Return of the Cafe Racers - Ducati 1198 Matador Racer

Ducati 1198 Matador Racer

Subtle this bike ain't, but what else would you expect from Radical Ducati? Their latest build uses a donor bike that we know for it's incredible performance (and it's steep $40k price tag!) the Ducati 1198 SP, but you'd have to have a good eye to recognise it. In fact the "Matador…




Subtle this bike ain’t, but what else would you expect from Radical Ducati? Their latest build uses a donor bike that we know for it’s incredible performance (and it’s steep $40k price tag!) the Ducati 1198 SP, but you’d have to have a good eye to recognise it. In fact the “Matador Racer” is so heavily stripped back and spec’d up that I doubt even the 1198’s designers would recognize it. This bike isn’t about looks, even though it does look pretty amazing, RAD are always function focused and the Matador’s performance potential is mind blowing.

After stripping away the bodywork and frame from the 1198 RAD got to work on improving the Ducati’s performance. In stock form an 1198 SP weighs in at 168kg and produces 170bhp, a very impressive power to weight ratio, but RAD saw plenty of room for improvement. The engines heads were ported, the flywheel lightened and a trick EVR ‘anti-hooping’ clutch was added. A race spec radiator, specially designed carbon air box and a magnificent Super Mario 2-into-1 exhaust with a RAD design “tail fish” megaphone muffler completed the power upgrades.

To drop the bikes weight down the Ducati frame was swapped out in favor of a RAD lightweight alloy frame, subframe and swingarm. Ohlins forks, Ergal triple clamps, clip on bars and Brembo calipers with Discciati rotors form the bikes new front end. In the rear you’ll find an Ohlins shock absorber and Discacciati 4 pot brake holding a 200mm disc and Rizoma components for the foot controls . The wheels are also lightweight alloy, made by ITX and are shrouded by RAD made carbon mudguards.

The tank is another RAD item made again from light weight aluminiumand the RAD belly pan and “Corsa Evo” seat are, you guessed it, carbon fiber. With all of the modifications, lightweight components and discarded bodywork RAD have shed a whopping 30kg off the 1198 dropping it down to a mere 138kg. Although I wasn’t able to get a power figure I can guarantee you that this Duke is pushing out plenty more horses than it did out of the factory and when you start thinking about that power to weight ratio again things start getting a little crazy. 

Radical Ducati     |     Photography by Del Perro

Read more like this

Return of the Cafe Racers - Show Stopper – Thornton Panigale 1299

Show Stopper – Thornton Panigale 1299

This year the London Bike Shed show played host to an astounding 281 custom motorcycles and over 17,000 visitors. As I watched the event unfold from the other side of the world…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - CARACCHI TRIBUTE – Ducati MHR 1000

CARACCHI TRIBUTE – Ducati MHR 1000

If you ride a Ducati and don’t get tingles when you see the letters NCR it’s time for a history lesson. NCR is an acronym of its founder’s names, Rino Caracchi, Giorgio…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - What lurks beneath – Ellaspede Ducati 848

What lurks beneath – Ellaspede Ducati 848

Is it a Ducati 748/749 with bigger muscles or a trimmed down 1098? The Ducati 848 was a new bike in the Italians lineup for 2008 and we’ve found that 10 years later…

Continue Reading