“Ducati has never built a sportbike as advanced as the 1199 Panigale,” says Ducati GM, Claudio Domenicali. “We are moving into a revolution of the species.”
This is the long-awaited, much-leaked, many-times-spied, ridiculously rumored Ducati 1199 Panigale. It’s incredibly light (164kg dry), incredibly powerful (192bhp) and incredibly intelligent (ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire, engine brake control, electronically adjustable suspension, TFT dash). But, most importantly, it’s going to be incredibly, ridiculously, epoch definingly fast.
Update: 29 high-res photos.
Update 2: $17,995(USD) for the standard version, $22,995(USD) for the “S” version, $23,995(USD) for “S” version with ABS and $27,995(USD) for the Italian heritage-inspired Tricolore version.
The 1199 comes in three flavors: vanilla, S and corse.
The basic version uses fully-adjustable Marzocchi front/Sachs rear suspension and is fitted with traction control, quickshift, “engine brake control” (more on that in a minute) and ride-by-wire as standard. ABS is optional.
The Ducati 1199 Panigale S adds electronically adjusted 43mm Ohlins NIX30 forks and and TTX36 shock, while ABS remains optional.
The Ducati 1199 Panigale S Corse comes with a titanium racing exhaust, tricolore paint and a data analysis package that will spit out lap times, lean angles, deep-dive engine parameters and TC actuation info to either a Mac or PC.
The big question hanging over the Panigale was the configuration of its frame. As we guessed, the front subframe/airbox/headstock is aluminum, a material choice likely taken to keep costs down over the carbon fiber item on Ducati’s MotoGP bikes. It attaches to the cylinder heads only. The aluminum rear subframe bolts to the rear cylinder head, while the die cast aluminum single-sided swingarm bolts to the rear of the engine. All this facilitates that low weight, but it has other advantages too; the swingarm is 39mm longer than that of the outgoing 1198 while the total wheelbase of the 1199 is just 7.6mm longer.
This is what the 1199 looks like underneath its fairing. Note the “frameless” arrangement which sees the airbox double as a stressed front subframe, bolting to the front and rear cylinder heads. The aluminum rear subframe only bolts to the rear. The neatest part, though is the side-mount shock which mounts to the SSA via an adjustable linkage, then bolts directly to the rear cylinder case.
The electronically adjustable suspension is borrowed from the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, working in a similar fashion. Both rebound and compression damping front and rear are adjusted electronically, the rider will need to manually adjust preload at both ends. Switching riding modes on the Thin Film Transistor dash alters engine output, power delivery and TC settings, as on bikes like the Aprilia RSV4, but the Ducati goes one step further, changing suspension settings to suit each mode too. The rider can select from stock setups or pre-program their own to switch through on the fly.
That sidemount shock? It’s there to facilitate that short wheelbase and to help with packaging of the exhaust, but a side benefit is easy access to its linkage that’s adjustable from progressive (road, passenger) to straight rate (track).
“Engine Brake Control” limits back torque by working with the wet slipper clutch to limit the effects of back torque on the rear wheel. Under quick deceleration, stepper motors on the throttle bodies open, reducing the effects the engine has on corner entry. This is MotoGP tech for the street.
The TFT dash is a welcome update from the old LCD unit. Already proven on the Multistrada 1200 and Diavel, TFT produces a much higher quality image that’s easy to read, even in direct sunlight.
The heavily-contoured brake calipers are a new Brembo Monoblock design called M50. They grip massive 330mm brake discs, leading to what should be unprecedented braking ability. Optional ABS only works on the front wheel, but can work to prevent stoppies in more conservative riding modes.
It’s not just the headlights that reference and update the forms of the 916. Gone are the underseat pipes, but the taillights now mimic their shape.
Compared to the 1198, the 1199 should be slightly more human friendly. Seat to tank distance is reduced 30mm, while the bars are 10mm higher and 32mm wider.
US prices haven’t yet been announced, but the vanilla 1199 is priced identically to it’s corresponding 1198 in Italy. The S is €300 more than the outgoing model, so that will likely translate to a price increase for American models too. No word on Corse pricing yet.
The leaked weight and power figures are close, but not identical to what has been officially released. Instead of 195/395, it’s 192/414. With the 1199′s 4.5 gallon fuel tank, weight will fluctuate ~27.7 pounds between empty and full. It’s not clear if that weight is with a full tank, empty tank or somewhere in between. If it weighs 395 before adding fuel, then it would have ~1.5 gallons (or enough fuel to get the reserve light to go off) in the tank at 414 lbs. With a full tank, it would weigh 423 pounds. Conversely, if 414 is with a full tank, it would weigh 386 sans gas. Regardless, it still has a power to weight ratio higher than that of any other liter-bike in production.