Ducati vs BMW
Choosing between a Ducati and BMW superbike is a difficult. You have two top brands that are known for producing reliable, aggressive, and superfast bikes. In this review, we explore some key features of these iconic motoring brands.
The choice for the perfect superbike is a heated debate. Firstly, you have some good-looking bikes that push are capable of pushing the throttle to the maximum level. Most of these come with some personality attached to it and this is your first bike, you are going to have challenges choosing the best.
It’s at the racing track that the thrill for superbikes is born in many motoring enthusiasts. You have these bikes zooming past you at astronomical speeds. Ducati and BMW have been at the forefront in the superbike category. They are both loved in equal measure by superbikes fans across the world. This article explores what makes these iconic brands stand out.
What are the key differences between Ducati and BMW?
|Quality||Durable materials||High Quality parts|
|Bike types||High performance superbikes||Varying biking categories|
Ducati vs. BMW – How they compare
The superbike motoring category is one of the most competitive in the world. Here you have different bike types each competing for the top sport of becoming the fastest production bike in the world.
This field was once occupied by the Suzuki Hayabusa in 1999 when it hit a top speed of 300 km/h. The race was on and other bike makers rushed to introduce their superbikes in the 1000cc category.
The race was then won by Kawasaki H2R that was capable of reaching speeds of over 400km/h through a 998cc supercharged engine producing 200 HP. It is this category that the Ducati Panigale V4 and the BMW S1000RR operate in.
The ducati has a larger engine displacement at 1103 while the BMW comes in at 999cc. The difference in the two bikes is very clear; the BMW focused more on weight reduction while the Ducati centered on output. The bikes can both hit top speeds of more than 300 km/h.
When it comes to maintenance the BMW is more complicated than the Ducati. The world of superbikes is one that is very complicated with the top bike makers coming from Japan. Here you get Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha.
The increasing preference for these superbikes has been their reliability that is coupled up by high performance engines. The bikes are only good to look at but they are also affordable and easy to maintain.
This cannot be said of BMW and Ducati. While the bike makers produce high quality bikes they are also complicated. This does not mean that you will use your BMW or Ducati then it breaks down.
No, the issue arises when you have some breakdown and fixing it requires a more professional and knowledgeable person. The bikes are also pricier than the Japanese counterparts.
Ducati and BMW both produce very reliable bikes. The bikes come with high performance engines meant to boost speed while reducing drag and weight. The electronics in both bikes is top notch and you get things like ABS as standard.
However, we found the BMW to be a bit advanced when it comes to the technologies used. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that BMW is larger and therefore has an extensive research team dedicated to emerging technologies.
This however, does come the drawback that the bike can be expensive to maintain due to the spare parts used. It would also require more expertise to repair a BMW than other types of bikes. If you are looking for affordability, mileage while still getting high performance, you can try out the Japanese brands.
Ducati vs. BMW Overview
Ducati is an Italian company in 1926 that leads in manufacturing innovative superbikes that compete in various motoring events. It produces the following models XDiavel, Diavel, Monster, Hypermotard, Panigale, Multistrada, and SuperSport.
The main factory for the Ducati bikes is at Borgo Panigalearea Bologna, Italy. The company has done well in selling bikes having delivered over 53,004 bikes across the world.
The Panigale V4 that comes with a 4 cylinder engine was introduced to the world in November 2017 and saw an appearance in the SBK championship in 2019. Ducati has performed quite well in the Superbike series having won 17 manufacturers titles and 14 riders titles.
During the Superbike World championships Ducati will partner with Aruba with is a cloud and web hosting service provider. Today, the Volkswagen Group owns Ducati.
Ducati Panigale V4
The first thing that was changed in the Ducati Panigale V4 from its predecessor the Panigale 1299 is that Ducati went for high revving 1,103cc engine instead of the V-twin.
This enabled the Panigale to produce more than 211 HP @rpm of 13,000. This enabled the bike to take on its competitors at Superbike racing tracks. To introduce the world to the Panigale V4S Ducati choose the Bahrain International circuit. The engine has compression ratio of 14:1 and produces 91 pound feet of torque @rpm of 10,000.
