SUPERLEGGERA SE­CRETS

Un­der the skin of the world’s first full car­bon pro­duc­tion road bike

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

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’

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