Ducati's New Superbike: The 1199 Panigale (updated)2011-11-12 10:08
Ducati is finally done teasing us with tidbits about its new superbike. Full details and photos of the bike have been released, and it is definitely a strong departure from traditional Ducati fare. First and foremost, the frame is now a monocoque unit, the rear suspension layout is completely redesigned, and the exhaust is no longer underseat. Plus new goodies like a bevy of advanced electronics.
Update: Ducati has sent us a comprehensive description of the new bike and all its features. See below for the verbose description of all the new bits.
The most extreme benchmark
Ducati’s new generation Superbike, the 1199 Panigale, goes beyond the barriers of motorcycle design andengineering to set the most extreme benchmark ever and the direction for future sport bikes. Developed inthe red-hot environment of racing and designed to raise the performance bar to its highest, the 1199Panigale uses innovative Ducati Corse-derived solutions to make World Championship level technologyavailable to everyone.
The most high tech, most powerful twin-cylinder production engine on the planet is now an integral part ofan innovative monocoque chassis that combine to deliver an astonishing 195hp from 164kg* (361.5lb) offuturistic Italian thoroughbred. The highest production motorcycle power-to-weight and torque-to-weightratios in the world are fitting trophies for the incredible results that Ducati have achieved.With the click of a button, Ducati’s Riding Mode concept delivers performance with enhanced riderconfidence by combining seven class-leading technologies. The latest-generation sports ABS system,Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), Ducati Quick-Shift (DQS), Ducati’s newrace-derived Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW) are now all programmed into seamless,electronic rider assistance. Even the full colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display changes to suit the rider’senvironment.
State-of-the-art from the ground-up and melding latest technologies with exciting new family features, the1199 Panigale is totally “Ducati” in every respect. Its no-compromise approach to sport design and stylishattention to incredibly fine detail presents authentic Italian performance at its purist.
Racing is the platform on which Ducati has always challenged and measured itself. It is a discipline fordesigners and engineers and the bedrock of motivation for a company in which the constant desire forvictory has become a way of life. With over 300 World Superbike race wins, more World Championship titlesthan all other manufacturers together and the passionate driver of innovation in MotoGP, Ducati’s focus onsportbikes is stronger than ever.
Ducati now combine the innovative “monocoque” frame solution with the extraordinary new “Superquadro”L-twin engine design and race-derived electronics to produce the champion of all Superbikes. Bred for thetrack and trained for the road, the new 1199 Panigale is a true revolution of the species destined to influencethe entire sportsbike environment. Available early in 2012, the new Superbike will be built in 1199 Panigale,1199 Panigale S and 1199 Panigale S Tricolore versions.
Revolution of the species
Every generation of Superbike produced at Ducati represents an accurate and historic snap-shot oftechnology and engineering solutions at that time. Some features like the Trellis frame and under-seatexhaust will remain as legendary milestones in Superbike history, innovative benchmarks qualified byendless imitation.
In the predatory world of racing, however, where complacency risks extinction, a constant Darwinian-likeadaption to the environment would not have been enough for survival. Instead, Ducati invested its time in a“revolution” of the species, not an evolution. An innovative and ingenious breakthrough design wheremultiple vital components have morphed into one to create the new monocoque skeleton of the 1199Panigale.
Designers and Engineers of the new generation Superbike were given a “blank canvas” to reach theapparently impossible 1199 Panigale targets of 10kg less weight and 25hp more power. Every detail, everydimension and every design decision has been driven entirely by a zero-compromise brief to create thehighest performance Ducati Superbike of all time. The 1199 Panigale now sets the most extremebenchmark ever and its arrival represents one of the most historic moments in Ducati’s incredible Superbikehistory.
Pronounced “Pan-ee-gah-lee”, the new model breaks with Ducati’s Superbike tradition by adding a name toits 1199 engine designation, making a significant association to its historic roots in the Borgo Panigale areaof Bologna. In an Italian territory known as “Motor Valley” and where high performance and racing runsthrough the veins of its passionate people, Ducati now underline their pride in being world ambassadors forthe “Made in Italy” title and immortalize their birthplace in the name of the new Superbike.
Every last detail of the 1199 Panigale pays tribute to the rich heritage of racing on which Ducati is built.Components that are not only functionally efficient, but also minimalist, essential and beautifully engineeredinto pieces of automotive art.
