All Duels – Out of competition … but not out of play! – Two sports in their own right … full!

Out of competition … but not out of play !

All Duels - Out of competition ... but not out of play! - Two sports in their own right ... full!

In the family of sports motorcycles, two models are currently set apart: the Ducati 848 and the Suzuki GSX-R 750. The site therefore had to confront the Italian and the Japanese, both on the road and on the circuit … Duel !

Two sports in their own right !

In the illustrious ultra-competitive family of sports motorcycles, two models currently stand apart because of their intermediate displacement: the Ducati 848 and the Suzuki GSX-R 750.

Not quite out of the way !

Impossible for these two sportswomen to resist the call of the track … Thus this year, the 848 is the object of a challenge integrated within the Challenge Top Twin. The key to this competition is the participation of the three best drivers in the next Bol d’Or! (read)
For its part, the GSX-R 750 rode four years alongside the Superbike and Supersport of the Mondial SBK. The last season of the GSX-R European Cup contested in 2008 had allowed the emergence of two promising talents: Roland Resch (now registered in the SBK World Cup on S1000RR) and Emeric Jonchière (member of the National Motorcycle Team in Endurance).

Excluded from the Superbike (1000 and 1200) and Supersport (600 and 675) categories, they are not chasing glory, even if it is difficult for them to resist the call of competition (see box opposite). They also share this common point with the vast majority of their buyers who do not aim for the podiums each time they leave the box..

The Ducati 848 and the Suzuki GSX-R 750 nonetheless remain high-performance and "competitive" motorcycles: just browse the technical sheets of the two bombs (see end of article) for details. ‘convince !

Engines with overwhelming power and torque, radial brake calipers biting two large discs at the front, adjustable suspensions at all points, sharp chassis and streamlined fairings … Nothing is missing from the "mini 1198" or from the youngest of the "Gex" !

A "mini 1198"

Launched in 2008, a year after the 1098, the Ducati 848 takes up exactly the sensual lines of the Superbike champion and their cycle parts look like two drops of oil (read). Dry, the little Ducat ‘claims a featherweight of 168 kg, three less than the current standard 1198 … but a kilo more than the Gex 750.

On the engine side, the new sports car "middle class"- this is how Ducati describes it, carefully avoiding the term Supersport – receives an inevitable L-twin inspired by the Testastretta of the 1098, cubing exactly 848.998 cc.

From this Italian twin normally flow 134 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and no less than 96.1 Nm some 1,750 rpm below. In France of course, the wedge at the throttle grip removes 32 horsepower and limits the maximum torque to 78 Nm, still at 8,250 rpm.

More prosaically, we note by contemplating the 848 that it sweats the competition and instantly makes you want to put on your jumpsuit to go feel the vibrator: the "passionate"which Italians use and abuse works wonderfully !

In its "Black" color, our test model looks like a bad girl … and reduces the invoice by 750 € compared to the white (superb) or red versions (like its big sister of the SBK ).

"But beware, only the color changes", underlines Fabien Reze, head of the press service of Ducati France, when leaving us the keys to his beauty."The rest is perfectly identical: same engine pre-equipped with the DDA data acquisition system, same pots, same suspensions, same brakes, same digital speedometer … Everything is the same !"

The price difference therefore comes only from the matt black color devoid of varnish: on condition that you pay attention to the friction of the belt buckles or jacket buttons on the tank, the 848 "Black" (and its 13,500 € instead of 14,250 ) has something to seduce lovers of the "dark side" of the force !

The youngest of Gex

Launched in 1985, the GSX-R 750 lost its spearhead status at Suzuki in 2003, when Mondial Superbike switched to 1000 cc 4-cylinders. But fortunately, Hamamatsu’s armada continues to offer bikers its mythical "Seven-and-a-half".

According to Suzuki, the Gex 750 represents what is currently the best in terms of sports on the road. A postulate that Site had confirmed during its presentation to the French press two years ago on the beautiful roads of Corsica (read our).

Unchanged since 2008 – the Japanese have admitted that the pace of renewal of sports ranges has become unbearable – the GSX-R 750 still offers its clever blend of sportiness, ease and comfort.

On the program, to summarize: 106 horsepower at 12,500 rpm and 70.1 Nm at 10,000 rpm (against 150 hp at 13,200 rpm and 84.7 Nm at 11,200 rpm in the free world ) and a dry weight of 167 kg increased to 198 kg all full (it carries 17.5 liters of gasoline against 15 for the Ducat ‘).

Much more than the adoption of the mode selector of injection maps – a useless gadget in France -, we will remember from the latest developments in 2008 the careful work carried out on the low and mid-speeds of the 4-cylinder in-line. Aesthetically, a titanium pot advantageously replaces the black pot of the K6 and K7 (2006 and 2007 vintages).

Still in terms of looks, our test model is adorned with the blue and white vintage 2009 veil. Aficionados of the brand know that in 2010, the blue and white color of the 750 is a little lighter. A "brown-bronze" is also available this year against payment of the same amount: € 12,999.

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