(Post updated with new photographs)

When it comes to throwing a party, the small boutique manufacturer from Bologna has a penchant for the glamorous. Choosing Drai’s rooftop nightclub for the U.S. unveiling of the 1199  Panigale superbike, Ducati raised the bar in motorcycle swankiness.

With the Hollywood skyline as a backdrop, MotoGP star Nicky Hayden and Ducati brass took the wraps off the most anticipated new motorcycle of 2012. In person the Panigale is compact, radically different from the previous model and simultaneously oozing both ferocity and sex appeal. With the press launch of the bike still months away, the performance of the new machine remains a secret, but if it goes as good as it looks Ducati should be set for success on the showroom floor and in the racing arena.

The only thing that could have made the event better would have been a running example of the Panigale for all to hear the new bike’s V-Twin bark, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be (probably due to some code against having a running motorcycle on top of a building surrounded by water and a 30-story plummet to the Walk of Fame below). None-the-less, the motorcycling press and everyone else in attendance was treated to a posh night of tasty hors d’oeuvres, vino, Italian beer, laughs, camaraderie and the obligatory fashion show with a host of female and male eye candy parading the latest Ducati apparel down the above-pool catwalk prior to the bike’s unveiling.

[Source: Ducati]

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