In case you missed the news, the folks in Bologna have debuted their new “supermid” sport bike, the eagerly anticipated 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale. Like its larger sibling, the Ducati 1199 Panigale, the 899 features a “frameless” chassis design, a suite of electronic rider aids, as well as the new 148hp Superquadro engine.

Putting together a little video to help launch the machine, we figured Ducati fans and non-Ducatisti alike would enjoy the premise of this short clip, as Ducati’s test rider is portrayed as being unable to end his day with the Babigale — hopping back on the bike for one more romp. What a tough job he must have.

Source: Ducati

  • PD

    May be a great performer, don’t know, but the bike looks NOWHERE near as good without the single-sided swinger, particularly given that the design of this particular swingarm is just plain unattractive.

  • Damo

    Haters gonna hate, bike is and will be awesome.

  • Westward

    Bitter Sweet, since I’m not able to ride it like Stoner, would have preferred a SSS…

    I’m sure the performance and technology are still there, just would have appreciated the further aesthetic too…

  • Superlight

    Ducati couldn’t give this 899 every feature on the 1199 or the pricing would also be the same. The 1199 is positioned as a step-up bike in their lineup.

  • Damn

    Put it against the 600cc wss

  • coreyvwc

    @ Damn:
    You can’t, this bike cannot race in any existing racing class in America or Europe or anywhere.
    Trackday only machine right here.

  • onespeedpaul

    The one question I have still yet to get an answer to is: WHY does the 1199 Panigale NOT have a ‘traditional’ double sided swingarm like the MOST exotic of all Ducatis, the Desmosedici D16RR???

    Seems to me this 899 is a step in the right direction, even though it’s not raceable.

  • Minibull

    @onespeedpaul: Because you have to give the “traditional” Ducati guys something to like about with the 1199. You can scrap the trellis frame and give it a “frameless” design, chain drive the cams, chuck the undertail exhausts, give it a wet clutch and then give it a ton of top end power at the cost of some low down shunt, but you gotta keep that swingarm…XD

    You do wonder why though. Such a crazy quest to lose weight on the 1199, and yet they leave it with a single sided swingarm, which would probably weigh more than a DSS and be harder to engineer.

  • onespeedpaul

    @minibull too right, too right!

    to me, the steel trellis frame was (tho not always trellis…paso anybody?) pure Ducati, as well as low-end useable twin cylinder grunt….both of which are rapidly disappearing on these latest models….HAH, one other thing I LOVE to razzz people on here about is the so-called frameless design….it’s still just using the engine as a stressed member just like the OG 851/888 superbikes…there is truly nothing new under the sun…

  • Gidgester31

    Did you guys notice the license plate No? Very clever… SBK 00899… Ducati does employ some of the BEST marketing types!

  • L2C

    Taken on its own, I guess the DSS just looks ordinary. Absolutely zero exotica. Still is a great looking bike, though.

  • L2C

    Ducati’s going to have to learn to design a DSS with Italian flair, that’s all.

  • electronics ruin a fun bike.

  • Mariani

    @exstrat Fair enough. The people here with the ‘you can turn it off’ argument forget that you’re still lugging around some good 10 extra kilos of electronic gibberish.
    And yet they complain about the single sided swing arm.

    Anyway, about the SSSA, it is heavy, sure, but it exists for a reason.
    The one problem I have with it is that, well, Ducati doesn’t put it to good use in any endurance out there.

  • BBQdog

    If you want a trellis frame in the future you have to move up to KTM, they even use it in MotoGP’s Moto3 class with success. And that’s the lightest class. Trellis heavy ??

  • triple

    @Minibull @onespeedpaul

    i totally agree

  • Moot

    If I just want a cheap fast bike with doublesided swing arm, I’d buy a GSXR :(
    I own a Ducati for a particular reason, and unfortunately 899 fell off that mark.

    And that black/white dashboard. Damn :(

  • Faust

    People who hate electronics have never used them. A GSX-R doesn’t come with a quick shifter, adjustable engine braking, abs, tc, and the data analyzer hookups. If you don’t want this bike, buy something else. I’ll let you know how this bike works when I get mine.

  • Jake F.

    How much weight does switching to a DSSA really save? Is it roughly equivalent to what you’d gain by dropping the kids off at the pool before hitting the track?