The seat has been raised by 5 millimeter – which to many people is insignificant but it does raise the center of gravity for the bike significantly. This means the Panigale has a seat of 32.9 inches.
The bike is well capable of hitting speeds of up to 186 mph/300 kmh. The Panigale is very stable during acceleration and cornering no matter the rain or weather conditions it still maintains traction control.
Another great change on the Panigale V4S is that it now has a 5 inch LCD screen that puts all your bikes instrumentals at your fingertips. You can change your riding modes and adjust stuff like throttle map and preload.
The Ducati is not only menacing looking but it has 80 pounds of downforce that ensures your front end is well planted. For braking you have a lean-sensitive ABS and Ducati special traction Control (DTC). The bike is very easy to manage even on-track.
Ducati Panigale 1299
The Ducati Panigale 1299 was unveiled at the EICMA show and it boasted of more than 200HP. The redesign of the bike started when a debate raged on about the Panigale 1199 engine that had rod length to stroke of 110.1 mm to 60.8mm.
The decision to create a new Panigale that would be more compact started then. The bore was made larger at 116mm while the stroke remained at 60.8mm.
When it unveiled to biking fans, many were impressed by the fact that it generated 205HP @rpm of 10,500. This gave the superbike a pound of feet of torque at 106.7 @rpm of 8,750.
Some of things remained the same like valve size from the titanium intakes which were retained at 1199.46mm and steel exhausts of 38.2mm. This higher intake valves enabled the Panigale 1299 to cruise through racing tracks at astronomical speeds. The brakes used were Brembo that come with M50 calipers. The electronics on the bike were ahead of its time and it came with full LED headlights.
BMW has built its reputation around reliability and premium cars. The BMW Motorrad is the company’s subdivision that is responsible for production of motorcycles with the first cycle been made in 1923.
Most of BMW motorcycle production takes place in Berlin, Germany but they have a plant in India for their G310 series. Engine production may vary for some BMW models.
One of BMW bestseller is the R1200GS; this accounts for 28% of BMW production. There are four main BMW car engine lines – F&G series, F series, R series, and K series.
F & G Series
The F series saw first production in 1994 with the introduction of F650. It came as a chain drive, 650cc four valve engine. Later, in 2000 the bike was redesigned to have fuel injection.
In the same year, BMW introduced an off-road version to compete in the Dakar rally championships. To make it more competitive the bike used a belt drive instead of the chain drive and the seat was made a bit lower.
The G series was introduced in 2006 with the same engine as the F650 and this was later updated in 2007 to the G450X. The bike was designed to compete in the off-road category and the manufacturers included single pivot point in the place for the drive sprocket. The result is you now had a tense drive chain that was capable of decreased acceleration squat and no slop.
When 2006 was almost midway, BMW decided to add the F800ST and F800S to their sports lineup. The bikes featured a 798cc engine. Instead of the more common chain drive both had belts.
Saw production in the early 1920s with the R39 but production was discontinued in the 1960s with the last model been the R27.
This is where we have some of the best superbikes under the BMW brand. Here you have four and six cylinder engines. The initial design for the engine puzzled many as it featured a unique side mounting of the bike so that the crank was on the right side of the bike. This design come to an end in 2005 with the K1200.
BMW S1000 RR
This is BMWs flagship brand in the superbike category. It features a 999cc inline-four cylinder engine that is capable of producing a whooping 204HP @rpm of 13,500. The bike also produces 113 Nm of torque @rpm of 11,000.
All these power is delivered courtesy of a six speed bi-directional quick shifter gearbox. To properly help in adjusting the valve timings and strokes, the bike comes with BMW ShiftCam technology.
In 2019, the bike was completely overhauled to give it a more menacing look. It now come with twin LED projector headlamps. This replaced the more popular asymmetrical headlamps. The chassis changed to an aluminum twin-spar with sub frame made from trellis.
The frame was also changed to make it narrower than its predecessor. The new S1000RR now weighed 1.3 kgs less and has a width of 848mm and length of 1,441mm. Overall, the new S1000RR is 11kg lighter than its predecessor.
