It is no secret that Ducati had high hopes for the Ducati 1199 Panigale when it debuted the machine at the 2011 EICMA motorcycle show, and the Italian superbike certainly has proven itself to be popular with new motorcycle buyers in 2012. Selling 7,500 units worldwide so far this year, the Panigale is one of Ducati’s best selling motorcycles ever, and accounts for roughly 17% of the Italian company’s sales for this year (2012 being Ducati’s best sales year ever).

After all the problems Borgo Panigale has had with its program in MotoGP the past few years (most notably the last two years with Valentino Rossi), and with the Panigale drawing heavily on its GP roots for its “frameless” chassis design, critics questioned whether Ducati Corse’s failures would carryover and taint the street bike.

While the obvious answer is probably in the negative, the question could also be raised what a turnaround in the GP scene could have meant for Ducati in sales, let alone the continued star power of The Doctor.

Also of note is the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s mixed bag reviews in the superbike shootouts, which had it rating well, but usually behind Italy’s other superbike: the Aprilia RSV4 Factory. Another factor is the $1,500 price increase on the 1199 ($17,995 base), compared to the 1198 ($16,495 base), which also saw the “S” model commanding $1,000 more than the Ducati Superbike 1198 SP.

If 7,500 units doesn’t sound like a lot, consider the fact that the best selling sport bike of 2010 was the BMW S1000RR, which sold 10,209 units worldwide, and was BMW Motorrad’s best selling bike in the American market (displacing the wildly popular BMW R1200GS).

We don’t have the breakout numbers to know how the Ducati 1199 Panigale sold in North America this year, compared to other markets, but we suspect more than a few of the machines landed in the USA.

Was the Panigale as big of a hit as Ducati had hoped? Maybe not, but it was still a hit.

Source: GPone

  • Keet

    are those actual sales or how many bikes dealerships had to buy? (seriously)

  • Potreroduc

    @Keet: good question. Bought mine in July, and I can tell you it was a seller’s market this past summer (or it had the appearance of being a seller’s market-dealer cartel keeping prices high :o) ). I did notice a couple of months ago that Ducati North America was offering finance deals on non-ABS base models. Don’t know if that means that the 1199 line overall was cooling off or if just the non-ABS base model was cooling off.

    As far as the 1199 not being a world-beater, the 1098/1198 has been pretty successful, I don’t remember that ever winning a shootout.

  • Keet

    i ask this because there were always 1198’s able to be found on dealership floors (those were a “sales hit” too) and when talking to a saleman, he mentioned dealerships were told how many they had to buy from Ducati.

  • @Keet – that would be how many Ducati has sold to its wholesale customers (dealers)… not how many have been sold to retail customers.

  • Thanks for clarifying Anthony.

  • Superlight

    I guess it depends on how you define “sales hit”. It will be very interesting to see how this bike sells in 2013, given that the initial market hype is over and those waiting for the bike to arrive already have theirs.

  • Potreroduc

    @Superlight – good point. If Checa or Badovini get some wins next year, then I predict sales will be solid. If Ducati struggles in both WSBK and MotoGP, then gosh I could see sales cooling off. I dunno…

  • Rob Dabney

    I just sat on one for the first time at the Long Beach Motorcycle Show and I was shocked at how uncomfortable the bike was. I can imagine it would be excruciating after about 30 minutes in the saddle. On the other hand, the BMW HP4 was soooo cozy. The BMW and the Aprilia are such good bikes and not bad to look at either. But which one would you rather stare at in your garage over a few beers? She’s so beautiful, you’ll overlook a few issues.

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  • Spamtasticus

    Rob, you are not the first to say that. I race a BMW so comfort is not very high on my priorities list, dead last in fact. A buddy of mine who imports carbon bits and upgrades for sportsbikes always buys the latest and greatest offering and then covers it in all concievable upgrades. A rolling ad of sorts. He had the BMW when it came out and now rolls around on what has to be the sickest most tricked out Paningale on the road. We have a friendly BMW vs Ducati banter so I was very surprised when the only comment he made to me when I saw him on his Duck the other day was that it was so uncomfortable, specially compared to the SRR.

  • Damo

    I noticed people complained about the ergos on the Panigale quite a bit (most the heat from the under seat exhaust)

    I always thought the 1098-1198 wasn’t too bad to ride for stretches of time. I did about 25 miles on a 1098R and it was about as comfortable as my RC51 SP2.

    I didn’t like the ergos on the BMW s1000RR, but I dig that you can get heated grips on it right from the factory. I guess BMW realizes that some of us still ride full race bikes in the cold!

    I think the Panigale is great bike and all, call be old fashioned but I would have been happier with a plain old trellis frame. I spend too much time working in the tech industrial field to see how carbon fiber bits age and de-laminate when exposed to excessive heat, UV, humidity cycling, etc.

  • Minibull

    The airbox frame is made from aluminium, not carbon like the GP bikes.

  • Most of the buyers ride bikes to put on the street… very few make it to the track and most like me that do make it to the track are hopeful for mulitple visits a year.

    All said, I like hearing what street folks say and race folks. when you on a track, you only want the bike to handle and fit you as far as controls, etc. and give proper feel / feedback.

    On the street; it’s SOOOO different.

    It will be interesting however to see what Ducati does with it on the track this year for sure… I am ready to see one take off that has had the FACTORY BREATH blown on it… should be good; we shall see!!!

  • Not racing in WSBK surely hasn’t helped them at all.. I have lots of friends who don’t read message boards or surf the web and they had no idea a new Ducati Superbike was out..

  • Neil

    I thought sales were based on how many units were actually warranty registered???

  • thats how many dealers have on order or in the show room floor.

  • loki

    “Also of note is the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s mixed bag reviews in the superbike shootouts, which had it rating well, but usually behind Italy’s other superbike: the Aprilia RSV4 Factory.”… Hummmm… You guys sure about this one? The only aspect in which the RSV4 seemed to have the best of the 1199 was the sound… And that’s quite subjective.

  • Damo


    The RSV4 put in a few faster laps around Big Willow and several European Tracks during a bunch of liter bike shoot outs (as did the CBR1000RR and the BMW, I might add.)

  • Keet

    well, the Ducati ad on the website i just went to advertising that i can get a 1199 @ 1.99% for 60 months tells me they are now trying to unload the 7,500 units made. The “record sales” pitch sounds great… to stockholders (or potential stockholders)

  • @ Loki….. bikes are personal preferance of course but having alot bikes in my garage including an RSV4 factory i wouldn’t trade my Rsv for a Pinagale.. My Dad has a Pinagale and he trades with me all the time during rides. He wont admit he likes the Rsv more cause he’s a Ducati fanatic but i have to wrestle him off it everytime. Both wonderful bikes but i’ll stick with the razor sharp Rsv, plus nothing sounds better than a v4 at 13k with a full titanium system…. (my opinion of course)

  • Neil

    Sorry, my idea of SOLD is handing the customer the keys and watching him or her ride off….not inventory sitting on dealer floors that they have ordered….that is technically not sold yet but floor planned….

  • philly Phil

    as someone else already said, i’d expect sales to increase this year since they will be in the WSBK…w hich is IMO iw way more interesting than MotoGP.
    So hopefully with the increased exposure, you’ll see a sales increase.

    @keet, i’m pretty sure those are sales figures. Check out youtube and see how many Panigale videos from regualar people are out there…