The "almost insane" 2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera delivers a power-to-weight punch that "seems impossible" said Ducati Motor Holding Co. CEO Claudio Domenicali during the bike's introduction. That's due to its combination of 215 horsepower from the most powerful production V-twin ever and a 344-pound mass thanks to a carbon fiber frame, sub-frame, swingarm and wheels.
Ducati is offering only 500 examples of this bike, which is loaded with pretty much every exotic technology available. That includes Ohlins upside-down fork and rear shock, Akrapovic titanium exhaust, and Brembo brakes that Domenicali pledged are the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a two-wheeled production vehicle.
There is also a raft of Bosch safety electronics to help keep all this power under control, including traction control, slide control, wheelie control, engine braking control, launch control, cornering anti-lock brakes and Ducati Quick Shift for clutchless quick gear changes.
All of this hardware contributes to a machine that we think looks better naked, where the carbon fiber parts are on display. The frame weighs 40 percent less than the aluminum unit in the Panigale 1299.
The Superleggera's engine gains its power advantage over the Panigale through revised heads featuring larger valves and higher-lift camshaft profiles, with correspondingly revised intake and exhaust ports. The result is 10 more horsepower than the 1299 Panigale.