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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ducati’s 2012 Superbikes unveiled

Ducati’s new supersports model line-up goes on sale early in 2012. Its eagerly anticipated flagship, the 1199, will sell in three variants, a base 1199 Panigale, the 1199 Panigale S and a 1199 Panigale S Tricolore, dressed in Italian red, white and green.
Expect the stunning, cutting-edge 1199 to rewrite the supersports rule books, being a race-bred machine that pushes the barriers in terms of style, features, technology, performance and handling.
Handsome, ultra-compact and sporty to the core, the 1199 uses full LED lighting and high definition, colour TFT instruments. The 1199 Panigale is to deploy the world’s most powerful twin-cylinder engine ever; a 1198cc, four-stroke, 90-degree L-twin, liquid-cooled powerhouse called the Superquadro, with Desmodromic valve operation. Power output is a tarmac-scorching 195bhp at 10750rpm, just under a 11500rpm rev ceiling, and this light-for-its-class motorcycle shows off a kerb weight of 188kg, making for a fearsome power-to-weight ratio of 1037bhp per tonne. A 13.5kgm of peak torque is developed at 9000rpm. A wet-type, slipper clutch is standard, as will be a 6-speed gearbox with quick shift assistance.
The 1199 Panigale rider can command a full variety of electronic rider aids, including a latest-generation Ducati Data Analyser (DDA+) system, Ducati Riding Modes with intelligent ABS incorporation, Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW) throttle control.
Experts can slot into Race Riding mode to pilot the full complement of 195 untamed ponies via sharp throttle response, reduced traction control intervention and altered race-replica styled instruments. Sport Riding mode selection blunts a bit of the potent Superquadro’s razor edge, providing 195bhp with softened power delivery and higher traction control assistance, while the Wet Riding mode tames power to a smoothly laid down 120bhp, with maximum electronic assistance to help riders control their 1199.
The 1199 has revised ergonomics and ditches the Ducati traditional trellis frame in favour of a monocoque unit, bolting its engine in as a stressed member of the frame. A 39mm longer single side, alloy swingarm brace than on the 1198 is standard, increasing wheelbase to 1437mm, while promoting forward weight distribution. The 1199 Panigale is equipped with state-of-the-art electronic suspension front and rear and 330mm front disc brakes gripped by Brembo four-piston, monobloc calipers. An advanced ABS system is also at hand.
Completing Ducati’s 2012 superbike range are the 848 EVO and also the new 848 EVO Corse Special Edition which will offer enhanced electronics, better suspension and a stunning Corse exclusive livery. The 848 EVO uses a Testastretta Evoluzione engine with 6bhp more, outputting 140bhp at 10500rpm and 10kgm of peak torque made at 9750rpm. The 848 EVO Corse Special Edition packs in traction control and quick shift systems, Öhlins rear suspension and dual, 330mm front brake discs.
Ducati desperately needs to upgrade and improve its existing Indian sales and service wings to provide such a brilliant range of motorcycles the required support system. This will help it sustain itself in the increasingly important Indian two-wheeler market.
You can read more details on the 1199 Panigale and its innovative Superquadro engine technology in the Autocar India November 2011 issue, on stands now.

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