Singapore – In standard form, the Ducati 1198 on its own is a rarity especially on our roads, so when we spotted a 1198 S owned by Derick – a good friend of ours – we just had to feature it, even more so because this bike has had a fair bit tuning up to make this Italian legend even better!

Now, the 1198 S represented a milestone for the Italian bike company as it is the first road bike to have a full race-type traction control system, making it impressively effective. You would have to throw out years of mental conditioning and lean the bike on its ears through a turn then go full open throttle. Sounds crazy? Not in the 1198 S.

While your mind might be prepping you to brace for impact, you are greeted instead with a surge so vicious any rider would start to doubt about unleashing all that even with the bike bolt upright, left alone on its sides.

Ducati’s DTC will endow any rider with new performance prowess and put you up there with the best of them in how much speed you can carry charging out of corners – there’s nothing quite like it and very few bikes back then (in 2008) that would be able to stay with the 1198 S in the bends. The 1198 S DTC is also a lot less intrusive than the 1098 R’s, working so discreetly that the only thing you would notice is a flashing red light on the dash.

Out the factory, the Ducati 1198 S pumps out 168hp and 169kg with a power to weight ratio that is close to 1,000hp per tonne – similar to driving a family sedan with several F1 engines strapped on and a ridiculously generous torque spread. Acceleration is breathtaking and instantaneous in whatever rpm you are at. Its exceedingly quick up till 6,000rpm, then the afterburners fire up and the bike turns into a cruise missile.

Handling the 1198 S is a little flighty at high speeds but the agility it possesses when going into turns is just out of this world. Stopping the Ducati dead in its tracks are fearsome Brembo Monobloc front brakes that cut speed like a hot knife going through butter. The feel of the 1198 S is more of a race bike in terms of how the engine and chassis respond; its also the last of its kind with a dry clutch.

Derick mentioned that what he loves about the 1198 S are its looks, the fact that its also the last of the dry clutch version of the bike makes it that much more desirable. He also pointed out the sexy underseat exhaust and the way the Ducati handles – being nimble and light – are all plus points when he was considering to purchase a sports bike. Its not hard to see why, as his relationship with this Italian number has lasted over eight years now.