Ducati 1299 Panigale – Last of the L Twin Superbikes

The Ducati 1299 Panigale was introduced in 2014 at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. 

Production began in 2015 and it was built to replace the Ducati 1199.  The 1299 Panigale is Ducati’s most powerful twin cylinder ever produced. 

In 2017 Ducati replaced the model with a limited edition run of the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition, a model produced to celebrate the legacy of the big twin-cylinder. 

For 2016 the 1299 Superleggera was released in a limited run of 500 units, it is a super light, premium version of the Panigale and replaced the 1199 Superleggera. 

In 2018 Ducati switched the flagship Panigale line over to a V4 engine, the same switch happened to the limited Superleggera. 

Table of Contents

Ducati 1299 Review

Ducati 1299 Panigale S
Ducati 1299 Panigale S

Engine, Transmission, Power

First off let’s take a look at the 1285cc power plant, which featured a 10% increase in power and torque over the previous Ducati 1199. 

The torque is much lower down the rev range and therefore is more usable than the predecessor, there is no slight delay in power like before which was somewhat similar to a two-stroke. 

Simply put in race mode the bike is aggressive, it is angry but unlike the previous 1199 it doesn’t want to tear your arms off and therefore you feel a bit more in control. 

Don’t get too complacent though, the bike isn’t going to be particularly forgiving if you decide to pull on the throttle a little more.

Digital rider aids have been added to help contain the extra power gained on the 1299; wheelie control, clutchless down-shifting and cornering ABS all go someway to keep the bike under a level of control, something that riders are thankful for. 

Essentially the power delivery is much more linear which means coming out of a turn is less sketchy, combined with traction control you will be more tempted to up your speeds and test your skills. 

The 1199 was known for feeling like a wild stallion and a bit insane, brilliant but insane. 

The 1299 is still a stallion but the racehorse sort that keeps its insanity for when it’s needed and doesn’t rear its head before you ask it too. 

The clutchless downshift is a really helpful feature at speed, just being able to tap down and let the bike take control of getting you in the right gear allows your brain to focus on other important aspects like how fast you can hit the corner and come out of it. 

Frankly, it’s a flipping fast beast, but one that you can master. 

Chassis, Suspension, Handling

Aerodynamically the 1299 Panigale received an overhaul with a wider fairing and taller screen, so the rider has less wind buffeting to deal with.

The monocoque frame is lightweight, compact and offers more room for the rider than the 1199 and there is a more plush seat.

Unfortunately that doesn’t offer up much more comfort than the previous bike. 

You are still sitting in a racing position, the ergonomics will have you feeling cramped eventually no matter your size and the seat will soon feel like a rock. 

You will also feel the heat from the engine, which is comforting on a cold day but a bit torturous on a hot one. 

The suspension on the base bikes offers an adequate set up, it is fully adjustable and leads to few complaints. 

It can be set up to suit the road and riders preferences, but it just isn’t as fancy as the electronic Ohlins suspension on the S, which will adjust the driving mode to the road conditions. 

It is a clever bit of a kit that is intuitive to use and will have you adjusted to the perfect position for the conditions you find yourself in. 

Overall handling is precise, agile, intuitive and inspires far more confidence than the 1199. The chassis support and road grip mid-corner when in race mode makes you feel unstoppable while being in complete control. 

The 1299 Panigale feels superior in its handling and is easy to ride, something that you would struggle to say about most superbikes of this capacity and calibre. 

The Brembo brakes are strong, react well with the ABS, and Traction Control and all the other electronics that run the system. 

There is more than enough quick responding stopping power to keep the rider satisfied and confident about upping the ante in terms of speed. 

Other Features

  • Electronic Throttle – Ride By Wire System
  • DTC – Ducati Traction Control with Riding Modes
  • ABS
  • EBC – Engine Brake Control
  • DWC – Ducati Wheelie Control
  • DDA – Ducati Data Analyzer
  • DQS – Ducati Quick Shift

The S/R and Superleggera models had more function levels and quick change systems for the DTC, DWC and EBC. 

The S had DES – Ducati Electronic Suspension.

The 1299 Superleggera had DSC and DPL – Ducati Slide Control and Ducati Power Launch

Reliability/ Downsides

Gone are the days of Ducati having a reputation for being unreliable, so if you have that outdated notion in your head it is time to let it go and move on.

The 1299 powerplant is bulletproof.

However, it isn’t perfect, servicing as with all Ducati’s of this status is costly, and maintenance is imperative to ensure everything is kept as it should be. 

Considering the layout on one of these I can’t think of a reason why an owner wouldn’t want to look after it. 

One issue that doesn’t come up is the chain rubbing on the swingarm, but that is nothing an after-market chain guard couldn’t address or perhaps some adjustment to the chain.

The only other downside really is the initial costs, they were expensive on their release and haven’t really depreciated since. 

The limited edition models are obviously more pricey but as an investment they are as good as you are going to get. 

