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Ducati Bids Farewell to V-Twin Superbike Era With 1299 Panigale R Final Edition (with video)

If you thought that the Ducati brand would forever be synonymous with v-twin superbikes, you are not alone. Nevertheless, Ducati is moving on. The 1299 Panigale R Final Edition was unveiled this weekend at Laguna Seca, and it marks a turn to the v-four engine configuration for future superbikes from the Italian marque.

With a claimed 209 hp, and 105 pound/feet of torque, the Final Edition will provide monster performance to those with pockets deep enough. Every imaginable option, upgrade and premium component is incorporated, including, of course, the best from Öhlins and Brembo, as well as a state-of-the -art Bosch IMU.

Ducati is now expected to introduce a v-four superbike this Fall, including a race homologated 1000 cc version (with more than 200 hp in street-legal, stock configuration), and a 1200 cc version. Enjoy these photos, and a video, of the Final Edition. Here is the press release from Ducati:

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition: a tribute to the legendary twin-cylinder engine, the most victorious in SBK World Championship history

•     209 hp* Superquadro 1299 engine with components derived from Ducati Corse in a Panigale R chassis, this bike is destined for cult status

•    Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali and the riders of Racing–Ducati team to present the new special Ducati at Laguna Seca

•    Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri to race with a “Final Edition” livery

Pebble Beach / Laguna Seca, California (United States), 7 July 2017 – An excellent bike, born out of respect and admiration for the engine that has made Ducati history and written the World Superbike Championship record books. The new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is more than just a bike with a dedicated color scheme or a limited edition.With a tricolor livery, as eye-catching as it is evocative, it offers a fitting tribute to Ducati’s iconic twin-cylinder power unit, which reaches its peak on this latest bike.

For its world preview, Ducati has chosen round eight of the World Superbike Championship, taking place this weekend at Laguna Seca (California-US), where Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, unveiled the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition together with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri (the two official Racing–Ducati riders and stars of the excellent presentation video).

This latest built-in-Bologna gem offers unparalleled technology, performance, and design. A Euro 4 compliant road bike, each 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is individually numbered. An offshoot of the 1299 Superleggera engine, the Final Edition Superquadro packs a 209 hp* punch at 11,000 rpm and a torque of 14.5 kg at 9,000 rpm. It features a lighter crankshaft with a larger crank pin and tungsten balancing pads, while the con-rods, like the intake-exhaust valves, are made of titanium. As on Superbike engines, the two 116 mm diameter, pistons have just two segments and slide on steel cylinder liners.

Developed by Ducati Corse, the ultra-compact monocoque structure incorporates the airbox and plays a pivotal role in containing the dry weight of the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition to just 179 kg**.

The chassis set-up on this latest Ducati Supersport is the same as that on the Panigale R, characterized by Öhlins mechanical suspension and a 24° rake.

Equally sophisticated and light is the complete all-titanium Akrapovič exhaust with high dual silencer (Euro 4 compliant), just like the one on the Panigale R that competes in the World Superbike championship.

The electronics package features the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and is equipped with ABS Cornering, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO), Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). These systems have default settings linked to the selected Riding Mode (Race, Sport, and Wet) but can be personalized as desired.

Top-drawer tech content and the all-new tricolor livery ensure the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is set to gain cult status among the vast community of Ducati twin-cylinder aficionados.

“I’m incredibly proud to present this latest version of our Panigale” stated Claudio Domenicali during the presentation. “Maybe no other motorcycle manufacturer has bound its name so tightly to an engine as Ducati has to its sports twin-cylinder. Today, we’re here to celebrate its history, just as we stand on the cusp of a new era in which our desmodromic system will be used on a new generation of V4 engines derived from extensive experience in MotoGP, a championship in which our engine has demonstrated outstanding performance. But that’s the future. Today, we want to pay homage to a twin-cylinder engine that – thanks to incredible torque and compactness – has seen Ducati win races in every SBK championship it has ever participated in. In short, it’s the engine that has written World Superbike history. From Marco Lucchinelli’s first victory on 3rd April 1988 with the 851 at Donington Park (in the first-ever world championship for modified production models) to the stunning 2017 wins by Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri on the Panigale R, Ducati has won no less than 333 races and taken 17 Constructors’ titles and 14 Rider’s titles”.

The 1299 Panigale R Final Edition will play a pivotal role throughout the weekend at Laguna Seca. On Saturday morning, immediately after the Superpole, the bike will go on display both at Ducati Island (the space Ducati traditionally sets aside for its fans during American events) and inside the Paddock Show.

