At the German Auto Show, the Boys from Bologna debuted the Ducati 899 Panigale, a “super-mid” version of the Italian company’s superbike platform. A bit too big to be a supersport class machine, the 899 Panigale should however be fun on the track, in a vein that is similar to the Suzuki GSX-R750 and MV Agusta F3 800.
That premise will have to remain as conjecture for us though, as while Ducati’s chosen few are currently gathered in Bologna right now for the press launch of the 2013 Ducati 899 Panigale, Asphalt & Rubber was not among those who crossed the pond for the launch and test ride. Not to worry though, we should start hearing the initial impressions from journalists shortly.
Meanwhile, we can turn our attention to the machines that Ducati has yet to debut to the public, though will be shortly. A&R broke the news last week about the upcoming Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera, and we have already seen spy photos of the Ducati Scrambler (said to be a 2015 model, if it gets the production nod), and a liquid-cooled Ducati Monster 1200.
Turning our attention to the latter in that list, what you see above is a photo of what greeted Ducati dealers when Ducati North America debuted its 2014 line to them last week in New Orleans, and from the look of things, the machine in question appears to be a street-ready roadster.
What we for now will call the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200, this new motorcycle features a water-cooled Testastretta 11° engine, and is supposed to be along the same vein as the Monster S4 and its progeny. No word on specs or price yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this machine filled a gap in Ducati’s lineup where the Streetfighter 1098 once resided.
Ducati has slowly been phasing out the larger Streetfighter, which was a fairly niche machine for the brand (code for: it didn’t sell very well); and after dropping the base model, Ducati has left only the “S” model for the 2013 model year.
With the Ducati Hypermotard now using a 821cc version of the Testastretta 11° engine, this new Monster will have to slot into a narrow space so as not to rob sales from other machines in Ducati’s arsenal. Accordingly, we wouldn’t be surprised if it replace the Streetfighter S completely, but as always, time will tell.
Set to debut at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, we should have official specs in a few weeks time — unless of course, something coms across our way ahead of that time. In the interim…you don’t have to be an ass man to enjoy what’s going on up there.
Source: Bothan Spies