Ducati 1199 Panigale
If you’re already a Ducatista, you’ll understand why Ducati fans remain faithful to their brand throughout their lives. Indeed, you don’t even need to own a Ducati to be a fan of the motorcycle manufacturer’s consistently high standards. Ducati delivers quality motorbikes time and time again: each bike in its range is a high performance machine, and the company’s styling is always spot on.
The Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati, founded in 1926 by the Ducati brothers (Adriano, Marcello and Bruno), was initially a company that produced and sold electronic radio components. Although successful in the electronics sector, the company diversified after the Second World War and, in collaboration with a small Turinese firm (SIATA) that produced small pushrod engines that could be attached to normal pedal bicycles, began to supply prebuilt pushrod motorcycles to a growing market of buyers. The first Ducati motorcycle was a 60cc bike weighing less than 45kg that reached its top speed at 64kph.
The management of Ducati, owing to the success of both side of their business, decided to divide the company into two units: the electronics side (Ducati Electtronica SpA) and the mechanical side (Ducati Meccanica SpA). Today, the two companies are known as Ducati Energia (manufactures electronic components) and Ducati Motor Holding SpA. The motorbike company has changed ownership quite a few times over its lifetime, but was quite recently bought by an Italian firm from the Texas Pacific Group, effectively transferring the ownership of Ducati and its racing subsidiaries (MotoGP and Super Bike Racing) from and American company back to its country of origin.
The bike displayed on this page is the Ducati 1199 Panigale, which was selected from the company’s current line of production bikes. The sport bike is named after the small manufacturing town of Borgo Panigale and was introduced at the 2011 EIMCA. Whenever I see an image of this bike I imagine myself starting the powerful engine, making sure my gloves are on tightly, and setting of on the long road down to the Garden Route: the journey would be for the joy of the open road, but I’m pretty sure I’ll check out the property for sale in Plettenberg Bay while I’m in the area…
When released, the 1199 Panigale was equipped with the world’s most powerful production twin cylinder engine: the 1199’s engine produces about 140kW (195bhp) at 10 750 rpm and its maximum torque is reached at 9000 rpm. This power is coupled to a bike that has a curb weight of just less than 190kg. Sound fast? Perhaps this could give further indication as to the bike’s performance: the Panigale has the highest power to weight and torque to weight ratios available among all production motorcycles. The bike contains additional design features also worth noting.
The new Superquadro (oversquare) engine has a new valve timing system made of gears and chains which replaces the cam belt system on previous Ducati engines. The motorcycle also uses the engine as a stressed member which allows the overall frame of the machine to be much smaller and therefore lighter than a conventional frame.
The 1199 is among the first production sports motorcycles to include an electronically adjustable suspension system. The rebound and compression damping of the suspension system is adjusted electronically while pre-load is still adjusted manually. The 1199 is further equipped with an under-floor exhaust (the exhaust system and mufflers are underneath the engine, as compared to under the seat exhaust on previous models).
Trust Ducati to produce yet another masterpiece of engineering and aesthetic brilliance.