While the 2015 Panigale R was announced late last year in all it’s technical glory, it’s only now that Ducati has unveiled the machine to the public. While not looking altogether different from the ‘standard’ 1299 Panigale and Panigale S, it does have a few distinguishing features in line with Ducati’s WSBK entry.
We’ve discussed in detail the amazing specifications of the new 2015 Ducati Panigale range before. While Yamaha has taken a lot of the spotlight for its brilliant new R1, the all new Panigale is another step forward (which you have to pay handosmely for). In Ducati’s own words, the Panigale R is as close to a WSBK bike that they’ve ever released before. The 2015 Ducati Panigale R produces 205 hp (150.8 kW) but weighs only 184 kg (406 lb) – making it in our estimation the best power to weight ratio of any production bike currently available.
The Panigale R is the homologated base for Ducati’s World Superbike machines and is essentially a road-legal race bike with indicators and lights. Fitted with the 1198 cm3 Superquadro engine, thus falling within Superbike displacement limits, it boasts titanium intake and exhaust valves and rods, two-ring pistons and an extremely lightweight crankshaft which is balanced with tungsten inserts, to guarantee a maximum power of 205 hp at 11,500 revs/minute and a torque of 136.2 Nm at 10,250 rpm.
The new electronic kit offers three different riding modes, along with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) which now works also during down-changing. According to Ducati, the Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and the Engine Brake Control (EBC) have been optimized by an automatic calibration system which allows for easy changes in tire size and final drive ratio.
One thing the Panigale R misses out on is electronic suspension that is found on the 1299 Panigale S – this is because it’s not allowed in WSBK. In its place is top of the line Öhlins mechanical suspension, 4-position adjustable swingarm pivot and the same electronic technology as the 1299 Panigale, as well as a lithium ion battery which means a reduction in weight of over 2 kg, making it a total of 6 kg lighter than the 1199 Panigale R.