Climb aboard the 1199 Panigale and take hold of the bars and the feeling of pure racing is everywhere. Thefinely formed top-clamp with weigh-saving hollows and recesses immediately communicates Italianengineering at its very best.
Radial brake and clutch pumps, Ducati’s precise switchgear and full Ride-by-Wire twistgrip give a race-driven sense of minimalism further enhanced with the monocoque-integral steering head flowing into themagnesium front sub-frame and Ducati Corse-style instrumentation. Revised rider ergonomics areimmediately noticeable from the cockpit with seat-to-handlebar dimension 30mm (1.18in) shorter and barheight 10mm (0.39in) higher and 32mm (1.26in) wider. Even the lightweight, 17 litre (4.5 gal US) aluminiumfuel tank is sculpted perfectly to the rider.
The horizontal twin headlamps have also become more integrated with the frontal intake ducts and create atrue “race face” for the new Superbike. While the 1199 Panigale illuminates with LED positioning andconventional main light, the 1199 Panigale S and Tricolore boast motorcycling’s first ever full LEDpositioning and main light solutions.
Twin rear lights are moulded perfectly around the recessed seat air ducts and illuminate with an attractivelight-guide surround effect, enhanced with LED brake lights. Front LED indicators are integrated into themirror bodies and rear indicators, which are also LED*, are styled with clear lenses.
The majority of the frontal air ducts feed the main airbox, while a small splitter also diverts air into the fairingbodywork to ensure efficient cooling for the onboard electronics. The carefully executed shape at the rear ofthe fairing enables a highly efficient exit from the radiator area, protecting the Superquadro’s power outputand further reducing aerodynamic resistance.
The sleek shape of the seat and tail-piece is now accentuated by the relocation of the exhaust system,further enhancing the aggressive stance of a true Ducati Superbike.
The 1199 Panigale’s chassis represents Ducati’s innovative and courageous step forward in motorcycledesign, merging multiple parts into one compact and lightweight component, while re-evaluating riderposture with a revised ergonomic triangle. Developed in the super-competitive racing environment, theextremely compact monocoque construction integrates the airbox to become one of the key elements inreducing the Superbike’s overall dry weight by an incredible 10kg (22lb) to a benchmark 164kg (361.5lb).Using the Superquadro engine as a stressed member of the chassis, the short and strong aluminiummonocoque is made in die-cast aluminium and is responsible for 5kg (11lb) of the overall weight saving ofthe new design. The monocoque attaches to the cylinder heads of the new specially designed engine,protruding forward to house the steering head bearings and forming the airbox along the way, which iscapped-off and sealed when the 2.9kg (6.3lb) lighter aluminium fuel tank is attached, again using onecomponent to the fulfil the roles of two.
While the cylinders remain true to Ducati’s signature 90° L-twin configuration, the new engine has rotatedthe top-end backwards around the crankshaft a further 6° to give more clearance on the front wheel andenable engineers to modify the front and rear weight bias. This also enables a front-end geometry of 24.5°of rake and 100mm (3.94in) of trail. Attaching directly to the rear of the engine, the new fully die-castaluminium, single-sided swingarm is 39mm longer than the 1198, contributing to the increased thewheelbase of 1,437mm (56.6in) and weight distribution of the 1199 Panigale from 50/50 to 52% front and48% rear with average-size rider onboard.
With the exhaust system now relocated below the engine, the die-cast aluminium rear sub-frame isconsiderably lighter and also attaches directly to the Superquadro engine, while the super lightweight,magnesium front sub-frame attaches directly to the monocoque frame, providing secure support for theheadlamp, instrumentation and fairing. This combination of weight saving and centralisation of mass aroundthese high front and rear sub-frame areas substantially contributes to overall vehicle agility.
Incorporating Ducati’s Riding Mode technology into the Superbike for the first time, the 1199 Panigale S andTricolore are fully equipped with front and rear Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) system by Öhlins. The43mm Öhlins NIX30 forks are adjustable electronically in compression and rebound damping, while springpre-load is manual. An adjustable steering damper completes the full Öhlins package.
The Öhlins TTX36 rear unit features twin tube technology to offer totally separate damping adjustment incompression and rebound and minimise the risk of cavitation under extreme conditions. The unit is fullyadjustable electronically in compression and rebound damping, while spring pre-load is manual.
