For 2014, Ducati is giving the Panigale a bit of a model update, and thanks to an ill-framed photo from the Ducati North America dealers’ meeting, we know that the new superbike will be called by the 1299 designation.
The upgrade in number caused some confusion though, as Ducati has a mixed history of matching designation numbers to actual displacement sizes. Hoping to clear up the confusion and speculation, we received some details from our Bothan spy network.
As expected, Ducati will not be bumping up the 1299R up to 1,300cc of displacement, as the World Superbike rules are for 1,200cc twin-cylinder engines, and are not going to be changed anytime soon.
With Dorna in control of the World Superbike Championship, gone are the days where the Flamini brothers would accommodate their Italian compatriots. Dorna is seeking to reduce costs, and thus reduce changes, to the WSBK rulebook, and 2015 stands as a hallmark year for the series, as it adopts “EVO” class rules that restrict engine development from stock.
The 1299R is speculated to use many of the engine internals of the Ducati 1199 Superleggera, thus homologating the ~200 rwhp engine for racing use. Ducati of course will still have to overcome the very limiting intake restrictions for two-cylinder engines in WSBK, but that’s another story for another time.
As for the street bikes, the 1299 and 1299S will get a 100cc increase in displacement. Our Bothans say the displacement increase will come from a longer stroke to the engine, which should surprise no one considering the “Superquadro” engine name roughly means “over-square” in Italian.
With the 1199 Panigale already the lightest superbike on the market, the Italians are certainly not giving up any performance in the power-to-weight ratio department. Ducati’s new philoshophy regarding street-going sport bikes is to take advantage of the company’s ability to make very light machines off a v-twin platform.
As seen with the release of the Ducati 899 Panigale, there seems to be little point in Ducati adhering to racing class displacement designations, since the Italian firm can package larger displacement engines in similarly sized motorcycles as their Japanese and European counterparts.
The 1299 model seems to be the next step in this progression, and shows the growing trend of firms releasing homologation special bikes that vary from the standard street versions of the same machine, as has been rumored with Honda’s V4 project, and will be seen with Yamaha’s new R1.
Source: Bothan Spies