Race-Bred, Start to Finish
Born to race, the new Panigale R brings a thrill to the track. 205 hp react instantly to a twist of the throttle thanks to ultralight engine components. Track-optimised geometry and racing suspension ensure responsive racetrack behaviour. Electronics are tuned to deliver maximum performance. A lithium-ion battery and a titanium Ducati Performance by Akrapovič exhaust will take you and 357 lbs of racing technology straight to the checkered flag.
The Panigale R has one goal – simply to dominate the track. Every feature is oriented in that direction; no compromises are made. For dedicated enthusiasts who seek the purest experience on track, the Panigale R delivers a shot of racing adrenaline directly to the heart.
The clutch cover, cylinder head covers, and oil pan are all cast in a golden-color magnesium alloy to ensure the engine’s strength with the absolute lowest possible weight.
During development of the first Superquadro engine, Ducati engineers took their design freedom to the limit by increasing the distance between centres of the six-speed gearbox shafts and allowing the use of gears with an increased diameter and superior strength for the transmission of power. The oil bath clutch, similar in design to that used on other Ducati models, is a progressive system which allows the load on its plates to be increased without increasing the effort required by the rider to pull the lever and disengage the clutch. This optimally satisfies the need for a high torque transmission which still provides optimum usability for the rider. In sport riding conditions with abrupt downshifting heavy engine braking, the same mechanism reduces the pressure on clutch plates and allows them to slip as in a racing system, preventing a loss of stability in the rear end and offering excellent modulability during hard braking into corners.
The crankcases, produced through a vacuum casting technology called Vacural®, ensure high strength at low weight along with a uniform wall thickness, and are designed to incorporate water jackets around the cylinder barrels. The engine uses wet barrels coated in Nicasil, which are inserted into the holes of the engine block’s housing during the initial stages of assembly. This design allows the head to be fastened directly onto the crankcase, combining the need for rigidity of the engine’s structure with a significant advantage in terms of compactness. Due to their thin structure, the cylinder barrels efficiently transfer heat to the coolant running along their walls. In addition to these barrels, the Superquadro’s crankcase stands out for the use of plain main bearings, previously utilised on the Ducati Desmosedici RR engine. These bearings allow the use of large-diameter crankshaft journals, which maximise rigidity and mechanical strength to optimise the internal rotating structure to the extreme power of the Superquadro.
The opening and closing of throttle butterflies on the Superquadro is controlled by a fully electronic Ride-by-Wire system. The absence of a mechanical connection between the twistgrip and the throttle bodies allows the engine ECU to regulate power delivery by directly adjusting the throttle; Ride-by-Wire makes it possible to have different power and delivery based on the selected Riding Mode, to alter the level of engine back-torque (EBC), and to control any slipping of the rear wheel (DTC).
The journals of the main bearings are lubricated by pressurised oil admitted through ducts inside the engine block. This serves to assure the efficient lubrication of the new crankshaft, followed by a rapid recovery of the oil thanks to a lobe pump that places the connecting rod compartment under vacuum, similar to the engines used in MotoGP. This pump is driven by gears built in a special high-strength techno-polymer and maintains the crankcase area below the pistons in controlled conditions of constant vacuum, thereby reducing resistance during the pistons’ downstroke as well as facilitating oil flow for rapid recovery.
To control the large valves with the precise and efficient Desmodromic system, engineers chose a mixed gear and chain drive system. This chain drive accurately transmits the motion between crankshaft and camshaft, and thanks also to an automatic tensioning adjustment, offers excellent reliability with low routine maintenance costs.
Lightweight Racing Engine
The Panigale R features an incredible 1198cc Superquadro engine which adopts the most advanced racing-derived features available. A precision-balanced lightweight crankshaft, two-ring Superbike pistons, titanium valves and connecting rods, and extreme camshaft profiles result in a 205 hp output with immediate, aggressive power delivery. Homologated for use as Ducati’s platform in World Superbike, the Panigale R’s Superquadro is the closest thing available to a dedicated race engine – but incredibly, offers the same generous warranty and long maintenance intervals as the rest of the bike.