    It’s always amusing when guys go on about how light their bike is after spending thousands of dollars on carbon fiber bits when they’re hauling around a spare tire or two.

    For myself, I’ll keep the SSSA and leave the french fries.

  • Variable

    Ducati’s most successful SBK bike had a double sided swing arm. Their world championship motogp bike had a double sided swing arm. How are they not being true to themselves?

  • 1199Freak

    The fact is that even though Ducati has made the SSSA a design theme for years,
    It exists to be used on endurance race bikes that need quick rear wheel changes.. There is
    Simply no other reason why a bike should have a SSSA. The design is more complicated,
    It is heavier, and not as strong overall as a DSSA. If SSSA’s were actually better suited for
    Performance bikes you would see them on every MotoGP bike. So I applaud Ducati’s decision
    To fit the 899 with a DSSA, hope they do it to the 1199 next year too. Maybe make it a big more
    “Exotic” looking to please the ducatisti..

  • R. Deckard

    SSA? Um, the bigger problem is that Ducati’s framless design shit the bed in MotoGP, and hasn’t done diddly poo in WSBK. This chassis is flawed, and now the public pays $15k for it.

  • Grimey Benson

    @R. Deckard

    Do you actually watch WSBK or have any knowledge of new bike model history? The 1199 got pole in the first race it was entered in and has recently scored another pole and a podium. That is far and away better than BMW did in the first two years of the S1000RR.

    Very few bikes come right out the chute and win championships, the obvious exception being the mighty RC51 with the Texas Tornado at the helm.

    The chassis is great for the street and club racing. No one in the general public needs a chassis to perform in right handed sweepers are 165 mph.

  • smiler

    For less you could have a KTM RC( 1190R. For about the same any Japanese litre. GSXR 750 for significantly less. Triumph 675R would even be tempting.

    Unless it is special, which it is not then how is this going to work. The 748, 749 and 848 looked like the bigger bike. In doing so they were special but also offered but with a more road orientated ride.

    Damn, how about a sensible comment once in a while. You cannot race it anywhere and it is not a 600. Compared to a GSXR 750 is does not stand up and is equal to the cheaper MV F3 800. Additionally most 600’s will be 60% of the price of an 899.

  • Variable

    Every time someone references how poorly the 1199 is doing in production based racing, they just show how little they actually watch racing. The past several years Ducati has been the only manufacturer that could go toe to toe with BMW in SSTK, and this year is no different. I think everyone is willing to concede the BMW and the Kawi are true title contenders. So why is is so impossible for people to realize that the 1199 is having a better first year in SBK than the current generation ZX-10R (title contender) and the BMW (also a title contender)? Willful ignorance. If Hayden goes to Duc SBK and rips it up on the 1199, it will still get no respect. And please lay off the SSSA, it’s pointless! Honda came to that conclusion a long tone ago. Let it go. No motogp bikes use it because it doesn’t work as well. Duh.

  • Variable


  • R. Deckard


    So on one hand you are saying the the frameless chassis is almost doing barely acceptable in WSBK. Then on the other hand you are saying that racing doesn’t matter anyway on the street.

    Sorry, the frameless design went nowhere in MotoGP and WSBK. Ducati does not know what they are doing, plain and simple. Hayden is not going to WSBK to try and develop the same POS chassis he was stuck with in MotoGP.

  • Faust

    Smiler, not interested in the lack of dealer network for the KTM (there are none that sell the superbikes in the entire southeastern US). I don’t really care for any of the Japanese 1000s. I would certainly not fault anyone for getting a GSX-R 750 if they don’t want the electronics as the GSX-R 750 is a great value for the money. I also think the 675R would make an awesome bike. I just don’t want those. I want this. More road oriented is what I’m looking for. I almost was in the market for an 1198 till I rode one on track. It was overkill, and I kept lifting the front coming off corners. No reason I need that amount of power to ride around on the street. So I was getting close to an 848 till this came out. Seems like it’s better in every measurable way than an 848. More power, less weight, better electronics package, seems like a no brainier. When you buy a bike, you have to live with it. No one else does. Buy what makes you happy. The end.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Such a crazy quest to lose weight on the 1199, and yet they leave it with a single sided swingarm, which would probably weigh more than a DSS and be harder to engineer.”

