Panigale 1299: More power, more electronics

Ducati’s Panigale 1199 is now the Panigale 1299, with more power thanks to a bigger motor, and an equally powerful electronics package.

There will be three Panigale models now. Along with the base model, there’s an S model and R model. The R model stays at 1199 cc so Ducati can continue racing it in World Superbike, but the base and S models will now get big-bored to 1285 cc.

All three bikes now have a 24° steering head angle, for quicker turning, and the fork pivot is lower, which should improve rear wheel traction.

All three bikes will also get Ducati’s new quick shift system, as well as Bosch cornering ABS. They get different suspension systems, though.

The base Panigale has fully adjustable 50 mm Marzocchi USD forks up front – nice equipment for sure, but nothing like the S model’s Ohlins-sourced 43 mm USD forks, with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustments. There’s also a semi-active suspension management system on the Panigale S, to take much of the guesswork out of the adjustment process.

The R model doesn’t have electronic suspension; instead, it has another 43 mm fork from Ohlins – fully adjustable, of course. Wet weight for the race-bred R model is only 184 kg, compared to the already-paltry  190.5 kg standard and S models. The R model does get Ducati’s data acquisition system, though.

Don’t think the R model will be hamstrung with an outdated engine, despite its other upgrades. Although its displacement will remain the same, it puts out the same horsepower as the other bikes (205 hp at 11,500 rpm) although it makes a little less torque (the big-bored bikes make around 100 ft-lb of torque at 10,250 rpm). Upgrades for 2015 include a tungsten-balanced crankshaft and two-ring pistons (as found on the Superleggara) and titanium/carbon-fibre Akrapovic exhaust.


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