When it comes to electronics the S1000RR comes with an improved TFT full color instrument console. The device is Bluetooth enabled and will display information like dynamic traction control, six-axis IMU, shift assist pro, launch control, wheelie control and ABS.
The S1000RR is available as Standard, Pro, and Pro M sport. It competes in its category with Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Yamaha YZF R1, Aprilia RSV4, Ducati Panigale V4.
This is primarily a biking adventure bike. If you are thinking of taking some road trips with friends then this is your ideal bike. The F850S has a displacement of 853cc and this gives it a maximum power of 92.5HP @rpm of 8,250.
It comes at a kerb weight of 229kg and is available in Pollux Metallic matt, racing red, and light white colors. The F850S is affordable unlike its bigger brother the BMW R1200 GS that is quite popular.
The large F850S engine is capable of handling any off-roads that is thrown its way with ease. The tires and suspension are both designed for off-road capabilities as you get fork protectors, spoke rims, knuckle guards, and large 6.5 inch TFT color display. This allows you to know what is happening to your bike at all times. In addition, to LED headlamps, the F850S will come equipped with cruise control, ABS, quick shifter, traction control, and five riding modes. For the best response to dirty road, you can change the controls to Enduro Pro mode.
BMW K1600 GT
This is a very powerful bike that packs lots of horsepower under the seat. It is hard finding bikes with engines of more 1300cc and BMW have outdone themselves to deliver a bike that can handle most terrains.
The BMW K1600 GT has a displacement of 1,649cc and a kerb weight of 321kg. It is available in black storm metallic, light white, and cosmic blue metallic colors. Besides, the weight the bike is very smooth on the roads courtesy of BMW Doulever suspension.
The Xenon headlights work wonders at night or when cruising at high speeds on flat roads. The BMW K1600 GT comes with a six cylinder engine that is capable of churning out 160HP @7,750 rpm. The acceleration is fast and smooth meaning you will be hitting top speeds in no time. Imagine this, over 70% of the torque in the K1600 GT is available at rpm of 1,500 onwards. To give the bike a more sporty feel in comparison to the GTL you have the handlebars been placed some few inches further forward. The K1600 GT was in 2017 added an additional reverse gear to kind of help you in reversing this heavy machine.
BMW K1600 B
The K1600 B is larger than its K1600 GTL courtesy of 1,649cc engine that is capable of generating 155.9 HP of power @rpm of 7,750. The bike is quite heavy at 336kg and is available in imperial blue metallic and black storm metallic colors.
The bike comes in a bagger style and you immediately notice that it sports a sweeping rear section and an electronically adjustable windshield. Since you are going to be doing a lot of all weather riding, the bike is strategically designed to accommodate this.
The six cylinder large engine is capable of generating 158HP at 175 NM courtesy of a six speed gear box that also features a reverse gear.
You get a quick shifter as an option and the bike is loaded with electronics like dynamic traction control, ABS Pro, seat heating and heated grips. The bike handles quite well for long distance travels and you will not even notice that it is a bike you are riding.
The suspension on this bike are on point with paralever monoshock at the rear and BMW duolever suspension for the front. To help you in your travels you get a 26.5 liter. Consumption will largely depend on how much you press the throttle but it is pretty decent.
Now let’s compare two Ducati and BMW bikes
|Model||Ducati Panigale V4||BMW S1000RR|
|Maximum Power||211 HP @rpm 13,000||200.8 HP @rpm 13,500|
|Maximum Torque||124 Nm @rom 10,000||113 Nm @rpm 11,000|
|Cooling system||Liquid cooled||Water cooled|
|Clutch||Wet Multi-plate||Multiple-disc clutch in oil bath|
|Front Brake size (mm)||330||320|
|Rear Brake size (mm)||245||220|
|Fuel tank (liters)||16||16.5|
BMW and Ducati have dominated motorsports for decades. Their bikes are both loved in equal measure and it can be hard to choose between the monstrous BMW S1000RR and the Ducati Panigale V4.
Firstly, when selecting a superbike it is prudent to have a budget that aligns with your goals. Are you going to be using the bike for racing or is it something to test your adrenaline levels during the weekends.