    if this were the 1980’s you’d be 100% correct. however (comma) we are more than a decade into the 21st century. that means we need to compare apples to apples, full assembly to full assembly.

    most of the notion that an SSA weighed more than a DSS came from the observation that most SSA’s people encountered, say loose on a counter top, usually had the hub/bearings/spindle/cush drive/fasteners, etc. attached to it, and they would be right. yet in a DSS system, all those components (read dense heavy steel) stay WITH THE WHEEL

    if you lift an original brembo cast 3-spoke SS wheel/tire combo for a 916, to this day it’s incredibly light weight for something produced almost 20 years ago (obviously no attached steel). now compare that to a rear wheel/tire combo from say… a ’94 GSXR 1100. the Titanic’s anchors should’ve been so robust…!!! LOL

    now fast forward to M.Y. 2014… with 30 years of CAD under our collective belts, we have two different assemblies who’s total unsprung weight are for all intents and purposes identical (or can at least be made to be identical) for a given HP rating.


    remove the complete rear fork assembly from an S1000 (note oem DSS’s have become the massive works style DSS’s of old) with its cheaper manufactured 10-spoke (china?) sporting a CRAPTASTIC continental (utterly garbage tyre afaic), and then remove the SSA assembly of a panigale bolted to a forged brembo/marchesini Tri-Y (anodized finish not heavy paint or powder coat) shod with say a Michelin Power One (ie. a tyre deliberately engineered for lightness), and you will likely find the static weights within 200 grams of each other.

    for the sake of argument, let’s say the total system weights were IDENTICAL…? the panigale assembly would certainly have the better MOI in terms of acceleration. granted, this is just a virtual comparo, but I think you’ll find this is not far from the truth. once ducati went back to the drawing board to pen the SSA for the 1098 generation, bologna showed us they could redefine how we think of the SSA. dare I say that older swingarm is actually BETTER than what’s on the panigale…? the 1098/848 looks “works”, the 1199 (by comparison mind) looks shite. hell, it may even by heavier…? if not as strong…?

  • Norm G.

    re: ” if not as strong…?”

    correction… LESS strong.

  • SBPilot

    @Faust – I listened to you and didn’t reply any more in the other post. I think we can all conclude that Damn is just a troll that is married to hate Ducati.

  • meatspin

    someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I was told this new frameless design makes it easier, cheaper to maintain.

    also, I tend not to look at ducati’s success in WSBK as any measure of anything really. For a long time, it was just the Ducati cup, with limited participation from any of the japanese. So, it means nothing saying its predecessor the 999/1098 was more successful in racing right from the start.

    to me, the pre-monocoque frame models are more aesthetically pleasing. The panigales look to be way better performing though. Just one look at that instrument panel. Wow.

  • philly phil

    No LED headlights at least?

    argggg…i’d rather just spend the money on the big boi

  • Norm G.

    re: “Ducati does not know what they are doing”

    I contend they knew EXACTLY what they were doing… ie. restoring profitability.

    now that we’ve had time to observe what they’re approach has been for 2013, it’s clear to me now they had ZERO intentions of ever using WSBK again as a marketing platform. they knew full well their advantage was in the trellis and the 2 decades of associated data. even my 9 YEAR OLD SISTER knew giving that up spelled the end of their competitiveness. I heard her say it while making us cupcakes with her EZ-bake oven.

    that said, having analyzed the changes from the 1098 to the 1199, i can see how the business case for manufacturing superseded all other concerns. it’s actually a brilliant design and preziosi’s a genius… but ONLY if you know what you’re looking at…? the “princess mononoke” (aka monocoque) prolly slashes superbike manufacturing costs by double digit percentages. that’s an accountant’s WET DREAM…!!! they had to embrace that.

    there intent was/is the same as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, etc. get in bed with Dorna/Ezpelata and use grandprix to sell motorcycles (see entry for crossplane R1). problem is, I don’t think they were expecting to suck as much “hind teet” as they are…??? :( if the desmosedici project had come good with the twin spar…? i’m convinced they wouldn’t be giving 2 shits about Batta, Alstare, or production racing. as much as I don’t like it, “grand pricks” is their goal. however, we’ll see if that changes.