The electronic suspension adjustment can be made either by using the pre-set Riding Modes, which havebeen developed by Ducati test riders and racers, or in independent mode, which allows riders to use theirown personal and saveable settings. Digital damping adjustments send signals that execute the mechanicaladjustment via electronic actuators mounted in the suspension units.
The 1199 Panigale uses brand new, incredibly lightweight, 50mm pressurised Marzocchi usd forks thatfeature hard-anodised aluminium sliders. Proven by Marzocchi in the most severe off-road environments,the new aluminium fork assembly uses a pressurised damping system that also enables a reduction in oilcapacity and, therefore, also weight. They represent a cutting-edge solution for the 1199 Panigale, saving afurther 1kg (2.2lb) on a project which demanded innovation to achieve the extreme weight-saving targets setby designers.
Fully adjustable in spring pre-load and compression and rebound damping, the matte champagne colouredfork bodies house low-friction, hard-anodised black aluminium sliders and forged aluminium fork bottomswith beautifully formed radial calliper mountings. A fully adjustable Sachs rear suspension unit completesthe package.
On all versions of the 1199 Panigale, the fork leg centres are set to World Superbike-style widths, enablinguncompromised air-flow to the brake discs for optimum cooling.
The rear suspension of the 1199 Panigale features a stylish and practical side-mounting, enabling increasedspace for the rear cylinder head, which has been rotated further backwards around the new engine. Theunique positioning renders the unit totally accessible for spring pre-load and rider-height adjustment, and isdesigned to provide a fast and easy linkage adjustment by simply changing the pushrod fixing-point from“progressive rate” for road use with a passenger to “flat rate” for track use.
New generation brakes
For its new generation of Superbike, Ducati ensured the selection of an equally new braking system. The1199 Panigale is exclusively equipped with new generation Brembo Monobloc M50 callipers, presenting asuper-compact design that reduces their total unsprung weight by a further 0.5kg.
Machined from a single piece of alloy, the callipers achieve a higher rigidity and resistance to distortionduring extreme braking. The resulting increase in hydraulic efficiency not only delivers incredible brakingpower, but also provides an enhanced and precise 'feel' at the brake lever. The twin Monobloc M50 calliperseach have four 30mm pistons that grip 330mm discs to achieve spectacular braking performance.
The 1199 Panigale introduces the very latest in sport-oriented ABS technology to enable full integration withDucati’s three pre-programmed Riding Modes. Operating with the latest generation 9ME Bosch processor,the system enables full ABS on the front only, when in Race mode, allowing the rider initial braking drift onthe rear during race track corner entry. The system also boasts a refined “rear lift-up” detection activated inSport and enhanced in Wet Riding Modes.
Remaining almost undetectable at the lever, these advanced features enable shorter braking distances byoptimising brake force distribution for superior vehicle stability. The advanced ABS, which is optional on the1199 Panigale and 1199 Panigale S and standard equipment on the 1199 Panigale S Tricolore, can also bedeactivated via the instrumentation control panel..
New wheel and tyre designs
The 1199 Panigale rolls on brand new 10-spoke wheels in 3.5in front rim width and 6.00in rear. Enabling aneven faster change of direction and enhanced acceleration and braking performances, the new black-finished wheels provide a 0.5kg (1.1lb) weight-saving over previous components.
The 1199 Panigale S and 1199 Panigale S Tricolore are equipped with stylishly designed, triple 3-spoke,forged and machined wheels by Marchesini. Finished in black with signature red pin-striping, the superlightweight wheels represent a 0.4kg (0.88lb) weight-saving over previous components.
All 1199 Panigale versions roll on the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, road-going race replicas of theofficial World Superstock 1000 tyres. While the front uses a 120/70 ZR17, the 200/55 x ZR17 representsthe widest rear tyre ever fitted to a production Ducati Superbike.
Designed for precise line-holding and corner trajectory, the rear 200/55 x ZR17 effectively increases thecontact patch area and speed of lean by combining the 200mm width with a higher profile. Pirelli and Ducatiengineers worked together to create this ideal "match" between front and rear profiles and the resultsgenerate incredible "feel" and directional agility from the new monocoque chassis technology during corner-entry.
