Designed to bring sex appeal and sales success back to Ducati after the aesthetically disappointing 999, the 1098 was a visual restyle and mechanical evolution of their four-valve superbike line introduced in 2007. Although styling is subjective, it's pretty clear that the redesign resonated with fans of the marque and the bike was a big seller for Ducati. Today's Featured 1098R represents the very top of the range.
While that little letter at the end of the name looks pretty innocuous, the Ducati's "R" models are homologation specials that share little besides the silhouette, engine cases, and frame with their more common siblings. A larger bore and shorter stoke, combined with titanium rods and valves to save weight, let the bike rev higher and harder: with the race kit installed, the bike made a claimed 189hp. The R in fact displaces a full 1198cc, which is just a hair less than WSB regulations allow for v-twins.
But it wasn't just the hard parts that were special: the bike included the cutting-edge Ducati Datalogging Analyzer and the first traction control ever fitted to a road-legal motorcycle. This sophisticated Ducati Traction Control system featured 8 levels of control designed to help riders go faster, safer, something that is now the norm on high-performance sportbikes.
Today's R is just that little bit more special, done up in Troy Bayliss replica colors. Possibly not the most subtle paint scheme, but there's no denying that rider's impressive career and longstanding relationship with Ducati, as he rode their bikes to three World Superbike championships.
From the seller: 2009 Ducati 1098R LE Bayliss Replica for Sale
The 1098R Bayliss LE is one of the more interesting of the Ducati line in terms of nomenclature. In 2007 Ducati came out with the 1098 which was had as it’s heart, a 1099cc engine. It brought back the styling presence lost by the 999 with it’s two sided rear swing arm, attending body work and exhaust. Real world acceptance of Ducati had started with the 916, the most iconic vision of a motorcycle ever produced with it’s single sided rear swing arm and huge racing successes. The 999 never really jelled with buyers despite being a better motorcycle in most respects. Ducati was not lost to the conclusion.
The 1098 came back to it’s successful styling clues even if it meant compromises in handing capacity due to it’s layout. Despite this, Ducati was able to improve the handling and power of the bike over the 999 and they flew off the floor. There were three models, the base 1098, the 1098S and 1098R. The 999 had proven to Ducati that they had reached the physical and mechanical endurance limits of competitive racing in WSBK, which up to 2008, limited the displacement of twins to 1000cc. By introducing the 1098 in 2007, an engine that was larger then the WSBK limit for twins, Ducati stacked the deck with the threat of removing it’s self from world class competition. Much hand wringing and lobbing latter, WSBK eventually increased this limit for twins to 1200cc for the 2008 season assuming that this would create an equal playing field for all of the manufactures. The only ones happy with this were Ducati with Suzuki threatening, rightfully, to withdraw at the perceived disadvantage of displacement regardless of the fact that the twins could only be modified from the factory build slightly.
Not to be shy, Ducati stuffed the 90° V-twin Testastretta Evoluzione into the 1098 for an 1198cc version of the bike with Carbon Fiber Body Work, Forged Marchesini Wheels and Ohlin’s Suspension to homologate the 1098R. Nothing like cubic inches. Ducati, along with Troy Bayliss, immediately won the 2008 WSBK Championship with the race version of the bike. Ducati, in their infinite wisdom, then issued 500 Limited Edition Bayliss 1098R’s for sale the following year to celebrate their victory.
New, the bike listed for $43,995. It was the same time period of the Desmosedici RR and both bikes were ridden back to back by testers in the day. Some felt the 1098R was a better track bike and the price difference being $30,000, a natural choice for use besides there being 1500 Desmo’s sold to the R’s 500. One thing that we have learned here at Automania over the years is that the life span of Desmo engine is about 2000 miles while the 1098R’s seem to last equally as long as other Ducati twins built to the same spec with proper maintenance.
Aside from the minor cosmetic blemishes mentioned by the seller, the bike is in top shape and very rare. Just 150 out of 500 were imported to the US in 2009 and, with just over 3,000 miles on the clock, this example isn't even broken in yet, although the seller does recommend that the belts be changed as a precaution as the bike has been largely unused for the past few years. These make amazing track-day or back road bikes, so collect or ride, the choice is yours.