Ducati Has A New Bike Coming Next Month, And Likely A V4 Superbike This Fall | Cycle World

Ducati Has A New Bike Coming Next Month, And Likely A V4 Superbike This Fall

One last hurrah for the 1299 Panigale

Ducati prides themselves on their sportbikes. Despite venturing into the hipster and adventure worlds (or upright sport touring worlds), it's sportbikes that have their heart. And yes, that's a company with a heart.

Ducati is set to unveil a new special edition of the 1299 Panigale flagship sportbike at this year's World SBK round at Laguna Seca, one they're calling their last. Like the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario they unveiled on Ducati Island after Race 1 at the WSBK round at Laguna Seca last year, Ducati is set to unveil another new bike, only this time with the tagline "when the end tells the whole story."

But that doesn't mean Ducati is getting out of the superbike game. In fact, it means just the opposite.

Rumors have been swirling for nearly two years about a production V4 superbike, coming to a head when Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali admitted they were thinking of homologating the 1,000cc V4 from their Desmosedici MotoGP race bike for production use at the press conference for the launch of their 2017 MotoGP team, stating:

"The engine development we have made in MotoGP has been exceptional, we have an engine which is very reliable, very light, compact and has a lot of interesting technology. We are seriously thinking of introducing it to regular customers as it is a masterpiece of engineering.

It must be translated into something that can be sold to customers at a reasonable, even if premium, price. So it will not be an exotic bike like the Desmosedici, but a high-end sports bike. We cannot say when it will happen... but it is getting closer, much closer."

Initially, we thought we were probably looking at a 2019 model, especially after Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paulo Ciabatti made a comment that the WSBK team planned to race on the current Panigale for the 2017 and 2018 season.

1299 Panigale S Anniversario

Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario

Courtesy of Ducati

Initially, we thought we were probably looking at a 2019 model, especially after Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paulo Ciabatti made a comment that the WSBK team planned to race on the current Panigale for the 2017 and 2018 season.

While that will still likely remain the case, the phrasing around this special edition paired Domenicali's statements and other inside sources, not to mention Ducati's difficulty to best Kawasaki in World SBK all point to a production V4 to likely be unveiled at EICMA this fall.

Ducati

The last Panigale is coming.

Courtesy of Ducati

What will be interesting to see is what other changes are made to this new superbike, as it's the chassis and not the motor that has shown to be the biggest chink in Ducati's armor, causing it to fall behind both in racing as well as the media's own comparison testing.

Either way, we'll be there July 7th for the first day of the WSBK weekend at Laguna Seca to see what Ducati have in store to send off the Panigale, and to search for signs of what's ahead.