The structures and compounds are derived directly from Pirelli’s experience in World Superbike competition.They present a complex carcass designed for stiffness under heavy braking and shoulder areas thatmaximise contact patch, further enhanced with a bi-compound tread laced with new polymers to generaterapid warm-up and constant grip.
The 1199 Panigale is now the focal point of the latest innovative electronics that Ducati has developed andproven on the race track. Appropriate, therefore, that they are combined, managed and displayed on fullTFT technology instrumentation, first introduced to the motorcycle industry on the Ducati Diavel and nowsuper-enhanced on the 1199 Panigale.
The state-of-the-art electronics package features an enhanced version of the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA+),and Ducati Riding Modes, which now fully incorporate ABS, Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), DucatiTraction Control (DTC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Engine Brake Control (EBC), full Ride-by-Wire (RbW) andthe Thin Film Transistor instrumentation (TFT).
The 1199 Panigale inherits a more compact version of its Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), first introduced on the1198 SP and now increases its formidable fire power with a sport-intended, adjustable ABS system and thedebut of Ducati’s Engine Brake Control system (EBC), designed to enhance stability during de-acceleration.
Ducati Riding Modes
Introduced on the award-winning Multistrada in 2010, Ducati’s industry-changing Riding Modes effectivelyoffer the perfect set-up appropriate to rider and environment by selecting from a choice of three pre-setmodes. Each Riding Mode is pre-programmed to instantly change engine character and suspension set-upin addition to ABS, DTC and EBC levels - even while riding. The modes are made possible by combining anumber of class-leading technologies.
An electronic Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system administers different mappings to regulate power delivery, whileon the “S” version Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), by Öhlins, instantly configures the suspension set-up with electronic adjustment. The Ducati Traction Control system (DTC) uses eight levels of systeminteraction to enhance control by reducing wheel-spin and the latest generation of ABS processor providesideal anti-lock levels. EBC monitors crankshaft de-acceleration under heavy braking and administers RbWthrottle opening to maintain optimum grip.
Race Riding Mode
The Race Riding Mode provides the track rider with an unrestricted 195hp with direct RbW throttle responseand, on the ‘S’ version, an instant track-oriented suspension set-up. Race mode also reduces the DTCsystem intervention, provides a race-oriented EBC and front-only ABS with reduced anti-rear-lift-up andinstantly reconfigures the instrumentation layout with a track-oriented display.
Sport Riding Mode
The Sport Riding Mode provides the road or track rider with 195hp, delivered with a “smooth” RbW throttleresponse and, on the ‘S’ version, a sport-oriented suspension set-up. Sport mode slightly increases theDTC system intervention, provides a sport-oriented both EBC and front and rear ABS with incresed anti-rear-lift-up.
Wet Riding Mode
The Wet Riding Mode provides the road or track rider with 120hp, delivered with a “smooth” RbW throttleresponse, increased DTC system intervention, environment-appropriate EBC, DQS off and fully enhancedABS and, on the ‘S’ version, a suspension set-up optimised for low grip conditions.
Thin Film Transistor instrumentation (TFT)
The 1198 Panigale instrumentation takes Ducati’s industry-leading Thin Film Transistor (TFT) screen to thenext step with a stunning race-derived unit that embraces the very latest information display technology.The full colour display automatically changes its layout according to the Riding Mode selected in order toprovide optimum clarity of information appropriate to the motorcycle’s environment, even reversing itscharacter and background colours in low-light conditions.
The brand-new, high-definition instrumentation displays RPM from 1000-12000 in a scale that curvesthrough 90° around the left and upper edge of the main screen, incrementally adding bars of light around thedisplay as the engine speed increases, while enlarging each of the main 1-12 numbers in the scale as eachvalue is reached. During the first 1000km running-in period, the “orange section” of the rev-rangeautomatically moves down from its normal 10,500 lower level to 6,000rpm. When the running-in period iscompleted, the orange section automatically returns to its 10,500-11,500rpm range, although during eachengine warm-up, it is programmed to start from 8,000rpm, increasing to 9,000 and finally to its normal10,500rpm position when the engine reaches normal working temperature.