At the end of the exhaust camshaft of each cylinder head is a centrifugal decompressor. On start-up, this device allows the profile of the cam opening lobe to be modified, slightly lifting a valve so that part of the combustion charge can escape the chamber during the engine’s compression phase. Once the engine fires, the increase in rpm and associated centrifugal force modify the decompressor, cancelling the valve lift effect to bring the engine to normal operating conditions. By temporarily reducing the compression effect of the piston during start-up, a much smaller and lighter starter motor and battery can be used, contributing significantly to the extreme light weight of the overall engine and motorcycle. This ingenious system further underlines the synergistic strength achieved by engineers and designers in the uncompromising creation of the Superquadro.
The Panigale’s Monoscocca chassis forms its structural backbone – compact, rigid, lightweight, and multi-functional. Cast in aluminium, it attaches at its rear directly to the heads of the Superquadro engine and contains the steering head and bearings at its front. In addition to performing the function of a traditional frame, the Monoscocca also serves as the airbox and in this way significantly contributes to lowering the overall weight of the motorcycle. Housed inside it are the air filter, throttle bodies and fuel circuit complete with injectors, making it truly unique and a revolutionary advancement to the world of traditional motorcycle construction.
All Panigales benefit from Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa SP tires, the road version of the tyre used in the Superstock 1000 World Championship: 120/70 ZR17 at front and 200/55 x ZR17 at rear, which provide the contact patch necessary to effectively transmit the Superquadro’s power to the ground. Designed to maintain a precise line in straights and on curves, the rear 200/55 x ZR17 tyre maximises the area of contact and corner speed by combining 200 mm width with a high profile. The tyres have structures and compounds deriving directly from Pirelli’s experience in the Superbike World Championship, and feature casings specially studied to guarantee rigidity in extreme braking and shoulders that maximise the contact patch. In addition, a special double compound that uses the most advanced polymers facilitates the rapid heating of the tyres together with a constant grip.
The Panigale R features a modified geometry that enables it to find the best possible setup for pushing the limits of racing performance. A 24° steering angle gives it incredible agility, while a 5mm longer wheelbase compared to the 1299 Panigale lends it additional stability at maximum speed. Additionally, it gives riders a further degree of freedom in the set-up choice by offering an adjustable swingarm pivot. This allows the rear geometry to be modified to balance rear dive under acceleration and maximum stability, giving maximum flexibility to different track conditions and rider preferences. Four different levels of swingarm pivot are available: starting from a “baseline” of level 0, the pivot can then be raised by 2 mm, or lowered by either 2 or 4 mm.
The 1299 Panigale S and Panigale R feature Marchesini tri-W spoke forged aluminium wheels, which have an eye-catching racing style and are strong and incredibly lightweight.
The Panigale’s ergonomic dimensions assure a perfect integration between rider and motorcycle. The seat and handlebar positions are optimized to provide total control and comfort during sport and track riding, while the switchgear and dash are further designed to be intuitive, informative, and a pleasure to use. Grippy, machined-from-billet aluminium footpegs and a carefully-shaped seat with racing cover allow the rider to perfectly integrate with the Panigale, and focus only on the extraordinary sensations of the ride.
Weight is the enemy of performance, so the race-bred Panigale R features components designed to save precious grams. Its front and rear mudguards, ignition and cockpit surround pieces, exhaust-tube heatshield, exhaust caps, and chain, shock, and heel guards are all crafted from the highest-grade carbon fibre, for ultra-lightweight strength. Enhancing the Panigale R’s performance in pursuit of the fastest time on track, they also reflect a style that clearly announces its competition spirit.
DDA+ GPS ready
The DDA+ GPS is the latest generation of the Ducati Data Analyzer, which integrates a GPS signal to create a “virtual finish line”. The system automatically detects, without any intervention by the rider, the conclusion of the lap and stops the chronometric time. Integration with the GPS signal also provides visualisation on the circuit map of the trajectories ridden and the main parameters of the vehicle: throttle opening, speed, rpm, gear engaged, engine temperature, DTC activation, and lean angle.
The 1299 Panigale and 1299 Panigale S are pre-configured to accept the DDA+ GPS, while the Panigale R includes the system as standard.
