experience. The balance of new technologies expressed in stylishly finished materials is shaped around the original cool Monster heritage.
Maintaining its traditional Monster silhouette, the 696 now looks more muscular than ever. Its wide tank tapers to the thin waistline of a comfortable narrow seat ensuring sure-footed confidence when at the traffic lights. The large diameter Hybrid Trellis frame blends stylishly into an aluminum sub-frame and swingarm while minimalist instrumentation and simple controls at the front of the Monster contrast with twin, bold, Ducati-style mufflers at the rear to enhance its urban-ready image.
The chassis of the new Monster is made up of a new Hybrid Trellis frame with larger diameter tubes directly inspired by the 2007 World MotoGP title-winning Desmosedici GP7 machine. Attached to this is a rear aluminium sub-frame. The front brake system is the envy of its class and becomes the new benchmark for the category with two 320mm discs and four-piston radial calipers.
At the rear, the dual-sided aluminium swingarm draws inspiration from Ducati Corse's finest racing products in this area. The dash instrumentation is now totally digital and continues the tradition of all Ducati's latest-generation sport models, guaranteeing lightness, ease of use and a wealth of information. The new exhaust system stands out with its re-routed downpipes that now give the underside of the Monster a cleaner appearance and terminate with twin, bold Ducati-style mufflers. The headlamp unit is characterized by a new triple arc main beam, while the rear light uses modern LED technology.
The engine of the new 696 is an evolution of the previous 695 version. Measuring 696cc it boasts a series of updates and refinements.
Power output gets a 9% boost to 80hp (59kW) and an 11% increase in torque to 50.6 lb-ft. This new engine continues to have the best horsepower per liter ratio of all Ducati's air-cooled units, and it ensures a smooth and powerful delivery for a relaxed but thrilling ride in all conditions.
For 2008, the Superbike family features two important additions: the introduction of a mid-engine size version, the light and nimble 848, and an extreme 'racing' version for all those who demand the maximum performance, the 1098 R; which will take part in the 2008 World Superbike Championship.
The new 848 enjoys all the performance advancements of the entire Superbike family, while adding its own innovations to redefine the middleweight sport bike class. The words 'agile' and 'refined' aptly describe the 848. At 168kg (369lbs) the 848 is an amazing 20kg (44lbs) lighter than its predecessor, and a significant 5kg (11lbs) lighter than its larger capacity brother, the 1098.
The highly advanced 848 engine uses an improved method of engine case production in which cases are vacuum die-cast formed. While providing significant weight savings of more than 3kg (6.5lbs), this method also ensures consistent wall thickness and increased strength. Further refinements include a sophisticated wet clutch that offers 1kg (2.2lbs) less weight, a much longer service interval, improved clutch feel and quiet operation. With the first twist of the wrist, the powerful rush of the Testastretta Evoluzione engine confirms that the rules have changed. The 848's 134hp is not only 30% more powerful than its predecessor, but it provides a power-to-weight ratio even better than the potent 999.
The new 1098 R is the most powerful and lightest twin-cylinder bike ever produced by the Borgo Panigale factory, with the highest torque/weight ratio of any sport bike available. A total of 180hp is on tap for this new Superbike, together with an amazing torque value of 13.7 kgm. The weight figure also confirms the racing origins of the 1098 R: 165kg puts the bike at the forefront of this category. The 1098 R is supplied with a racing kit for track use. This is made up of a pair of "102dB" carbon mufflers and dedicated ECU, which boost the already exceptional performance of this new twin-cylinder Ducati. With this kit the rider can also activate dialog between the ECU and the DTC (Ducati Traction Control) system, which is fitted to a production bike for the first time ever.
The massive influx of motorbike fans and Ducati "tifosi" expected at EICMA will also get a chance to see the definitive version of the Desmosedici RR, derived from the MotoGP bike, of which 1500 will be produced and the special Tricolore version of the Monster S4R S, which features a front fairing, seat cover and fuel tank in the red, white and green colors of the Italian flag together with gold frame and wheel rims.
The new 2008 range is completed by the black version of the Hypermotard 1100 S and the new two-colour grey-liveried version of the GT 1000, as well as numerous new accessories, special components and a new collection of Ducati clothing.
An area of the stand is also dedicated to Ducati Corse to celebrate Casey Stoner's victory in the MotoGP World Championship, but also the titles won by Nicolò Canepa in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup on the 1098 and by the Women's Team in the European 1000 Superstock and Italian 600 Superstock championships.
The International Motorcycle Exhibition will be open to the general public until Sunday November 11. Ducati is present in Pavilion 18 - Stand D65.