Along the bottom of the screen from left to right, is the current status and/or setting of Riding Mode, ABS (ifequipped), DTC, DQS and EBC and on the right of the screen, an easy-to-read gear indicator displayingfrom N to 6 with the top left corner of the screen displaying the time.
In “Road” and “Wet” Riding Modes the vehicle speed takes precedence in the centre of the display withlarge numerals, while two framed “additional information” panels, situated below, present total mileage bydefault on the left and engine coolant temperature on the right. Both left and right readings are scrollablewhile riding to read trip 1, trip 2 and fuel reserve trip on the left info frame with the scroll-up button on theswitchgear. Actual and average fuel consumption, average speed, journey time and air temperature appearon the right info frame with the scroll-down button.
In “Race” Riding Mode, the display automatically reconfigures, moving the lesser important vehicle speed tothe lower left info frame and making way for the latest lap time to be displayed large in the centre of thescreen. When actuated, the lap time facility is triggered manually by using the flasher button on theswitchgear or automatically with the new GPS equipped DDA+.
When the 1199 Panigale is stationary, the instrumentation is also used as a user-friendly control panel topersonalise ABS, EBC, DES, DTC, DQS, and RbW settings within each Riding Mode before saving. Inaddition to listing the last 30 recorded lap times, each time also shows the lap number and the maximumspeed and maximum rpm recorded during that lap.
Fixed icons on the left of the main screen from top to bottom show warnings for left turn signal, main beam,ABS-off and neutral, while from top to bottom on the right of the display are turn signal right, oil pressure,fuel reserve and engine electronics. Countdown icons are programmed to appear on the screen to advise ofupcoming scheduled maintenance. A strip of red lights rising on the right and left outer edges and across thetop of the instrumentation illuminate incrementally upwards to warn of over-rev. The first 25% at 10,500rpm,50% at 10,700rpm, 75% at 10,900rpm and 100% as both strips meet and the top centre bar starts to flash.Below the top, centre over-rev bar is a second bar that illuminates in orange during DTC interaction.
Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+)
The Ducati Data Analyser (DDA) consists of a software download, which is also now available for Mac, anda USB-ready data retrieval card and evaluates the performances of the bike and its rider by graphicallypresenting specific channels of information.
DDA+ is the latest generation of the system and introduces a GPS function that automatically records lap-times every time the 1199 Panigale crosses a circuit start/finish line. As the rider crosses start and finish lineand presses the lights flasher button, the innovative system logs the coordinates of that position and thenautomatically logs each lap time as the motorcycle completes subsequent laps.
DDA+ is fitted as standard equipment on the Tricolore version and available for the 1198 Panigale andPanigale S as a plug-and-play accessory by Ducati Performance.
An essential piece of equipment for the circuit, DDA records numerous channels of data including throttleopening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, gear selected, engine temperature, distance travelled, laps and laptimes. An additional channel of information is also dedicated to recording the DTC index which can then beviewed as a graphic trace indicating the amount of DTC interaction during wheel-spin. At the end of a ride ortrack session, data can be downloaded ready to compare, analyse and get an inside view of theperformance of the rider and motorcycle.
Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES)
The ‘S’ versions of the 1199 Panigale are equipped with Öhlins suspension that features the innovativeDucati Electronic Suspension (DES). The new technology enables front and rear rebound and compressiondamping adjustments to be controlled automatically by using the pre-set Riding Modes, which have beendeveloped by Ducati test riders and racers, or in independent mode, allowing riders to use their ownpersonal and saveable settings. Digital damping adjustments made via the instrumentation send signals thatexecute the mechanical adjustment via electronic actuators mounted inside the suspension units.
Ducati Traction Control (DTC)
Ducati’s highly successful DTC system has been further refined for the 1199 Panigale and fully integratedinto the electronics package of all versions. It uses the same software logic developed and used by DucatiCorse for their MotoGP and World Superbike motorcycles and offers a choice of eight settings developed bya team of professional test riders and racers.
Accessible from the left-hand switchgear and displayed on the new TFT instrumentation, the system offers achoice of eight profiles, each one programmed with a wheel-spin tolerance graded from one to eight. Whilelevel eight administers a confidence-building, high level of interaction from the system by activating upon theslightest detection of wheel-spin, level one offers a much higher tolerance and so reduced intervention forhighly competent riders. The DTC system status and level is constantly displayed on the instrumentation,reminding the rider of the current interaction level if the Riding Modes is changed.
