Ducati has finally pulled the wraps off its much-anticipated 1199 Panigale, revealing three versions of the all-new V-twin superbike that is set to carry the company into the next decade—as well as likely set the sportbike world on its ear. The 1199 is literally bristling with technology that breaks new ground not just for V-twins, but sportbikes in general. In keeping with the traditions set by the previous desmos, there will be a standard Panigale, plus an S and “Tricolore” version packed with even more features (although there is no difference in power output).
The Tricolore (left) and S...
The Tricolore (left) and S versions of the 1199 Panigale feature the Ducati Electronic Suspension package.
We’ve already covered the engine details that were released back in October here
, although a quick recap is surely in order. The all-new engine is a massively oversquare bore x stroke configuration of 112 x 60.8mm (versus the 1198’s 106 x 67.9mm measurements), with the 90-degree V-angle rotated backward on the crankcases six degrees to allow the engine to be more compact. Bigger titanium valves, a hybrid chain/gear cam drive, a plain bearing crankshaft (all the previous engines except the Desmosedici RR used caged ball main bearings) for higher strength, and monstrous 67.5mm throttle bodies—the previous 1198 used 63.9mm units—are just part of the features. These are now controlled by a ride-by-wire throttle system, a first for a Ducati superbike model. The exhaust system is now completely routed underneath the engine (cue Buell owners…).
The 1199 is literally bristling with technology that breaks new ground not just for V-twins, but sportbikes in general. "
The chassis of the 1199 Panigale utilizes the same monocoque concept as the current Desmosedici MotoGP machine, with the engine forming an integral portion of the chassis, and contributing to the claimed dry weight of 361.5 pounds. The aluminum headstock that also doubles as the airbox attaches directly to the cylinder heads, while the aluminum rear sub-frame and die-cast aluminum swingarm attach to the rear of the engine. The more compact setup allows the swingarm to be 39mm longer, while only elongating the wheelbase 0.3 inches to 56.6 inches. The 4.5-gallon fuel tank is now aluminum.
More big news comes in the form of the DES (Ducati Electronic Suspension) Öhlins setup from the Multistrada 1200S making its way to the 1199 Panigale S and Tricolore versions (the standard 1199 uses a Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock). Rebound and compression damping are electronically adjustable—spring preload at both ends still requires a wrench, however—on both the 43mm NIX30 inverted fork and the TTX36 rear shock. As with the Multistrada, preset Riding Modes allow instant changes to overall suspension setup and engine character at the press of a button, or an independent mode permits customization of a Riding Mode setup. Also interesting is the side-mounting of the rear shock, which allows easy access to the linkage that is adjustable for a progressive rate (to handle a passenger) or a straighter rate (better for racetrack use).
A more refined version of the Ducati Traction Control works on the acceleration side, while a new EBC (Engine Brake Control) system enhances stability under braking by controlling engine back-torque. The DQS (Ducati Quick Shift) power-shifter returns, but is now more compact. And the DDA (Ducati Data Analyzer) now uses GPS to enable quick and easy automatic lap times anywhere without the use of a trackside transmitter (standard on the Tricolore, optional on the 1199 and 1199 S).
Brake calipers are Brembo’s latest M50 monobloc aluminum alloy units, with each caliper’s 30mm pistons biting on a huge 330mm disc for massive braking power. But even more important is the introduction of an advanced ABS as an option on the standard 1199 and S model, but original equipment on the Tricolore version. The ABS only runs through the front brakes, with a “rear lift-up detection” activated in the Sport and Rain Riding Modes. The front 3.50 x 17-inch and rear 6.00 x 17-inch wheels (standard 1199 uses cast aluminum 10-spoke hoops that are 1.1 pounds lighter than the previous wheels; S and Tricolore use "triple three-spoke" forged/machined aluminum wheels that are 0.88 pounds lighter than the previous Marchesinis) are shod with Pirelli's Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber, with the rear tire a humungous 200/55ZR-17 unit.
Rider ergos have been thankfully mellowed out a bit, with a 30mm shorter seat-to-tank distance, plus a 10mm higher and 32mm wider handlebar setup. The dashboard uses the latest TFT (thin film transistor) technology for its display, allowing colors to be used along with higher resolution. In addition to the turn signals, the headlights on the S and Tricolore models are LED units.
Prices for the U.S. are: $17,995 for the standard 1199, $22,995 for the 1199 S, $23,995 for 1199 S with ABS, and $27,995 for the Tricolore model. Look for a more detailed analysis of the Ducati 1199 Panigale in a future issue of Sport Rider Magazine