Saturday, May 4 marked the 5th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, California. With such a diverse collection of historical, rare and outrageous motorcycles, the Quail is an event we thoroughly enjoyed attending last year. To commemorate the occasion, this year’s guest of honor was none other than three-time 500cc Grand Prix world champion, and […]
Ducati 1199 Superleggera Boasts 200 HP, Sub 400-Pound Wet Weight
Ducati has sent official specs and pictures for its ultra limited edition, 1199 Superleggera. Based on the already impressive 1199 Panigale R, the Superleggera (Super Light) takes the R model on serious diet while hitting the gym to pack on some muscle.
According to Ducati, the 1199 Superleggera is good for over 200 hp, and weighs a remarkable 390 pounds, ready to ride with at least 90% of its fuel tank filled. That’s 27 pounds lighter than the already 600-like weight of the Panigale R, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio Ducati says is the highest of any production motorcycle ever. It achieves this substantial number through liberal use of exotic materials wherever possible.
The diet begins at the front monocoque, which is now magnesium. Marchesini then outfits the bike with forged wheels of the same material. From there, the Superleggera is clothed in carbon fiber bodywork, fastened together with titanium hardware. The rear subframe is also carbon fiber. Titanium is used extensively, as the entire exhaust system, minus the stainless steel headers, is made from the stuff, as are the connecting rods and all eight valves.
A first on a Ducati street engine, the pistons incorporate a two-ring design, normally used on Ducati’s superbike engines. These pistons use short skirts and only two rings, allowing them to dramatically reduce mass and friction. To further increase performance, the combustion chamber is also modified by a new piston crown that increases compression ratio to 13.2:1 (versus 12.5:1 on the R model). Added to this is a super-lightened crankshaft, precision balanced using dense tungsten inserts.
Other lightweight goodies include a lithium-ion battery, lightweight Öhlins FL916 front suspension with fully-machined fork bottoms and an Öhlins TTX36 rear suspension with titanium spring. The Brembo M50 monobloc brakes use a MCS 19-21 front master cylinder and remote adjuster. Final drive gets upgraded with a lightweight Ergal rear sprocket, and 520 drive chain.
For those looking for the ultimate in weight savings, look no further than the track-only race kit. Consisting of a Akropovic race exhaust, high racing windscreen, dedicated dust cover, front and rear paddock stands, machined mirror fill caps, and block-off plates for the license plate holder and sidestand. All said, the kit shaves 5.5 pounds and bumps power another five horses.
The Superleggera benefits from Ducati’s vast electronics suite, including Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC), the former revised to automatically calibrate different tire sizes and final drive ratios. Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), and Data Analysis (DDA) are also included. Lost in all the hype surrounding the light weight materials is the addition of a new electronic feature, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), a similar technology seen on the Aprilia RSV4 APRC. According to Ducati, the Superleggera now features handlebar-mounted controls to quickly change the DTC, DWC and EBC settings at the push of a button, while riding.
Befitting its ultra-exclusive status, only 500 Superleggera’s will be built, each with its individual number stamped on the triple clamp. It’s being offered on an invite-only basis, with the first rights of refusal going to owners of Desmosedici RR or R version Superbikes. Price is rumored to be in the vicinity of $70,000. That said, of the 500 units being produced, 75% are already sold.
The 1199 Superleggera will be displayed on the Ducati stand of the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy in November.
Be sure to check the huge image gallery below for more 1199 Superleggera pictures.