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Ducati 1199 Panigale R

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You would have to be living under a rock not to know about the upcoming Ducati Scrambler, Bologna has made certain of that. But as we surmised in our analysis of Scrambler’s marketing, Ducati is due to update the Panigale as well for the 2015 model year. That educated guess, it seems has been proven correct, at least in part. While Borgo Panigale will continue to sell its namesake Ducati 1199 Panigale, the Panigale R model will be replaced for 2015 by the new 1299 superbike. As such, the 1299 will be Ducati’s consumer-facing machine for its World Superbike program — a project that has been greatly affected by WSBK’s intake restrictions for v-twins — thus race teams can expect an upgraded RS15 as well to be coming forth.

Ducati has gone to great lengths so that you won’t know this, but our sources have confirmed to us that in about a month’s time, the Bologna Brand will debut perhaps the most ostentatious machine ever to come from the Borgo Panigale factory, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera. An ultra-exclusive version of the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, the Superleggera edition is exactly what its Italian name suggests, a super-light version of the Panigale R. It’s ok if you need to take a minute to readjust yourself in your chair before reading further — we’ll wait.

An interesting development on the aftermarket side of things has graced our desks, as Öhlins has released a “suspension control unit” (SCU) that upgrades the electronically adjustable suspension on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S so that it becomes a semi-active suspension system. Whhhaaaat??! So, if you’re the proud owner of a pre-2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, and you think that your electronically controlled Öhlins suspension is no longer boss, now that Ducati has released its Sachs-powered “Skyhook” semi-active suspension pieces on its new batch of Multistrada sport-tourers, there is a remedy for your motolust.

New for 2013, Ducati has added another model to its Superbike range, the long awaited Ducati 1199 Panigale R. Asphalt & Rubber was first to break the news on the “R” version of Borgo Panigale’s namesake, so it is fitting that we were one of the first publications to ride this beast — taking part in Ducati’s international press launch at the new Circuit of the Americas race course. With so much change occurring at the foundation of Ducati, bikes like the Panigale are extremely important to the Bologna Brand, as they anchor the company’s racing and performance heritage. Worry not loyal Ducatisti, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R lives up to the high-expectations, and is quite simply the finest machine to come from Ducati. We review it, after the jump.

Taking part in the Ducati 1199 Panigale R international press launch at the new Circuit of the Americas race course.I thought I would share a view not too many track day enthusiasts will get a lap to see: a lap around the Circuit of the Americas. COTA is a first-rate facility, and once you get the hang of this very-unstraight-forward track, COTA is a very rewarding course to ride on two wheels. Learning the track is a whole different story though. We only got four 15-minute sessions to learn the 20 turns of COTA during the press launch, and let’s just say the first session was a “interesting” for everyone involved.

Giving us a little teaser of what we will be riding tomorrow, the folks at Borgo Panigale are hoping the newest iteration of their namesake, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, lives up to the expectations assembled here in Austin, Texas. The lightest sport bike ever from Ducati, the Panigale R comes with a few changes from its base model and “S” predecessors, namely the inclusions of titanium con-rods, a lightened flywheel, DLC-coated rocker-arms, a four-point adjustable swingarm pivot-point, a 500 rpm rev boost, and a bit more power (courtesy of a full-system race exhaust and ECU). More A/V candy on the 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R awaits after the jump. Ducatisti enjoy.

For those who don’t remember, the highlights to the 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R are the inclusions of titanium con-rods, a lightened flywheel, DLC-coated rocker-arms, a four-point adjustable swingarm pivot-point, a 500 rpm rev boost, and a bit more power (courtesy of a full-system race exhaust and ECU). While the “R” spec Panigale officially makes the same power as the other models, the race exhaust included with the purchase of the machine is good for a few more ponies up top, giving the Ducati 1199 Panigale R a 201hp top figure, a modest 6% gain up top, but also a 15% increase in the midrange. There are 101 hi-res snaps after the jump

Ducati is back in the World Superbike Championship, and today the Ducati Alstare team debuted its Ducati 1199 Panigale R race bike that Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini will campaign with this season. Heavily supported by Ducati Corse, it comes as no surprise then that the team’s livery is in the customary Rosso Corsa, and comes with some very familiar names on its side. Energy Trading International (ENERGY T.I.) is a name you will see on Andrea Iannone’s Pramac Ducati, while communications company TIM has been a feature on the factory MotoGP bike for a number of seasons. Battery maker FIAMM has also been in the MotoGP paddock with Ducati, while energy drink FICC is the only new-comer to the world of two-wheeled motorsport on the team.

Per our predictions for the 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R, the highlights to the 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R are the inclusions of titanium con-rods, a lightened flywheel, DLC-coated rocker-arms, a four-point adjustable swingarm pivot-point, a 500 rpm rev boost, and a bit more power (courtesy of a full-system race exhaust and ECU). While the “R” spec Panigale officially makes the same power as the other models, the race exhaust included with the purchase of the machine is good for a few more ponies up top, giving the Ducati 1199 Panigale R a 201hp top figure, a modest 6% gain up top, but also a 15% increase in the midrange.

Visually similar to the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Superstock bike that debuted last year at Milan as a sort of promo piece for the Ducati Performance catalog, and not to be confused for the race team only Ducati 1199 Panigale RS, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R comes fitted with titanium rods, and Borgo Panigale has gifted its namesake another 500 in rpm’s with the Superquadro’s lighter internals, which are surprisingly only giving out a slight boost to the Panigale’s 195hp base. Instead, Ducati’s aim has been to increase the power band of the Panigale R, broadening the peaky motor. The 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R also features some minor chassis geometry changes. For the discerning few who want to own one, expect to shill out roughly $30,000 USD.