In 2011, Ducati formally introduced the 1199 Panigale to the world at the 2011 Milan Motorcycle Show. In 2012, the first production model of this bike was made available to the public and the manufacture of this model would continue through 2014. The Panigale was named after Borgo Panigale, which is a small manufacturing town. This highly regarded sportbike would reign for a three-year lifespan and spinoff a few noteworthy variants before it would be replaced in 2015 with a 1299 Panigale.
The making of history
In 2012, the brand proclaimed to have created the most powerful production motorcycle in its class. The 1199 Panigale’s twin-cylinder engine cranked out 195 bhp with 98.1 lb-ft of torque at 9000 rpm. The bike weighed in at 362 lbs dry and a wet weight of 414 lbs Ducati claimed that this edition of the Supersports bike had achieved the mark of becoming the “highest power to weight/ torque to weight ratio” in its class.
The 2012 Panigale S
In 2012 another version of the 1199, called the Panigale S, officially tested in with an acceleration speed of zero to sixty mph in a time of just 2.98 seconds with a top speed of 177.6 mph, and a fuel economy of 41.1 mpg. It was recognized as top in the amount of horsepower it supplied to the rear wheel wet weight ratio and it came in fifth in highest horsepower to the rear wheels. Another distinction is that the frame is much lighter thanks to the Superquadro stressed member. It achieved a much lighter bike than more conventional frames.
1199 Panigale R
The 1199 also came out in a Panigale R which was Ducati’s world-class superbike homologation special featuring a liquid cooled 1,198cc V-twin engine paired with a 6-speed transmission that generated 202 claimed and 169 hp and 100-pound force-feet of torque, with a top speed of 202 mph. Uniquely, the frame was an aluminum built monocoque with a suspension that was electronically adjustable. The exhaust system and mufflers were placed in an under engine position with a distinction unique to this model being that they are not placed under the seat like in the case of the 1198 and 1098. Ducati lowered this bike’s track weight to 364 pounds in 2013.
2013 Ducati Panigale S Senna
The 2013 variant Panigale S Senna was a top range sportbike that was dedicated to Ayrton Senna, World Champion in Formula 1 racing. One of them was auctioned with all net proceeds designated to go to the Instituto Ayrton Senna Charity.
Ducati 1199 Panigale Racing
This super road racer took to the track in 2012 and won first in Open category at the LeMans 24-Hours Motorcycle Endurance Race with an overall finishing place of 32nd. It was in 2014 that Ducati introduced its 1199 Superleggera which translated into English means superlight, was made in 2014 with 500 manufactured. The Superleggera was made of ultralightweight material which included magnesium, carbon and titanium and the result was a bike with a total wet weight of just 390 pounds.
By the end of 2014, Ducati’s s1199 Panigale had gone as far as it was going to go. It was at this time that the brand took up production of a larger and more powerful 1299 for 2015. It was now time, having served its purpose, for the 1199 to pass its baton forward to a new generation. Ducati’s Panigale line would continue forward with a predecessor to take yet more championship wins in racing world-wide, with a win for the manufacture title in 2016, and a rider title in 2017 for an FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. Glen Irwin would achieve a victory with his new Panigale R in 2017 and so the saga continues.
Ducati’s 1199 in the Panigale line filled a meaningful era in its history as a super road racer that garnered some worthy attention. A more prolific purple example of the 1199 Panigale bikes was featured in the movie “Kick-Ass 2″ as it was ridden by Hit-Girl.” It certainly owes no apologies for its performance, nor for its short 3 year stay because it occupied an important place within the family. It made its intended impressions, won its share of victories and inspired a new generation which would pick up where their near-kinsman had left off. We owe a debt of gratitude and thanks for some great adventures to the 1199 Panigale.