Ducati Panigale: The Italian sports bike that’s conquered road and track alike

A red 2022 Ducati Panigale V4S being ridden around a racetrack

The Ducati Panigale was the name adopted for the Italian brand’s sports bikes from 2012 when it introduced a new aluminium monocoque frame in place of the previously traditional tubular steel trellis. The name is derived from Borgo Panigale, the district of Bologna where Ducati is based.

The Panigale family comprises two core bikes – a flagship superbike and a smaller capacity, ‘entry level’ model, both with numerous variants and both renown for the distinctive, evocative sound from their exhaust.

The original superbike was a 1199cc V-twin, which grew to 1299cc in 2015 before being replaced by an all-new V4 in 2019 WSB.

The smaller Panigale has remained a V-twin throughout, initially 899cc in 2013 before growing to 959cc in 2016 then being renamed the Panigale V2 from 2020.

Both are universally considered to be among the superbike elite, are two of the most desirable sports bikes available, have spawned numerous variants and are likely to be repeatedly updated in future to retain their status. The R version of the V4 was world superbike champion in 2022.

History of Ducati Panigale

  • Ducati 1199 Panigale 2012-2014
  • Ducati Panigale V4 2019-date
  • Ducati 899, 959 and V2 Panigale 2013-date
YearModelEnginePowerTorqueTop speed
2012-20141199 Panigale S1198cc V-twin195bhp132Nm181mph
2015-20181299 Panigale S1285cc V-twin205bhp145Nm178mph
2019-datePanigale V4 S1103cc V4214bhp124Nm191mph
2019-datePanigale V4 R1103cc V4231bhp112Nm190mph
2013-2015899 Panigale898cc V-twin148bhp99Nm170mph
2016-2019959 Panigale955cc V-twin157bhp107Nm175mph
2020-datePanigale V2955cc V-twin155bhp104Nm176mph

Ducati 1199 Panigale 2012-2014 

The original Ducati Panigale was launched in 2012 and marked a major change of direction Ducati’s superbikes. Replacing the 1198, the new bike not only received a new name, it had an all-new, short-stroke oversquare V-twin engine called the ‘Superquadro’ which had a notably different new sound through its exhaust and also dispensed with Ducati’s traditional tubular steel trellis style frame in favour of an aluminium monocoque. 

As had been Ducati’s convention, three core models were offered: the standard 1199 Panigale with Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear shock, the upspecced 1199 Panigale S with Ohlins front and rear with electronically-controlled damping plus lighter forged wheels and the track-focussed, top spec R with lighter engine internals, lower gearing, aluminium tank, full Termignoni exhaust and more. The ‘S’, however, is the most popular model.

An upspecced, limited-edition version, the 1199 Panigale Senna, was also launched in 2013.

Ducati 1299 Panigale 2015-2018 

The Ducati Panigale was updated in 2015 to become the 1299 Panigale. But despite a capacity increase to 1285cc, which brought with it increased power and torque, the 1299 was actually easier and less intimidating to ride thanks to a variety of electronics and geometry updates.

As before, standard, S and R versions were initially offered with a special ‘Final Edition’ Panigale model issued, before it was replaced by the all-new V4 in 2019.

Ducati Panigale V4 2019-date

Ducati completely reinvented its Panigale again in 2019 when it unveiled its all-new Panigale V4.

As its name suggests, the heart of the new bike was an all-new V4 engine in place of Ducati’s traditional V-twin, which not only boosted power but gave the exhaust a distinctive new sound.

As before three core different specifications were offered, the base V4 and the upspecced Panigale V4S, plus the more track-orientated Panigale V4R.

In addition, Ducati also offered in 2019 the Panigale V4 25th Anniversario model, which commemorated 25 years of the Ducati 916. 

In 2022 an even more exotic, ultra-lightweight Panigale V4 ‘Superleggera’ version was also offered, as well as the modestly updated 2022 Panigale V4S.

And the same year, a further new variant, the Panigale V4 SP, was unveiled, while further subtle updates also arrived for 2023.

Ducati 899, 959 and V2 Panigale 2013-date

The Ducati Panigale has always been offered in two core forms – a large capacity superbike and a smaller capacity, more accessible sportster. This version has always been only a V-twin.

The first, the 899 Panigale, was unveiled in 2013, and when tested, the smaller version was found to be a brilliant sports bike in its own right, and also to offer a number of advantages over its bigger brother.

In 2015 the 899 was replaced with the new, larger capacity 959 Panigale, then in 2020, Ducati revealed that the 959 would be replaced by the Panigale V2.

As Ducati’s flagship sports models, further updates and model variants of the Panigale are sure to follow.