And, to complete this historic moment, the Racing–Ducati team has decided to celebrate the arrival of the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition by decking out its two official race bikes in the same special livery, to be used by Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri on Saturday in Race 1 and on Sunday in Race 2.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. motorhead says:

    There are the laws of physics, and physics states that four cylinders will win more races, have longer engine life, at a lower weight or CG. Not sure if Lord Physics commands that a Japanese in-line four shall be faster than a v-4 around the track, but that verdict will be decided soon in the court of racing. Then there are the laws of beauty and the spirit. Something definitely to be said for the art and soul of the passing v-twins.

  2. Tom H says:

    Beautiful motorcycle. Made me take another look at the Multistrada Pikes Peak which I also like the looks of specifically the paint. Guess my age is showing as all of the flat black and silver bikes do nothing for me. I like a bike that screams look at me when sitting at a stoplight. This Ducati more than screams.

  3. Jim says:

    Ducati, you are dead to me. Now let’s see that V-4.

  4. Ricardo says:

    I guess I will be keeping my 999 for a little longer and see what happens…more than enough for me with 140HP.

    • JVB says:

      I’m still running 2V 900’s, yet see the 999 as an ideal track bike. Realworld 130-140Hp and the beyond the looks is a capable ride. Anything after was either more brutish, 1098, or top heavy RPM, panigale. Prices of 05/06 S models are dropping to where I can justify having a track only bike to ride a few times a year at the track. Sorry Ducati, not all of your real fans are multi-millionaires.

  5. TF says:

    I’ll just wait patiently for a tri-color 1198 Supersport S.

  6. David says:

    An entire article about a brand new V-4 and nowhere does it list the angle between the cylinders?

    • Dave says:

      Try reading it. The entire article is about the 1299 Panigale R final edition, a V-twin, not a V-4.

      As for the V4’s specs, MD can’t share information that is unknown.

  7. Rocky V says:

    I have a Zrx1200 and i wanted a twin –i bought a nice used 996 Honda –and thought the V Twin would be a real stump puller –not so much –it’s fast enough – but the Zrx is getting more torque down at 3500rpms than the Honda at 6000

    when i saw a review about the road going version Ducati and they said most of the thrust is after 9000 ——????????

    if you buy any of these bikes for the track –fine –if you ride the street the Zrx will smoke most every one at or below 5000 —

    my bike pulls hard at 5k torque is king on the street

  8. Gary says:

    Beautiful machines, but my a$$ hurts just looking at the ergos.

  9. Harryiscool says:

    I for one will squeal with laughter when ol’ Harley-Davidson offers a 4 cyl option. I wonder who they will tap for the technology?

  10. Jdilpkle says:

    I wonder how Aprilia will be affected by the new V4 on the block? I would imagine it would be a real game-changer for them when the new double-billed Duc appears at dealerships. I’m sure the Duc will be very expensive, but nonetheless, I wonder how the ‘other’ Italian bike maker will fair when it does show up.

  11. brinskee says:

    What a sad day… but at least the twins will be available on the Multi, Monsters, Hypermotards, etc. But still a sad day.

    Been thinking about getting a 996 soon, just for the nostalgia. When that bike was introduced it blew my mind and it still looks good today. Fond memories of watching Foggy do his thing back in the day. Ah well, as others have mentioned Ducati needs to look to the future while some of us will feel left behind. Guess I’m an old guy now.

  12. -D says:

    The new V-4 engine configuration will actually help smooth out the Ducati’s power curve,
    making the bike more tractable when on the gas. Remember its not just about outright torque and HP. Winning a superbike race is more about how the power is delivered and the V-4 should make it feel like smooth as butter when compared to a twin, and also two more cylinders means better top end than a twin too. Its a win win for Ducati and once the enthusiasts and journalists get a chance to ride one, they wont be crying for a twin.
    The Ducati V-twin superbike is where they made their mark in history, now they are ready to try to make one in the future too. They cant look back anymore. Eyes forward now.

    • todd says:

      Two more cylinders means more power everywhere in the rev range. Smaller cylinders are so much more efficient.

    • Oz says:

      Ducati has been racing their V4 Desmosedici in MotoGP since 2003. It utilizes a twin pulse firing order, basically firing two cylinders at a time.

      In 2008 Ducati even offered a street version of the Desmosedici D16RR for $72,500.

  13. MotoMaster39 says:

    Seems kind of crazy for them to stop making v-twins just because of racing regulations. The overwhelming majority of motorcycles sold will never see the racetrack, and V-twins have the cool sound and grunty powerband that’s good for street riding.

