Ducati, that more-exotic-than-the-next purveyor of two-wheeled tomfoolery, spent two decades incrementally evolving its superbike design and sticking to a trellis frame layout before completely reinventing its 2012 flagship. Dubbed the “Panigale” after the Bolognese neighborhood where the Italian manufacturer is based, the newest bike addresses its predecessor’s shortcomings with a completely re-imagined design retaining two quintessentially Ducati features: a big twin engine layout, and Desmodromic valves. Though the trellis frame and butt-burning underseat muffler are gone, the signature Ducati exhaust note remains.
While the 1198′s weight distribution was a perfect 50/50, the 1199 diverts 52 percent of the mass to the front wheel and 48 percent to the rear, exactly matching the division of weight found on the superbike race version of its predecessor. And though BMW’s S1000RR is graced with sophisticated wheelie control electronics, the Panigale skates by on its natural born geometry: you’ll still lift the front wheel when you’re heavy on the throttle in the right gear, but the gentle levitation feels so progressive.
Type Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke 112 x 60.8mm
Power 195hp (143kw) @ 10,750rpm
Torque 98.1lb-ft (132Nm) @ 9.000rpm
Exhaust 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes. Twin stainless steel mufflers with alumimum outer sleeves
Frame Monocoque aluminum
Front suspension Marzocchi 50mm pressurized and fully adjustable usd fork with hard anodized aluminum lightweight slider
Front wheel 10-spoke light alloy 3.50″ x 17″
Rear suspension Fully adjustable Sachs unit.
Adjustable linkage: Progressive/flat.
Aluminum single-sided swingarm.
Rear wheel 10 spoke light alloy 6.00″ x 17″
Front brake 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M50 4-piston callipers
ABS optional +2.5kg (+5.5lb)
Rear brake 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Fuel tank capacity 17l (4.5 gallon US)
Dry weight 164kg (361.5lb)
*Wet weight 188kg (414.5lb)
Clutch Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control