Driving report Zupin-Ducati 1098

Driving report Zupin-Ducati 1098

Balancing act

Those familiar with the subject were a little surprised: Ducati is bringing the really fantastic 1098, stronger and lighter than any other Supersport Duc before. But despite immense progress in terms of power and performance, in a comparison test (MOTORRAD 7/2007), even on its favorite terrain, the racetrack, it was again ironed by Japanese four-cylinder engines.

The root of the problem was quickly located and was clearly addressed in the test: the Ducati experts did not do a particularly good job of setting up the chassis. The front of the new V2 super athletes are designed to be quite soft, while the rear has plenty of hard springs. So the overall balance is unbalanced, which is not particularly good for the steering behavior and builds little confidence at the limit on the racetrack. Surprisingly, this applies to both the base model with Showa suspension and the more expensive one
S version with Öhlins spring elements.

Weaknesses that you should get under control with reasonable effort. The Öhlins importer and chassis specialist Zupin (www.zupin.de), however, took a very close look at a series 1098. The too hard-tuned Showa shock absorber is given a helping hand with a softer spring and a different damper set-up, the Showa fork also got a new basic set-up, but with a harder spring. Various optimizations on the inside of the fork should have a positive effect on the response.

The conversion is not cheap, the extensive changes to the fork alone cost 938 euros, and the modifications to the shock absorber are 274 euros. Owners of the 1098 S model can also have the standard Öhlins shock absorber of their super sports car optimized by Zupin. In addition, the exact measurement and adjustment of the chassis geometry using the
Zupin measurement system with 320 euros.

So not exactly cheap, but very effective measures, this applies to both the country road and the slopes. The Duc finally bounces evenly at the front and back and is much better balanced. It rolls more smoothly around the bends, steers more precisely and looks much more homogeneous overall. The centimeter-accurate steering precision at corner exit and the enormous traction under tension are phenomenal. Drifts can be controlled wonderfully and safely. The feeling for the brakes also improves enormously because the tuned Duc no longer dives so deep. This allows the vicious Brembo system to develop its qualities better.

The test machine also had an expensive (2148 euros) but extremely effective STM anti-hopping clutch built into it. Even the rattling of the discs in the open dry clutch leaves the fans enraptured. Far more important, however, is that it swallows even the grossest mishandling of the gearshift box, i.e. callous downshifting on the brakes, without any tendency towards rear wheel stamping. The pressure point on the hand lever hardly moves when the load changes. The minimal point of criticism is a slightly harder engagement of first gear. All in all, renovation measures with which the potential of the 1098 can be better exploited. gt

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