“We made a fluid dynamic simulation and tested 108mm- to 116mm-bore pistons,” says Marco Sairu, the Technical Project Manager in charge of developing the 1199 engine. “At the end, 112mm was the best solution, and around that piston we made the rest of the engine.” The rest of the engine is just as innovative; the enormous pistons made room for large 46.8mm (vs. 43.5mm) titanium intake valves and 38.2mm (vs. 34.5mm) exhaust valves. Controlling those large valves is a new chain and gear-drive system that has adjustment for precise cam timing. There are more additions up top, including a centrifugal flyweight on the end of each exhaust cam that acts as a compression release. The mechanism has enabled Ducati engineers to use a smaller battery and starter motor, which reduces weight by a claimed 7.3 pounds. Also for weight purposes, the clutch cover, valve covers and sump are all made from magnesium.
Ducati’s adopted a secondary air system, which takes cool, fresh air from the airbox and injects it into the exhaust port to help burn leftover fuel that gets past the exhaust valve. Other internal changes include wet liners that allow the cylinder heads to be fitted directly to the crankcase, shell main bearings for the crankshaft and techno-polymer gears for the oil and water pump drives. Lastly, the cylinders have been rotated backwards six degrees, enabling the engine to be mounted 32mm further forward for improved front/rear weight distribution.
Replacing the traditional steel trellis frame is a die-cast aluminum monocoque component that houses the steering head bearings and doubles as the airbox. The piece attaches directly to the cylinder heads and saves a reported 11 pounds. Attaching directly to the rear of the engine is the new die-cast aluminum single-sided swingarm, which is 39mm longer and contributes to the 7mm increase in wheelbase. An aluminum rear subframe mounts just above the swingarm. “It was harder to finalize the rear subframe than the monocoque component,” says Cristian Gasparri, the chassis Technical Project Manager. “The monocoque component was good starting from the beginning of the project,” he continues. The standard Panigale rolls on 10-spoke cast alloy wheels, whereas the S and S Tricolore models roll on lighter three-spoke forged and machined Marchesini examples.
The standard Panigale and S models vary heavily in terms of suspension. The S models come equipped with an electronically adjustable Öhlins NIX30 front fork that separates compression and rebound damping. The rear shock is a similarly adjustable Öhlins TTX36 unit that uses a stepper motor to make rebound and compression damping adjustments. The standard model’s suspenders are just as impressive, however; the Marzocchi pressurized fork uses 50mm hard-anodized aluminum sliders and weighs 2.2 pounds less than the 1198’s fork. Out back is a capable Sachs shock that mounts via the same two-way adjustable linkage — you can adjust the link to be progressive (when riding with a passenger) or flat.
The switch from Marelli to Mitsubishi has allowed Ducati to incorporate a fully independent ride-by-wire system acting on two injectors per cylinder. This change has brought about three distinct riding modes, Race, Sport and Wet, each of which incorporate ABS, Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). Adjustments for each system are made through the all-new Thin Film Transistor (TFT) screen, a full-color display that changes layouts according to which ride mode is selected.
“The main request from Ducati was weight reduction,” claims Roberto Lavezzi, the Motorcycle Business Unit Technical Director at Brembo. The M50 calipers Brembo delivered Ducati certainly met that request and are a told 6.5-percent lighter. The biggest difference between the M50 caliper and older calipers are its smaller pistons (30mm vs. 34mm). The pads are the same shape and material, but a rib on the middle of the piston is said to provide increased rigidity. The changes to the caliper were matched by changes to the master cylinder, which runs a smaller piston as well. ABS is a $1000 option on the standard or S model, but is more advanced than ever, using a 9ME Bosch processor and four sensors. The Panigale also makes use of a combined brake system (front to rear) and rear lift-up detection. As with the other electronics, the pre-determined settings vary depending on the riding mode.
2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S
Type: Liquid-cooled L-Twin cylinder four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl.
Bore x stroke: 112 x 60.8mm
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Induction: Mitsubishi EFI, elliptical throttle bodies with 67.5mm equivalent dia., dual injectors/cyl.
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 200/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 24.5 degrees/3.9 in. (100mm)
Wheelbase: 56.6 in. (1437mm)
Seat height: 32.5 in. (825mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal. (17L)
Claimed wet weight: 414.5 lb. (188kg)