Ducati raises the bar for semi-production race bikes with its limited-edition 1299 Superleggera. A space-age, carbon-fiber frame, swingarm and wheels carry Ducati’s most powerful twin-cylinder mill to date with 215 horsepower on tap to push a mere 368 pounds. Yeah, that’s right. The good news is that Ducati installed everything it could as far as electronic features go to help riders control all that power and keep the thing dirty-side down. I’m talking a veritable alphabet soup of gadgetry here, so let’s dig in and start deciphering it.
Built for speed, the windtunnel-tested shape was painstakingly designed to minimize losses to weight and drag. The structure depends upon a monocoque system that uses the carbon-fiber fairing as a stressed member to complete the assembly. Needless to say, there were significant weight savings here, especially when you consider that the frame itself comes made of carbon-fiber material, as well. Inserts made of 7075 aluminum are laminated into the structure at key points to reinforce and strengthen without adding appreciable weight or bulk.
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