Photo: 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199’s Headlights

06/27/2011 @ 3:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS continues to be Ducati’s favorite channel to leak teasers of its upcoming Superbike, the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199. Promising to be a revolutionary design for the Italian brand, we know already that the bike will shed roughly 20 lbs from the 1198 model, while adding 20hp to its peak horsepower figure. This astonishing power increase comes from the “Superquadrata” v-twin motor, which features an overly-square cylinder design, that should rev to peaky power delivery delight (if you’re into that sort of thing).

From this latest photo we see that the new 1199 (we’ve been enjoying the rumors that the new Superbike would be called the Xtreme) borrows from the 916’s squinty highlight design, while adding the 1098/1198’s more pronounced air intake structure. The Ducati Superbike 1199 will be fed that healthy dose of oxygen through a stressed aluminum airbox/headtube design, à la its MotoGP frameless technology, and for which we’ve already seen patents of the design.

In other “leaked” photos (here & here) we’ve already seen that the rear shock will be horizontally mounted, and will attach the extra-long swingarm to the chassis. Our sources tell us that the Superbike 1199 will have an underslung and tail exhaust, much like the Ducati Desmosedici GP12. So far we’ve only seen the underslung exhaust, but we hear the tail section in its full glory is a thing of beauty. Looking at what side photos we have of the bike already, the design would appear to be very well integrated, as its lines have barely been given away (check out Luca Bar’s take on what the Superbike 1199 will look like).

From a purely speculation point-of-view, it’s interesting that this photo doesn’t show pronounced headlamps or projector assemblies. If Ducati really wanted to blow our minds, an LED headlight system would be very trick. Watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s clear that LED headlight technology has come a long way, and can be very, very bright indeed. Something to ponder, though we doubt such an arrangement exists in the Superbike 1199‘s design.


  • Other Sean

    I was concerned about the headlights in particular, but this looks promising. For cripes sake, they’d better not call it some stupid name. Xtreme? Seriously, lame. That’s what they name those multi blade face razors.

  • Don’t worry Sean, anyone who thinks Ducati would name their Superbike that has serious issues, or likes to stir a good pot. Remember when the Diavel came out and there was rumors it would be called the Mega Monster? Or when the Diavel was supposed to be called the Cayenne? It’s the same thing going on here.

  • Maybe I’m seeing things but it looks like this bike does indeed have LED daytime running lights above the main lights per BMWs automobile arrangement. Look at the multiple little diodes .

  • I think those are just decorative “cuts” in the headlight reflector, my Streetfighter has them as well.

  • 2ndclass

    Aprilia called, they want their front end back.

    I’m guessing this new bike will suffer from the same issue that the 999/749 did. A better rider but no one gives a shit because it doesn’t look like a 916/996.

  • ML

    It does look like it’ll have LED running lights as Duckblind states. I think it’ll a common feature going forward on all street bikes. The new ZX-10R sports LED day time running lights.

  • sunstroke

    My guesses:

    People have heard the bike at full chat so I’m inclined to believe the 14,000rpm rumors are true, and to believe the Superquadrata/Hypersport nomenclature is accurate in describing the bike’s characteristics.

    This bike is going to be a 1000. The old 999R was 104mm x 58.8mm. This new twin will be 108 x 54.5mm, a bore-stroke ratio of almost 2:1, hence Superquadrata. Entirely titanium internals like the 999R, but maybe with a twist like 5 or 6 valves per cylinder. I think the 1198 will actually stay in production since this bike will be homologation exotica for racers and wealthy Ducatisti.

    IMS and MSMA hate performance-indexing across multiple displacements in SBK, that’s why Ducati are introducing the bike 1 year before the 1198R’s 5-year life cycle is complete.

  • Cpt.Slow


  • It’s nice to see Ducati innovating again. The chassis and motor innovations are going to make this a Ducati worthy of it’s storied history. I was a bit let down by the evolutionary updates on the last two generations of super bikes they’ve produced. Not since Mossimo Tamburini left have they really found their voice. I hope th styling is up to snuff. I must say I’m not too confident from the teasers. I know styling is just that, but Tamburini was able to meld both revolutionary engineering in styling that was beautiful and ground breaking. It’s why no one will let go of the 916, or the MV agusta F4. Italian machinery needs a fresh new look, here’s hoping Ducati pulls it off.

  • MikeD


    Yup, same thing went thru my head. What’s with the ugly “Joker Smile” side intakes ?

    W/e happened to the central air intake concept of being the place with the HIGHEST/CLEANEST air pressure point ?

    I guess it will always be Form over Function…after all, this is just a “street” bike…looks first.



    If they can make that lump of a Twin rev 14k w/o self-grenading itself then i don’t know what’s next. Those pistons must be the size of a Toilet Plunger OR BIGGER !

    More than 4 Valves per cylinder ? I can see the real state to make it happen and the asociated potential gains but that is so unlike Ducati…but so was ditching the trellis frame…we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Shereef

    I tend to agree with MikeD. The 14K redline sounds a bit ambitious; although, it would be nice if they can acheive it. The RSV 4 is about 14.2K and the ZX10R and BMW are in about the same range. These are a V-4 and I-line-4s respectively. If ducati does indeed use an oversquared v-twin and not a 4 banger, then I think it is unlikely they can match the revy competition. Still, the main purpose of their engine will probably be to provide useable torque instead of peak power, I think. Is there any confirmation that the superquadrata is a L-twin and not a L-four (double L-twin) with smaller pistons?

  • 76

    Yes those are LED running lights on top and yes those are actual LED “Headlamps” in the picture. no projector is that samll in dia. and for sure no coventional reflector / 2way

    There are already street legal full LED aftermarket headlamps for sale right now, Polaris just released a SxS with full LED headlamps which put out about just as much as needed for a bike from one. Of course none have pulled it off so trick as this though, I like what I’m seeing here

  • tone

    Why can’t the exhaust just be underslung only? Tail exhuasts are so passé. Fron the pics it looks like the exhaust is like a Kawi Versys but the exhaust exits both sides of the bike. If it is, this will be a cool feature !! I want the 848 version !!!! Yes Santa !!!

  • sunstroke

    @ Mike D

    The 999R revved to 13,000rpm. The titanium bottom end could handle the strain, but the giant valves and the tiny valve clearance tolerances on the Desmoquattro top end were not up to the task for long. If Ducati were to add valves, the smaller top end components would probably handle the stress a bit better.

    I don’t know that it is a 1000, but Superquadrata sounds a bit like boastfulness. Ducati already built the 999R with bore-stroke of about 1.8:1. You’d think the Superquadrata would be even more oversquare than the old 999R.

    Shereef’s idea of a Twin Pulse (as Ducati have named it) V4 is interesting as well since Ducati have built Twin Pulse engines before, but I’m not sure where Superquadrata fits into that equation.

    One thing is for sure. With all of the hype/tease Ducati have done for this bike, it must be very special or people will be quite disappointed.

  • DucracerX

    I couldn’t have designed the front end nose fairing better myself!! bellissimo!!!! Now I am waiting to see the complete package. The most interseing part will be the exhaust system. And Luca Bars drawings are so ugly and such garbage! This beauty will look NOTHING like his drawings.

  • MikeD

    C’mon People… There must be an A&R reader that lives in Italy…go buy the July Issue of Motociclismo, photocopy the thing and send it to Jensen so we can finally see the real deal.