When the level that best suits the combination of road or track conditions and riding style has been selectedand the DTC system activated, front and rear wheel sensors compare speed differential to sense when reartraction is being broken (wheel-spin). DTC then decides the best combination of two different types ofinstant electronic adjustment, calculated with data supplied from multiple sources.
The first 'soft' stage of system interaction is executed by high speed software that makes instant electronicadjustment to the ignition timing, administering varying amounts of ignition retardation to reduce the engine'storque. If the DTC software detects that the first 'soft' stage of system interaction is inadequate to control thewheel-spin, it continues to administer ignition retardation and, in addition, instructs the engine ECU to initiatea pattern of constantly increasing injection cuts until, if necessary, full injection cut.
During both stages of system interaction, an orange warning light, which is visible in the rider’s peripheralvision and situated across the top of the instrumentation, illuminates to signify that DTC has is being used.As soon as the system recognises the gradual return of equal wheel speeds, it incrementally re-establishesnormal power delivery. This seamless interaction is key to the super-smooth operation of the system.
Ducati Quick Shift (DQS)
The Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) system, first used on the 2011 1198 SP, was the first electronic quick-shiftsupplied as original equipment on a production Ducati. The 1199 Panigale takes that same technology andmakes it even more compact. Normally used specifically for racing, the system allows the rider to keep thethrottle open when changing-up through the gearbox, helping to save vital fractions of a second in thepursuit of faster lap-times. The system not only saves time when changing gear, but also enables thepossibility of uninterrupted air flow through the throttle bodies throughout the upward gear-changingprocess.
The system consists of a micro-switch built into the linkage of the gear change lever, which when actuatedin the direction of selecting a higher gear, sends a signal to the main ECU. The ECU instantly understandswhich gear the motorcycle is in by calculating the rpm and vehicle speed and then reads the amount ofthrottle opening before applying a pre-programmed cut in fuel injection and ignition measured inmilliseconds. This spilt-second electronic interruption in drive is programmed precisely to allow the next gearto be selected without having to actuate the clutch or close the throttle. As the system only functions for amatter of milliseconds, the 1199 Panigale can still be ridden using a normal gear-changing style.
Engine Brake Control (EBC)
Ducati’s latest electronic introduction to a road-going production motorcycle is its “Engine Brake Control”(EBC). The system was developed by Ducati Corse to help riders optimise vehicle stability under extremecorner entry conditions in MotoGP and World Superbike by equalising the positive and negative forces oftorque subjected to the rear tyre under severe engine-braking conditions. EBC monitors throttle position,gear selected and crankshaft de-acceleration rate under heavy braking and administers precise RbWthrottle openings to balance the torque forces acting on the tyre. EBC has a three level operating systemaccessible from the 1199 Panigale’s instrumentation and is integrated automatically into its three RidingModes to provide an additional and highly effective rider aid.
The “Superquadro” power house
Ducati’s latest engine, the Superquadro, goes beyond the barriers of engineering to enable the 1199Panigale. Its no-compromise approach to design, combined with Ducati’s Italian innovation has now set themost extreme benchmark ever and stands as the latest milestone in Ducati’s long and iconic history ofSuperbike engines.
Ducati engineers were given a near impossible design brief to create the new generation Superbike enginefor the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Increase power, torque and user-friendliness and reduce overall vehicleweight and scheduled maintenance costs seemed impossible tasks, but given a “blank canvas” to create thenew power-plant and encouraged to think outside-of-the-box to achieve the unachievable, engineers havefinally ticked all the boxes.
The innovative Superquadro engine, so called because of its massively over-square bore and stroke ratio,has increased power to an absolute production twin-cylinder milestone of 195hp and torque to 98.1 lb-ft(13.5kgm) with user-friendly Riding Modes that deliver that power appropriate to the rider’s style andenvironment. Its construction has enabled a radical reduction in overall vehicle weight and, furtheridentifying Ducati’s constant pursuit of performance perfection, major services have been extended to24,000km (15,000 miles).
Only Fabio Taglioni’s masterpiece 90° L-twin configuration and Desmodromic valve control have beenretained from previous engines. Everything else is new.
