As discussed on many bulletin boards around the globe. Now Ducati is about to showcase the Ducati 899 Panigale to the world. It didn't take a genius to work out that a smaller superbike would break cover, because this is simply what Ducati does – it's like night follows day. Given the massive investment in the Superquadro engine and monocoque frame, having two models in the Ducati showroom with different prizes makes a lot of sense and broadens the appeal to the potential buyers.
The current middleweight superbike, the Ducati 848, has been with us since 2008, and in a variety of guises it's done decent business as a stepping stone to the big league.
The thought of a 150 horsepower Ducati 1199 Panigale is mouth-watering. The 848 banished Ducati from meaningful motorsport in the supersport paddock. The Ducati 899 tag is likely to be a legacy of its bigger brother's name, although capacity is expected to increase from the current volume of 849.4cc to 899cc. The Superquadro principles of the Ducati 1199 Panigale will remain key, meaning a short stroke engine delivering dizzying revs for a twin. With Ducati's electronics being some of the best in the motorcycle business, expect the Ducati 899 Panigale to be loaded. The Ducati 848 never got the option of an S or an R, and we're doubting that we'll see one of these options offered given the levels the 'stock' model will be capable of.
The monocoque chassis will also be borrowed, and the reduced power output (still reckoned to be 150 horsepower at the crank) may give the chassis an easier time. What will mark the Ducati 899 Panigale apart from its bigger and more expensive relation is the the rear swingarm and suspension. The Ducati 1199 Panigal boasts a beautiful single-sider swingarm while the Ducati 899 Panigal is likely to be equipped with a twin side rear swingarm. Suspension levels are likely to be lower, although Showa Big Piston forks could make an appearance (we just have to wait and see).