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When you think of hallowed Italian marque of Ducati, several glorious models come to mind, such as 750 Supersport, the iconic 916, the successful line of Monsters, and more recently the exciting 1098 superbike and Hypermotard wild thing.

But not many revere the 749, a middleweight V-Twin based on the platform of the little-loved 999, whose styling failed to ignite the passions of the Ducatisti. While a competent performer, the 749 weighed nearly as much as the 999 and wasn’t on anyone’s list of prettiest bikes.

All that’s changed with the introduction of this new 848. It not only shares the lovely shape of the wildly successful 1098, it also shames the legendary 916 in terms of horsepower output. We measured nearly 116 hp at the rear wheel. Consider that the revered Ducati 916 had a hard time cracking the 100-hp barrier, and the brawnier 998 barely topped 110 rear-wheel horsepower while weighing considerably more than this Slim-Fast-ed 848.

In general terms, this new Italian scalpel is little more than an all-new engine in the impressive 1098’s structure. Its nimble chassis and gorgeous bodywork are same-same, which is fine with us.

More: 2008 Ducati 848 Road Test on
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