When Ducati unveiled the 1199 Panigale at the 2011 EICMA, anticipation began amping up for the superbike’s younger sibling. Rumors began, and last month a few Italian publications released some spy photos of the machine that would replace the Ducati 848EVO.And this week, Ducati released the 899 Panigale at the VW Group Night in Frankfurt, Germany, ahead of the IAA International Motor Show that runs Sept. 12-22.This “Supermid” model features everything expected, including a monocoque frame, a new 898cc Superquadro L-Twin, Ducati electronics highlighted by three Riding Modes, and a banana-style double-sided swingarm. Ducati says the 899 “Supermid” is designed to “provide the thrill of the new generation flagship model (1199 Panigale) with the refined character of an everyday streetbike.”The 899 arrives with a newly-designed 898cc Superquadro that produces 148 horsepower at 10,750 rpm, which is up 14 horsepower over the 848EVO, and 73 ft/lbs of torque at 9,000 rpm. The 90-degree L-Twin features the same structural design as the 1199’s Superquadro, allowing it to fully integrate with the monocoque frame to become a fully stressed member of the chassis. And like the 1199, the 899 features friendly 15,000 mile service intervals, and a wet clutch.The monocoque chassis also integrates the airbox, helping reduce weight further for an overall dry weight of 372.5 lbs. And through the use of the double-sided swingarm that proves a 56.1-inch wheelbase, the weight distribution is balanced – 52-percent front and 48-percent rear.Suspension duties up front are handled by a 43mm Showa BPF (Big Piston Fork) forks with fully adjustable spring pre-load, and compression and rebound damping. Out back resides a fully-adjustable Sachs suspension setup with the same adjustable measures as the fork, and progressive linkage operation.Stopping the 899 is a Bosch Brembo Braking system with three-level ABS (tailored to the three Riding Modes). The system features twin radially-mounted Brembo, four piston, Monobloc M4-32 calipers gripping 320mm discs up front, and a single Brembo caliper gripping a 245mm disco out back.The 899 rolls on lightweight 10-spoke wheels (3.5-inch front; 5.50-inch rear) wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Ross Corsa tires (120/70 ZR17 front; 180/60 ZR17 rear).And like the 1199 Panigale, the 899 features a host of electronics, including three Ducati Riding Modes, eight-level Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Engine Brake Control (EBC), and full Ride-by-Wire (RbW) throttle control. Ducati says the EBC monitors crankshaft de-acceleration under heavy braking and administers RbW throttle opening to maintain optimum grip.The three riding modes are broken down as follows:
Race Riding Mode: The Race Riding Mode provides the track rider with 148hp with direct RbW throttle response, reduced DTC system intervention, a race-oriented EBC level and front-only ABS with reduced anti-rear lift-up.
Sport Riding Mode: The Sport Riding Mode provides the road or track rider with 148hp, delivered with a “smooth” RbW throttle response, slightly increased DTC system intervention, a sport-optimised EBC and front and rear ABS with increased anti-rear lift-up.
Wet Riding Mode: The Wet Riding Mode provides the road or track rider with 110hp, delivered with a “smooth” RbW throttle response, increased DTC system intervention, environment-appropriate EBC and fully enhanced ABS for low grip conditions.
Like Ducati’s previous families of superbikes and mid-weights, the 899 receives the styling of its older sibling, such as the twin headlamps with LED lights, under-engine exhaust, sleek tailpiece and 4.5-gallon metal fuel tank.The Ducati 899 Panigale will reach US dealers in late October. The Supermids will be available in traditional Ducati Red with black wheels, or Arctic White with red wheels. The 899’s MSRP starts at $14,995. Also, unlike the 848EVO, the 899 Panigale is not available in an SE version.
2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Specs:
Type: Superquadro L-twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder,
Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke: 100 x 57.2mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Power: 148hp (109kw) @ 10,750rpm
Torque: 73 lb/ft (99Nm) @ 9,000rpm
Fuel injection: Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system; Single injector per cylinder; Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies.
Exhaust: 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes; Twin stainless steel mufflers with alumimum outer sleeves; Emissions Euro 3
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!