Full TFT instrument panel
The instrument panel on the 1299 Panigale uses a full TFT display. The colour display’s configuration is variable and automatically adapts to variations in environmental light and to the selected Riding Mode. In the “Road” and “Wet” Riding Modes, speed takes centre stage and is displayed in large numbers in the middle of the display, whereas the two boxes containing “supplementary information” underneath provide data on total mileage and engine coolant temperature. In the “Race” Riding Mode, the display layout is automatically reconfigured, shifting the display of the vehicle’s speed in the lower information box at left and making room for the last lap time, centrally displayed in large numbers. For the first time on a Ducati motorcycle, the display features a “lean angle visualization,” allowing the rider to see their achieved lean angle displayed on the dash in real-time.
Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC)
First implemented on the incredible Ducati 1199 Superleggera, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) recognizes front-wheel lift and responds according to one of 8 rider-selectable levels, allowing the throttle to be maintained open without fear of the wheelie getting out of control. This allows for maximum possible acceleration, ensuring a formidable drive out of any corner.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) 9.1 MP
The Bosch 9.1 MP ABS equips the 1299 Panigale/S and Panigale R as standard, and is a latest-generation system that performs combined braking with control rear wheel lift to guarantee the shortest braking distances and greatest stability in any conditions. Further, the system interfaces with the Bosch Intertial Control platform, allowing maximum braking even while the motorcycle is leaned over.
Bosch Inertial Platform
The 1299/S Panigale and Panigale R use the Bosch Inertial Platform, which is centered around an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The IMU constantly monitors the motorcycle’s lean angle and fore/aft pitch, interfacing with the ABS, DWC, and on the 1299 Panigale S, the Ohlins Smart EC suspension – ensuring that these systems operate at maximum effectiveness regardless of the motorcycle’s position.
The Panigale R uses the lightest and most advanced battery technology available, Lithium-ion. This allows it to save over 2 kg compared to a normal battery.
Ohlins mechanical suspension
True to the Panigale R’s racing focus, it features competition oriented Ohlins suspension including an NIX30 fork, TTX36 shock, and steering damper, all fully manually adjustable. This system provides competition-level damping and vehicle control, while being lighter than an electronic system – contributing towards the Panigale R’s incredible weight advantage over the competition.
Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS)
The Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS) is a race-derived electronic system that manages shifting of the gearbox in both up and down directions. It allows upshifts to be made under full acceleration without using the clutch, which gains precious fractions of a second that would otherwise be wasted in closing the throttle. It also allows clutchless downshifts, as the system performs a perfectly-timed auto-blip when the foot lever is depressed, engaging the gears smoothly and allowing the rider to concentrate only on braking and corner entry.
Engine Braking Control (EBC)
The engine braking control (EBC) system works in combination with the slipper clutch to prevent and manage any locking of the rear wheel during aggressive downshifting. The rider can select the level of engine braking felt from one of 3 levels, allowing them to perfectly customize the motorcycle’s feeling during deceleration and turn entry.
Homologated Akrapovic titanium exhaust
A homologated Akrapovic exhaust, with silencers and tubes fully in titanium, is as beautiful as it is functional. Allowing the Panigale R’s engine maximum breathing and maximum power, this exhaust is impeccably built and weighs only a fraction of what a comparable steel exhaust does.
Auxiliary handlebar buttons
The 1299 Panigale S and Panigale R feature handlebar-mounted auxiliary control buttons, which allow the rider on-the-fly adjustment of a selected parameter among DTC, DWC, or EBC. Using these the rider can instantly fine-tune the motorcycle to changing track, road, weather, or tyre conditions without slowing down.
Ducati Traction Control (DTC)
Ducati Traction Control (DTC) is an advanced system that monitors and maintains control over slipping of the rear tyre and operates on the basis of eight different levels of intervention, each of which has been programmed to respond to a different tolerance to rear slipping. Each Riding Mode is assigned a preset level of activation, which can then be modified according to the riders’ desire.
Level 8 corresponds to an activation of the system with the slightest slipping, while Level 1, best used by expert riders and professionals, has a higher tolerance and thus allows a much higher amount of slip before intervening.
Another detail that gives the Panigale its total racing look is the twin headlamp at front designed to be an integral part of the front air scoops, with integrated LED positioning lights. The double LED lights at rear harmoniously wrap around the air vents in the seat-tail assembly and, when turned on, create an alluring effect of signalling lights enhanced by stop lights. LED technology is also been used for the front and rear turn indicators as well as the number plate light.