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Whatever you Call it, Ducati’s New Superbike will likely be a Knockout

Behold, MD-ers: the face of the new Ducati superbike, surreptitiously caught by our friends at Italy’s Motociclismo magazine. The rumored specs include 20 more horsepower from an all-new motor and an end to the iconic steel-tube trellis frame. But what will it be called?

I’ve always thought the IRS gives its tax forms better names than the Bolognese give their motorcycles—“916” or “1098” don’t convey the beauty, performance and exquisite design of those models. And they’re running out of numbers; will they have to get into decimals as they bump up against the 1200cc limit for World Superbike V-Twins? Motociclismo has claimed the bike will be called the Xtreme, (taaaacky!) but England’s Motorcycle News says its sources say otherwise-expect it to be called the 1199. Let’s hope they’re right.

England's Motorcycle News captured this image of Troy Bayliss on the new 1199 at Mugello.

But who cares about that—are we ready to ditch our beloved, beautiful, feedback-singing steel frames? It’s no secret Ducati has been working on an ultra-light carbon-fiber or aluminum monocoque chassis, eliminating 10 or 20 pounds and improving handling. Expect a lengthened swingarm for improved traction and a shorter wheelbase.

The motor will be a similar departure for the brand. To give a shorter wheelbase, the motor is expected to be a short-stroke screamer dubbed the “Superquadratta.” Website Ducati News Today says the mill will use gear-driven cams (buh-bye to new rubber bands every 15,000 miles!) and use massively oversquare dimensions of 112 by 60.6mm. Expect it to make 20 more hp and weigh 20 pounds less. So if the motor is 20 pounds less and the chassis is trimmed 10-20 pounds, expect the new bike to weigh in somewhere around 370 to 380 pounds gassed up and make around 175 hp at the wheel. For some perspective, the insanely flickable Kawasaki Ninja 250R weighs in at over 380…and ripples the pavement to the tune of 27 hp.

Designer Luca Bar’s favorite book: Italian translation of Moby Dick?

A prototype racebike has been spotted recently as well, and it’s no secret Troy Bayliss is assisting with developing the machine. Spy shots reveal a very stubby and tiny bike. What will the final street version look like? I hope not too much like the rendering moto-designer Luca Bar came up with—yuck!

Expect the full fog-machines-and-dancing-girls treatment in just a few months at the Milan EICMA show, and probably a few more “accidental” leaks from the factory, just to keep the 1199 fresh in our minds.

Ducati's patent filing for the new design. I'm guessing it will look just like this.

40 Comments

  1. MikeD says:

    C’mon people…there’s got to be an MD reader from Italy here…the July Issue is already out.

    Bring those Photocopies Pictures out…

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  2. Vrooom says:

    I’d bet serious coin it will not be be called the Xtreme.

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  3. kpaul says:

    Look at that Buell like exhaust :)

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  4. jar says:

    Hey, is that Britten’s patent drawing?

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  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “But who cares about that—are we ready to ditch our beloved, beautiful, feedback-singing steel frames?”

    NO…!

    the on-going trials and tribulations of the CF frame in motogp may be testament that you can’t always improve upon perfection…? while i understand their commercial motivations and i’m confident they will eventually create something workable, the question will still need to be asked… is it BETTER…? or just DIFFERENT…? these terms are not synonyms.

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  6. MotoChris says:

    my concern would be what kind of valve servicing schedule would be on a big desmo that spins that high (assumed by its hugely oversquare dimensions). but 375lbs wet? wow!

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    • RichBinAZ says:

      Per the above drawing, the valve proceedure should start something like this
      “Remove frame from engine…”

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      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Per the above drawing, the valve proceedure should start something like this “Remove frame from engine…””

        hoping that this is just an R homologation and the trellis models will make up the base, and S (or is it evo now?) offerings. of course there could be some clever attachment point (to the head would make sense) that we can’t see in the patent drawings…?

