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The Ducati 848 is a sport bike with a 849 cc (51.8 cu in) 90° V-twin engine manufactured by Ducati. It was announced on November 6, 2007 for the 2008 model year, replacing the 749, although the 848 model name was already listed on the compatible parts table for the 1098 fuel tank, giving away the secret a few months early. The 848 makes a tested 86 kW (115.6 hp) at 10,000 rpm and 84.1 N·m (62 lb·ft) at 8,250 rpm. With a manufacturer claimed dry weight of 168 kg (370 lb), the 848 undercuts its larger displacement sibling, the 1198, by 5 kg (11 lb).
In August 2010, Ducati announced the 848 Evo, as the evolution of the model. The bike featured small revisions such as a black swingarm, Mono-block Brembo brake calipers, steering damper mount as well as some very minor engine revisions.
In 2013, Ducati announced the 848 was replaced by the 899 Panigale.
Changes from predecessor
Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the 848 trellis frame uses a simplified tube layout from the Ducati 749 featuring main section tubes that are enlarged in diameter from 28 mm to 34 mm, while being reduced in thickness from 2 mm to 1.5 mm. The result is a 14% increase in rigidity and a weight savings of 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), helping the 848 weigh 20 kg (44 lb) less than the 749.
While most of the chassis components are identical to the 1098/1198, the motor was an all new design in 2008. Producing roughly 87 kW (116 hp) at the rear wheel, it outperforms the Ducati 916 that had a hard time producing more than 75 kW (100 hp) and even the upgraded Ducati 998 that produced 82 kW (110 hp) at the rear wheel. The "Testastretta Evoluzione" uses a 94 x 61.2 mm bore and stroke for 849 cc of displacement despite the bike's moniker of 848. The motor casings were constructed using a new vacuum die-casting method called Vacural that helps the engine weigh 7 pounds (3.2 kg) less than the Ducati 749. The intake valves were increased 2.5 mm from the Ducati 749 numbers to 39.5 mm. The exhaust valves were enlarged 1.5 mm to 32 mm. The valve angles are identical to the Ducati 1098. The bike uses a pair of elliptical 56 mm throttle bodies fashioned after MotoGP designs.
The 2011 Ducati 848 Evo featured minor changes to the engine, including new Marelli throttle bodies, revised cylinder heads with straighter intake ports and reshaped combustion chambers. Ducati claimed these changes would result in a 4.5 kW (6 hp) increase, bringing output to 140 hp (100 kW) measured at the crank; however, Cycle World magazine's first dyno test of the engine showed a mere 1.6 hp (1.2 kW) increase over the previous motor.
Although the 1198 and 848 share many similar components, as per the 916/748 and 999/749 models, the 848 uses a wet clutch rather than the traditional dry clutch of previous superbikes from Ducati. The manufacturer claims it reduces weight, improves both service life and "feel" of the clutch and reduces noise. Ducati has in the past held to only dry clutches in accordance with marketing their bikes as obeying the design imperatives of racing above all, unlike, as Ducati would have it, ordinary street bikes. While a dry clutch "rattles like a bucket of rocks," Ducati and its adherents felt the clutch's "typical noise is music to bikers' ears." The 848's wet clutch is a stark departure from this, because, "Ducati made it very clear that there is a new philosophy within the factory to develop each bike with specifications and capabilities that are aligned with the bike's target audience and intended environment."
Comparison with larger Ducati superbikes
The 848 shares more physical and technical design elements with the stronger 1098/1198 than its predecessor, the 749, did with the 999. In many cases the 1098/1198 and the 848 are identical right down to the part numbers.
The two bikes use the same bodywork, including the fuel tank. With the exception of the steering damper mount, the frame between the bikes is the same, which results in identical wheelbase and rake and trail numbers. The second generation 848 Evo features the same monoblock brakes and the same frame with the steering damper mount as the 1098/1198. The rear suspension, including the suspension linkage is the same, using identical Showa shocks. Many components of the exhaust system are shared, including the exhaust canisters that house the muffler and catalytic converter.
Despite the difference in engine displacement, the two bikes share valve angles and magnesium valve covers. The oil cooler and radiator are also very similar. The transmissions are different with the ratios on the 848 being closer together.
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