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Discussion Starter #1
I am on the verge of something big. I am thinking seriously about getting the "S" version, simply because you only live once. I have read all the magazine hoopla. Reviews tell me it is either too harsh and expensive to sharp and once in a lifetime bike. Now I need some feedback from the real riders. I have no desire to do track days, so how do you feel the bike deals with real roads (bumpy, patchy, nasty)? Does the steering damper work? Traction Control a real world plus? Or do you think the Street Fighter is a better road bike? I like sport bike riding and don't mind the seating position of a focused sport bike. Again, if the stars align I want to do it this fall so I can ride it to break in and wax it for the 6 months of winter. Thanks for the insight.
 

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I own an 1198S. And it is one of the most capable, amazing bikes I've ever ridden. But I also had to make some adjustments to get it there. Out of the box, it *does* need some refinement.

A quick answer to your question, get the 1198 or the Streetfighter. You're not going to notice the wheels or Ohlins much unless you track the bike. And even if you do track the bike, there are some things you should do to the suspension (offset triples, correct springs...) to get the bike 'right'.

I love my bike, however....

The Streetfighter is simply one of the most amazing bikes I've ever ridden. It's incredibly fast, still handles great, and you can easily ride 2-3 times longer on a SF before the 1198 starts kicking your butt. Make no mistake, the 1198, as wonderful as it is, is absolutely NOT comfortable on long trips.

I really suggest you test ride both, but I think you should really check out the StreetFighter.
 

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I just picked up my 1198s from Ferracci a couple of hours ago. It's a highway/track bike for sure. Under 45mph it's a slug but as soon as you're over 50mph the chassis feels right and it flies! I still have to adjust the levers to my liking but I'm glad I got it. I'll just use my Hyper around town.
 

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It's all subjective

You really need to ask yourself what you want the bike for. You said you won't track the bike, which means you will probably do just as well with an 1198 base. The T/C is a handy feature for sure, but the stock tires are not exactly rain friendly (since you're not planning on riding on the track). I've been caught in a couple of light to moderate rain events and been ok, but there's next to no tread on the 1198's pirellis.

Make no mistake, the 1198, as wonderful as it is, is absolutely NOT comfortable on long trips.
This is the kind of comment that spawns internet rumors. I suggest sitting on / riding the bike for an hour before making the decision. I rode the 1198s from NoVA to VIR & back with the only difficulty being the bar position. I will say it doesn't have as much comfort potential as say my ZX14, but it's not that bad.... For me.

Bumpy roads- needs some tinkering with suspension settings but overall doesn't get as upset as some bikes I've ridden.

Steering damper- sure it does. That said, I haven't been doing a Bayliss imitation on my bike. OTOH, once you are through the break in period and avail yourself of the over 5k rpms, sugary sweet, peanut-buttery goodness of the power delivery, you will be tempted to wheelie often.

As for the T/C - I've lit up the indicators a few times and been rewarded with ... well a darn good drive off whereever I was. I'd say yes, it works, no, it's not a gimmick.

You have to make the choice, I got the 1198s & I'm glad I did. I would bet that if I'd opted for the s/f I'd be typing the same thing.
 

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I used to ride an 848 for street and track use. That's plenty of bike for anyone. Although I just high-sided on my black 09 1198S - this Sunday, I will tell you that the Ohlins suspensions makes a big difference on the track. For the street or canyon carving, the stock 1198 or the 848 should be fine, unless you are living very dangerously.

That said, nothing is more beautiful than an 1198 with the Ohlins Gold and the Marchesini wheels. Not that the Showas and the Enkei wheels are bad, to me, nothing says Ducati like the Ohlins and the Marchesini Combo. The dry clutch too.

We all know that Ducatis are not practical bikes. Otherwise, I would be on some Honda forum. Paying extra for the "S" really doesn't make sense for a street rider, but Ducatis are not for practical people.

Get what you want - get an "S." You won't regret it. If you want practical advice, go buy a CBR 1000 or an R1.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great stuff! Keep it coming. I agree with doing mostly street riding, standard suspension would probably work fine. As for comfort, I am 52 and in pretty good shape (no front porch) and love the riding position on the 675 I have. It keeps me motivated to stay in shape to be able to ride very well. My brother is 5 years older than I and is a little paunchy, but rides a 1098 like the devil wants to cornhole him. He has been all over North America on it and loves it. I wouldn't be buying the bike for sport/touring exclusively, but may do a few trips on it a year. I want the potential mayhem that a top of the line sport bike can provide. While my stint on the GT1000 has given me a bit of insight into the personality of Ducati motorcycles, I want to finally get to the top of the line for 10 years or so before long. Thanks again. Any real world feedback is appreciated. Thanks for the PM on suspension/triple clamp tweaks.
 

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Street comfort wise I have a 1098S and a F1098S. I've ridden the 1098S on a 5 day 1900 mile ride and survived, it's actually pretty comfortable for a sport bike.

That being said the F1098S is leagues more fun to ride on the street. Seat and bars way more foregiving after a long day in the saddle. You probably won't even notice the 15hp difference on the street, there's plenty of torque and hp to make you smile :)
 
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