Ducati 1199 Panigale – EICMA 2011 Live Report

Highlights of This Report:

Ducati 1199 Panigale report from EICMA 2011. Photos of the Ducati 1199 Panigale (below). Video walk-around of the 1199 Panigale (below). 1199 Panigale Instruments – Demo (below).

1199 Panigale press release and photos (below).

Ducati 1199 Panigale Photos From EICMA

November 8, 2011 – Just by coincidence, I entered the 2011 EICMA show for the first time this morning right in the same building as the Ducati display.

The new 1199 Panigale was there in its standard and S versions. Funny thing — the Ducati staff were rather downplaying the intro. Normally, a brand-new bike of this stature would have some sort of high-tech display arrangement, but the bikes were scattered across the floor with just two rotating displays with the requisite females posing nearby.

Howzit Look?

Anyway, I’d like to say that the bike’s looks totally knocked me out. but I can’t in all honesty. Yes, it looks great — no two ways about it. But I don’t see a complete revolution here; it looks more or less like you’d expect for a modern Ducati of 21st Century vintage.

I think the Panigale also looks bigger in the flesh than in photos. I’ve seen photos of the bike with a rider on board and it looks like he’s sitting on a 125 or something. But close up, it seems to have about what I’d expect for modern sportbike dimensions and proportions.

The headlights and tail lights look good and a bit different, but I just can’t help thinking that the rest of the bike looks pretty much as I’d expected for any new Ducati superbike/sportbike designed in 2011. I daresay the couple-year-old KTM RC8 looks more revolutionary to me than the Ducati.

About That Engine.

What does knock me out is the Superquadro engine. I guess I’m an engine geek, but the super-oversquare bore/stroke is just amazing — truly Formula 1 territory. Finally, after all this time, the desmodromic valve train proves its merit and its worth — I doubt the engine could push valves with the kind of forces they’ll get in the Superquadro if they were powered by mere springs.

Is it useful for the street? Probably not. Of course, I’m just an armchair speculator at this point — as is just about everyone outside the Ducati engineering team.

Ducati 125 T

But the hard, cold truth is. it’s hard to believe anyone would need this kind of technology for street riding.

Yet, on the other hand. people buy Ferraris for the street, right? Although you can get there in a Kia just with just as much comfort (probably more). Just like you can get there on my DR650 (blog) and, I daresay, with more comfort and less anxiety (and much lower insurance bills!) instead of a Panigale.

Finally: A Real Job for Desmodromic Valves

It’s ironic that the desmo system was first developed because spring technology and metallurgy weren’t up to the task of high-speed valvetrain action. But those old-fashioned springs quickly came up to speed, as it were, and for a variety of reasons (mostly having to do with tradition in the same sense that H-D keeps the V-twin), Ducati and desmo were forever entwined.

Now, here we are close to 100 years later and the valves in the Superquadro are moving too fast for current valve spring technology and metallurgy, so we need a desmodromic system to prevent float. I think that’s pretty cool! Can’t wait to hear the Superquadro at full song.

More on the Superquadro engine here. with info, photos and a video walk-around.

OK, here are some photos, followed by a video walk-around. More info, photos and the original press release can be found below on this page also.

– Ducati 1199 Panigale Photos and Video –

Ducati 125 T
Ducati 125 T
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