By now, it is a unanimous opinion that current superbikes have reached their limits in terms of power outputs. The 180/190 PS that top superbikes from the major factories produce now is more than enough for even the best riders on the best roads, in the best weather conditions. It is only on a track – and that too, one with long enough straights – that one can properly harness all that extra power. Unless radical new developments in tyre adhesion and chassis fine-tuning come along soon, a 200 PS motorcycle will be pretty much a pride-of-ownership (or bragging rights, sure) thing for the average Joe.
The next Ducati Panigale superbike though? Oh, that’s a different story.
Thanks to an inadvertent error on the part of an American Ducati dealership – who is also apparently very good its their job – we now know what the new Ducati Panigale will be like. Look closely at the picture accompanying this photo, posted briefly by the dealer on its Facebook page, and taken down soon after. It was taken at a dealer convention honoring the top-selling Ducati dealerships in North America, but it’s what on the background that made it taken down off the web.
On the poster, you can clearly see the new Panigale with the 1299 badging proudly adorning it.
Ducati is due to update the Panigale for the 2015 model year, and the new iteration will have a cubic capacity bump of 100cc, bringing it to 1299cc. This has been achieved by increasing the stroke of the Superquadro engine, which now produces well over 200PS. Cosmetics remain roughly the same.
But here’s the interesting part. As always, there will be an R-spec version of the 1299 Panigale, but it will have more in common with the current 1199 Panigale than the new 1299 Panigale. To accommodate the WSBK regulations which are changing again next year, it will also have a 1199cc engine, despite carrying the new badging, 1299 Panigale.
Expect to see the Ducati 1299 Panigale next year at EICMA in November. And if you ask “why,” the answer is, “because we can.”