Spy Photos: Ducati 1199 Panigale Load Testing

09/24/2011 @ 2:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler52 COMMENTS

No sooner did Ducati officially announce the existence of the the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale, than the Italian company’s new flagship uber-Superbike was caught blasting down an Italian highway. The purpose of the highway test should be apparent to even the most casual of motorcycle enthusiasts, as Ducati is clearly load testing the 1199 Panigale, marking sure the new motorcycle is ready to meet the strict requirements necessary for the American market.

Honestly, we didn’t think Ducati Performance had a “ponch” option for its Ducati-branded race leathers, though we hope the company has some variations in a more slimming black. Insert a couple more fat jokes, and I think we’re good to go here — and surely there’s a test rider in Bologna who will get a good ribbing come Monday at work. More photos after the jump, leave your “constructive remarks” in the comments.

Source: Ducati.ms via Ducati News Today

  • majortom

    Just how many cows died making those leathers?

  • Bruce Monighan

    Thank god for the strength to weight ratio of carbon fiber

  • Bruce Monighan

    Maybe he is not that “big”. Maybe that is a 2/3rds scale motorcycle

  • German

    Didn’t Ducati had a Rossi, Hayden or even Checa replica helmet to avoid using one from Stoner?

  • Kevin Austin

    1199 Panigale??! Oh… I thought they said 1199 Paninis!! Dammit…

  • Kevin Austin

    …….. looks like his D-Air just went off….. :)

  • Marky

    What in the hell is that heat shield thingy under the seat?? Looks like a fire ring for a wok!!
    Ducati, please, get rid of that… otherwise, I can’t wait to take a ride…

  • Bryan

    If you ever wondered why Ducati’s always have stiff suspension settings maybe it’s because they’re set up for this guy.

  • Keith

    Obviously the test rider is represenative of the demographic that can afford to BUY such a motorcycle new. Then after he’s farkled the hell out of it some poor schmuck in better shape to appreciate the motorcycle can buy it used and low miles. Sounds like a plan to me…darn good one.

  • Beary

    More poking fun at fat people from a+r, you guys really are that shallow, aren’t you..

  • MikeD

    The YouTube Link cracked me up……LMFAO. OK, so the rider is a big boy…nothing wrong with that…at least we got a good perspective of the size of the bike.

    Like Marky pointed out…i hope that heat shield don’t make it beyond the road validation tests. THAT THING IS HIDEOUS. Wrap that thing up…or else.
    Like others have said…that thing’s got some wheel base…doesn’t it ?

    I will venture to talk out of my lower back and say that the RSV4 still looks like a 600 next to it.

  • MikeD

    P.S: Im not liking the new wheels…previous design looked more “classy”, for lack of a better word.

  • Brandon

    I hope that heat shield Marky is talking about is just there to block out some parts for the pictures, because I agree with Marky, it looks ugly. Looks like the fat guy strapped a bedpan under his bike so he wouldn’t have to get off his butt to go pee.

  • Marky

    This is definately the acid test for the ‘frameless’ concept, if this bike is still in one piece after a couple of speed bumps with this guy on then I’m sold…
    Does anyone here have a take on the issues with the GP Desmo’s lack of front end ‘feel’…every time I read some engineering ‘sage’ talk about the twin spar frame, they tout the rigidity and stiffness of the design. So if that is the ultimate goal of that frame would not the stressed airbox of the Ducati be just a minimalist version of the spars? The mounting points aren’t that much different, a couple of places on the engine and if the swingarm mounts to the engine case why do you need all that extra metal? I’m no engineer but I’m just not convinced this is where the problem lies…any thoughts??

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  • constructive comments: i got nothin’!

    fat jokes: i got plenty, but will show some constraint THIS TIME! ;-p

  • 1198freak

    Yes, you need a frame to flex to provide road feel through the bike. Aluminum frames are the best for this, as they can be “tuned” to provide different amounts of flex in different areas of the frame, while Carbon Fiber frames are by design not good at flexing, and I cant imagine a engine case flexes much either… so it will be interesting to read ride reports of how well this bike performs.

  • constructive comment: i actually DO have something … the “heat shield thingy” under the seat … that’s really the ducati performance panini maker. heat from the exhaust, and the obvious weight from the test rider, provides the perfect panini making components.

  • 1198freak

    I think its just a cover, they are just hiding it for the pictures, they probably didn’t want to show the final shape of the exhaust pipes under the seat.

