Ducati 1199 Panigale Says “Checkmate” to the Competition

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The folks around Borgo Panigale are feeling very confident about the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale. Dropping 22lbs off the Superbike 1198?s design for a 361 lbs dry wright, while making an extra 20hp over its predecessor for a 195hp peak horsepower figure, the Ducati 1199 Panigale is an impressive machine based purely off its spec-sheet. That’s not including a revolutionary monocoque frame, the first full-LED headlight on a motorcycle, the first electronically adjustable suspension on a sport bike, the first engine braking control system, as well as the first GPS-assisted data acquisition system for a production motorcycle (the DDA+ package is an optional equipment item for the Panigale).

The Ducati 1199 Panigale also comes standard with traction control, while ABS brakes are an optional item for the flagship superbike. With all that technology packaged into one machine, we can understand why Ducati might be acting pretty pleased with itself right now. We’ll reserve our critique on the two-wheled titan until we get the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale on the street and track, though we have to admit, it’s hard not being impressed with the bike at this point in time…especially when it is such a stunner in person. While we whet our appetite, Ducati’s hubris is after the jump.

Source: Ducati



  1. Cute add, but not so sure about wanting a bike with a plubmbers nightmare protruding from the lower fairing, the ugly shock placement, or my chances of riding it well if VR & NH couldn’t get to grips with the carbon chassis.

  2. ^ The carbon airbox/frame is COMPLETELY different than something like the aluminum one used now. Not only that, but you’re never going to ride this on rock hard spec Bridgestone GP tires…this bike will truly be amazing I have no doubt.

  3. BikePilot

    I like the protruding pipe – gives it a bit more of a mechanical/industrial sense that is often lost when the whole thing is wrapped in plastic. Not sure about the shock, would need to see that one in person as its hard to get an idea of the depth from pictures.

  4. First off, this is a completely different machine than the “GOAT” and Nicky have been riding. They have a V4 and quite a bit more hp. I don’t think many people could push the 1199 hard enough to have the same problems they are experiencing.

    The 1199 Panigale is a beautiful and revolutionary motorcycle. The video test rider sure seemed to be having a great time on it as well. I can’t wait to see the reactions and write ups after Ducati lets the media get their hands on it.

  5. “…especially when it is such a stunner in person.”

    Yawn! This tired old cliche` isn’t working anymore.

  6. Other Sean

    ^ Yeah, it’s either a stunner, or it’s not.

    And I’m here to say, it’s not! Race trim might do it some favors though, get rid of those headlights and mirrors.

  7. I agree with Jensen on this one. Overall the head shot of the bike is the best part. the tri-colour paint job makes it look about 400% better too.

    I NEED to see it in person before I cast final judgement. I can forget going on a test ride up here in the northeast though. I have yet to find a local dealer that allows it.

  8. ducman1198

    being an 1198 owner i cant say im “in love” with the styling but im not against it either. Is it super hot…no, but is it butt ugly….no i think its pleasing to the eyes with nice lines and has typical Italian styling.

    its a very nice bike.

    What i really like about it, is what you get for your money. If your going to drop 15k on a bike it needs to be something more then just a bike. It needs a lot of bells, whistles, and gizmo’s with a monster motor. I think Ducati has accomplished that without pricing it beyond normal buys reach.

    Or you can run out and buy an MVF3 675 for almost the same price LOL!!…hell no!!!!

    But seriously what of the current crop of superbikes can really go toe to toe with it? The new (same) Honda CBR1000 has no gizmos, no V4, no TC, and its still 14k. Trust when it first came out everyone hated the way it looked! Its still a solid bike but It reminded you of a buell instead of a Honda!

    The ZX10 and the BMW both look hot, have a banging motors with a few gizmos, TC and are around the same price, so their contenders. Then there’s the RSv4 also a contender with gizmo’s, TC and smoking fast engine. The R1, and the GSXR1 are both an after thought. Even with TC on the R1 its still not on par and the poor GSXR hasn’t had a serious update in 5 years! Supposedly 2013 is going to be a complete redesign for them both but now they are both still priced at 14k!

    Then you can get into the over priced RC8, MVF4 and the ridiculous Buell 1190. These wallet busting bike are very cool but if you look at the numbers the 1199 or any of the contenders give you the same bang for your buck as a cheaper price! Who has 40k to drop on a buell when an 1199 is just as good!

    I think Ducati got it right with the 1199. Since the jap bikes are now on par price wise, once upon a time a CBR1000 was 5k less but not anymore, the only way to compete is to build a better bike! So if i had 15k to spend on a superbike the 1199 would be right there in the mix!

    Personally the 1198 is the bomb but i could be a little bias since i have one! I do love my RC51 more but you didn’t hear me say that lol!

  9. LED is nice but the styling leaves not much to be desired, especially the lower portion. As for the mirrors, they could have improved on the previous style and made them more functional…

    I imagine the first person to lowside this thing, will blame the front end, as if they were flogging it like Rossi on Bridgstone GP slicks.

