Everything changes and adapts to the current generation, whether it is your 21st century girlfriend, who demands for space and then there are motorcycles, they always yearn for an update for becoming faster, better and want to send you into space when you close your eyes. The same is valid for Ducati and their flagship model’s younger sibling, the Ducati 848. The Ducati 848 in India has been the keenest selling motorcycle from Ducati dealerships despite the existence of the cheaper Ducati Monster 795. Reason? Faired bikes in India are equivalent to cars with a boot. Cars without a boot and motorcycles without a fairing are considered small.
Getting to the point. The 848 is finally ready to be updated. The 848 has been rolling since 2008 and then later in 2010 came the Ducati 848 Evo which got updated with new brakes, minor changes to the engine, new swing arm and steering damper. The 848 is going to be replaced with a rumoured, 899. Like the 749 and 848, which Ducati made, were based on the flagship motorcycle of the particular period. The 899 too, is going to be based on the flagship model, the 1199 Panigale. The motorcycle will carry the same monocoque chassis and surprise is the omission of the single sided swingarm, which is Ducati heritage and is offered on almost all motorcycles in their product range expect the Asia specific Monster 795. It is being replaced with traditional aluminium twin sided swing arm. This specific small change takes away two marks from the styling point of view.
The engine of the Ducati 899 Panigale will be based on the Superquadra, displacing around 899cc. The motor has been in the making for over two years of time. However, in the 899 it’s going to be detuned to make northward of 145 BHP which will be counted as a serious update over the current 848. As always, the younger sibling has always been lighter by 5 kgs and with the 899 the expectation will be the same. Since the 1199 is 10 kgs lighter than the 1198 so the benefits should be forwarded to the younger sibling, right? Nope, most probably the swing arm will not let that happen. There will be weight loss, but around 5 kgs.
The Ducati 899 Panigale is likely to carry all the electronic nannies such as traction control, ABS, quick shifter, different riding modes for riding in rain, city and the full blown sport for track or twisty road. We reckon the motorcycle will not carry the electronic adjustable suspension, which comes on the 1199 Panigale, features such as the titanium con rods, and new race spec exhaust we saw on the Panigale R will not make its way either.
An India specific detail is on your mind? Well, expect this motorcycle to debut in November in the international market and an India launch should happen before 2014. What do we think? It is going to be brought in via the CBU route, so it’s not going to ring any bells. What we really want is a Ducati 249 and a 499.