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Ducati 1199 Panigale Tricolore first ride

By Michael Neeves -

First rides & tests

 20 April 2012 09:56

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to stump up the £23,495 for the Tricolore version of the Ducati 1199 Panigale, you’re in for a treat.

Not only do you get this sexy colour scheme included in the price, racing ABS and the latest-generation ‘Ducati Data Analyser’ (DDA+) datalogger, you get a pair of titanium Termignoni slip-on cans, which boosts power to previously unheard of levels for a Ducati road bike.

During our recent dyno runs our standard Panigale S test bike made an impressive 177bhp - up 17bhp on the old 1198, but torque was 5ftlb down on the old superbike’s ground-churning 95ftlb.

With its Termignoni cans the Tricolore makes an incredible 186bhp at the rear wheel (so that’s 26bhp more than the 1198!) and torque back up to 95ftlb.

The good news is you can buy the exhaust cans separately, if you have the base or ‘S’ model Panigale, for £1466.23.

These beautifully-made side-exiting titanium cans weigh 2kg less than standard and you also get an ‘Up Map’ memory stick, which plugs into the bike and swaps the road power map for a Euro 3 unfriendly one, to suit the free-flowing exhausts - pouring more fuel down the engine’s throat.

I rode the Tricolore around the Northamptonshire roads close to Ducati’s new Silverstone HQ. Having ridden the ‘normal’ Panigale S on the road a few days before, the extra power and torque is immediately noticeable.

I still can’t get over just how light these Panigales are and with the extra power the acceleration is even more brutal and the front wheel even keener to part from the tarmac in the first three gears.

The engine spins up harder and faster and the extra grunt makes normal riding easier – just leave it in top gear and don’t worry about changing down until you have to stop.

On the 1198 its fat torque curve was its enemy and the smallest whiff of throttle made it wheelie too much and sent it wide in the corners, but the Tricolore is still as friendly as an 848 Evo on the throttle, until you really open the taps, when it goes beserk.

With the new ‘Up Map’, the throttle response is smoother and there’s a satisfying BSB-style pop of unburned fuel when using the standard quickshifter in full attack mode.

It’s hard to imagine the Panigale being any more impressive, but these exhaust cans makes it smoother, faster, more flexible, lighter and nicer-sounding on and off the throttle.