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      • Gabe says:

        “Remove credit card from wallet…”

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  7. MGNorge says:

    Ducatis are in, V-twins are in and that will sell bikes, even at the elevated levels we’re speaking here. But Firebladder has a point, for most all roadgoing adventures bikes like the Hondas and Kawasakis he mentioned are much more pratical at many levels, not to mention the savings in coin! But still, if you just have to spend money..

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “But still, if you just have to spend money…”

      motorcyclists often lose sight of why they got into motorcycling in the first place. 99.9 times outta 100, it wasn’t to save money…? it’s because life is short and you can’t take it with it you…!

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    • Tom says:

      Ducati and practical mentioned together. Ha ha. Owning a Ducati is like dating a Vegas stripper. Nothing practical about it.

      Tom – Former 996 owner and dated… WOW that was freaking expensive but SOOOO much fun!

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  8. Doug says:

    I’m all over that sexy “Bayliss DTLE (Duct Tape Limited Edition)!”

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  9. MikeD says:

    Italian Magazine Motociclismo will “suposedly” publish the photos of the final, production ready, hopefully called 1199 on it’s July Issue…next month…so, NO waiting for November…HOPEFULLY. Fingers Crossed.

    This better not be another ” V-STROM Unbailing “…(-_- )

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    • MikeD says:

      Forgot to ad: As much as i like the patent drawing i don’t think will see this any time soon, at least not before what’s been developed, put togheter and ALREADY testing…JMHO.

      Im gonna wait and see but i think im gonna end up liking the patent drawing better, EVEN w/o any plastics or indication of shape and form.

      Also, how much longer can the keep milking the V-TWIN architecture to keep up with the I4s ? Whats next ? Ask for a 100cc increase of capacity to remain competitive ? or will they ditch the the V-TWIN for a V4 and stay at 1000cc ? Direct Injection ? SuperCharging ?

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      • Firebladder says:

        That´s my point. For street applications, a V-Twin does not make it at these high levels of performance therefore requiring all that gadgetry of compensators.

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  10. Firebladder says:

    Ducati compensates evident basic engineering design flaws through technological wonders. This gadgetry also help sell more bikes. Yet, their application (compensators like traction control, fly-by-wire, slipping clutch, etc.) should not come at the expense of lacking essential engineering. Case in point is the stubborn Ducati approach related to an outdated V-Twin configuration. Honda, for examle, relies more on basic engineering design merit by proposing simpler and yet very effective integral solutions not requiring the whole family of technological compensators available today. BMW does it because it can and because this sells more bikes. Kawasaki follows the same principle. At the end of the day, though, for essentially street-oriented applications, simpler designs are much more effective and sustainable. Although the current power Vs grip race is soon reaching the limits which will physically require the whole technological gadgetry anyway, it should not come at the expense of lacking basic engineering. Ducati would do better by droping the V-Twin configuration and designing consistent integral bikes, not fixes around the current stubborn proposition. My two cents.

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    • jim says:

      You’re right, Honda has never stuck stubbornly to a design to the detriment of it’s racing program. Oh wait…

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    • Steve says:

      My last bike was a 2008 CBR1000RR and my current bike is a Multistrada 1200S. Before you go spouting about “evident design flaws” you should ride one, my guess is the first time you crack the throttle off idle and shoot away versus sitting there and waiting for your CBR to gather revs you will understand.

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      • Firebladder says:

        Try that getting out of a turn without the compensators on. Good luck! By the way, as good as the Multistrada is, it´s not at the same levels of performance of the latest open class offerings. Keep your comments within context.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “By the way, as good as the Multistrada is, it´s not at the same levels of performance of the latest open class offerings.”

          since when is it supposed to be…? keep YOUR comments in context.

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        • Chris says:

          What are those “compensators” you keep talking about?

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          • Norm G. says:

            he means the “wiz-bits” like traction control and power settings. which is ironic since ducati is in many ways the LAST manufacture to adopt these things…? other than TC, the japanese and other euros have way more of this stuff and as i elude, had it first.

            throttle by wire…? yamaha. variable throttle bodies…? mondial & mv agusta. variable throttle bodies (en masse)…? yamaha. electo-mechanical slipper clutch…? aprilia. handlebar power settings…? suzuki. sport ABS…? honda. combined ABS & TC…? bmw. header valve…? bmw. dual throttle plates…? suzuki. exup valve…? yamaha (held the patent iirc?). dual injectors and launch control…? kawi, etc. etc.

