As far as venues go, there might not be a better place on Earth to launch a new motorcycle than Pebble Beach, California – that is, if you are into the whole breath-taking view sort of thing.
The party of course was for Ducati’s last v-twin superbike, the aptly named Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition, which is part Superleggera, part road bike, and part spaghetti dinner.
Clad in a the an Italian tricolore livery, the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition puts out a potent 209hp, and features some of the best pieces of Ducati’s v-twin superbike lineage – part of a long goodbye to the desmodromic v-twin platform.
Not a limited edition bike, but instead a numbered edition machine, Ducati plans on making the Panigale R Final Edition models for as long as there is consumer demand for the superbike (and while there are enough numbers to count them by).
For American Ducatisti, owning one will mean a $40,000 commitment, which isn’t such a lofty price tag, if you considered its half the cost of the carbon-fiber-everything Ducati 1299 Superleggera.
Up-close, the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is what you would expect. The livery reminds us of the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Tricolore, especially as an homage to its country of origin.
Adding in the WorldSBK-inspired Akrapovic exhaust makes for a nice visual change from the Panigale norm, and further ties the bike to its racing pedigree, as well as the recently released Superleggera.
Surprising enough, the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is Euro4 compliant, thanks mostly to the huge muffler box that is snuggled to the underbelly of the bike. Note: this not the same exhaust as found on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera.
Similarly, there are subtle differences to the motor on the Final Edition, as the 1,285cc v-twin motor features a steel cylinder sleeve and die-cast casing.
However, the FE keeps its lighter crankshaft with a larger crank pin and tungsten balancing pads, while the con-rods and intake/exhaust valves are made from titanium. As on seen on the Panigale R superbike engine, the two 116mm pistons have just two piston rings, inside steel cylinder liners.
Other features include red forged aluminum Marchesini wheels, as well as a numbered triple clamp. The paint on the fuel tank exposes the metal beneath it, similar to previous Panigale R models. Always a fan favorite, especially in the USA.
Overall the design is pretty fetching, though it does scream “Mama Mia!” to anyone that comes within earshot.
Our only complaint is the exposed titanium header pipe on the side of the bike, which becomes blue in hue as it ages, which can make for an odd color clash on the right-hand side of the bike. That’s a fairly picky complaint, of course.