Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario

11-1299 Panigale S Anniversario 05

Live at World Ducati Week in Misano, Casey Stoner and Claudio Domenicali have just unveiled the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario: a limited-edition Poonigale to celebrate the Bologna factory’s 90th birthday. Only 500 will be available for public consumption and, needless to say, it’s pretty pimped. And not just skin-deep…

In typical Ducati fashion, this is a special last hoorah for the 1299 Panigale in its current guise. Being a 2016 model, there’s no Euro4 complicacy and the Anniversario is powered by the same Superquadro lump as previously, wearing a titanium Akrapoviç exhaust – part of a racing kit included that consists of mirror and reg-plate block-off plates, and a battery charger.

Aluminium alloy top triple clamps and steering head inserts are laser-etched with the bike’s production number, and that steering head insert moves the front tube 5mm forward, which mirrors the Panigale R’s chassis geometry. Being an S model, the Anniversario is sprung by Öhlins semi-active suspension that dynamically adjusts damping on the hoof. Jizzy gold Marchesini wheels, a race-inspired paint job, a feast of carbon fibre and a lightweight lithium battery reduce weight by 2.5kg.

But its major technical alteration is an all-new traction control/anti-wheelie electronics system dubbed the ‘EVO’. The press deets are quite convoluted but, essentially, it’s a device that allows smoother intervention and steering the bike using the throttle – in other words, drifting. Exploiting Bosch’s incredible Inertial Measurement Unit, which constantly monitors lean angle and pitch/roll/yaw, new algorithms for a ‘more precise and consistent intervention’ give a more accurate and consistent amount of slip. As well as the usual spark and fuel cut when necessary, the system also uses throttle body management during high speeds for a smoother intervention.

In essence, the EVO system is designed to reduce the magnitude of intervention oscillation – that tangible sensation we feel when electronics do their thing – but there’s also another dimension to its armoury. When DTC EVO is set at level 1, the technology reduces interference and allows high amounts of slip normally best suited for racers and heroes, although the system actively adjusts parameters to allow drift control. It sounds very much like Yamaha’s Slide Control System…

It’ll be hitting Ducati dealerships in the latter stages of July and costs £23,995. Form an orderly queue…for robbing a bank.

 

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