With the engine designed to be a fully stressed member of the chassis, its architecture has been completelyre-calculated to provide the best possible vehicle construction for layout, weight distribution and strength.The cylinders, which remain at 90° to each other, have been rotated backwards around the crankcases by afurther 6°, until the front cylinder is 21° from horizontal. This has enabled the engine to be positioned 32mmfurther forwards for improved front / rear weight distribution in addition to perfectly positioning the cylinderhead attachment points for the 1199 Panigale’s monocoque frame.
The crankcases, which are vacuum die-cast using Vacural® technology to ensure optimal weight saving,consistent wall thickness and increased strength, also incorporate the outer water-jacket of the “cylinder”,eliminating the jointing face that used to exist at the base of the cylinders. Instead, the Superquadro hasseparate nikasil-coated aluminium “wet-liners” inserted into the tops of the crankcase apertures. This designenables secure fixing of the cylinder head directly to the crankcase, improved sealing and enhanced heatdissipation from the thin cylinder-liners directly into the surrounding coolant.
The primary-drive casing, clutch casing and outer cover, sump and cam covers are all cast in magnesiumalloy, ensuring a lightweight engine despite its increased strength as an integral part of the chassis.In addition to cylinder position, the crankcases now use shell main bearings for the crankshaft, previouslyonly used by Ducati on the Desmosedici RR engine. Removing the roller bearings has enabled an increasein diameter of the crank journals for enhanced rigidity and an increase the crankcase section around themain bearing area for improved strength in line with the Superquadro’s extreme power output. The shellbearings are force-fed oil from internal drillings within the main bearing pillars to keep the new crankshaftwell lubricated and is quickly scavenged back into the sump with the introduction of a new Ducati feature, ahighly efficient MotoGP-style vacuum pump.
The pump is driven by the main oil pump shaft and effectively maintains constant vacuum in the crankcasearea below the pistons, reducing atmospheric resistance during the down-stroke of the piston and controllingthe internal “breathing” of the engine.
In calculating the optimum configuration for the next big step forward in power output for the L-twin engine,Ducati and Ducati Corse engineers increased engine speed and enhanced breathability with the incrediblebore and stroke of 112mm x 60.8mm (4.40x2.39in). The intense study of power and ridability resulted in anoutput of 195hp @ 10,750rpm and 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) @ 9,000rpm. The new bore and stroke ratio of1.84:1 effectively increases rpm with the ultra-short stroke of the crankshaft and increases the cylinder areato enable increased valves diameters. Inlet valves have increased from 43.5 to 46.8mm (1.71-1.84in) andexhaust valves from 34.5 to 38.2mm (1.35-1.5in).
With such large inlet valves operating at higher rpm, the intense inertial forces have been controlled byusing titanium instead of steel, a solution only previously used on full “R” models. The new valves areactuated by racing-derived rocker arms, 'super-finished' for reduced friction and fatigue and then coated inpolymeric-like carbon (PLC), a process originally developed for the aerospace industry.
The race-derived Superquadro pistons have a distinctive double-ribbed undercrown to achieve high strengthand reduced friction by using minimal piston wall surface area. Using technology developed by DucatiCorse, the design enables reliable operation of the 112mm diameter pistons when performing at high rpm.The improved volumetric efficiency of the increased inlet valve diameters is further capitalised on byincreasing the oval throttle body dimensions from an equivalent diameter of 63.9 to a massive and high-flowing 67.5mm (2.66in). The Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies feed air across twin injectors per cylinder, onepositioned below the butterfly for enhanced flexibility and one above for outright power.
With such enhanced “breathing”, the challenge for the Superquadro’s Design Engineers was to programperformance-optimised fuel mapping for a smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, without compromisingemissions. To achieve this, Ducati introduced a secondary air system that completes the oxidisation ofunburned hydrocarbons and effectively reduces HC and CO levels. The system is activated when theengine ECU recognises specific conditions in the engine’s operation via the lambda and throttle openingsensors. It then opens a valve enabling a flow of clean air from the main airbox to a reed valve situated ineach cylinder head, which enables one-way flow into an air gallery exiting into the exhaust port close to theexhaust valve. Entering the hottest point of the exhaust gasses, the fresh charge of air enhances the burnenvironment, eliminating any unburned fuel that escapes during the exhaust cycle under certain conditions.
