2011 Ducati 848 EVO | First Ride

2011 Ducati Superbike

Once again I had the immense privilege of riding motorcycles with Carlos Checa, one of the world’s top Superbike racers and, like many before him, he works his magic on the track. This time he does it on the new 2011 Ducati 848 EVO motorcycle.

Checa, double World Superbike race winner and former MotoGP rider (and Pramac Ducati rider for the remainder of the 2010 season) circulated with me around the Imola racetrack.

Checa is a little bit smaller than me so the only thing I could do to win the ‘race’ were to attempt to elbow him out of my way. The truth is that he passed me doing something that looked like twice my speed into Aqua Minerale and he was gone.

The 848 EVO is a much less intimidating prospect than the Ducati 1198. But, it’s no slouch, with its 140 hp L-twin engine, which is more than the liter bikes had only a few years ago.

Ducati claims that the 848 EVO is the world’s most powerful production motorcycle in the world judged by capacity. A very high compression rate, high spec cylinder heads and camshafts enable Ducati to do this.

Out on the Imola circuit The middle-weight superbike feels nimble and above all stable and safe. The rear wheel went a bit wild a few times during hard braking. The Brembo monoblock brakes are immensely powerful and offer plenty of feel.

The suspension lets the EVO down a long time before the brakes do and the more basic suspension isn’t bad at all.

The 2011 Ducati 848 EVO is a much better motorcycle than the first 848. Superbike evolution may just be an understatement. A full review will follow here at Ultimate MotorCycling.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).