Under the skin of the world’s first full carbon production road bike
aptly named, heart-in-the-mouth Arrbbiata (‘angry’ in Italian) 1 and 2.
The 1299 Superleggera has been developed at exotic European tracks including Nardo, Jerez, Vallelunga, Mugello, Portimao and Aragon, but like the rest of the Panigale family it demands a unique riding technique.
It will shake and wobble in protest if you grab it by the scruff of the neck, but caress it, walk on eggshells and ride it with the lightest touch and it delivers breathtaking corner entry speed and huge lean angles.
Close to perfection
You don’t feel any of the clumsy stiffness you’d imagine a carbon chassis would yield. It still has feel and is even easier to ride quickly than its Panigale sisters, thanks to a lightness that enhances acceleration, agility and braking. But it’s not completely perfect: it weaves a little in a straight line accelerating hard through third and fourth, but sorts itself out again flat in the top two gears.
That aside the Superleggera is ridiculously stable at full lean while you’re pretending to be Chaz Davies, and under the relentless force of racegrade Brembos at full squeeze. Ducati’s brilliant new electronics make the job of riding easier and safer than ever.
And of course, riding aside, the 1299 Superleggera is a piece of tough, muscular art. Attention to detail, from the quality of the carbon, to the left barmounted front brake span adjuster, to the plaque on the airbox with the signature of the engineer who timedup the motor – it is a relentless assault on the senses. You could sit and drink in the detail for hours.
Owners of this rolling masterpiece also get the chance for a free go on a 1299S, this 1299 Superleggera test bike and the 2017 WSB machine at Mugello in the summer. Sometimes you just wish you’d tried harder at school.
‘Caress it, walk on eggshells and ride it with the lightest touch – and it’s breath-taking’