Panigale 899 spied testing

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A test and development version of the new Ducati Panigale 899 has been spotted parked on an Italian street just weeks ahead of the official launch of the bike.

The bike is a smaller capacity version of the Panigale 1199 and can be seen have a series of changes over the bigger bike as the Italian firm has cut development costs to try and reduce the price of the bike. The new 899 will replace the ageing 848 model range.

The most obvious change is the fitment of a double-sided swingarm instead of the single sider seen on the bigger 1199 machine. The bike also has lower specification suspension, different wheels

A ‘baby’ Panigale has been rumoured for as long as the 1199 Panigale has been around and launched in 2011 but MCN knew these were premature until now for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, the Italian firm wanted to cement the reputation of the 1199 Panigale before it brought out a smaller bike and secondly, the 848 remains a popular and decent selling bike around the world despite the catastrophic sales decline in the supersport class around the world.

Also, the development of a new engine based on the ‘Superquadra’ was going to take some time and the firm only has limited resources with which to do this. It makes perfect sense that two-years of engine development work has now gone into this new 899cc V-twin which is expected to produce around 150bhp; up from the 140bhp of the current 848 Evo Corse SE range-topper.

The 899 is expected to carry over almost all of the electronic systems from the bigger bike; this means traction control, switchable riding modes, ABS and a quickshifter are almost certain to be fitted. It’s not known if the LED headlights from the 1199 are destined for this bike but it seems likely as the bike was designed around LED lights rather than a traditional halogen set-up.

For new Ducati's in action check out Ducati: A Story of Passion and Superbike Ducati on MCN-TV.com

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter