The normal life of a motorcycle journalist is actually kind of mundane, as 95% of my time is spent slouched over a computer. But then there are rare days in which we are hosted in lavish accommodations in a cool location to ride some new bike no one else in the world has yet ridden. For a motorcycle enthusiast it’s a charmed life. Yet even by those high standards, my trip this week should be nothing short of epic.

I’m currently getting my bags packed for what promises to be an unforgettable experience.  I’m jetting off to exotic Abu Dhabi in the Middle East to ride the most exciting new sportbike in years: Ducati‘s all-new 1199 Panigale. I’m expecting it to be a great leap forward in sportbike development, and that’s saying a lot considering the current 1198 is so damn good.

What’s more, I’ll be riding it on what’s likely the world’s most expensive-to-build racetrack, the Yas Marina Circuit on which the Formula 1 series has raced since 2009. Estimated cost to build: $1.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a B.

Get more Ducati 1199 Panigale news and info at

“I can tell you that the new 1199 Panigale is really astonishing,” said three-time World Superbike champ Troy Bayliss, who played an integral role in developing this ambitious new platform. And watching the video below of Baylisstic lapping Yas Marina, it sure looks like it lives up to the hype. Stay tuned for my riding impressions next week!

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