All you need to know about the Ducati 1299 Superleggera

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I don’t care if it’s £72,000. I don’t care if only 500 are being made. Just look at it. It’s the absolute pinnacle for me, AND it’s road-legal. We’re just glad those exhaust can outlets come with grills to prevent random acts of mechaphilia.

Ducati has activated full-on beast mode and given us the world’s first entirely carbon fibre production bike: carbon ‘frame,’ carbon swingarm and carbon wheels from BST. The monocoque segment is 40% lighter than the standard 1299 Panigale. Ducati reckons the whole carbon project was in-house, calling on the Corse family for inspiration from MotoGP and using aerospace knowhow.

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But the Ducati 1299 Superleggera isn’t simply a carbon masterpiece. With a claimed 215bhp (which should equate to 200bhp at the rear wheel), this Superquadro derivative is also the most powerful factory v-twin ever create.

It features a lighter crankshaft (which’ll no doubt provide yet more mayhem), titanium rods, larger intake/exhaust valves, a revised cylinder head, increased cam lift and, of course, that Akrapovic Chaz Davies replica exhaust. Those internals are a juicy 2.4kg lighter than the stock Poonigale. There’s also a new slipper clutch and other trinkets like a tweaked intake system and variable inlet funnels. And this puppy is obviously Euro4.

Ducati has also furnished the SL with a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit. This means one thing. Well, quite a few actually, but Ducati Slide Control joins the extensive electronics suite and means Yamaha’s R1 has sole bragging rights for such technology.

Öhlins FL936 forks and a TTX36 shock – complete with a titanium spring – to contribute to its 156kg dry weight. An engineering feat, a willy-waving exercise from Ducati? Absolutely. And we love it. There could be an entire website dedicated to what’s been presented in Milan and the rest of 2017’s finest, but this bike is the one that gets me most excited, most enthralled and most aroused. We’re currently making friends with those who have been lucky enough to order one…

 

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