Best of the Best 2008: Motorcycles: Sport Bike: Ducati Desmosedici RR

  • Arthur Coldwells

Ducati first tantalized the faithful in 1964 with the Apollo prototype, a virtual Holy Grail for Ducatisti due to its 4-cylinder desmodromic powerplant. After an agonizingly long wait, the MotoGP-inspired Desmosedici RR—?featuring its race-bred, liquid-cooled, 90-degree L-4, 16-valve powerplant and tubular-steel-and-carbon-fiber hybrid Trellis frame—has made its way into the grip of a few passionate, performance-pursuing motorcyclists.

Riding the $72,500 Desmosedici is an exercise in exhilaration. Crank pins offset by 70 degrees generate soft-pulse timing that results in a seamless torque curve. An actively mechanical siren’s song calls out for more output from the four 50 mm Magneti Marelli throttle bodies, a quick grab of the hydraulically actuated dry multiplate slipper clutch, and yet another shift of the 6-speed racing cassette gear cluster. Horsepower peaks at 200 with the race exhausts and the motor singing its crescendo at 13,800 rpm

The Desmosedici RR’s chassis length and Öhlins steering damper enhance its stability, while aggressive cornering is encouraged by its steep fork rake and custom Bridgestone BT-01 tires. An Öhlins gas-charged suspension is of ultrapremium quality, with the firm feel needed for high performance but none of the attendant harshness. As a complete package of desirability, the Desmosedici RR is without peer.

 

Ducati, www.ducati.com

Photo by Jim Fets
The successful trip puts Audi on track to release its first autonomous car in 2017…
Jaguar’s design director discloses that the F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept…
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers…
The racecar set off a Ford winning streak at Le Mans that lasted four years…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
Armored versions of the limousine-like vehicle will also be available…
Photo by Mark Bramley
The new sedan features numerous stylistic references to the world’s great metropolises…
Photo by Drew Phillips
The original car became famous in the 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt…
The new Turbo S completed a lap on the famous Nürburgring circuit in under 8 minutes…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
The autonomous concept takes a look into the future of driving…
With just 24 examples available worldwide, only an elite few will ever experience the Vulcan’s...