RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
For our second edition of Fanciful Friday, we choose one of the most sought after and wanted bikes on the planet as our subject. The Ducati Superleggera. A sort of super-extremely-fancy-very-power edition of the Panigale. And very few were made. Lets dig into the story behind this beast. And let us tell you why it belongs in our Fanciful Friday series.
Once every five or six years, Ducati does something special. Something crazy. They develop a race bike without watching the expenses. Or worry about the pricetag that it will get. They start with a blanc paper and design the ultimate racing machine. Often a derivative of their super fast MotoGP machinery. It all started with the Desmosedici. And then came the Ducati Superleggera. A mystical motorcycle with a mind blowing power to weight ratio.
The infamous Ducati Panigale already had set the bar for ultimate specs for race bikes. But the Ducati Superleggera tops it off. It is basically a Panigale on steriods. The first Superleggera was presented at the EICMA in Milan, back in 2013. It was the Ducati 1199 Panigale Superleggera and had a dry weight of only 166 kilos and had a 200 hp V-twin engine. With an added race kit the power went up to 205 hp.
If the Ducati engineers had got rid of the ABS and left the mirrors, lighting and blinkers on, then it still would have been too lightweight to pass the WorldSBK rules. It was thát lightweight.
Being produced in a limited amount of only 500, most of them got sold before the fair ended. For a decent €75.000 per bike. Crazy? Maybe. But it was the ultimate sport bike one could get. And if you’ve got the money.. well.. why wouldn’t you then?
In 2017, the brand came with a new model. The Ducati Superleggera 1299. It has 215 hp and a dry weight of just 156 kilos. The wet weight comes down to 178 kilos. If you added the race kit the power went up to 220 hp. We call that; a crazy amount of power. And the noise it makes! It growls like a monster. Frankly, it just is a monster. It makes the normal Panigale sound and feel like a puppy. Okay, we might exaggerate a bit. But you get the picture.
You could buy the Ducati Superleggera 1299 for the price of €88.000. Again, the limited amount of 500 bikes sold out in no time. It earned VW/Audi (the company that owns the Ducati brand) a mere €40 million. The 1299 Superleggera is the last one in the line of the Desmo V-twin street legal super bikes. ‘Cause in 2020 Ducati introduced the Ducati Superleggera V4.
The 2020 Superleggera V4 has 234 hp, weighs 152 kilos and comes for a price of 90.000. Since Italians love their traditions, again only 500 were made. This is not just because it gives the bike that limited edition image. It’s also because that’s the amount that has to be made to classify as homologation bike for the WorldSBK. In short; so it can legally be used in the WorldSBK championship. The engineers at Ducati keep pushing the super bike standards. Can you even call weight / power ratios like this ‘standards’?
How they achieve these kind of results? By using lots of carbon and composite materials like titanium and magnesium. How machines like these can still be ridden without shooting straight up into the sky and to the moon? By adding next level electronics and some aggressive looking winglets. It there anything that can beat this Italian masterpiece?
Of course there is! The only ones who can beat this are the Ducati engineers themselves. By creating an even more monstrous beast. Meet the 2022 Ducati Superleggera V4.
The 2022 Ducati Superleggera V4 is the only road legal and homologated motorcycle with a carbon fiber frame, swing arm and rims. The power comes down to 234 hp, which is the same as the 2020 model. The amount of torque is a whopping 119 Nm @ 11.750 rpm when the race exhaust is installed. The weight? Only 152.2 kilos.
Want to take this beauty home to drool at all day long? Then €100K comes first. For all that wopping power and very little weight you pay an equally whopping price of approximately €98.200 that can go up to €115.000. That is if you can still get one. Since they sell out that quickly..
The Ducati Superleggera is a dream bike. Even if you’re no Ducati fan you just got to like this one. The engineers of Ducati have broken through barriers when they introduced the original Superleggera. And continued to do so ever since. Will another manufacturer even dare to challenge them? We wait in suspense. In the mean time, we just drool every time we get the chance to lay our eyes on one. Happy Fanciful Friday!