  • Norm G.

    re: “someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I was told this new frameless design makes it easier, cheaper to maintain.”

    close… easier, cheaper for them to MANUFACTURE. that’s THEIR money, you ain’t seeing a dime. the bone they threw you was with the belts, wet clutch, and service intervals.

  • Baloney Duck

    @jake. True, but the kids at the pool are Sprung weight not as the much more important swingarm Unsprung weight!!!!

  • Halfie30

    The fact is we are all talking about Ducati. Making the lovers love them more, and keeping the haters talking about Ducati. Ducati know EXACTLY what they’re doing, race wins or not. Norm made some great points. I don’t think it’s about WSBK or GP. It’s about bottom line. These bikes are being put together pros ably about twice as fast at about half the cost. Once the pay off te CNC machines, their profit margin on bikes will be ridiculous. So, all this “cutting edge, frameless, swing arm, technology, over square heads” talk is going to help Audi’s bottom line for their purchase.

    I don’t hate Ducati for this. I will always hate VAG, but these marketing ploys are pure genius. Just sit back and enjoy the bike if you own/plan on owning one. If you hate Ducati, you’re still putting money on the pocket by even bringing them up, or commenting on anything.

  • gsp75

    No single sided swing-arm and and probably the ugliest wheels i’ve ever seen besides the GSXR’s ,Duacati is really losing there connection with the IMAGE they have became famous for. As we all know the R&D hasnt been great and to put out a bike like this in my opinion will just hurt the Company more….

  • dave

    regarding the frameless design, nicky said recently he was disappointed ducati gave up so quickly on the carbon “frame” concept in gp, as his performances were actually better than on the new twin spar bike, and that he set his fastest ever time at valencia on it. truth be told, I imagine that if there wasn’t a spec tire and ducati could work closely with a tire mfg (like they originally did with bridgestone before anyone would give them the time of day!),we would be heralding it as a ground breaking design. Sure, they may not get it working right, but they are a company with engineering balls! and they have to do things different, they will never have hondas resources so will never be able to beat them with conventional designs. I guess some would be happy if everything were cookie cutter design inline fours. Me? I love them both! and I have a gsxr and a ducati, though neither is new..

  • dave

    jeez. and as far as styling goes, are there really any japanese bikes that are even close? the zx10 looks purposeful but hardly pretty, the gsxr1000 looks dated(read plain), the cbr 1000 looks like someone hit it in the face with a shovel, the r1 just looks obese. the european manufacturers are still producing more stylish designs than the japanese, though that being said, I still want an r1, appealing in some perverse way to me. ah, opinions, aren’t the many manufacturers lucky we all have diverse ones!

  • FafPak


    Nicky mispoke and mixed his frames up: It was actually a “a ‘halfway’ frame between the full carbon fibre chassis and current twin spar aluminium design.”

  • Mike

    Would be nice to always have the option to NOT have extras
    Folks who want them fine but do we really want or need ABS on this?

    Who cares if it is switchable you will never get feel back with all the extra lines.
    Why can it not be an option to be left off if so desired?

    Same with electronic control this & that. Some folks still know how to enjoy a ride & not having everything idiot proofed for them

    What is next? Auto transmissions?

  • Damo

    “Folks who want them fine but do we really want or need ABS on this?”


    I am guessing you haven’t ridden any of the new bikes with electronic rider aides? Once again, ABS has nothing to do with horsepower numbers. ABS makes you stop faster and wont lock up your tires on sand, diesel, ice, etc. All intervention levels are adjustable. All the riding skill on earth wont make you better than modern ABS.

    The bike isn’t idiot proof by any means and if you want a bike without electronics, there are plenty out there. The GSXR 750 is cheaper, probably faster and has better financing options.

    Ducati is a premium brand regardless how anyone feels about it, they are going to build a tech laden bike.

    I find it humorous that people always complain about new electronic features when they have yet to experience them. I prefer no to comment on the taste of soup I haven’t eaten

  • Mike

    Damo says:
    “I find it humorous that people always complain about new electronic features when they have yet to experience them. I prefer no to comment on the taste of soup I haven’t eaten”

    I find it humorous how stupid you sound to presume folks have as little experience as you obviously do.
    Get over yourself. Many folks here have been around long enough to have ridden everything & know what they like & what they don’t

    Just because someone has a preference does not mean “you: know best what they need or don’t.
    Options in life are good. Not everyone wants or needs what you do

  • Faust

    Mike, you’ve “ridden everything”? Cool story bro.

  • Mike

    Faust says:
    Mike, you’ve “ridden everything”? Cool story bro.

    Everything that mattered to me.
    No brag just facts.
    Then again I was a Honda sponsored rider (USA) in the 70’s
    so I have had lots of time to try

  • Grimey Benson


    Honda had electronic ride aides back in the 70’s?

    I love how you call someone out, yet offer no factual retorts.

    ABS makes you stop faster FACT, especially in emergency situations. Options are great, but don’t expect a boutique manufacturer to totally strip their second tier flagship bike of such technology.

    Ducati already makes a stripped down “purist” bike, it’s called the Monster. Maybe that is more your speed? Or just buy a Fireblade non-ABS model I am sure that is faster.

  • Variable

    John McGuiness rides for Honda and he uses combined ABS…. But what does he know.

  • Mike

    Uncle …Uncle….Sorry guys forgot & dont know what I was thinking

    Having an opinion & all that. ;)

    Should try to remember not to make innocuous statements & have a preference or opinion.
    Who the heck did I think I was saying something like
    ” Would be nice to have the Option to not have ”

    Ok carry on & no soup for me ;)

  • SquidleyMcSquidson

    BMW puts ABS on 100% of S1000RRs and nobody bats an eye. Ducati does it on one Sportbike and everyone loses their minds!! Hey I have an idea, lets pass judgements on stuff we haven’t even ridden yet because its not out. Remember back in the good old days when brakes sucked, suspension was suspect as hell, fueling was spotty and tires had no grip? We aren’t going back to those days, we’re going forward. These days our forks are inverted, our brakes are radial, our injectors have secondaries and our calipers are monobloc. Get over it. 10 years from now we’ll be even better. If you don’t like it, there are other options, pick one.

  • uh rider

    ABS will be a mandate for new production motorcycles, just wait. 2015 or’s coming soon

  • Mariani

    @Squidley That’s because is a f***ing BMW.

    There are other options for now, sure, but I’ll bet an arm and a leg on how the high-performance motorcycle scene will be just like it’s 4 wheeled equivalent those ’10 years from now’.

    An sterile landscape of electronic-controlled everything.

    But I don’t think you got the point here. Those things that you’ve mentioned [forks, brakes, etc] are certainly an step forward, but electronics aren’t quite the same thing.

    Having a disc brake instead of a drum still requires the rider to properly and fully control the machine. Having ABS on the other hand, does not. And the same goes for anti-wheelie, traction control and what not.

    Isn’t it great? Why bother with throttle control, braking or weight distribution if the computer will do it for you.

    Some people want to fully experience those bikes, and having to turn off the idiot’s baby sitter and then carry it around is silly at the best of times, not to mention that you are paying for the damned thing, which I’m sure is quite expensive.

  • Damo

    ” turn off the idiot’s baby sitter”

    Once again, there are plenty of fast bikes that you can buy that don’t have these. Just don’t plan on buying them from the boutique euro brands.

    “Having a disc brake instead of a drum still requires the rider to properly and fully control the machine. Having ABS on the other hand, does not.”

    I see people still don’t understand how ABS works.

    I am personally glad we are starting get some more technology in bikes, I would prefer to see safer bikes. Better riders are STILL going to get more out of their bikes than the average squid. I just don’t see the issue.

  • Thank you God, they finally got rid of that garbage single-sided swingarm, that’s been holding back their designs for decades now on the street and on the track. How many times have I seen the back wheel fly off those things killing the rider and some poor innocent pedestrian, that’s the reason Ducati went under, all the lawsuits and multimillion dollar payouts for negligent homicide. If the Lord had intended Italian bikes to have single-sided swingarms, they would have been built by a guy named Dozer in Orange county :)

  • Mariani


    It takes a genius such as yourself to understand this so very complicated process.

    “Once again, there are plenty of fast bikes that you can buy that don’t have these. Just don’t plan on buying them from the boutique euro brands.”

    Like I’ve said in the very comment you answered to, there are options now, but we will be in a health and safety cluster fuck in no time.