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2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Track Comparison

Monday, June 25, 2012


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Discover if Ducati’s 1199 Panigale is like in comparison to the best from Japan in Europe in the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Track Comparison Video.
Ducati and racing are synonymous with one another. The Italian brand holds title to the most World Superbike Championships, so it’s obvious that it knows how to engineer race winning motorcycles. And the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S aims to magnify its race-winning pedigree.

As reported from the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale First Ride the new Duc feels more Japanese than ever. The seating position is orthodox and was appreciated by the majority of our testers. It’s about as thin as the KTM and the cockpit isn’t cramped for even taller riders.

“When you first sit on it you notice it no longer feels like a stretched out, top heavy bike but more like a Japanese bike,” comments 5’10”, Neuer. “It’s pretty well proportioned and I had no problems tucking in on it down the straightaways. It’s also the lightest thing in this test, no question.”

“I really like the direction Ducati has taken with the Panigale,” surmises Hutchison. “The ergonomics were a lot more suited to my style than its predecessor. The seat didn’t feel as high and the long reach to the bars seems to have been shortened up.”

As Neuer points out, the Ducati is easily the lightest machine in this group. It weighs 423 pounds with a full 4.5 gallon fuel load. That’s eight pounds less than the second-lightest bike (Kawasaki Ninja) and 52 pounds lighter than the heaviest bike, the MV Agusta.
The Ducati delivers great feel from the front end.
Due in part to its V-Twin engine configuration the Ducati is one of the slimmest bike in the test.
The Ducati 1199 gets fitted with a fresh set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa race rubber.
(Above) The Ducati delivers great feel from the front end. But awkward rear suspension settings made it hard to ride fast. (Center) The Ducati’s engine was rated fourth-best due to its hellacious top-end power. (Bottom) For our track test Ducati mounted up its kit Termignoni race pipe.

Its reduced mass pays dividends during corner entry with it tipping into turns with minimal effort. On the scoresheet it was rated the fourth-best handling machine during Turn-In. The front end also felt pleasing mid-corner with it continuing to offer that signature, telepathic road feel that we’ve grown to adore from Ducati sportbikes.

Through Turn 2 the Duc posted the highest corner speed number of 69.3 mph. It also did well through Turn 8 with a speed of 94.4 mph. Conversely, in the second-gear, right-hander (Turn 14) it was the slowest and over two mph down on most of the competition. When averaged, the Ducati’s result was third from last.

“Initially during corner entry the Ducati felt good and delivered pretty good feel and feedback as you entered the turn,” recalls Siglin. “It steered pretty effortlessly too, but as I leaned it over onto my knee it took some time to settle, so I had a hard time really pushing the front of the bike.”

Looking at the data shows that the Ducati didn’t achieve as much lean angle through The Cyclone as some of the other bikes. The 48.8 degree measurement proved to be third from last, which shows that our rider’s weren’t as comfortable leaning the bike over in corners.

But the biggest problem we encountered with the Ducati was driving off the corner. The reason can be attributed to the rear suspension being set-up so awkwardly that it made it challenging to accelerate off the corner. We know from the First Ride that the shock has the capabilities of working in unison with front, but for our test, it was way off, and that significantly compromised handling.

“It was pretty abrasive and felt undersprung at the rear,” says Montano. “For Ducati, it’s a step in the right direction but definitely needs some fine tuning for it to be competitive with the other bikes.”

The 1199’s awkward handling was also noticeable when we analyzed the flick rate data which proves how difficult it
Ducati 1199 Suspension Settings:
(From full stiff)
Fork
Preload: 10
Compression: 11
Rebound: 12
Shock
Link: Flat Rate
Preload: 16mm
Compression: 4
Rebound: 8
was to control during the left-right-left transition of Turns 11/12/13. Here it registered the slowest flick rate of 36.9 degrees/second. Given its lightweight and good initial turn-in performance, there’s little doubt that this number could be boosted significantly.
 
“It just didn’t feel planted,” explains Chamberlain. “Once in the turn it was easily disturbed by bumps or rough pavement. The Ducati just couldn’t give me the confidence I wanted at lean. The bike does steer quickly though… and it seems easier to flick into corners than previous Ducatis.”

There was little to complain about in regards to engine performance as the new Twin definitely has the pace to keep up with the likes of even the mighty BMW—especially with the fitment of the $3499 Termignoni race pipe. Results from the dyno prove that the Ducati unleashes serious horsepower and torque numbers. Although the powerband is more top-end biased than ever, the V-Twin engine still pumps out upwards of 87 lb-ft of torque (second highest, behind the KTM). Horsepower-wise it nearly cracked the 170 mark at 10,400 rpm with another 900 revs of available over-rev, which for a Twin, is a tremendous accomplishment. This gave it title to having the fourth most powerful motor in terms of horsepower. Considering how light it is, it’s no surprise that the Ducati is one fast accelerating motorcycle.

“No doubt about it, the motor is definitely fast,” Siglin reveals. “It has very, very good top-end power. But the powerband hits so hard it upsets the chassis. Still, I’m blown away by how hard the bike accelerates. V-Twins aren’t supposed to pull like that.”

