fact

Test: Yamaha YZF-R1 against Ducati 1098 S.

Circus Maximus

Two fundamentally different characters, two superlatives. The Yamaha YZF-R1 tears down the 180 hp wall with a lot of electronics and a new engine. And Ducati offers the 1098, the most powerful production two-cylinder of all time. Two high flyers?

The brakes bring the heavy truck next to R1 and Ducati to a halt with a hideous squeak.

The driver is absolutely over the moon. Gesticulating wildly and with a raised thumb, his enthusiasm gushes over the beauties of the driver’s cab in a waterfall-like torrent of words. He doesn’t care that he blocks the passage of the small town in the south of France at short notice and provokes a horn concert behind him.

Wherever Yamaha YZF-R1 and above all D.ucati 1098 S show up, do you care ?? optically and technically? for a big stir. The Yamaha with a new four-valve instead of five-valve engine, a massive 180 hp as a high-tech spearhead with drive-by-wire and variable intake manifold lengths. And anyway, the Ducati as the most powerful and lightest Superbike twin of all time. But top performance or not, what counts is practice. In this case, these are wonderfully ornate country and pass roads in the south of France. Unfortunately, it is cold here in the middle of January in the morning, even very cold. Which is of little interest to the R1. Your starter only chirps briefly, then the four-cylinder is there like a penny. Meanwhile, the Ducati starter pulls the pistons through the cylinders, panting heavily. However, she always manages to wake the Signorina to work.

It is still clammy and limp to feel your way across the cold streets, slowly, just not rushing into anything. Advantage R1. On the one hand, there is your sitting position. Easy, relaxed, relaxed. As you know from her. That fits. And your four-cylinder runs around just above idle. He cannot resist a strong load change jolt when accelerating below 4000 rpm, but above this mark he can be directed with a light hand through tight corners and serpentines.

Ergonomically, the Ducati has undoubtedly taken a clear step forward
made. Yet her tank is still longer, the stubs are still clamped deeper. Looks like racing and is far less relaxed because the throttle grip and especially the clutch require a lot more effort. In addition, the robust V-twin cylinder needs at least 2200 revolutions even in the lower gears in order to tackle the march through the rev range without stumbling? he goes over it like a cop.

Great, exactly the low-speed punch that is needed now, as the road takes a run-up to screw its way up the slope as a small pass with seductive turns. With a powerful start, boisterous rumbling, the V2 pulls ahead. The fat torque kick and the hearty, direct throttle response let the Duc snap out of the corners on the rear wheel almost at will. In addition, it roars unabashedly and powerfully from under the hump.

The R1 is carved from a completely different cloth. It purrs more cultivated, gentler, more evenly from the corners. Not as cuddly as its predecessor, but still a lot smoother than the Ducati twin. However, she doesn’t even come close to using the force of the Italian to get out of the turns.

If you want to keep up, you usually only have to try first gear due to the lack of torque. Not worthy of a fat 1000. The change from five to four valve heads has not changed anything. But woe betide you exceed the 7000 mark, then there is a good mood in the hut. Whereby at least 80 km / h are on the clock. What
Shall ?? s, the fireworks that the R1 fires from this mark to the limiter is a stunner. However, there is no sign of lowering the intake funnel at 10,400 rpm to shorten the intake path to improve performance. At least the load changes are noticeably smoother at higher speeds.

The Ducati also does not spoil in the second half of the speed range. The explosiveness, the energy with which it leaps towards the limiter, that is violent. The only hair in the soup: Now and then the injection computer stumbles a little, for example when the throttle valves are slightly closed during the acceleration phase. At this moment, the performance breaks off briefly, only to start again immediately afterwards.

The Yamaha also slips when it comes to throttle response. Despite drive-by-wire, the command of the gas hand at low engine speeds is only reflected in the combustion chambers with a slight delay. No comparison to the almost merciless directness of the Ducati. It’s easy to brood about that.

The Yamaha subito knows how to put itself in the limelight again. After all, the little streets of the south of France are famous for the daring chaining of the most adventurous curves. And this is where the R1 inspires with its superb handiness of 1000. Although it has added a few bacon rolls and only provides mediocre feedback from the foreground, the Yamaha quickly nibbles one turn after the other. Is it really easy, light pull on the handlebars, light thigh pressure? whoops ?? around the corner. A good shot of more precision when turning would be nice, but the R1 throws a well-balanced chassis into the scales. Even if you have them in
gallops down the pass, the pilot has matters under control at all times. Because the new six-piston stoppers are incredibly creamy and can be dosed firmly. And the rider in a hurry can rely on the excellent performance of the likewise new anti-hoping clutch.

In addition, the Yamaha suspension elements are pleasing with their wide range of adjustment options. The fork alone, which is no longer as sensitive to work as it was in the previous year, occasionally surprised with strong vibrations when braking. Does that only affect the test machine? MOTORRAD will stay tuned. Otherwise, the spring elements, especially the shock absorber, which can be adjusted to high and low speed in the compression stage, work flawlessly, have everything from comfortable to sporty and firm. And thanks to the higher hinged, longer swing arm, the tendency of the R1 to leave the curve when accelerating on the wide arc is a thing of the past. All of this makes brisk cornering a relaxed thing.

The Ducatista has to put in more effort in this regard in order not to be left behind. Because the 1098 whizzes around corners exactly, but not so easily. Your handiness is fine. The only difference is that it doesn’t come close to the light footedness of the R1, despite top marks for weight and super light forged wheels. Obviously, the concept of the long L-Twin with its large rotating masses sets limits in terms of center of gravity and weight distribution and thus in handling. In quickly successive alternating curves, which are slowed down a long way when the pace is committed, the pilot, whose weight is heavier on the wrists, also has to overcome a significant momentum. In addition, the comfortable fork dips deep under the force of the snappy, gripping monobloc pliers when braking hard.

