First Look: 2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera

Andrea Wilson | October 22, 2013
Ducati unveils its new dream bike - The limited edition 1199 Superleggera.

Ducati unveiled its newest limited edition model today – the 2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera. Translated in English as superlight, Superleggera is a fitting name for a motorcycle that carries a claimed weight of just 341.7 pounds (dry). Yes, it’s an 1199 Panigale R that the folks from Bologna put on a major weight loss program.

Made up of materials that will make the mouth of any gearhead water – titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber –the 1199 Superleggera weighs in at 23 pounds lighter than the Panigale R at 341.7. Yes, 23 pounds lighter. And Ducati didn’t just stop at the weight-loss program, they also added more horses – five more to be exact – giving the 1199 Superleggera 200 hp. Let the boasting of highest power to weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history begin.

The limited edition models are definitely an exclusive buy with only 500 of the 1199 Superleggeras leaving the factory in Bologna. Owners of the Desmosedici RR or R version Superbikes were given the first right of refusal to purchase the new bike and apparently quite a few took Ducati up on that offer as 75 percent of them have already been sold. Each model gets its own individual number inscribed on the top clamp. 

As mentioned before, the 1199 Superleggera gets its baseline from the “R” spec 1199 Panigale, incorporating a magnesium monocoque frame and magnesium Marchesini wheels. To make it even more “Superleggera,” Ducati has given it a carbon-fiber rear subframe and bodywork, a lithium-ion battery, and a full-titanium exhaust system with stainless-steel headers.

The carbon-fiber bodywork, meanwhile, is molded with the same high penetration form as the aero-kit add-on for the “R” spec Panigale. And since every ounce counts when you’re trying to trim down, a lot of the little bits, like bolts and fasteners on both the engine and chassis, are also titanium.

For its suspension, the Superleggera gets a lightweight Ohlins FL916 front fork with machined fork bottoms and an Ohlins TTX36 rear suspension with a titanium spring. 

The Superleggera is very much race inspired and gets an upgraded lightweight Ergal rear sprocket; a World Superbike-spec 520 drive train; and the stopping power of Brembo M50 Monobloc brakes, with a racing-style MCS 19-21 front master cylinder and remote adjuster.

The 1199 Superleggera stripped down.

Powered by the Superquadro engine that is seen in the Panigale, the Superleggera gets some trick parts and modifications to get those five more horses. So, in addition to the Superquadro’s titanium connecting rods and inlet valves, Ducati engineers added titanium exhaust valves and a special two-ring piston. The two-ring piston is borrowed from the Superbike and it is the first time it makes an appearance in a Ducati street engine. The pistons use short skirts and only two rings – compression and oil – allowing for a dramatic reduction in mass and friction, according to Ducati.

Ducati also modified the combustion chamber to meet Superbike specs by giving it a new piston crown that increases the compression ration. It also gets a “superleggera’d” (okay that’s not a real word) crankshaft that’s precision balanced using tungsten inserts.

If you have designs on making the Superleggara your track bike, you’ll make great use of Ducati’s supplied track-only race kit. Their race kit adds another five more horsepower and reduces the weight further by 5.5 pounds in case it wasn’t already Superleggera enough for you.

The race kit includes a titanium Akrapovic race exhaust system – including silencers and two-in-one collector – a high racing windscreen, dedicated dust cover, front and rear paddock stands, machined mirror fill-caps, and removal kits for the registration plate holder and side stand.

Superleggera’s electronics are also upgraded with a new system for managing front wheel lift that is based on an Intertial Platform, the Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC).  All of the systems – the DWC, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), and Engine Brake Control (EBC) – are optimized by the new automatic calibration of rear-tire size and final transmission ratio. There’s also a analysis system added that has an additional sensor and software channel to record and display lean angles called the Ducati Data Analysis+ (DDA+). And to manage these electronics is a set of race-derived, handlebar-mounted control buttons to enable quick adjustments on track to the levels of pre-selected channels of DTS, DWC, or EBC.

The 1199 Superleggera comes in Ducati Corse Red livery and there is no MSRP listed yet. It is believed to be in the neighborhood of $65,000, however.

2014 Ducati 1190 Superleggera Specifications:
Type: Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 titanium valves per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled, titanium con-rods
Displacement: 1198cc
Bore x Stroke: 112 x 60.8mm
Compression Ratio: 13.2:1
Power: >200hp (149kw) @ 11,500rpm
Torque: 98.8lb-ft (134Nm) @ 10,200rpm
Fuel Injection: Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies.
Exhaust: 2-1-2 system in titanium with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Emissions: Euro 3
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/16 3=27/18 4=25/20 5=24/22 6=23/24
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.77:1
Final Drive: Chain 520; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 41
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Frame: Magnesium monocoque
Front Suspension: Ohlins FL916 43mm with TiN, fully adjustable usd fork.
Front Wheel Travel: 120mm (4.72in)
Front Wheel: 3-spoke forged in magnesium 3.50″ x 17″
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit with titanium spring. Adjustable linkage: Progressive/flat. Aluminum single-sided swingarm. 4-point adjustable pivot.
Rear Wheel Travel: 130mm (5.12in)
Rear Wheel: 3 spoke forged in magnesium 6.00″ x 17″
Rear Tire: 200/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Front Brake: 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M50 4-piston callipers with 19-21 MCS pump. Bosch 9ME ABS
Rear Brake: 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17l (4.5 gallon US)
Dry Weight: 155kg (341.7lb)
Wet Weight: 177kg (390.2lb)
Seat Height: 830mm (32.48in)
Max Height: 1100mm (43.31in)
Max Length: 2075mm (81.69in)
Instrumentation: TFT
Ducati Electronics: DDA+, DTC, DQS, DWC, EBC, LIB, Riding Modes
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Versions: Dual
Additional Equipment: Full race, titanium exhaust system by Akrapovic, dedicated dust cover, front & rear paddock stands, machined mirror fill-caps, removal kits for registration plate holder, sidestand.
*Wet weight includes all fluids and fueled to at least 90% of useable tank capacity. (93/93/CE)

Andrea Wilson | Associate Editor / Website Coordinator

Andrea has been shooting everything from flat track to road racing in her job as a professional freelance photographer, but she's made the move to a full-time staff position at Cycle News where her love of all things motorcycling will translate well. Wilson has proven her worth as more than a photographer as she migrates to the written word with everything from race coverage to interviews.