Race Wins/Awards

The 1299 Superleggara won first place in the Pan Delta series in Zhuhai China the year of its release. 

However, it was the 1199 Panigale that won design awards and had some race wins. 

What the motorcycle press said…

Superbike Magazine had this to say on the 1299 Panigale –

“The new 1299 retains the manic edge of the outgoing Panigale, but adds in a generous spoonful of usability. More power where you need it, electronics that genuinely make you faster and the most user-friendly semi-active suspension system we’ve seen so far. Still bat shit crazy, but it knows to keep its trousers on when the parents are visiting. This’ll take some beating.”

Visordown on the S option – 

“The Ducati 1299 Panigale S is like motorcycle art. I fell in love with the machine’s looks the moment I saw it…

It’s got a fantastically sharp, light, racer-like feel as well as lashings of power. And it comes with a sense of occasion, drama and exclusivity.

Thunder is the response to rolling on the throttle. Cracking it open is like unleashing a force of nature.

Cruising in a higher gear, there’s little need to downshift. The bike just picks up and takes off. Corner-to-corner torque is immense but still manageable and user-friendly.”

1299 Panigale Variants

Panigale S

The Panigale S was just a slightly upgraded spec version of the base bike with the only significant difference being the upgraded suspension system.

The base option wore Marzocchi forks and a Sachs shock on the rear, but the S gained semi-active Ohlins Smart Suspension that can be switched electronically to match road conditions with riding modes. 

Panigale R

World Superbike regulations meant that in order for the 1299 R to compete it needed to retain the older 1198cc engine displacement. However, it did receive a tungsten balanced crankshaft, titanium valves and connecting rods, and two-ring pistons. 

Despite using the older engine the power output on the R remains the same as the others in the range.

Smart Ohlins suspension is equipped on the R, and a longer wheelbase compared to the base and S thanks to different steering geometry. 

It also features a titanium and carbon Akrapovic Racing exhaust system which is paired with a race spec ECU. 

1299 Superleggera –

The Superleggera version of the 1299 was released in 2016 and limited to just 500 units. As with today’s Superleggera V4, it was the most premium, exclusive and expensive option available. 

In Italian ‘Superleggera’ means ‘Super Light’ and what you can derive from that is an incredibly light sports motorcycle held to impeccable spec and paired with an awesome powerful motor. 

The Superleggera featured a monocoque carbon fibre composite chassis, magnesium engine casings, titanium fasteners and exhaust. 

The chassis alone is 40% lighter than the Panigale range, another 3kg is saved with the forks, shocks and wheels used on the Superleggera.

It had a wet weight of just 167kg, with a power output of 215 horsepower. 

MCN says “But riding is an assault on the senses. Ducati’s new electronics control slides, spins and wheelies so precisely they conspire to make this one of the hardest accelerating motorcycles this side of a GP paddock. The trickiest part is hanging on.”

Panigale 1299 S Anniversario –

The S Anniversario was produced to celebrate Ducati 90th Anniversary and was limited to just 500 bikes. 

It features a full Akrapovic titanium exhaust and a lithium ion battery. 

Panigale R Final Edition

Ducati 1299 Panigale Final Edition
Ducati 1299 Panigale Final Edition

The 1299 Final Edition was produced to celebrate Ducati’s most powerful twin cylinder ever produced. It remained in production until 2020. 

It was a limited run derived from the 1299 Superleggera, where technological advancements met pure power at the peak of the evolution of the 1299 engine.

The Final Edition claimed 209.4 horsepower and 142 Nm of torque paired to a dry weight of just 168kg. 

Graced with a monocoque chassis, that is compact, rigid, lightweight and aids precise, excellent, agile handling.

Ohlins suspension on the front and rear with a steering damper and all being adjustable means you can set the bike up exactly how you want it to perform on the road or track.

Red Marchesini tri-Y spoke aluminium wheels are lightweight and complete the racing look it aimed to achieve.

It is equipped with a full titanium Akrapovic double under-seat exhaust system inspired by the Panigales raced in WSB by racers Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri.

It was also fitted with a Lithium Ion Battery. 

Above all else the Final Edition is a collectors machine and one that Ducati lovers will want to add to their arsenal. 

It is the final iteration of a series of twin-cylinder bikes that captivated riders the world over since Lucchinelli had his first race win in 1988. 

Is the Ducati 1299 considered a good bike?

The Ducati 1299 is widely considered a modern legend, the culmination of a legacy of twin-cylinder Ducati machines that have dominated the sportsbike space for several decades. 

While the new V4 line has since taken over, I think you will be hard pressed to forget about the 1299 and its predecessors any time soon. 

It was the most powerful bike of the line and just that states its prominence over the bikes that came before it. 

The way it handles, the styling, the technical features, and the upgrades across the range from the S models Ohlins suspension to the Superleggera’s carbon composite frame means it has carved a way into motorcycle legend.

It is not just a good bike, it is a brilliant Italian beast that given the chance will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand bolt upright and pay attention. 