Never before has Ducati's unique Desmodromic system been so vitally important. With the high enginespeeds at which the Superquadro operates combined with such incredibly large valves, it would beimpossible for the valve’s rocker-arm to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe using normal valveclosure springs. The Desmo system actuates valve closure mechanically with the same method andaccuracy as it opens, enabling steep cam profiles, radical cam timings, large valves and high operatingspeeds. This system is used on every single Ducati motorcycle and is constantly proven on Ducati Corse’sWorld Superbikes and Desmosedici MotoGP bikes.
The power of precision
Controlling such large valves with the precise Desmodromic system also led engineers to replace theoriginal belt-drive system, used since the introduction of the Ducati Pantah in 1979, with a combined chainand gear-drive arrangement. The conventional bush-type chain runs from the crankshaft to the cylinderhead where a single sprocket positioned between inlet and exhaust camshafts, is attached back-to-back to agear wheel mounted on its own short, dedicated shaft. The attached gear meshes directly with gears on theends of both the inlet and exhaust camshafts, which are also designed with +/- position adjustment for ultra-precise cam-calibration. The cam chain, therefore, provides highly efficient point-to-point drive route and,tensioned automatically, provides continuous reliability, further reducing the cost of routine maintenance.
On the end of each exhaust cam drive gear is a centrifugal flyweight which retracts at speeds below tick-over to rotate a “protrusion” from the concentric section of the cam, thus creating sufficient valve lift to act asa de-compressor. This ingenious device enables the Superquadro engine to be started easily without usinga larger battery and starter motor, which has reduced overall vehicle weight by approximately 3.3kg (7.3lb).When the engine starts and the camshafts begin to rotate at tick-over speed, the centrifugal flyweight flicksout, retracting the “protrusion” back into the cam and allowing complete valve closure for full compression.This innovative feature further underlines the lengths to which designers and engineers have workedtogether in the single-minded pursuit of weight-saving.
Ducati’s engineers also capitalised on the opportunity of the “blank canvas” project to increase dimensionbetween the centres of the six-speed gearbox shafts, enabling larger diameter, stronger gears to transmitthe enhanced power output. New for a top-of-the-range Ducati Superbike is a “wet”, oil-bath clutch. Basedvery closely on the design of the Multistrada and Diavel components, the clutch assembly features a“slipper” function and a progressive self-servo mechanism that compresses the friction plates when underdrive from the engine. While enhancing frictional efficiency, this also results in a rider-friendly light clutchlever “feel” at the handlebar. Conversely, when the drive force is reversed (over-run), the mechanismreduces pressure on the friction plates, enabling a true racing “slipper” action, reducing the destabilizingeffect of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting.
Innovative, cutting-edge and setting the most extreme benchmark ever, the Superquadro is the mostpowerful twin-cylinder production engine on the planet and is destined to power the new Ducati 1199Panigale with absolute performance perfection.
1199 Panigale versions
The 1199 Panigale is available in standard configuration with optional ABS and equipped with Marzocchi’snew 50mm lightweight aluminium front forks, Sachs rear suspension and steering damper and with DTC,DQS, EBC and RbW combined into the Ducati Riding Modes.
The 1199 Panigale S is also available with optional ABS and is equipped with Öhlins electronic 43mm frontforks with adjustable Öhlins steering damper and an Öhlins electronic TTX suspension unit on the rear. Inaddition, the model rolls on super lightweight forged and machined Marchesini wheels, has a carbon fibrefront mudguard and the motorcycling world’s first ever full LED lighting. The “S” model is supplied also withan “Aero kit”, which consists of two lateral attachments for the top section of the fairing, designed to furtherenhance the machine’s aerodynamic penetration and reduce its drag coefficient. The 1199 Panigale S addsDES to the full electronics fire-power of ABS (optional) DTC, DQS, EBC and RbW to provide the DucatiRiding Modes.
A special 1199 Panigale S Tricolore version celebrates the arrival of the new generation Superbike, fittedwith ABS as standard and sporting the proud Italian colours of red, white and green. The distinctive modelcarries the same equipment as the S version with the addition of the new generation DDA+ with specialGPS lap time function as well as a titanium racing muffler kit* by Ducati Performance.
Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story
Tags: 2012, 1199 Panigale, Ducati, new models