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2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The all-new 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale and 1299 S Panigale get a bump in displacement and power, while the Panigale R stays put at 1,198cc to meet WSBK rules.

The biggest news is the 1,285cc Superquadro twin-cylinder that generates 205 hp at 10,500 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque at 8,750 rpm. Along with a revised architecture, it will allow riders to push the limits of performance on the track. The steering angle (rake) went from 24.5 to 24 degrees for greater agility, while the 4mm lower swingarm pivot point should improve stability at full throttle.

Ducati 1299 Panigale 2015
Photo: Ducati

More advanced electronics
The 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale features a more advanced version of the Ducati Safety Pack which includes exclusive Bosch 9.1 MP ABS brakes that remain active in corners, as well as the Ducati Quick Shift assistant that now manages shifting of the gearbox in both up and down directions. Ducati Traction Control (eight different levels) can be set on the fly via a control on the handlebar; it takes tire wear into account for more accurate interventions, and displays lean angle on the instrument panel.

Ergonomics were also improved thanks to a redesigned seat that's more comfortable, larger mirrors, and machined aluminium footpegs that offer more grip than before, Ducati claims.

Meanwhile, the 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale S adds an electronically controlled, semi-active Öhlins suspension, design elements in carbon fibre, full LED headlights, and forged aluminum wheels.

Designed for racing
As mentioned earlier, the Panigale R retains the 1,198cc engine; however, race-derived components such as a lightweight and precision-balanced crankshaft, dual-ring pistons, titanium valves and connecting rods, and new camshafts with a more aggressive profile elevate output to 205 hp at 11,500 rpm.

Ducati engineers will tell you that the 1,198cc Superquadro, which is directly derived from the WSBK Superstock 1000 class, is the closest thing available to a dedicated race engine. The 4-position adjustable swingarm pivot will ensure maximum balance and flexibility to different track conditions and rider preferences. The Panigale R is also 5kg lighter than the base model (162kg vs. 167kg).

Bottom line

The new 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale joins the 200-hp club along with the Aprilia RSV4 RR, Yamaha YZF-R1, and BMW S1000RR. In this quest for maximum power and domination, the real winners are obviously superbike enthusiasts looking for top-notch technology and big-time thrills.