Ducati has unveiled a mini-Panigale.
Well, they don’t call it that. The Italian company prefers to call their coming 899 sportsbike a “supermid” version of the 1199 Panigale.
The Panigale look-alike features a Superquadro engine with a revised bore and stroke for “a broad power delivery”.
Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicali says the bike is “designed to provide the thrill of the new generation flagship model with the refined character of an everyday streetbike”.
Power is quoted at 109kW, torque is 98.9Nm and dry weight is just 169kg, so it should be quick.
Like its bigger brother, the engine is a fully stressed member of the monocoque construction. And also like its brother it has a host of electronic rider aids such as a quick shifter, engine modes, ride-by-wire throttle, triple-stage Bosch ABS, traction control and engine brake control.
Now that Ducati is owned by Audi, the company chose to launch the Supermid at the VW Group Night in Frankfurt, Germany, on the eve of the IAA International Motor Show.
The 899 Panigale will start rolling out of the Bologna factory in late October. Ducati Australia and New Zealand sales manager Andrew Simpson says he has already had expressions of interest in the bike, but he doesn’t expect deliveries until February.
“Ever since the 1199 was released, customers have been talking to our dealers about when a small version would be come available,” he says.
“People have been talking about this bike for the past 18 months.”
He says the bike will fill the gap between the 848 and the 1199 Panigale.
“We don’t have any official pricing yet, but our expectation is that it will be at similar levels to the 848 but slightly more given the technology this has,” he says.
Andrew believes the bike, equipped with a Sachs rear shock and fully adjustable 43mm Showa forks, will fulfill “all the needs of a street bike” but will also be handy on track days.
“This bike has been tuned with road riders in mind, suspension-wise and engine performance.
“I expect it will be a much smoother engine in day-to-day situations.”
He says the 899 will create a mid-sized category all of its own.
“Some people might find the 1199 slightly intimidating for road use, but with the 899 they don’t have to sacrifice too much in power and feel like they are stepping down or taking a backward step,” he says.
It arrives with a pile of accessories, including aftermarket Termignoni mufflers, a bubble windscreen, rear-set pegs, tank and rear bags, pit stand rear seat cowl and more.
The bike will come in Ducati red with black wheels or arctic white with red wheels.