    Their 4-banger will surely be something special if the GP bike is any indication though. The tri color graphics look killer too, I’m surprised they don’t put those on more bikes.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Their 4-banger will surely be something special”

      something PRICEY…

      while personally i “don’t fear the reaper” i do fear the STICKER. 🙁

      • Larry Kahn says:

        Not to mention the cost of valve adjustments on 16 desmo valves. And just getting access to them even if no adjustments needed will take lots of time/money.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “and V-twins have the cool sound and grunty powerband that’s good for street riding.”

      It is the 30% displacement advantage that makes it grunty, not the number of cylinders. A 1300cc Yamaha R1.3 would be just as grunty. Just ask Hayabusa owners.

      • MotoMaster39 says:

        The angle of the cylinders plays a role too. If we were comparing a twingle to an inline four, I agree that all the difference would come down to displacement difference.

        A v-4 Busa would be even torquier than the current one, and might not have as much over rev.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I disagree with that. The angle of the cylinder bank has nothing to do with it at all.

      • Fred M. says:

        It’s not that simple, either. The most recent Ducati superbikes traded the famous Ducati low-end grunt for more peak horsepower. They did it by making the increasing the bore and decreasing the stroke (the 1199 Panigale R has a bore and stroke of 112mm × 60.8mm versus its predecessor’s 106.0mm × 67.9mm). That reduced low-end torque but enabled the engines to rev out further for more peak horsepower. AKA (torque * RPM) / 5252.

        • MotoMaster39 says:

          That makes sense. Way back when, in the two stroke motocross days (2004, I believe) Suzuki did the opposite with the RM125 (went less over-square) because the RM was pipey even by two stroke standards.

          • Fred M. says:

            This dyno plot shows what happened between the 1198 Superbike and 1199 Panigale.


            The torque was higher on the 1198 and in the 5K-8K part of the power band, the 1198 stomped the Panigale.

            Racing has improved the breed, but what works best on the street isn’t what works best on the road. I’d much rather have the grunt and wide torque curve of a Ducati 1198 or an EBR 1190RX for street use. For track use, give me a short stroke inline four and I can keep it screaming in five-digit rpm numbers to make horsepower.

          • todd says:

            Fred, again that’s a misconception. A 1198 four cylinder can and will have more torque than a 1198 twin. When you say “five digit rpm numbers” you’re obviously talking about a 600. That’s not fair.

          • Fred M. says:

            Todd wrote: “again that’s a misconception. ”

            No, it’s not a misconception; it’s physics. An article in Hot Rod magazine said that a “short stroke…will usually raise the rpm at which peak torque occurs-which of course raises the top-end power potential at the expense of the extreme bottom-end.” Yep, that’s what I wrote as I referred to “low-end grunt and “low-end torque.”


            You can factor in the displacement all you want, but the 1198cc L-twin Ducati is producing 50% more torque at 3,300 rpm than theBMW S 1000RR. The Ducati’s peak torque is at 7,900 rpm and the BMW I4 doesn’t reach it’s peak torque until 10,200 rpm. And that is exactly what I was talking about when I used terms like “low-end grunt” and “low-end torque.”

            You wrote: “When you say “five digit rpm numbers” you’re obviously talking about a 600.”

            Nope. If I were talking about a 600, I would have said so. Here’s a dyno plot showing that a 2015 race-tuned R1 makes peak horsepower at 13,600 rpm:


            Fast riders at a track spend a lot of time spinning the engine around the peak horsepower.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “A 1300cc Yamaha R1.3”

        yes please.

        • todd says:

          That shows you how much a real stump puller the BMW RR is. It’s making more torque per capacity than all the other bikes, even the 1200 twins. Impressive!

        • Fred M. says:

          That shows you how much a real stump puller the Ducati 1198S is. It’s making about 73 ft/lbs at 4000 rpm, at which the BMW S1000RR is making about 55 ft/lbs. Measured as torque per capacity, the Ducati is far more powerful than the four cylinder bikes at low “stump-pulling” RPMs. Impressive!

        • Fred M. says:

          Static displacement is a bad way to compare V-twins and I4s since the shorter stroke, lighter-weight pistons in the I4 mean that it can turn much higher rpms. The I4 can pump through much more air and fuel than the V-twin at redline.

          The 1198 has a 10,500 rpm redline while the BMW S1000RR redlines at 14,200 rpm.

          1198cc * 10,500 rpm = 12,579 liters/minute
          999cc * 14,200 rpm = 14,185 liters/minute

          So the smaller static displacement BMW would still hava a real-world advantage of about 13% over the 1198S if both had the same volumetric efficiency.

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “Ducati Bids Farewell to V-Twin Superbike Era”

    damn you Ducati… DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL…!!!

    (wretched with agony Norm pounds sand)

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