Ducati has always billed the 848 as an ‘entry level superbike’, which in many ways does the bike a terrible disservice. True, when it comes to price it can certainly be viewed as entry level, but in terms of performance the 848 can more than hold its head up high. This is a brilliant superbike in its own right, and one that is also very easy to live with.
The 848 appeared at a time when Ducati were possibly pushing the boat out a little too far. While the 1098 certainly delivered a strong surge of midrange, the 1198 took this V-twin grunt and made it too aggressive, too instant, and even a little too intimidating for many riders. The 848, on the other hand, offered all the looks of its bigger brother, but with a far more balanced blend of power and performance. In short, it is just a lovely machine to ride on either the road or track, a trait it retains to this day.
The 848 is a bike that reminds you that insane power figures aren’t always a good thing and often it is better to just have the useable power at you disposal. Wrap this power in a chassis that feels more ‘Japanese’ thanks to the majority of the traditional Ducati laziness being removed from its handling and you are left with a really lovely machine. A lot of riders heap praise on the GSXR-750 as being the best blend of power and handling, but the 848 runs it very close and when it comes to looks, it easily leaves the Suzuki in its tracks.