    I can’t wait to hear from that guy, I need a good laugh…

  10. I want one, tough to justify in my personal situation, I would have to get rid of another bike and I like them all, if I was in the market for a “street superbike” this would be it no question, as for racing them, I would like to see what goes down the first year they are out before thinking about that. Racing a 1198 is still more expensive than racing a cbr or something comparable even at the club level.

    So lets see it Ducati, how bullet proof is this engine? Other than that nice job and I hope to see plenty on the streets. Maybe I can pick one up once I see the engine doesnt snap a crank or throw a bearing the first year round.

  11. Ducati better hope the CF frame works in World Superbike (where it will be pushed hard)

    If it fails (as the MotoGP bike failed these past few years) the Ducati posers may jump ship for trendier pastures.

    I mean, after all, no one wants to worry about lack of front end feel on their way to Starbucks .. do they?

  12. duckman – you have to be the funniest guy on here…. you think the F3 675 is severely overpriced at $13,500 (~$3k more than the competition) but you believe that at $18,000 ($4500 more than the F3) the 1199 is “nearly the same price”.

  13. Ducati is definitely giving us things we haven’t seen before. It will only force the other companies to put out better bikes. I can’t wait to see how it will do in World Superbike.

  14. ducman1198

    aaron – Sorry dude i has looking a UK prices £14995 lol my bad. But even then the $13500 is insane for a 600. Make no mistake the GSXR600 is over priced as well when a Liter bike is only $1500.00 more. I still think the 1199 is priced fairly considering a tricked out S1000 cost about the same!

  15. @ducman1198

    Not sure where you get off saying the RC8-R is overpriced (it is the same price as the BMW) which are both within $2k of the CBR.

    Meanwhile the 1199 is way out of the price box.

    Don’t throw the CBR under the bus at $14k, it still tears it up without the bells and whistles. Read all the superbike shoot outs from the past 3 years to see how it stacked up.

    Don’t get me wrong the 1199 looks cool, but we need to reel in the fanboys and stop talking about it like it is the second coming.

  16. Halfie 30

    @Damo… According to Bayliss it is the second coming… LOL. Like that guy is going to put his name on a “sitting” Duc. Let’s get real. This bike is a ground breaker in the same way the BMW was a few years back.

  17. The proof will be in the pudding. I’ll reserve my judgment on the chassis for when I get it on the track, until then it’s an awesome bike on paper, looks great in person, and it’s a great progression for the superbike market on a variety of points. I would have liked a lower price point than $18k, but I doubt that will affect sales.

  18. @Halfie 30

    I am a huge Bayliss fanboy, but the dude does WORK for Ducati of course he thinks it is great.

    Like I said I really want to wait and see what it pulls in this years shoot outs.

  19. Proof is in the pudding, and I’m still waiting to see the BMW shine, but I think this will podium first wsbk round.

  20. Because WSBK has soooo much to do with comes out of dealership floors (BMW Motorrad’s issue in WSBK is more about a lack of understanding what it takes to make a team in road racing, than it has to do with the bike. Just ask Davida Tardozzi).

    If you really want to know which bike is better, go take a test ride on both bikes and find out for yourself. It’s whatever make/model that makes YOU happy that counts at the end of the day.

  21. @Gary :

    ” ‘…especially when it is such a stunner in person.’ ”
    “Yawn! This tired old cliche` isn’t working anymore.”

    like ‘Yawn’ ever worked? Original too !

    An in-person view will provide better opinions of the fairing “slice” and the overall size. Based on the photos alone, I’d say get rid of the top slice of the fairing and reveal glimpses of the “frameless” structure.

    If yellow, sequential LEDs were used and the shapes were flipped (left with right), then they could point the way for signaling, thereby eliminating the need for the existing turn signals and removal at trackdays (LEDs are already light and this bike is super light to begin with)

  22. The Lawyer

    1199 will not be in WSBK next year, just Super Stock.

  23. Quote
    The proof will be in the pudding. I’ll reserve my judgment on the chassis for when I get it on the track, until then it’s an awesome bike on paper, looks great in person, and it’s a great progression for the superbike market on a variety of points. I would have liked a lower price point than $18k, but I doubt that will affect sales.

    Do you expect it to fail during your test? I mean, I always thought the long term tests emphasizing reliability etc. is a lot more important than a journalist test on a track (no offense intended). especially to all the people who will buy it and never push it on the track or anywhere near 30% on street. Ducati pushed the envelope on the engine, so reliability is by far the info most people here will be looking for. Looks and ergo feel is very subjective, everybody likes or prefers different things than the other guy ….

  24. Well if the issue that seems to be getting everyone’s goat is how the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s chassis handles, I’d say riding it on the track is the best way to assess that concern.

    Of course with any new vehicle, there should be concern on longevity, and here not only do we have new systems, but also a new motor…of course, however no one has really brought those concerns up in these comments until now.

