When a motorcycle company starts with a clean-sheet design, there are so many ways to go wrong. Often it's best to wait for Version 2.0. But Ducati has knocked one out of the park with its sensational new 1199 Panigale, the first ground-up mass-production model from Ducati since the 1979 Pantah.
While a definitive verdict will have to wait until we test the 1199 on home soil, our short time aboard it at the fantastic Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi was enough to confidently predict the Panigale is one of the finest sportbikes ever made and is a leading contender for our annual Motorcycle of the Year award.
Saw this thing in person at the Chicago motorcycle show. Absolutely beautiful. We weren't allowed to sit on it, but it is an amazing piece of engineering to look at. Rear shock positioning is radically changed (basically under the rider's left calf).