Tuesday, 8 November 2016

2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera official EICMA launch

As posted yesterday, the EICMA show in Milan, Italy saw the official launch of the limited edition 2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera, also known as Project 1408. As the word “Superleggera” – superlight – means, the 1299 Superleggera is absolutely dripping in carbon-fibre.

From the monocoque frame, swingarm, wheels and fairing, carbon-fibre is used to achieve lightness. This extends to the aluminium fuel tank and the engine internals, which use a mix of aluminium cylinder liners, titanium valves and a lightened crankshaft with tungsten weights.

On the engine itself, the Desmodromic 1,285 cc Superquadro engine puts out 215 hp at 11,000 rpm, and 146.5 Nm of torque at 9,000. Fed by Mitsubishi EFI with two injectors per cylinder, the 90-degree V-twin features ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies with flow-optimised intake trumpets.

A full suite of electronics comes with the 2017 1299 Superleggera, including ride and power modes, cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO), Ducati Wheelie COontrol (DWC), Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Ducati Power Launch (DPL), engine braking control (EBC) Ducati up/down Quick Shift (DQS).

All the acronyms are controlled by a Bosch six-axis inertial measurement unit (6D IMU) – something we saw and put to good use on the 2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 we tested earlier this year. As part of the 1299 Superleggera’s race kit, a complete titanium Akrapovic exhaust is provided, along with all the bits necessary to make the bike track ready.

Suspension duties are taken care of by Ohlins, with a fully-adjustable 43 mm FL 936 fork in front, and TTX36 rear shock absorber, also fully-adjustable. Braking is by Brembo, with twin 330 mm floating discs clamped by radial-mounted Monobloc Evo M50 four-piston calipers actuated by a Brembo MCS 19-21 adjustable-ratio master cylinder.

The aluminium fuel tank holds 17 litres, and seat height is a race-ready 830 mm. Wet weight is claimed to be 167 kg, which puts the 1299 Superleggera exactly one kilogramme under the weight limit for the World Superbike championship.

Such exclusivity does not come cheap, of course, and a figure of USD80,000 (RM336,808), and only 500 units will be produced for sale. The majority of the race-ready machine will, of course, find their way into the hands of race teams and privateers, but for the well-heeled Ducati enthusiast, this might be the pinnacle of Ducati’s superbike prowess. - Paultan

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