  • BBQdog

    Thought it was called the panic-ale after the mental state of the Ducati development team.

  • Bruske

    Regardless of the big guy on it, it should be a bad ass bike. In my opinion ducati has pushed the industry in technology and design. I’m looking forward to getting one.

  • Minibull

    @1198freak: Carbon can be tuned for flex, one of the postitive points for it. Its actually aluminium that is hard to do that for.

  • BBQdog

    @Bruske: I think Aprilia’s RSV4 forced all manufacterers to overthing their Superbike.
    No more pipes under the seat, smaller (more nimble) overall look. Ducati just followed.

  • Jeram

    lay off on the fat guy…. there just testing based on the market… AKA your average fat arse american haha

    ugly bike… looks like a jap bike, and theyve tried to steal so MV augusta influence with the long slits in the fairing closest to the frame spars… but it comes off very tacky and cheap looking…

  • Marky

    I think the ‘stressed’ structural airbox concept may work on the L-twin engine because the whole configuration is narrower which should allow more ‘flex’. Have you seen how wide the airbox is on the L-4 Desmo? I don’t see that component flexing much in carbon fiber or aluminum…
    Maybe with the L-twin producing more power and higher revs Ducati should think about pushing that technology to the limit in the MotoGp ranks as well as the WSBK ranks…although an 81 mm bore restriction in MotoGP could be a showstopper…
    Any more thoughts on this?

  • Joe Mama

    Less weight for the Panigale means fat riders rejoice. This is the first time I’ve seen a fat Italian.

  • Afletra


  • frogy 6

    Yes carbon fibre can be tuned for flex but obviously they have yet to work out how much flex it needs to work, can’t see it working on anything but perfectly smooth roads

  • Theo

    He looks like a FAT Super Hero….

    Panigale Man…

  • Ted

    Mass Centralization, Underslung Exhaust, Smaller Bike…

    Looks like Erik Buell was way ahead of his time…

  • Minibull

    @frogy 6: Your talking bout the road bike? Only working on smooth roads? FFS, why does everyone link the handling of this 1199 to the current MotoGP Ducati. Yes, it has the same style of frame, but everything on it is completely different. Road tyres, road suspension, different engine and engine casings, etc, ETC. If anyone compares a road bike to a “prototype” machine then they are a fool. Something is “off the pace” and terrible in GP when its .3s slower on a lap…

  • Marky

    OK…Here goes my rant! I think this frame stiffness issue is pure BS and here’s why…A rider ‘feels’ the tire contact with the road through his three (technically five if you count 2 feet, 2 hands) contact points with the bike…feet, hands and his ass in the seat. The seat is negligible since the rider is hanging off in the turns where the most ‘feel’ is needed. Feet on the pegs probably receive more information from the back tire of the bike than the front and besides, the pegs are so firmly attached to the bike that there probably isn’t that much info coming to the feet anyway until the rear end lets go into a slide…which leaves the hands. The hands are connected to the grips that are connected to the clip-ons that are connected to the fork tubes that are connected to the front wheel and finally the front tire. So, where does the frame come into the equation? Simple, it doesn’t!
    I think that the geometry has consolidated with this design to such a degree that a technological ‘leap’ is now required in the fork suspension design to provide more feel in turns, and I don’t think just tightening or firming up the forks will suffice…Maybe softening the settings, but I don’t know…
    I’ll go back to my drooling now…..

  • Damo

    Those dual termis look like shit on the bottom. I miss the undertails, although I am sure that is where alot of the weight savings came from.

  • Sidekick

    For upright riding that is true and I agree to 100%
    BUT, when pushing hard when leaned over the suspension actually runs out of travel. That’s were the frame comes in, the flex in the frame soaks up the minor bumps and tells you what the front is up to.

  • Marky

    Sidekick, that’s a very interesting point and if true then there are multiple shortcomings of the suspension system. There are top-out springs, maybe they need something similar for the bottom of the stroke. I was thinking about using ‘gas springs’ instead of the metal units currently in the forks…if the pressure is high enough then the suspension couldn’t bottom out, it just gets progressively stiffer under more pressure…
    If the suspension is bottoming out and causing the frame to flex then the geometry of the bike is changing with the frame flexure, and how do you predict and/or engineer that? Particularly in turns…not optimal!
    Again, I’m no engineer…but this all sounds a little imprecise for engineering…
    Thanks for the reply

  • 2ndclass

    It’s actually very precise engineering. They understand exactly how the material, be it carbon fibre or aluminium, will flex and deform when cranked right over taking all the load. The problem is that the “feel” and feedback needed by the rider is such a subjective thing that after a point the only way to get it right is trial and error using feedback from the rider. When you’re talking about a new type of frame type and material for MotoGP, you’re going to end up with lots of trial and error because you’ve got to engineer in this “feel” that the rider needs when the frame is sending out different messages. It’s the same reason GP bikes still use forks, that’s what riders are used to and have programmed their minds to respond to the feedback they give.

