Sport 1000 from Ducati is built on nostalgi, and one of many retro models that several brands has put out on the marked over the last years. This bike is built for those who want to own something a little different.
Text: Frode Johansen
Photo: Ruth Helen Kjærran/rallyruth.com
The bike has a nostalgic look from the time when "Cafè Racers" was the bad boys of the streets, a stile created by young rebels in the seventies. Today's retro builts is up to date with modern bikes when it comes to engine, frame and brakes. Making them easy to drive, and much safer than the original.
It has a naugthy look, the flat black silencers, black frame, bright red paintjob with the white stripe on top and bar end monted mirriros. It is a very long reach to the bars, which makes the driving position more aggressive than a supersport bike. As with the Monster, monting the silencers above each other on the same side is not good looking, it should have one on each side. But on this bike it looks a little better than on the Monster, and if you get the US version it has on black silencer on each side, which I think looks best.
An aircooled v-twin engine on 60 cubic inches or 992 ccm is the heart of the bike, developing 92 break horsepower it is not the fastes bike. The clutch is of the noisy dry type, and the gear box has all six gears. But the gearing of the bike is so tall that you can not use 6th gear unless you are doing over 60 mph. The dealer say that most of these bikes are sold with one less tooth on the front sprocket, to make it more adjusted to Norwegian speed limits.
On the road
As I sit down on the bike I find the driving position to be exstreme, and the wrist's are feeling the weight of the upper body. But as I slide down against the tank and leans forward to grab the handel bars I squeeze my personals bad, I swear and stands up to give them some room. After a little while I sit down again, more carefully this time, and when we get out on the open road we are good friends again.
The engine pulls strong from about four thousand rpm's, but under three thousand it is not comfortable. But the strange thing is that there is no red field on the rev counter. So the first times I run it flat out thru the gears, I had little clue to where to throw in the next gear, and several times I hit the rev limiter before I remember where the limit is. This should have been fixed by marking the rev limit in one way or another.
Ducati really knows how to make bikes that are lusting after roads that twist themself thru the Norwegian country side, and Sport 1000 is no exception. The suspension absorbs the uneven surface very well, also when going thru turns, and that gives the driver the opportunity to truly enjoy the twisty roads. But the extreme driving position makes the wrist's sore quite fast. Trying to make the wind lift some of the weight of the hands I had to get very close to the hundred mile per hour mark, and as we all know, that is not legal at all here in Norway. And the excuse; "Hey mister police man, I can explain this; "You see, the bike was hurting my wrist's, so I had to go so fast to make the pain go away. And if you are going to punish anyone it must be the Italian's for making the bike like this...!". Then bring on a hugh smile, as the officer takes your driver licens away for about a year, and slaps you with a $1.500 fine. But if you did get pulled over going that fast, you can at least put your trust in the quite good breaks that it has.
The exstreme driving position is the biggest draw back for this bike. But Ducati have succeeded making a thru retro Cafè Racer that will stand out when lined up with other bikes. And at the same time it has all the modern stuff to give it a modern feel when you drive it. It is easy to flick from one side to another when ripping thru your favorite twisty road, and at higher speeds it also feels stabil.
Engine: 60 cubic inches / 992 ccm
Engine type: Air cooled v-twin
Horsepower: 92 hp at 8.000 rpm
Torque: 91,1 nm at 6.000 rpm
Fueltank: 3,95 gallons / 15 liters
Front tyre: 120/70 R 17
Rear tyre: 180/55 R 17
Dry weight: 402 Ibs / 179 kilo
Thank you so mutch Løvaas Motor for very good service and some nice hot coffee in the morning :-))