When you accelerate out, on the other hand, it’s all sunshine again. Because the incredibly tightly coordinated hindquarters do not bend in a millimeter and the 1098 precisely on the selected radius
fires from the corner. The shock absorber, which is equipped with a soft but pretensioned spring with a spring rate of 80 N / mm and an extremely tight compression stage, provides comfort at most to a limited extent. And that only with fully open damping and reduced preload. Thus, the different design of fork and shock absorber hardly allows a harmonious balance, at least on narrow, unplaned country roads.

The 1098 S, on the other hand, shows what it is built for on extensive radii with a finer surface: racing. The feedback, its precision ?? the R1 doesn’t seem so determined in the line choice ??, the full and crisp feeling in fast arcs, here all the things come back. So the new editions of R1 and Ducati remain true to their previous character: The Yamaha, in addition to its sporty attitude, does not lose sight of everyday life, while the Ducati is an uncompromising racing machine. With all the risks and side effects.

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Test: Yamaha YZF-R1 against Ducati 1098 S.
Circus Maximus

Technical data Ducati 1098 S

engine
Water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves
per cylinder, actuated desmodromically, wet sump lubrication, injection, regulated catalytic converter, 520 W alternator, battery
12 V / 12 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 104.0 x 64.7 mm

Displacement 1099 cm3

Compression ratio 12.5: 1

rated capacity
119.3 kW (162 hp) at 9750 rpm
Max. Torque 125 Nm at 8000 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable
Spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the forehead, Ø 330 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.

Forged aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17

Tires in the Pirelli Supercorsa test
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1430 mm, steering head angle 65.5 degrees, caster 104 mm, spring travel f / h 127 /
127 mm, seat height * 810 mm, weight with a full tank * 196 kg, payload * 194 kg, tank capacity /
Reserve 15.5 / 4.0 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 12,000 km

Colors red, black

Price 21,295 euros

Additional costs 255 euros

Technical data Yamaha YZF-R1

engine
Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 42 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 560 W alternator, 12 V / 9 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 77.0 x 53.6 mm

Displacement 998 cm3

Compression ratio 12.7: 1

rated capacity
132.4 kW (180 PS) at 12500 rpm
Max. Torque 113 Nm at 10500 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring-
basis, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, six-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 220 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17
Tires in the test
Michelin Pilot Power, front »P ??
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1415 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 102 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
130 mm, seat height * 820 mm, weight with full tank * 210 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18.0 / 3.2 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 10000 km

Colors blue, black, red / white

Price 13 782 euros

additional costs 215 euros

The race course

Even if the big 1000 comparison is still pending, the R1 and 1098 S were allowed to compete in a first exchange of blows in Calafat, both soled with Pirelli Diablo Corsa III. This helped the R1 to noticeably more precision when turning. Ex-GP driver Peter Öttl was responsible for the lap times after a short period of getting used to it. The plus points of the Yamaha on the admittedly narrow track: the great handling and the stable hindquarters, which now allow tighter lines when accelerating out. In addition, the effective anti-hopping clutch and the great gripping, stable brakes. The Ducati manages the stalemate despite being less manageable thanks to the high-torque twin and the brute brakes. Handicap here too: the imbalance of the spring elements and the strong erection moment.

How engine

So much fire from two cylinders is unique. The Ducati engine is the crowning glory of the 1098. Even the much smoother R1 drive is bursting at the seams with power ?? however only at high speeds. Its significantly smoother gearbox and the smoother clutch underline its cultivated character. Throttle response and load changes could, however, do both 1098 and R1 a little more finely.

How chassis

The handling is still great
the Yamaha. Even if the R1 at the front with a Michelin Pilot Power in special code "P" turns in a bit doughy. Also, the feeling is for that
Street average at best. For this, she mainly takes emaciated
Curves much more harmonious and balanced under the wheels than the Ducati, which is inclined on the ground-
waves looks wobbly.

How everyday

With its floodlights, the R1 turns night into day. Your almost vertical
Oil filler neck, however, is impractical, as is the very fiddly and just
Rebound adjustment of the Ducati shock absorber easily accessible with high-quality tools. The 1098 driver is now much more comfortable, but the seating arrangement of the Yamaha is more comfortable. Both pillion seats are a bad joke.

How security

The beastly gripping brakes of the
Ducati are awesome, but you need a lot of sensitivity for the right dosage. The Yamaha would be boss thanks to the slipper clutch at the entrance to the curve. The occasional fork flutter, however, leads to the deduction of points.

How cost

There is consensus on drinking habits. Anyone who achieves a lot should also do a lot
to take in. Remarkable: the Ducati’s low inspection costs.

Price-performance ratio

Best price performance ratio:
The R1, the most expensive of the four Japanese 1000s, offers a lot of high-tech, high-quality equipment and a decent processing-
processing. A 50 percent bigger hole tears the Ducati 1098 S in the wallet. It means gritting your teeth.

1st place – Yamaha YZF-R1

Yamaha YZF-R1 A clear point-
victory. But not all that glitters is gold.
Comfort, handling, brakes and chassis set-up are great. This contrasts with the hesitant start from the low revs and the average feedback.

2nd place – Ducati 1098 S.

Ducati 1098 S The second
The Ducati carries space with dignity. she is
a racing iron, that’s that. Noble, with that
stormiest twin of all time and bearish brakes. Who asks about comfort?.

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