  • Larry

    And Ducati got this lardazz on purpose to test ride the bike because the Italians know that N.America is the most obese continent on the planet and loads of fatboys in America buy Ducatis

  • Larry

    Erik Buell is a very smart made!!

  • Larry


  • Ades

    I think maybe using the “Stoner” helmet and a fat guy might just be a little bit of tongue-in-cheek from Ducati……Maybe Rossi said to him “For sure I think this ‘elmet will make you look just like Casey!!!”

  • Minibull

    @2ndclass: 10/10 hehehe. Its why it seems hard for any hub centered racing bike to gain traction with the riders. You would have to find a rider from a young age who is willing to put in the time and effort. Most racers only have at best 15 years of high class racing, so best to earn the most money and go with the most competitve teams you can.

    @Sidekick: No. They do not ever want the bike to bottom out, the same theory goes for car racing. As soon as that happens, the vehicle loses grip and behaves erratically. The bike lowsides and the car, depending on where the bottoming is occuring, understeers or snap oversteers. If you see some photos of the bikes through the corners, there is always a small amount of travel left. The suspension is used for the road bumps, the chassis flex and slow bump dampers are to give feedback and feel between the two ends and the weight changes/cornering

  • frogy 6

    I don’t think its bottoming out its at big lean the forks are less effective at soaking up bumps because forks work on a straight line, that’s where frame flex comes in

  • Andrew Gray

    Rossi in 10 years……..

    And please people, unless you’re a Moto GP rider don’t make comments on what is wrong with the Desmosedici, it’ll make you sound kind of silly.

  • beary

    Ok, then everybody comment on what is *right* with the desmosedici. Oh hang on, that won’t work now, will it..

  • Jason

    Hey lay off the man. Sure he may be big boned, but guess what he can do that none of us can at the moment (no fat jokes), he can ride the Panigale! How cool would it be to be able to work on bikes that’s not available to the public!

    Most likely a Stoner fan-boy. I would of just sold that when he left and got a plain ol’ Ducati helmet and be safe!

    Anyways, bike will probably look good once the stealth red duct tape comes off.

    I’m happy with my RSV4…. ;)

  • The best analysis of Ducati’s MotoGP problems from MOTO MATTERS:


    A little dense technically, but a great piece. After seeing VR humbled by this thing, my opinion of C Stoner has definitely soared.

    Obviously, this guy is testing the AMERICAN version of the new Ducati; if I ever see one in front of Golden Corral , I’m NOT hanging around !

  • Cavolo ! e il colaudatore Panda ? ho capito che deve testare la nuova Extreme anche x il carico peso ….ma che schifo fa ?!?!?!? penso che piloti ciccioni in sbk nn ci sono ! oppure nn ci sono soldi x prendere un colaudatore piu magro ! Panza Panda in action !

  • English version : ” DAMN IT ! is the pilot Panda? i understand they have to test the new Extreme fot the weight ….but doesn’t he SUCK’S?!?!?!? The fat pilot’s do not exist on SBK, they don’t have money to assume a skinny pilot? Belly PANDA in action !!!!

  • STONER HELMET?!?!?! Nothing against the guy but seriouly?? i know the bike is tiny but that dude it a GRIZZLY!!! Hopefully i fit the bike cause i barely fit my RSV4 at 6’2 170lbs!!

  • ducatiorourke

    That guy is pretty fat. And he probably weighs a lot too.

  • What an amazing bike $15,000.00?????? pricey…sounds like alot of bike though. I want one! It will be a nice change from my old 2004 Honda CBR1000rr. It was a nice bike, but Ducati has always kept my interested. Saw the test run on web and am hooked. No rear seat though…sorry Kalli no rides for you!

  • Jonathan

    Ha! Fooled you, all that extra leather is hiding the data acquisition equipment that didn’t fit in the backpack