2014 Ducati 899 Panigale: First Photos And Specs

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The wraps have just come off the 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale at parent company Volkswagen’s HQ in Frankfurt, Germany. For three grand less than the 1199, you get the same frameless design, all the electronic rider aids you could wish for and an all-new, 148bhp v-twin.

The 899 is the Ducati 1199 Panigale‘s new little brother, replacing the old Ducati 848 Evo with an all-new motorcycle. Aping its big brother, the traditional perimeter frame is replaced by a “frameless” arrangement that uses an airbox bolted to the front cylinder, doubling as a subframe to hold on the forks. The swingarm is bolted to the engine and a dinky rear subframe bolted to the rear cylinder supports the rider.

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale

The 899 is fitted with the same electronic rider aid package as the larger Panigale: traction control, ABS, engine brake control (you can tailor the level of engine braking) and quick shift. You can dial in all those settings via the large, Thin Film Transistor display. Unlike the 1199 S and its electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension, you’re stuck using a screw driver and c-spanner to adjust the suspension.

Despite the name (the 1199 does the same thing), the all-new “Desmoquadro” engine displaced 898cc. The four-valve-per-cylinder, desmodromic L-twin uses a bore and stroke of 100×57.2mm, developing 148bhp at 10,750rpm and 73lb-ft of torque at 9,000rpm.

Weight is 372.5lbs (dry) and 425.5lbs (wet), with battery, fluids and gas in the 4.5 gallon tank.

Existing 848 owners may be somewhat disappointed by these numbers; the 899 is only 8bhp up on the 848 Evo, develops identical torque and weighs slightly more, while carrying a $1,000 premium.

Ducati describes the 899 as a “Supermid,” a new definition which comes from a capacity that’s now too large for supersport racing, but not quite competitive with full on superbikes. The 1199 weighs the same, but develops 195bhp and 98lb-ft of torque. it starts at $17,995.

2014 Ducati 899 Panigale

The $14,995 (red) and $15,295 (white) 899 is additionally distinguished from the larger Panigale by its double-sided swingarm, 43mm Showa forks, Sachs shock and the less-fancy Brembo M4-32 brake calipers. Steering should be slightly quicker than that of the 1199 thanks to a 180-section rather than 200 rear.

Ducati uses words like “smooth,” “agile,” and “refined,” to describe the 899. We’re riding it early next month, stay tuned for more.

  • John

    Take THAT BMW!!!!

  • John

    Now slap a TDI in it.

  • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

    I’ve been wanting this one since the 1199 came out. Can’t wait to give it a try! I think it’s going to be a great track bike!

    • Stuki

      Is there any data out there on the track crashability of these frame less Ducs? Will they take lowsides without grinding critical parts to pieces? As well as, or better than, traditional sportbikes?

      • Chris McAlevy

        I am also curious about this.

      • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

        I’ve seen a few of them crash on track. The frames seem to come though just fine. Bodywork, pegs, levers, etc can get chewed up, but no worse then any other motorcycle. There isn’t anything about it’s frameless design that makes it any worse at crashing then a framed bike. It probably does a bit better because it’s hard to dent the airbox/front end mount.

        • Stuki

          In that case…. I bet they are great track bikes! At least for those with enough green, and the skills to get more out of them than some standard issue precrashed SV or 600.

          • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

            Yeah they make a great track bike. Kind of brain frying. The 1199 is crazy! But it’s pretty cool. The 1199 is way out of my skill level, so I’m looking forward to an 899. I imagine it will be more usable for us mortals.

  • Doug

    Only $3k less? If you’re already spending this kind of money, why not pony up the extra 3k for the full-size version?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Can you handle 195bhp? I know that’s too much for me.

      • Doug

        Lol, ok, fair enough. I probably couldn’t even handle 148hp responsibly, but it still seems like there should be a bigger price gap between the two…

      • Stuki

        Doesn’t the 1199 have power modes tucked away amongst all those electronics?

      • jonoabq

        I think the desire to have horsepower numbers above and beyond is externally (marketing) driven in most cases. I mean, how often does one ride around with the throttle pinned? If you were to look at throttle position data sets (for most people) you might be more than a little surprised at how little time is spent WOT…yet its always a discussion of numbers. Its the sum of the parts and their interactions and interdependencies that make the machine desirable or not…I’ll wait for the test ride.

        • runnermatt

          How often one pins the throttle on their bike depends on what bike they are riding and how much HP it makes.

          • jonoabq

            Oh yeah, I know. I’ve ridden KLR’s in a stiff headwind before…but with 148HP my guess is that its probably not all that much, at least not nearly as often as you’d like to think.

      • Dustin Coury

        @wessiler:disqus Can’t you run in wet mode on the 1199 and that will set you up at 150bhp?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Sure, but then you’re paying for running costs on performance you aren’t using and failing to take advantage of components like the wider rear tire, which are then working against you.

    • Damo Von Vinland

      I think this 899 will make a much better road bike. Especially with if you want to get better than 29mpg.

