Ducati 1199 Superleggera

If Ducati is the Ferrari of motorcycles, then the 1199 Panigale is surely the two-wheeled equivalent of the 458 Italia. This, then, is surely the motorbike counterpart to the 458 Speciale.

Called the 1199 Superleggera, it's Ducati's new limited-production lightweight superbike. It's made of titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber to give it what Ducati claims is "the highest power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle".

Based on the 1199 Panigale R, the Superleggera packs a 1198cc L-twin engine with four-valve cylinder heads to produce over 200 horsepower at a stratospheric 11,500 rpm and 98.8 pound-feet of torque. Built around a magnesium monocoque, the Superleggera features carbon-fiber bodywork and rear sub-frame, a lightweight lithium-ion battery and a titanium exhaust. Ducati has also given it an Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and a World Superbike-spec drive chain, all of which helps trim the dry weight down to less than 341 pounds. By comparison, the next most extreme version of the 1199, the Panigale R, tips the scales at 364 lbs dry and is motivated by a touch less muscle: 195 hp and 98.1 lb-ft of torque.

Many of the bolts have been refashioned out of titanium, as have the exhaust valves and the racing-spec two-ring pistons. There's also a Race Kit for use on track that kicks in an extra 5 horsepower and cuts a further 5.5 pounds off the dry weight.

Like what you see so far? Try not to like it too much: only 500 will be built, three quarters of which have already gone to owners of previous special-edition Ducatis like the Desmosedici RR. But there's plenty more for knee-draggers to geek out on in the press release, along with the video clip below and the high-res image gallery above.

Ducati 1199 Superleggera

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2014 DUCATI 1199 SUPERLEGGERA
Created without limits, to inspire unlimited desire

Celebrating the Italian manufacturer's commitment to performance technology and lightweight construction, Ducati now proudly introduces its latest limited edition dream model, the highly exclusive 1199 Superleggera. The new machine combines a precious cocktail of materials such as titanium, magnesium and carbon fibre to set the highest power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history. Producing more than 200hp and weighing-in at just 155kg* (341.7lb*), Ducati showcase their innovative engineering and stylish approach to design, while affirming the maxim: "Authentic Italian Performance".

The Superleggera follows in the successful wheel tracks of previous iconic limited editions, like the Desmosedici RR, with its exclusivity boldly underlined with just 500 examples of this extraordinary machine being assembled at Ducati's headquarters in Bologna, Italy, each with its own individual number inscribed on the top clamp.

With its baseline starting from the already impressive 1199 Panigale 'R' specification, the Superleggera incorporates a magnesium monocoque frame and forged Marchesini magnesium wheels before taking lightweight to the extreme with a carbon fibre rear sub-frame and bodywork, lithium-ion battery (LIB) and full titanium exhaust system with stainless steel headers. Many of the bolts and fasteners on both engine and chassis are also fashioned in titanium. Additional enhancements include lightweight Öhlins FL916 front suspension with fully-machined fork bottoms and an Öhlins TTX36 rear suspension with titanium spring. The Superleggera's Brembo M50 Monobloc brakes inherit a racing-style MCS 19-21 front master cylinder and remote adjuster and its final drive gets upgraded with a lightweight Ergal rear sprocket, and World Superbike-spec 520 drive chain. Finer attention to detail is hidden in the shape of the carbon fibre body work, which is moulded with the same high-penetration form normally provided by the "R" spec add-on aero-kit.

The Superquadro engine, which sports titanium con-rods and inlet valves, now adds titanium exhaust valves, and, for the first time on a Ducati street engine, special two-ring pistons. These pistons, usually found on racing Superbikes, use short skirts and only two rings (compression and oil), allowing them to dramatically reduce mass and friction. To further increase performance, the combustion chamber is also modified to Superbike specs by a new piston crown that increases compression ratio. Added to this is a super-lightened crankshaft, precision balanced using dense tungsten inserts. The enhancements result in an incredible output of more than 200hp as it rolls out of Ducati's Borgo Panigale factory in Bologna, Italy.

The Superleggera's outstanding power-to-weight ratio can be enhanced even further with the supplied track-only Race Kit**. The kit, which increases power by 5hp and reduces weight by 2.5kg (5.5 lb), consists of a titanium Akrapovič race exhaust system including silencers and 2-in-1 collector, high racing windscreen, dedicated dust cover, front and rear paddock stands, machined mirror fill-caps, and removal kits for the registration plate holder, and sidestand.

The model's electronics are also upgraded thanks to the new system for managing front-wheel lift Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) which is based on an Inertial Platform. This DWC system, along with Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC), is optimized with new automatic calibration of rear-tyre size and final transmission ratio. The Ducati Data Analysis+ (DDA+) system adds an additional sensor and software channel to record and display vehicle lean angles. This impressive array of included electronics is completed by a set of race-derived, handlebar mounted control buttons to enable rapid, on-track adjustments to the levels of the pre-selected channels of DTS, DWC, or EBC.

Appropriate to its highly exclusive status as one of the most exotic and desirable Ducatis of all time, the 1199 Superleggera is exquisitely dressed in Ducati Corse Red base livery, complemented with forged and machined magnesium wheels.

*Dry weight **Track use only

1199 Superleggera features
Chassis
- Magnesium monocoque
- Magnesium wheels
- Carbon-fibre rear sub-frame
- Öhlins FL916 front suspension
- Öhlins TTX36 rear suspension with titanium spring
- Single-sided swingarm with 4-way adjustable pivot
- Brembo MCS 19-21 front master cylinder
- Carbon fibre bodywork
- Individual number engraved on the top clamp

Engine
- Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 titanium valves per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
- World Superbike-style pistons with 2 rings and crown modified for an increased compression ratio
- Lightweight crankshaft with tungsten balance inserts
- Titanium connecting rods
- Full titanium exhaust system

Electronics
- Ducati Traction Control with automatic tyre size recalibration (DTC)
- Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC)
- Dedicated handlebar buttons for on-track adjustment of DTC, DWC or EBC
- Ducati Data Analyser+ with lean sensor (DDA+)
- Ducati Quick Shifter (DQS)
- Engine Brake Control (EBC)
- Riding Modes
- Ride-by-Wire
- Full LED lighting
- Full TFT instrumentation
- Lithium-ion battery (LIB)

Race kit
- Dust cover
- Front and rear paddock stands
- License plate holder removal kit
- High racing windscreen
- Sidestand removal kit
- Machined mirror fill-caps
- Full race exhaust system by Akrapovič.