The evoluzione of the 2011 Ducati 848 Evo, the upgraded version of the base model Ducati 848 that was introduced in 2008, photographed by Elizabeth Raab. First published in SportBikes Inc Magazine, November 2010.
The 2011 Ducati 848 Evo Dark Stealth is visually nothing short of stunning. Unlike Ducati’s dark models of yesteryear, the 2011 is darkness on another level. It’s black on black on black is intimidating and inviting all at once. To the touch, the tank and fairings have a hardened rubberized feel giving the sense that the bike is armored, protected and the epitome of stealth.
The lines of the bike are strategically designed to enable the rider to adhere to the proper body position. The term aerodynamic is an understatement. The Evo looks fast even when it’s standing still.
Also available in the traditional Ducati Red on a red frame with black wheels and the new Arctic White Silk on a red frame with red wheels, the Evo has a commanding presence regardless of color option. This is more than a pretty face with a sexy rear end, the 848 was conceived to perform from the inside out.
The 848 base model was introduced in 2008 with 12:1 compression, 70.8 pounds of torque, and 134 HP. The 2011 model has been boosted with a compression ratio of 13.2:1 thanks to new piston crowns and an improved combustion chamber. A valve lift of 13mm, an increase of 1.5mm from the base model, is made possible by new camshafts. Torque has been increased to 72.3 pounds per foot. Horsepower is elevated to 140, a gain of 6 horses on the same lightweight, 370-pound machine, greatly improves the power to weight ratio.
While the bore and stroke remain at 94×61.2mm, as in previous models, the Evo’s inlet port shapes have been improved along with the revision of its racing style elliptical throttle bodies that have a diameter of 60mm. The result is a 30% increase in airflow.
The Ducati 848 Evo comes equipped with a 2-1-2 system exhaust with a catalytic converter, fitted with a Lambda Probe oxygen sensor and twin stainless steel mufflers. The engine’s outer casings are finished in black and created via Vacural Technology processing. This process for casting involves extremely low levels of gas and oxide. The result is consistency and strength without the weight. Paired with cast magnesium alloy cam covers, the Evo’s weight is reduced even further.
Of course, with an improved power to weight ratio, comes the need for improved braking. The Evo has it covered. The base model 848 came equipped with twin radial-mount Brembo 4 piston calipers in the front. The Evo brings the “A” game to the table with twin Brembo Monobloc 4 piston radial-mount calipers machined from a single source of alloy providing precise feel and maximum stopping power when applied to the Evo’s 320mm rotors. Radial Brembo master cylinders with remote reservoirs are controlled by adjustable levers. The rear brake set up is a 2 piston caliper, gripping a 245mm rotor.
To minimize moments of inertia, the Evo is fitted with a Y-shaped, 5-spoke front wheel by Enkei. The lightweight wheel has an improved effect on handling as well as braking. The rear wheel is also 5-spoke and Y-shaped alloy. The wheels are fitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires, sized 120/70 ZR17 in the front and 180/55 ZR17 in the rear.
When the Ducati 749 and 999 were introduced, there were many critics of the infamous stacked-styled headlamps. So when Ducati returned to the side-by-side headlamps with the 1098, it was a nice nod of respect to the Ducati 916. The Evo retains the same lamp design as the base model with the aggressive horizontal position. The taillights employ high diffusion lenses that house LED strips that double as brake lights.
The turn signals are embedded in the rearview mirrors. The included optional mirror extensions may be ideal for the larger rider unless you enjoy seeing your shoulders when preparing to overtake or change lanes.
If there are ever any doubts that Ducatis are engineered for the race track, a glance at the Evo’s instrument panel will quickly silence any naysayers. It’s actually quite beautiful, from a technical standpoint. The digital display is clean, uncluttered by buttons or switches. Screen selections are made from the handlebar-mounted switch gear, located on the left. The screen is backlit by white LEDs.
Among the displayed features are air and coolant temp, battery voltage, trips plus a few other staples. The instrument panel also operates as a lap timer, using the high beam flash button as a stopwatch. Lap times are stored and can be recalled on the display with the left handlebar switchgear.
The proven 43mm, adjustable Showa front forks and rear adjustable monoshock are standard. Adjustability is key for effective riding and having your suspension modified for your specific needs is highly recommended, if not essential.
The single-sided swingarm of the Ducati 848 Evo is anodized black. Constructed in a dual process consisting of individual aluminum casting and fabricated aluminum sections, the swingarm plays a crucial part in the bike’s overall lightweightness.
The main section of the Evo’s trellis frame uses ALS 450 tubing, measuring 34mm with a thickness of 1.5mm. This is claimed to be the most rigid and lightest frame solution Ducati has ever produced. A cross-mounted steering damper helps to maintain front end stability under the increased power of the Evo, boosting confidence and minimizing the chance of the rider experiencing what we call “moments”.
Saving weight is taken a step further with the Evo’s magnesium front frame. Strong and sturdy, the use of magnesium to support upper fairings and the instrument panel makes it very evident that the engineers were serious about keeping things light.
The click and whirl of the dry clutch, a sound widely recognized as belonging only to Ducati, is absent on the Evo. It has been fitted with a weight-saving wet clutch that is 2.2 pounds lighter than the dry clutch, a longer lifespan and is obviously quieter. It’s also utilizing a 6-speed gearbox, a 15 tooth front sprocket and a 39 tooth rear sprocket.
While the DDA (Ducati Data Analyzer) is an optional purchase item for the Evo, it comes standard on the 2011 1198 and 1198 SP. To fortify the Evo’s track appeal, the inclusion of the DDA as standard would have been nice.
And while we are at it, the inclusion of the DTC (Ducati Traction Control) as well as the DQS (Ducati Quick Shifter), standard on the 1198 and 1198 SP, would have been nice to further progress the evoluzione of the 848.
The Ducati 848 Evo is an incredible entry into the world of Ducati’s superbikes for any motorcyclist. Its focus on more power and less weight makes it a formidable track weapon. Its sleek design and appealing aesthetics make it an object of desire for the most seasoned rider. With its price tag of $13,995 for the red or white and $12,995 for the dark stealth, this bike shimmers with the things that riding dreams are made of.
Images: Elizabeth Raab
Model: Zohre Esmaeli