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Basem Wasef

Motor Trend Pits Ducati Against Ferrari... Who Wins?

By November 29, 2010

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2011 Honda CB1000R
Bike versus car comparos always inspire a healthy debate: with their superior power to weight ratios and unrelenting performance, sportbikes tend to outperform exotic four-wheeled rivals while running a mere fraction of the cost. It's just one of the many reasons we love to ride, and a thorn in the side of chest-thumping cagers who respond by pointing out the inherent dangers of two-wheeled transportation.

Motor Trend magazine re-ignites the age old bike vs. car argument in a feature penned by journalist Barry Winfield*. The article pits a $22,000 Ducati 1198S (piloted by AMA racer Steve Rapp) against a $287,000 Ferrari 458 Italia (manned by hotshoe Justin Bell), and the results are predictably one-sided: at the dragstrip, the Duc outruns the Ferrari by a full 1.1 seconds. Around the Streets of Willow track, the Ducati also emerges victorious by over 2 seconds, proving that-- at least the right hands-- motorcycles offer incomparable performance for the paltry price of a mid-size sedan... not to mention one hell of a thrill along the way.

Source: Motor Trend


* Barry, like yours truly, writes about both motorcycles and cars

Photo Motor Trend

November 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm
(1) Joe says:

For $13,500 I could buy a Kawi ZX14 and beat both the Ducati and the Ferrari and save $8500 over the Ducati and $273,500 over the Ferrari. The Ducati is overpriced!

November 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(2) Pete says:

Hi Joe,

In terms of sheer top speed the ZX14 is probably faster than the 1198…that is a function of gearing as much as HP. In every other measurable, the ZX14 is outclassed by the 1198 to such a degree it is laughable. Those 2 bikes aren’t even on the same planet.
Compare apples to apples…the 1198 vs. any of the litre sport bikes and it’s a much closer fight. Any / all of them will run circles around the ZX14 (and a ‘busa) on a race track.

High performance STREET bike vs. high performance STREET car, will almost always see the bike win.
Compare best to best…put a true race car up against a true race bike (F1 vs. MGP) and the bike is toast.
An F1 car will out stop, out corner and out top speed a MGP bike every time. The bike will accelerate harder – to a point…probably near its top speed – when the F1 car goes on by and there’s not thing one Rossi or anyone else could do about it.
Dropping down in the classes it’s a little harder to match 2 against 4 wheels…WSBK vs what? LeMans series cars? TransAm?
I’m not a big fan of the F1 parade, although it’s better than previous years with the electronics gone (FIM are you listening??) but when all is said & done, race cars have 4 big tires on the road and it provides them with an undefeatable advantage.

November 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm
(3) Joe says:

Pete, the 1198s is not a liter bike, it’s 1200cc, that’s way over 1000cc. Apples to apples? The 1198s is the top of the line for Ducati for sportbikes and the ZX14 or Bussa are tops for their makers. That is apples to apples to me. At $22,000, this bike is way over priced. The reg.1198 at $16,500 is a little more in line price wise but still on the high side. Just don’t see a reg. guy (or girl) being able to afford this bike. Maybe the comparison between the 1198s and Ferrari is good, most people can’t afford either of these machines.

December 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm
(4) lwatcdr says:

No the ZX14 is not in the same class as the Ducati.
It is heavier, will not corner as well, and will not stop as well. It is a big fast bike for sure and would stomp it on 1198 on a drag strip but around a track the 1198 would own it.
The ZX10 on the other hand would give it a run for the money.

December 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm
(5) Joe says:

If you read this post it’s not just the track but the DRAGSTRIP as well. The ZX would kill the Ducati at the strip. Again the Ducati is a 1200cc not 1000cc. The 1198s is the Ducati top of the line bike, it should be compared to other makers top of the line bikes.

December 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm
(6) Tom says:

For the price of the Ducati 1198s you could buy a ZX-14 and a nice used ZX-10. Joe’s right, this bike is to expensive.

December 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm
(7) Guido says:

Well gentelman we are comparing to difrent animals when we compare the 14 to the 1198. Life is a matter of preference some like blonds oyher like red head. I personal think the 1198 is over priced and not really as great as people make them out to be. any cbr 10o0 Gxr or even the new 2011 zx10 would take on an 198 any day. lets see My 2009 busa 13,000 dollars out the door 4000 dollar turbo and 5000 in engine work. = 400 HP where does that leave your 1198 on a drag strip and shear accelaration. and we are still taking
22,000 oh and did I tell you I can ride her all day and my back wont hurt.

December 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm
(8) mikehannan says:

Hmmm, this is getting pretty silly! If you want to go fast in a straight line (an American speciality I understand) then you buy a Z14 or a ‘Busa or a Vmax or one of a half dozen other horse power kings. If you want to go fast on a race track, then you get a bike that is built for that. The fastest bikes around today are the one litre fours from the Japanese makers, the V4 from Aprillia and the Vtwin from Ducati. The reason the Duke is compared with the litre bikes is because it is matched agains them in WSBK where there are different capacities for four, three and two cylinders.

Also, one of the things that makes the Duke so fast is the electronics which provide traction control. They have set the bench mark on this until the arrival of the new BMW rocket ship. I don’t think any of the straight line warriors have this level technology working to get the power to the ground.

