Ducati replaces its 848 Superbike for the 2014 model year with the 899 Panigale. The all-new $14,995 Duc sports a more powerful 148-horsepower L-Twin, along with the new monocoque chassis and electronics system developed in its larger-displacement sibling – the 1199 Panigale.
899 Superquadro L-Twin
One of the longest-running “Supersport” designs without a significant ground-up redesign, the 848 debuted as a 2008 model – with an up-spec EVO refresh in 2011. Now The Italians have added 50cc for what it bills as a “Supermid” entry into its high-end superbike series. The displacement boost comes courtesy of the new 899cc Superquadro L-Twin.
The 899 Panigale actually displaces 898cc from its 100mm bore and 57.2mm stroke. The Superquadro engine configuration retains Ducati’s signature 90-degree L-Twin, but the front cylinder rests at 21 degrees from horizontal where it bolts onto the aluminum monocoque frame as a stressed member.
Ducati’s desmodromic valve system actuates a 41.8mm intake and 34mm exhaust valves in the four-valve heads. Oval throttle bodies with a single injector per-cylinder beneath the Ride-by-Wire butterfly fuel the 899.
2014 Ducati 899 Panigale sources the new 148-horsepower Superquadro 899 L-Twin, which claims an increase of eight ponies over its 848 EVO predecessor.
Ducati claims 148 brake horsepower at 10,750 rpm and 73 lb-ft torque at 9000 rpm from the new engine platform. That’s an eight horsepower increase from the latest version of the 848 Twin, which claimed 140 horsepower at 10,500 rpm and 72.3 lb-ft torque at 9750 rpm.
The 899’s air intake air ducts feed the airbox, which is part of the monocoque design, but some gets routed through the fairing to cool the onboard electronics package, which is substantial. The numerous electrical aids and Ducati acronyms are familiar to Ducati sportbike aficionados – as they have migrated from the 1199 Panigale Superbike platform. And, of course, Ducati is keen to note the systems are race-derived.
Electronic systems include the Ducati Quick Shifter (DQS), Ride-by-Wire (RbW) and switchable engine maps in the Ducati Riding Mode, “triple-stage” ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). The three riding mode options alter the performance of the ride-by-wire, ABS, traction control and engine braking. Race mode delivers full throttle, race-oriented engine braking and reduced TC assistance, as well as ABS for the front only with reduced anti-rear lift. Sport mode offers all 148 ponies from the engine, same as Race mode, but the RbW throttle is smoother, with more TC intervention, revised engine braking and ABS on both front and rear. The Wet riding mode drops power to 110 hp with even smoother throttle, increased TC input and full ABS.
Ducati's monocoque chassis for the 899 Panigale mounts to the engine as a stressed member.
The 899 sources the same six-speed gearbox as the 1199. It utilizes a wet clutch, hydraulically actuated.
An aluminum monocoque frame utilizes the engine as a stressed member on the new Ducati, similar to the 1199 Panigale. However, the Ducatisti will immediately note the 899’s doublesided swingarm. But will they take to their pitchforks and torches as they did with the controversial 999?
Ducati claims a dry weight of 372.5 pounds and wet weight of 425.5 pounds for the 899 – with the 848 EVO claiming 370-pound dry weight. The new bike sports a half-degree steeper rake than its EVO predecessor at 24-degrees, while the 56.14-inch wheelbase is nearly identical (56.3 inch)
One thing that definitely is not identical is the exhaust, as the 899 ditches the 848’s toasty underseat configuration (a regular complaint in our annual Supersport Shootout) for the underslung configuration similar to the 1199 model. A front subframe of aluminum attaches to the monocoque frame, while a rear subframe of tubular steel is attached straight to the engine. Ducati cites the new bike's weight distribution at 52% up front and 48% in the rear.
The 899 Panigale sources Showa BPF fork and Sachs rear shock, with top-shelf Brembo braking components.
A three-way adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) suspends the front of the 899, while a nearly horizontal-mounted shock from Sachs handles suspension duties out back. The Sachs unit is positioned on the left side of the bike, next to the rear cylinder head. It is also three-way adjustable for pre-load, compression and rebound.
The 899’s Bosch ABS Brembo braking system offers three-level tuning, keyed to the aforementioned Ride Modes. Level 1 is front-only ABS, with Level 2 and 3 using both front and back, but with different levels of ABS intrusion. Level 3 is the most assertive ABS setting for use on wet roads. The ABS can also be turned off in all Ride modes, if desired.
The actual braking components are top-shelf Brembo, with a pair of radial-mount, four-piston monobloc calipers gripping 320mm discs up front. The front stoppers are modulated by a radial master cylinder. A single 245mm disc out back is pinched by a single Brembo caliper.
The new 899 Panigale will be available in Ducati Red with black wheels for $14,995 (relative to current EVO spec). An additional Arctic White with red wheels colorway will add $300 to the MSRP.
Stay tuned for a first ride evaluation from MotoUSA Road Test Editor Adam Waheed in early Fall.
2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Specifications
Superquadro: L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke:
100mm x 57.2mm
148hp (109kw) @ 10,750rpm
73 lb-ft (99Nm) @ 9,000rpm
Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system. Single injector per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies.
2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes.Twin stainless steel mufflers with aluminum outer sleeves.
1=37/15 2=30/16 3=27/18 4=25/20 5=24/22 6=23/24.
Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.77:1
Chain 520; Front Sprocket 15; Rear Sprocket 44
Wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Showa BPF 43mm fully adjustable usd fork
Front Wheel Travel:
10-spoke light alloy 3.50"x17"
120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4-32 callipers with ABS.
245mm disc, 2-piston caliper
169kg (372.5 pounds)
193kg (425.5 pounds)
DTC, DQS, EBC, Riding Modes
Two years unlimited mileage