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Ducati 998 S Final Editing

The diva is leaving

The 998 S Final Edition is without a doubt a motorcycle of today. But no matter where and how you move them ?? the ten-year history of their model family always goes with them. In this way, the appreciation of a very lively legend is written almost by itself.

Two wheels, deep red, low handlebar position ?? normal for a Ducati.

Still, everything feels very different than
with a normal Ducati driving report. This is due to these two disturbing words on the side of the fairing, on the back of the hump and on the plaque that adorns the upper fork bridge: Final Edition is there, last edition. Final Edition ?? as i crashes
unwinding a seemingly ordinary driving program, a flood of experience echoes on me. Because I am on the road with the last representative of a ten-year era. That is overwritten with a dry sequence of number combinations? 916, 748, 996, 998 ??, but cannot be called anything other than grandiose. Great for Ducati and for everyone who was able to participate in it somehow. Even if it was only a short ride on a borrowed machine.
Nobody remained indifferent. I’m sure. Either
they cast an irresistible spell over you, the members of the 916 family, or they let you drain like water from a well-impregnated textile suit. »Too sporty, too tight, too direct, too uncomfortable? Then you’ll need a different motorcycle. ”This message, turned negative or positive depending on the driver’s temperament, applied regardless of whether you already owned one or were just beginning to be interested in it. And it was represented with a consistency that is still the exception in all model programs around the world today. Many have tried it, learned to appreciate it and then wisely renounced it because it was too strenuous for them in the long run. Certainly not the worst connoisseurs of the 916. And better connoisseurs of themselves than those who made great financial sacrifices in order to ultimately drive along with a stiff neck and clenched teeth.
The undisguised, almost abrupt demands of the 916 models on the operational readiness of their drivers also explains why they could be admired by many who have never moved or owned them. You were ?? and it’s still the Final Edition ?? always honest. Inside exactly as it claims to be from the outside-
ten, driving as elegantly as you are
Promised appearance. They always wanted
be fast in an elegant way; they let themselves be choked into the corner with a hard hand
only extremely unwillingly. Too hectic and
brutal steering maneuvers slowed them down with healthy, phlegmatic handling. And educated their pilots to do it, with a lot
Physical effort, but calm and above all
to act purposefully developed their enormous speed in the corner entrance and in the corner itself.
This is to be proven by measurements for those who need it. By light barrier
determined in the Opel curve at the Hockenheimring at that time, with five other motorcycles for comparison, all of which rolled on the same tires. One made it 916 a cornering speed of 107 km / h on the average of 14 measurements, while the peak value of the next better motorcycle, a Suzuki GSX-R 750, was 105 km / h, its mean even below 100 km / h. And despite the lead-heavy three-spoke wheels, whose high gyroscopic forces set the machine up as if by magic when accelerating out of the curve, despite a brake, the lever of which could be pulled to the handlebars every time you slow down, even despite the measured 15 hp less power, the Ducati the Suzuki dozed off by half a second per lap.
How she did it is still magic to me. Indescribable. I have often reported precise feedback that helps you to feel and catch every slide in the approach. And I have often asked the photographer to take a picture of the massive lower triple clamp as an example and as apparent proof of this statement. Like now again with the Final Edition. Or the thick wheel axles or a segment of the tubular space frame. But to be honest, these are only parts of what makes the big difference. This motorcycle probably shows you not only what is, but also what will be. Probably this motorcycle can provide prophetic feedback. Just magic. Disassembles a heap of insignificant pieces of metal and plastic, put together an organism inspired by the idea of ​​speeding.
The creator of the 916 series, Massimo Tamburini, always found the Desmoquattro V2 from Ducati with its tall, extremely heavy cylinder heads to be a handicap. Although it was squeezed into the chassis geometry as tightly as possible, its overall length prevented, for example, the use of a longer swing arm, which would have better suppressed the influence of drive torque on the suspension. Tamburini, said one of his employees-
Beiter once, anyway, would prefer to have a palm-sized something with plenty of power to drive his motorcycles. He doesn’t care how it is generated, by reciprocating piston or nuclear reactor, the main thing is that the engine does not disturb the perfect chassis balance.
I don’t know whether Massimo Tamburini ever drove a 996 R or 998 S powered by the original Testastretta engine. After all, this fine, spirited engine with titanium connecting rods was created long after his work for Ducati. If not, he should make up for this pleasure as soon as possible. Because the smaller, lighter cylinder heads have at least brought the bulky V2 closer to the ideal of the compact power source and in addition to a brilliant increase in performance
137 measured and legal PS a be-
considerable increase in handiness be-
works. Especially since the five-spoke wheels, whose
Design comes from Marchesini, are also much lighter than the three-spoke round blocks mentioned from the first years of construction. This did not make the Testastretta motorcycles nervous or even unstable when cornering or at high speeds. They just act a little more pleasant.
In addition to the more agile handling and as a counterpoint to the increased driving dynamics, the Final Edition can also convince with much better brakes than the rightly criticized stoppers of all 916, 748, 996 with the exception of the R. The Brembo brake calipers with four individual pads each, for the first time in the R used, opened up completely new delay areas and, as they prove in the Final Editing, continue to work just great. This applies up to a very brisk racetrack driving style; the introduction of radial brake pumps or radially screwed calipers did not bring such great progress. At least it can only be used by extreme athletes.
Those who did not already know it will have noticed in the course of the text: The 998 S Final Edition is technically a replica of the first, in a limited edition
Edition built 996 R. Outwardly, the differences between the two are very small; they actually only affect the completely red painted seat hump with the stripes in the color of the Italian tricolor. A good decision by Ducati to choose this motorcycle as a template for the Final Edition, because my strictly subjective one
Opinion was the 996 R models
best motorcycles from the 916 tribe ever. Your engines with 100 millimeters bore always seemed a bit more sophisticated to me than the racing engine base with 104 millimeter thick pistons that powered the 998 R. And her Öhlins fork
always worked a bit more sensitively than the equally award-winning Showa fork of the 998 S. It is painful that the Final Edition is only built 700 times and costs 20,045 euros. But in the end this also fits in with the Bolognese gems. In addition, if the diva has to resign, she should at least be allowed to do it as she deserves: at the peak.

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The diva is leaving

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