What's it all about?
True to tradition, Ducati has revealed its latest superbike at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham. The new 1199 Panigale spearheaded one of the most impressive model ranges in Ducati's history. This latest Ducati Superbike has so many innovative features that visitors to the stand could spend many hours just discovering the detail of the most advanced Superbike yet produced.
What does it cost?
Ducati models are never cheap so you'll be well prepared to pay a premium price to get your hands on one. Initially in the UK, only the standard bike will be available with ABS as an optional extra. No doubt as sales climb the S and possibly the Tricolore S will also become available on these shores.
What has it got?
The completely new Superquadro engine, so called because of its massively over-square bore and stroke ratio, has increased power to a new production twin-cylinder milestone of an astonishing 195bhp and torque of 98.1lb/ft. To deliver the target weight saving, the engine has now become an integral part of the monocoque chassis and combines to deliver its 195hp from 164kg, creating the highest production motorcycle power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios in the world.
With such an extreme engine, never before has Ducati's Desmodromic valve system been so vitally important. With the high engine speeds at which the Superquadro operates combined with such large valves, it would be impossible for the valve's rocker-arm to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe using normal valve closure springs.
The Desmo system actuates valve closure mechanically with the same method and accuracy as it opens, enabling steep cam profiles, radical cam timings, large valves and high operating speeds. This system is used on every single Ducati motorcycle and constantly proven on Ducati Corse's World Superbikes and Desmosedici MotoGP bikes.
The new bike is awash with the latest Ducati technology. With the click of a button the Ducati's Riding Modes can deliver performance with enhanced rider confidence by combining seven class-leading technologies. The latest-generation sports ABS system, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), Ducati Quick-Shift (DQS), Ducati's new race-derived Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW) are now all programmed into seamless, electronic rider assistance. Even the world's most advanced LCD dashboard with the full colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display changes to suit the rider's environment.
This bike is unmistakably a Ducati and although some traditionalists will moan about the non-trellis frame design, the bike's overall performance and looks will dispel any negative thoughts. Ducati has summed up its new creation best by stating "Everything about this bike communicates power, elegance and agility."
Not many will argue with that.
Model: Ducati 1199 Panigale
Engine: Superquadro L-twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Weight: 164kg (Dry)
Torque: 98.1 lb/ft at 9,000rpm
Power: 195bhp at 10,750rpm
Tank size: 17litres