Hell On Wheels
Ducati's new road bike lights up the streets.
Drivers in the World Superbike Championship series zip around tracks, kneecaps inches off the ground, at speeds of up to 200 mph. Because it defies both gravity and mortality, motorcycle racing relies heavily on the connection between the bike, its driver, and the pavement below. With that in mind, Ducati built the all-new 1199 Panigale R.
The base Panigale was introduced in 2011 with Ducati’s first completely new engine in 20 years and the first frameless design in the company’s history. Now the fourth and most track-capable iteration, the R, a homologated version of the World Superbike ride, hits the streets.
It’s hailed as the ultimate road machine, powered by the L-twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled Superquadro, named for its larger pistons and intake valves. The 1198cc engine provides the structural rigidity of the bike, so there’s no need for a traditional frame. New lightweight titanium connecting rods increase the RPMs from 11,500 to 12,000. Ducati took an already freakishly fast bike, pulled back the limits, and bumped up the power enough for a 0 to 60 time of 2.9 seconds.
One of the biggest advantages of the Panigale is its ability to adjust to its driver. In addition to multiple drive modes and a suspension that automatically adjusts your balance on turns and hills, the R version has a new four-position adjustable swingarm. Move the swingarm up and the shocks stiffen, giving you more unabsorbed torque for quicker takeoff.
To keep riding easy and simple, the Panigale R has a fully digital color dash that displays everything from the status of the electronic braking system to your fastest lap time.
The only thing the Panigale R can’t do is make espresso. But don’t worry, the bike alone has enough power to keep you wired.
Ducati 1199 Panigale R