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      • blackcayman says:

        where is the “Boo-Yahh” or the “Shazam” after that Zinger???

        Instant Twisty Torque…is very appealing

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    • DeltaZulu425 says:

      I’ve owned all the Jap brands and Ducati, BMW, KTM, Husaberg, Triumph and a Moto Guzzi. The Jap bikes have become cookie-cutter and about as pedestrian as you can get. The Euro’s are actually making some exciting bikes, and the costs are about the same as those cookie-cutters nowadays. Just because you have never owned or ridden the Euro bikes, no need to diss them. Oh, btw, I do believe the Euro bikes are beating the crap out of your beloved Japs this year (again!) in World Superbike. And, remember, these are the production-based bikes, unlike the MotoGP prototypes.

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      • Firebladder says:

        Yes, and all those euro bikes (BMW, Aprilia) are beating the hell out of the Ducati by every journalistic account, essentially due to the engine configuration (they all share the same gadgetry now). By the way, after 3 years without revision, the Honda is still second only to the BMW (i.e. MCN, Motousa, etc). Now, that is something to consider, especially when Ducatis are given an extra 200 cm3 engine displacement! Forget the WSBK scenario, those are not the same bikes we ride.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “and all those euro bikes (BMW, Aprilia) are beating the hell out of the Ducati by every journalistic account”

          well it’s a good job then that i’m no journalist, but a “ducatisti”… :) had me worried there for a second.

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    • kpaul says:

      Firebladder are you trying to impersonate me :) As some of you know me I have been a critic of the V-Twin configuration. But as time moved on I have learned more and have experienced a Ducati 1098. I think your generalizations are off the mark. I think Honda is guilty of gadgetry as well can you say VTEC. In fact all bike makers are looking for an edge and advantage a gimic. Traction control is used by everyone now in MotoGP, World Susperbike, and the AMA (except Josh Hayes). I am a fan of simple but traction control, slipper clutch, ABS, are very useful especially at the higher levels of racing with the exception of ABS.

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      • Firebladder says:

        Good to hear that you still like the V-Twin configuration. My point is this: All that gadgetry together (as I mentioned) will be necessary very soon anyway, agreed. Yet, it should extend the envelop of an already balanced basic engineering conception, therefore excelling beyond original self-imposed limitations (in my view, the V-Twin). Remember, my focus is for street applications, not track use or competition, simply because that´s where we normally use our bikes. Also, I´m not defending Honda, just using it as an example in the open class offering only (the competition of the original subject matter of this article). I´m not trying to take anything away from the excellent Ducati effort, but I would choose ease of handling the bike and a strong midrange, anyday. Ducati should consider this. The problem is it takes time and a lot of money for a small company to develop the expertise with such a different engine arquitecture.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “The problem is it takes time and a lot of money for a small company to develop the expertise with such a different engine arquitecture.”

          where you see “problem” others see “opportunity”.

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  11. Foogunheimer says:

    …and likely unaffordable.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “…and likely unaffordable.”

      …and YET they will sell all they can make.

      so which is it…? “unaffordable”…? or do you simply NOT “value” the tens of millions of dollars of investment, and over a 1/4 century of race R&D (countless talent and labor hours), that went into making it possible to offer a product like this to the world of motorcyling…? is there a parallel or equivalent that even comes close to this in ANY other industry…? note, these are not rhetorical questions.

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  12. Bud says:

    I never really realized how high the crank centerline was on a Ducati until I saw that drawing.

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    • Jake says:

      Yes, it’s called “Mass Centralization” and is a valid engineering concept that pays dividends to the rider (without the need for “electronic nannies”).

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  13. Chris says:

    370-380 lbs fully gassed!!! OMG!

    I was thinking 675R, but I may wait for more “info” to be released… How much more than the current 1198, 1198SP???

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