      Also with that $3000 you saved you could buy a really nice used DR650 and hit some trails when you get tired of the asphalt.

      • Stuki

        The Ducati guys I know, ain’t ever going to sully their Daineses on some DR. If they need something dirtier than a Multistrada, it’s Husky or KTM.

        • Damo Von Vinland

          I have always been a Honda guy first and a Ducatist a distant second, you are spot on correct. It amazes me when I hit the Ducati forums, how some of fellow Ducati owners wont even buy anything not made by a boutique brand. Even if they only put 1,000 miles a year on it.

          Sad really.

      • Stuki

        I’m guessing you’re right about better road bike as well. If nothing else, the smaller engine (with a stroke markedly shorter than an SV) should give Duc more room to tuck the hot rear cylinder head and header away, a bit further from the rider.

        • Damo Von Vinland

          I also prefer a 180 profile rear tire for street riding anyway.

  • Clint Keener

    That swingarm. Maybe I’ll warm up to it.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    no bueno on the dual sided swingarm

  • Dan

    I think the weight difference is more significant than you’re giving it credit for. 425 wet is pretty light for a “middleweight” (er, 900cc) bike; the old 848 weighed almost 15lbs more. That means the new bike is only a touch heavier than a Daytona 675.

    An 848 with less weight, more power, and a humaine riding position? Sounds good to me. This will be a sweet trackday bike, the only problem is the price. MSRP on an RSV4 APRC is $1000 less…

    Can’t wait for the full review.

    • infresig

      All good points. Also, note that the display is not a TFT like the 1199 – it’s an LCD.

    • Stuki

      An 1199 weighs the same as this one, though……. Almost makes it seem like you might as well get that one, and ride it in one of the restricted power modes….

      100×57.2 has to be about the most over square specs I’ve ever seen fr an engine. Kinda defeats some of the point of having a V-Twin. If you’re going to have a 900 with a 57.2 stroke, it seems more rational to go with a triple. Heck, or even a four. Coaster shaped cylinders can’t be the easiest to get an efficient burn in, and good mileage out of. Nor necessarily the easiest to get the kind of low end torque many associate with VTwins from.

      I’m sure it will be an impressive piece of kit; just seems a bit over the top for a bike with no racing class to challenge. What about slightly higher bars and lower pegs, for those that like the 1199, but is primarily interested in a sportbike for the street, rather than an all out tool for track domination, practicality be damned?

      • runnermatt

        If there isn’t a racing class for their bikes to fit into they don’t have to worry about their riders get beat by a Honda/Suzuki/Kawasaki/Yamaha in the amateur classes.

    • Jay

      According to Wiki, this bike is 2 pounds HEAVIER than an 848, not lighter. It should also be around 20 pounds heavier than a 675R. That is significant, and unimpressive for a bike of this cost.

      • Dan

        I think your figures are off. SportRider did a head-to-head of the 2012 675R and 848 last summer and had them at 421 and 437lbs, respectively. 2013 675R shaves a little bit of weight off this, but you won’t see one anywhere near the 400lb mark in gassed-up, street trim.

        Plus, a wet weight of 425lbs on the 899 means its weight loss (~12lbs) due to the new frame config is similar to what was seen with the 1199 over the prior model. So that number sounds plausible to me.

        http://www.sportrider.com/bikes/146_1207_triumph_daytona_675r_vs_ducati_848_evo_corse_se/

        • Jay

          Obviously I have no way to confirm the veracity of their claims, but Triumph is one of the few manufactures to publish a wet weight, which they list at 405 pounds “ready to ride.”
          http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/motorcycles/range/supersports/daytona/2013/daytona-675r/24443
          Also, Ducati lists a dry weight (AFAIK the only weights they publish) for the 848 at two pounds lighter than the dry weight of 899 listed here. Since the frameless weight savings should be included in any dry weight measurement, and unless they have this new motor running air cooled or without oil, the 899 should not be 12ish pounds lighter.

          Again, all this assumes accurate listed measurements.

          • Rossopuro

            Comparing dry weights, the 899 is 1 kg heavier than the 848 evo and 2 kg heavier than the 848 evo corse se. Don’t forget though that the 899 includes standard ABS, while the 848 did not.

            Comparing wet (real-world) weights, however, the 899 is 1 kg lighter than the 848 evo, and 2 kg lighter than the 848 evo corse se.

            Why does the corse se fluctuate more from dry to wet? It has an 18L fuel capacity, vs. the 15.5 of the 848 evo, and the 17 of the 899.

            Hope that clears it up! This bike is going to be a runner, for sure.

            • Jay

              Thanks for the info. So essentially the same weight, essentially the same HP, same torque as the trellis framed, SSSA previous generation bike that is 4 years old at this point. Not disputing it will be a “runner,” but not seeing this bike as an improvement in any significant way over its predecessor save for the electronics package. Doesn’t justify the $1k price difference in my mind, and especially considering the value that a used 848 Evo represents. What do you see compelling current 848 owners to upgrade to this bike?

