Despite ever stricter emissions standards and a recession that’s dragging on in Europe, Ducati has once again managed to squeeze every last drop of power out of its twin-cylinder and shed some pounds to boot. The new 1199 Panigale hits North America armed to the teeth and more than ready to challenge the Superbike hierarchy.
We’re seeing the phenomenon more and more: the development of World Superbike and MotoGP factory machines is benefiting street-legal models, with racing traction control systems and sophisticated ABS technologies now being included on standard bikes. These new riding aids have allowed manufacturers to engage in another hotly contested horsepower race while keeping their thoroughbred machines accessible to the average Joe. Thanks to this arsenal of mechanical and electronic innovations, you don’t have to be an alien like Nicky Hayden to have fun at the track and clock some gratifying lap times.
|The new 1199 Panigale hits North America armed to the teeth and more than ready to challenge the Superbike hierarchy. (Photo: Ducati)
The Ducati is making up for its previous lacklustre pure power figures, reportedly deploying 195 hp at 10,700 rpm. In fact, it’s setting a new record for twin-cylinder bikes on both the power and torque fronts, outmatching its electronic technology-ridden competitors with its 96 lb-ft of torque at 9,000 rpm.
To do so, the manufacturer created an all-new oversquare L-twin (greater bore than stroke) and made the unusual choice of a combined chain and gear drive arrangement. The Desmodromic system is still on board, actuating valve closure to enable high operating speeds. But Ducati had to go back to the drawing board for everything else because the engine is now a fully stressed member of the chassis and the bike’s main rigidifying element. The internal components got a Nikasil and carbon polymer treatment while the clutch covers, crankcase and cylinder heads are made from magnesium.
The Panigale’s engine uses a pressure reducer to minimize the awkwardness and weight of the starter, and the super compact oil pump is taken directly from MotoGP. What’s more, the Panigale now features an wet clutch like that of the 848
, reinforced and equipped with a unidirectional system
|The Ducati is making up for its previous lacklustre pure power figures, reportedly deploying 195 hp at 10,700 rpm. (Photo: Ducati)