“Ducati’s 1299 Panigale S is a bike like no other. It’s uncomfortable, loud and hot, but it’s also an icon of desire, luxury and beauty. Oh, and it’s mind-bendingly fast” GQ

Are you going to want to go on a cross-country tour on one? Absolutely not. Would you take a Lamborghini Gallardo on a family trip with the dog? Absolutely not.

Different horses for different courses and the Ducati is a status symbol. 

It is a ferocious monster that wants to be let loose at speed, it doesn’t want to tootle around town or make you comfortable. 

If you get too comfortable you may forget that you are sitting on 205 horses that are ready to gallop at the slightest twist of the throttle. 

Ducati 1299 specs

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine – Twin-Cylinder 1285cc, 4-Stroke, 90°, L-Type
  • Liquid-Cooled
  • Bore x Stroke – 116 x 60.8mm
  • Compression Ratio – 12.5:1
  • Valve Train – Chain Driven Desmodromic, DOHC, 4 Valves per Cylinder
  • Max Power – 205 horsepower at 10,500rpm
  • Max Torque – 144.6 Nm at 8,750rpm
  • Clutch – Wet, Multi-Plate, Hydraulic Operated, Slipper Function
  • Transmission – 6 Speed
  • Final Drive – Chain

Chassis and Dimensions

  • Frame – Cast monocoque frame in aluminium alloy
  • Front Suspension – 50mm inverted telescopic Marzocchi fork 
  • Rear Suspension – Swingarm with Sachs monoshock
  • Front Brake – Double Disc 330mm, Brembo monobloc M50,4-piston radial calipers
  • Rear Brake – Single Disc 245mm, Brembo 2 piston caliper
  • Length – 2070mm
  • Width – 810mm
  • Height – 1105mm
  • Seat Height – 830mm
  • Wheelbase – 1437mm
  • Ground Clearance – 129mm
  • Dry Weight – 166.5 kg (no liquids or battery)

What is the top speed of a Ducati 1299 Panigale ?

It is said the top speed of the 1299 is 186mph – electronically limited.

Ducati 1299 Panigale 0-60 time

The 1299 Panigale claims a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds.

How much does a Ducati 1299 Panigale cost?

For a base 1299 Panigale you will be looking somewhere between £10,000-£12,500 in the UK. 

You will possibly be looking at a little extra for an amazing spec low mileage offering like this one on Autotrader advertised at £13,495 with only 5,060 miles on it.

In the US on average you will be looking more towards $15,000-$16,000. 

Although, again if you are willing to pay a little more you can pick up a virtually brand new machine like this 2017 on Cycle Trader that has only 647 miles on it. 

For an S in the UK prices increase a little to £14,000-£16,500. 

This is also seen in the US where average prices for an S sit between $17,000-$18,000. 

$17,500 will get you this S model with just over 5,000 miles on the clock. 

For the true racing R version prices in the UK sit somewhere between £20,000-£27,500. This one at Ducati Nottingham is stunning for £26,999. 

For a 1299 Panigale R Final Edition you will find the search a little harder, but around £25,000 will pick you one up. They have generally been very well looked after and are in collector worthy condition. Much like this one here priced at £25,495. 

In the US price increases somewhat more significantly jumping to and exceeding around $30,000. This is the price point for the 1299 Anniversario edition too. 

There is currently a 2018 R FE model priced at $32,095 in Newport Beach, with 1268 miles on it. 

When it comes to both the UK and US the Superleggera is the most exclusive model on the market and is priced accordingly. 

In the US prices for the few models currently advertised range from $65,000-$75,000. 

In the UK prices start from £63,000-£70,000.  

Is the 1299 likely to be a future collectable Ducati?

I think it is fair to say that the 1299 will go on to be a future collectable Ducati and I would go even further to say it is already a coveted and collectable motorcycle for enthusiasts. 

The S model is the one to shoot for in terms of performance if you plan to make use of the bike and ride it. 

Whereas, if you plan on making an investment the R, S Anniversario, R FE and Superleggero are the models to aim for. 

These were all produced as limited edition runs and therefore are rarer to find and this will once increase in difficulty over time. 

Given the way older Ducati’s have held their value over the years I would suggest particularly with the R FE and Superleggaro that they will hold their investment value and it will likely increase in years to come. 

Ducatis age like fine wine, and in this case these bikes are as technically advanced as you can get, so they won’t be outdated for a very long time. 

Verdict

The 1299 Panigale R was built as a tribute to the Ducati twin cylinder bikes that came before it and had pretty much dominated the WorldSBK since its inauguration in 1988 when the Ducati 851 won the very first race of the new series.

Icons followed including the legendary Ducati 916, the race track legend 996 and the much loved 1098.

As the last of the line the 1299 is far from a let down or an anti-climax to those previous legends; it pays perfect tribute to the Ducati superbikes that came before it while catapulting it with technical features, giving a glimpse of what is to come with the new Panigale and Superleggera with the V4 at the heart.

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