released details on its latest iteration of the 1199 Panigale
, this time a very exclusive top-shelf model designated the 1199 Superleggera
(“super light”). The moniker is apropos, considering the bike’s claimed wet weight—Ducati’s provided specs state “includes all fluids and fueled to at least 90% of usable tank capacity”—of 390 pounds, which would make the Superleggera the lightest large-displacement sport motorcycle ever. Just 500 units will be produced, and sales reportedly will follow along the lines of past top-shelf exclusive Ducatis, i.e., invitation only, based upon past Ducati purchases. UPDATE: Ducati has announced that the 1199 Superleggera will retail for $65,000, putting the V-twin a bit less than the Desmosedici RR
’s sticker of $72,500.
The Superleggera’s engine starts with the 1199 R model’s configuration that utilizes titanium
connecting rods and intake valves. But the Superleggera’s titanium use continues even further, with the exhaust valves also made from the exotic lightweight metal. Because the Superleggera is a racetrack-intended motorcycle, Ducati fitted the bike with special two-ring racing pistons that have ultra-short skirts and only two rings (one compression and one oil ring) for less friction and mass, leading to higher rpm capability. The new pistons also feature revised crowns that modify the combustion chamber and increase compression ratio to 13.2:1 from the R model’s 12:5:1. The crankshaft was also significantly lightened and precision-balanced using tungsten inserts.
Like other previous R models in Ducati’s past lineups, a track-only Race kit is included with the Superleggera. This includes a titanium Akrapovic full exhaust that increases power by five horsepower and drops an additional 5.5 pounds, a tall racing windscreen, bike cover, front and rear paddock stands, machined mirror removal caps, and removal kits for the license plate holder and the sidestand.
The chassis also gets the exotic lightweight material treatment, with the trademark monocoque
frame utilizing magnesium
for the front steering head section, and carbon fiber
for the rear subframe section. The wheels are Marchesini forged magnesium units, and the bodywork is completely made from carbon fiber as well. A lithium-ion battery drops more weight, and detail enhancements include titanium bolts in the chassis and engine, plus an exhaust sporting stainless steel headers and a titanium collector/exit can. A lightweight 520-size chain and Ergal (a brand of 7075 aluminum alloy; 7075 is a zinc-infused alloy with high strength and corrosion resistance) rear sprocket reduce drive train weight.
Suspension consists of a race-spec Öhlins FL916 inverted front fork with fully machined fork bottoms, and a TTX36 rear shock with titanium spring. The standard Brembo M50 monobloc calipers get upgraded with a race-spec 19-21 front master cylinder with remote adjuster.
The 1199 Superleggera’s electronics package is also enhanced, with a new system for managing unwanted acceleration wheelies with the addition of DWC (Ducati Wheelie Control), based on an inertial platform. The DTC (Ducati Traction Control) and EBC (Engine Brake Control) are also upgraded, with a new automatic rear tire/sprocket size calibration setup that means you won’t be restricted to the stock tires and sprockets anymore. The DDA (Ducati Data Analysis) now includes an additional sensor and software channel that records and displays bike lean angles. The Superleggera's electronics can be operated via a race-inspired array of handlebar-mounted control buttons for on-the-fly adjustments of various systems.