              • Rossopuro

                The 848 was a fantastic bike and a used 848 evo is a good value, no doubt…but the 899 is in another category. It is simply a more broadly capable bike with higher performance. Rear wheel torque is much higher (around 20% in 6th gear at 110mph), it’s more nimble due to a reduction in steering head angle, braking is much better with M4.32 monoblocs and standard ABS, suspension is more supple and better tuned for street, and it’s much more comfortable with a better seat. Oh yes, and the electronics, with traction control, engine braking control, riding modes, quick shift.

    • Drew

      The new 899 has ABS breaks and is the same price as the RSV4 with ABS.

  • Bob

    I wonder what the cost of maintenance for this bike will be. Would suck if you have to essentially take the whole bike apart just to service the valves. Also, pricing is right around RSV4R territory so why not just swing that way.

    • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

      Valve adjustments are at 15k miles on these Ducatis. And you technically change the oil every 7,500 miles. Maintenance costs have come down on this new generation of Ducatis.

  • Stuki

    Doesn’t look all that comfortable to tool around on, even compared to an S1000RR; but man, what a gorgeous motorcycle!

  • Marc

    lol at “supermiddle.” So… you mean “large?” This is the McDonalds-ization of motorcycle displacement with today’s smalls being bigger than yesterday’s larges. Once upon a time the Ducati 851 and 888 were superbikes. This has more displacement than either of those.

  • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

    I have no doubt will will prove to be a superior performer to the 848- why else would Ducati develop/release it? It just makes me a little sad the Panigales have never looked as good to my eye as the 1098-based bikes. That thing took my breath away when it debuted, and I still daydream about a white 848 Evo.

  • sospeedy

    “A Panigale for the rest of us…”? The full on 1199 version is a bit much for most of us i reckon.

  • Chris McAlevy

    I’ll take electronically adjustable suspension, single sided swingarm, and being able to say “Mine’s the big one” for $3k, alex. Even though an 1199 is vastly beyond the level of motorcycle I can reasonably use, it’s the better buy in my mind by such a huge margin I’d never consider the 899.

    Unless, that is, the ergonomics are much better. But it doesn’t look like it.

    • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

      You’ll need to spend $9,000 more to get the electronic suspension. $3,000 more is for the standard one without the cool electronic Ohlins.

      • Chris McAlevy

        Ah. That makes a difference, for sure.

  • Corey Cook

    Also worth mentioning, the LED headlights are gone too. The headlights in the video are just regular old reflector housings with incandescent bulbs. I think we’ll come to find lots more cost cutting as all the details trickle out.

    • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

      The standard 1199 doesn’t have LED headlights either. Not a surprise that the 899 doesn’t have them.

  • Benjamin Reynolds

    $3,000 isn’t a big enough difference at this price point. I’d pay that much for the single sided swing arm and suspension alone. Plus you get bragging rights with the 1199. This bike needs to be $14,000 MAX.

    • Stuki

      At the same time, MSRP for some “lowly” 600 (Kawa 636) is almost $13K. No wonder the Euros exotics aren’t quite so exotic sales wise anymore….. I do realize actual transaction prices are probably a bit further apart, but still….

      • Davidabl2

        Kwak maintenance and spares are probably(?) cheaper, as well as the insurance…

      • Benjamin Reynolds

        You make good points, but I think I would have a hard time justifying this over a ZX10R let alone a ZX6R. Don’t get me wrong the 899 is a stunning bike, but it just doesn’t do enough extra to be an “exotic” to me.

  • Rossopuro

    A few corrections….
    -The dash is LCD, not TFT
    -The engine is Superquadro, not Desmoquadro
    -It makes 1 Nm more torque than the 848, at 750 lower rpm
    -Suspension is tuned to be more street-oriented without losing track ability
    -It is not frameless, like the 1199 it has a Monocoque frame that also serves as the airbox, as well as front and rear subframes
    -Wet weight is lower than the 848EVO and the 848EVO Corse, and don’t forget that the 899 includes standard ABS while the 848 did not
    -”Not quite competitive with full on superbikes” – we’ll see. Depends on the track, IMO.

  • keyle

    The design feel like a let down from the 848 evo… look at the back…
    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/072010top-i_848evo_pitlane.jpg

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Is that a Honda? I can’t tell…

    • Chris McAlevy

      I agree. I think the 848 is the better looking motorcycle; though I obviously haven’t seen an 899 in person yet.

  • Fresh Mint

    What is rideaparts source on pricing I haven’t seen that data anywhere?

    At 15k it better come with non-electric ohlins… I’d pay 13900-14500 for this bike with the suspension found on modern 600 Japanese bikes..yes the electronics are nice but sport bikes are all about suspension and tires

  • Ducky

    That’s a pretty ridiculous price. Why not just a RSV4 and be done with it?

  • plutonites

    i hear these ducatis are doing away with the belts and going for gears and chains. which should equal cheaper maintenance costs. i also hear the front forks are BPF.

    any of this true?