“Revs are the name of the game with the Ducati,” adds Garcia. “It doesn’t have as much bottom-end power as the old machine but keep the thing revved out and it’s incredible how fast it is. The Ducati has one hell of an engine.”
For our track test Ducati mounted up its kit Termignoni race pipe.
The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale feels more Japanese than ever in terms of ergonomic fit.
The Ducatis engine was rated fourth-best due to its hellacious top-end power.
(Above) The new-spec Brembo front brakes offer incredible power but didn’t have as much lever feel as the BMW’s.
(Center) The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale feels more Japanese than ever in terms of ergonomic fit. (Below) The new-spec Brembo front brakes offer incredible power but didn’t have as much lever feel as the BMW’s.

No question the Panigale has the engine performance to run up front problem, but as Siglin stated the powerband hits so aggressively that it can overwhelm the chassis making it difficult to open the throttle hard on corner exit. That’s the primary reason why the acceleration force numbers were so far off. Picking up the throttle out of Turn 6 revealed the Ducati could only muster 0.73g (second lowest). It did a little better exiting the final corner (0.74g) but was still behind all but the MV and Yamaha.

Similar to many of the other Euro bikes (with exception of the KTM) the Ducati comes off the showroom floor with an electronic quickshifter which aids in acceleration by reducing the split-second lag time experienced during upshifts. The drivetrain performed as advertised, but the quickshifter wasn’t quite as fast as the aftermarket Dynojet or Bazzaz set-ups employed on the Japanese bikes or even the BMW.

The 1199 employs the latest monobloc-style Brembo calipers and they were well received amongst our testing troupe. Power is strong, as is feel, and the brakes are 100% fade-free. During braking for Turns 10 and 14 the Ducati registered respectable g forces of -1.38 at corner entry, good for fourth-best in that category.

“Ducatis have always had strong brakes and this one is probably the best yet,” states Earnest. “There is plenty of power and since the bike is so light it slows down in a hurry. Initial bite was a little softer than I expected but they were my favorite.”

In spite of the 1199’s severe handling woes it still achieved a respectable lap time at the hands of both the riders. And if we would have nailed the set-up right there’s little doubt that the featherweight Ducati could have surprised some of the other big name brands. While it’ll get another chance next year today the Ducati slots into seventh-place.
 
Ducati 1199 Panigale Accessories
Ducati fit the 1199 with a Termignoni exhaust system for added power.




Ducati 1199 Panigale Highs & Lows
Highs
  • Strong engine performance
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful brakes
Lows
  • Rear suspension is tricky to set-up
  • Could have more bottom-end power
















2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Photos
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2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Track Map
2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Specs
2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S
Engine: Liquid-cooled 1198cc L-Twin; 8-valves
Bore and Stroke: 112.0 x 60.8mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Marelli electronic fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate; Hydraulic actuation
Transmission:
Six-speed; chain final drive
Final Drive: Chain 15F/38R
Frame: Monocoque aluminum 
Front Suspension: Ohlins 50mm inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for preload, compression and rebound; 5.0 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Ohlins gas-charged shock; 3-way adjustable for preload, compression and rebound; 5.12 in. travel
Front Brakes: 330mm discs with radial-mount Brembo four-piston M50 monobloc calipers
Rear Brake: 245mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Curb Weight: 423 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.57 in.
Rake: 24.5 deg. / Trail: 3.94 in.
Seat Height: 32.48 in..
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
MSRP: $22,995
Colors: Red
Warranty: Two years unlimited mileage
2012 Superbike Smackdown Weights

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Comments
roadracerx   June 27, 2012 01:08 PM
The setting on the rear, at least in my experience, are pretty far off from the workable range on an Ohlins TTX shock. Rebound and compression should be somewhere in the 12-16 click range. This may account for many of the perceived handling problems. Your sister publication, MCN, had quite a different interpretation on the 1199 a couple months ago against most if not all the same bikes...
GhostRider11   June 26, 2012 05:07 AM
I took a trip up to a Ducati dealership on my 2011 DS 848-Evo to demo-ride the Ducati Diavel and the new Ducati 1199-s. I took the Diavel out first which was a very nice peice of machinery! I ran it in Sport-mode of course and the bike was still well balanced. Then I took the 1199-S for a spin... a shorter run than the Diavel. The 1199 is so tiny compared to the previous 1198/848 body-style. And the weight difference is crazy. The 1199 is a race-bike and that's it. Although I liked the shape of the tank and 250cc like feel of the bike, it seemed too tiny. The Engine noise, even at idle, was very loud! The clutch and brake feel were very soft... the complete opposite of my 848-Evo. The next thing that I didn't like was the overwhelming heat it gave off after it warmed up. Not a bike to ride around town! I was burning up from the bike so I turned it around and took it back since I didn't want anything to happen to this $25k piece of Italian artwork. I will wait for Ducati to refine the 1199 before I'd consider buying one. I will get the Diavel instead and/or just keep to my new 2012 CBR100rr...