  25. @ Jensen +1

    The Panigale service interval is now 15k instead of 7500 (1×98) or 3750 back in the day of 9xx. Plus 2 yr warranty so I think the engine will be plenty reliable for the production market.

    I repeat from the other article comments:

    Ducati 1199 F will win both superstock and superbike in their first seasons.

  26. Quick question:

    Any New England riders on here that know of Ducati dealerships that allow test rides? I can ride Hondas and Suzukis at my local dealer all day long and I even found a BMW dealer that is cool with test rides.

  27. sunstroke

    I’m scared of this bike. New engine. New shock placement. New exhaust. First time aluminum frame.

    I wonder if their ambitions outweigh their talents. *zing*

  28. With the way Checa has dominated WSBK, hopefully if he is still in form by 2013, I would favour Ducati for the title that season…

    It’s hard to think that Ducati is over priced, they seem to offer more with their bikes than most other manufacturers. In the past, they were the only ones with Brembo brakes, steel braided cables, and immobilisers – stock on all their bikes. Just look at their electronics packages now.

    Only BMW is somewhat comparable…

  29. Second article saying “first LED headlight”. Zero S/DS have had that as an option for over a year. Posted a link to the page on their website before…

  30. @ Jason

    Option, is not the same as Standard… Option, means they could add LED, Ducati means it’s stock…

  31. honestly, this thing rocks… somehow I forgot to say that before…

    and the frame? not an issue for me, I think that the motogp problems are down to difficulties understanding the stifness:damping properties of carbon fibre, not the monocoque frame concept. but then again, I think the best thing they could do to sort things out is to seriously up the stiffness of the frame in torsion and start messing with a front end based on the czysz 6x concepts to improve feel.

  32. @The Lawyer.

    Yep, a year until SBK … we’ll have to wait and see – place your bets – Panigale F wins both in their first seasons.

  33. @Westward

    Aprilia and has offered this items on similarly prices models as well, don’t forget Italy’s other premier brand!

  34. Italy’s other premier brand? You mean MV? I’m just giving you a hard time Damo, I know you love your Ape.

  35. @Faust

    I am not going to lie, I almost cried a little bit until I finished reading your comment. +1

  36. In his most recent test on this thing Bayliss went faster at Imola than he did when he last raced there.

    Yup, a road bike with lights, mirrors, road going Pirelli’s, lapped faster than a World Championship winner. With 24,000k service intervals, with tyres to last 2,000k’s on the road, it went faster than a factory Superbike did not too many years before.

    And people here are worried about the CF monocoque. Well, it aint CF and it would appear to work quite nicely.

  37. @Mark B

    Thanks for the heads up on that. That is extremely impressive. I am sure it shall be a beast when it hits WSBK. If Ducati could just convince Bayliss to run a few wildcards.

  38. Guys,

    Ducati sucks in reliability. I used to have a 999 and after 2 months of useage, on a rainy day its tacho went off and engine stop after some drops on the cockpit. I sold it immediately.

    I prefer zx10r OR s1000rr OR MV4 over this 1000 times.

    btw, in europe we have 210 horsepower zx 10r standard.
    it could easily be chip tuned ~230 HP and small mods.
    so it is BEST BANG for BUCK


    WELL, if you wanna pose and have a COLLECTIBLE bike than you can go for MV AGUSTA F4 from out beautiful Italy.


  39. @ Westward This article also says that it’s “the first GPS-assisted data acquisition system for a production motorcycle” then goes on to say “(the DDA+ package is an optional equipment item for the Panigale)”. You can’t have it both ways. Either options don’t count, in which case it’s not the first bike with DDA or options do count, in which case it’s not the first bike with an LED headlight… Which is it?

  40. Was at the EICMA in Milano/italy last week end and I could stand close to the 1199. No one was allowed to sit on it. There were 2 road version and one in race trim on display.
    Aestthetically, (it’s a personnal view I admit) I liked the front with LED. The rear looks great exceept the “spaguetti” piece of exhaust pipe under the seat. Looking at the left side I’m concerned with position of the shock absorber, pushed to the left by several centimeters. It seems when leaning the bike to the right the left leg will be in contact with the shock. they have fitted a carbon protection on it. Furthermore, for those of us who like riding on track, a crash on the left side will be very costly as potentially, shock, frame, rearset.. will be damaged. Got the opportunity to sit on the new MV F3… radical position but beautiful, New F4RR is also a fantastic piece of motorcycle art and engineering. The big surprise came from Bimota. truely exceptional, bikes on their booth (Tesi 3D, 1198 ducati engine DB8SBK,..). They had a new roadster the DB9 Brivido fitted with the Diavel engine… but much lighther than the Diavel. Production to start Jan/Feb time frame, price around 25 KEuros in europe (should be much less in US). Pictures dont do justice to these bikes unfortunately. I know it’s not 100% Ducati but still, it’s pure Italian design ( with Ducati engines).