Regards all, Mike H

December 2, 2010 at 11:49 am
(9) Guido says:

mikehannan I do agree with you. Its all in wht one likes to do and how one likes to ride. i STILL SAY THAT ONE IS NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER WITH RESPECT to one being more classy than the other.

December 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm
(10) lwatcdr says:

mikehannan and Guido
I said that the ZX-14 and the 1198 where not in the same class. I never said that one was classier then the other.
If I was going to ride a 400 mile day and go to the track the ZX-14 or the Busa would own the 1198. If I was just going to a road course the 1198 would win.
If I was going to a super tight road course heck an RS-50 might win.
If I was going to ride from South Florida to Alaska then a BMW R1200 GS, a Multistrada, or VStrom might be the best choice.
Class as in the same use or category.
It has nothing to do with the idea of being classy.
Frankly I wouldn’t want the 1198 because it is too extreme for my taste. Frankly nobody can ride the 1198 on the street at 9/10th and not go to jail or their grave. What is even more true is probably 99 out 100 owner can not even ride it to 7/10ths on a track. That bike along with the ZX-10, CBR1000RR, and R1 are so good that they are a lot more capable than most of us mortals.
But the 1198 and ZX-14 not in the same class any more than a Rolls and a 911 are. But both are dang good rides.

December 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm
(11) Pete says:

Mike, lwatcdr ,
Perfect..well said…right on.
I stand by my original comment…the only thing the ZX14, or a Hibachi, share in common with an 1198 or any other PURE sport bike is 2 wheels and handlebars.
A ZX14 or a ‘Busa would make a good down payment on an 1198 because I’d sell my soul to own one. Unfortunately my soul probably isn’t worth that kind of green.
And I definitely fall in to the group that couldn’t push an 1198 past 9/10′s…assuming I was even that fast – but – doesn’t matter.
A bike like an 1198, 1000RR, GSXR, R1, RSV4 is one of those that if you get it, no explanation is required…if you don’t, none is possible.

December 2, 2010 at 9:40 pm
(12) Joe says:

I stand by my comments too, 1198s is way over priced. I’m with Guido and Tom, $22.000 can be spend on 2 bikes and you can have the best of both worlds.

December 3, 2010 at 12:46 am
(13) Rudolph.A.Furtado says:

Comparing fancy high priced bikes and cars against each other under perfect “TEST CONDITIONS” would ultimately always lead to the car triumphing. Honestly, for daily “Commuter Biking” in large metropolisis , a bike is definitely more faster than a car in congested city’s like Mumbai, irrespective of “Models” or “Prices”.

December 3, 2010 at 11:34 am
(14) lwatcdr says:

@Pete. The 1198 is like that really super hot girl in high school. Really fun for a date but heaven help you if you marry her.
Actually it probably isn’t that bad but the metaphor fits so well, Frankly I should have added that no one can ride a ZX-14, BKing, or Busa at 9/10s on the street and not end up in jail or the grave.
As to the 1198 being over priced? That is open for debate. If you got a ZX-10, CBR1000RR, or RSV4 and started to up grade it until you hit the cost of 1198 you would have one really fast bike. It comes down to a matter of taste. Frankly for 99% of the people that buy them any of the super sport bikes will be much better bikes the owner are riders.
Me I would take a track day on any of them.
And let’s be honest
The CBR1000RR is a super fast bike that will run for decades and is made like… Well a Honda. It is also pretty easy to live with on the street.
The ZX-10 and GSXR are just mean. They are as subtle as a battle ax and really fast.
The Yamaha R1 has that sexy two plane crank which is gear head heaven.
The RSV4 has that sexy has hell V4, it is super fast, and it won the super bike comparison. It is a bit exotic and super expensive.
Then you have the 1198 which is a sweet and sexy Desmo V that makes a ton of power. The bike is just so pretty and man it is fast.
The S1000 is just a freaking monster.
Really folks just take you pick and pay your price. Unless Mister Rossi is on this board I am willing to bet they are all bloody faster than than you can ride them.
And if you like super sports you will love which ever one you pick.
For me I am lusting after the new Ninja 1000, More than fast enough for the street, so pretty, great seating position, and not to expensive.
The F800ST is also a pretty sweet looking bike.
But folks they all rock.

December 3, 2010 at 9:16 pm
(15) Pete says:

Didja notice no body gives a crap about the Ferrari? Talk about over priced!
This turned out to be a great topic!! Cheers everyone…Merry Xmas!

December 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm
(16) Joe says:

Pete, can’t say we agree on this Ducati but I wish you a Merry X-mas and a long and safe riding season in 2011. Cheers!

December 4, 2010 at 8:48 am
(17) Pete says:

Joe…if we agreed about everything it wouldn’t be near as much fun! (:

January 2, 2013 at 11:45 am
(18) Ninja Kev says:

When I saw the article’s title I assumed it would be a video of a car hitting a bike, maybe that’s because I ride in Denver and risk my life daily because of inattentive cagers with their heads firmly lodged in their rear exit. Fortunately the story was more fun that that!

While I don’t recall the details there was a competition between an F-15 (my favorite aircraft to work on while serving in USAF) and a sports car. The car beat the jet off the line but was soon overtaken by the F-15. The car was unable to climb straight up to 35,000 ft either.

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