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Ducati Superleggera

While strolling around the EICMA show in November, wondering just how many different brands of electric scooters the world needs, I happened upon the Ducati stand. Always an overwhelming sea of red, this year it had one of those electric mountain bikes on the stand. Then, just as my soul shrank, I saw it. The Superleggera V4.

Elbow down!

I have never wanted anything so much in all my two wheeled life. I’m not sure that I’d give a testicle for one, but definitely a pinkie, a toe or maybe even a Van Gough ear. This thing is beautiful. We’re talking ditch the flat screen, park this in the living room and stare at it instead. It’s one of only 500 being made for the global market. It comes with a race kit. It even comes its own wooden box.

The design is stunning. Taking its lead from Mr. Millars Moto GP Bike the Superleggera is a thing of unusual beauty. It has more fins on the front end than the average Australian shark attack and it’s silhouette is simply motorcycling perfection.

Carbon fibre is everywhere. The fairings are made of carbon fibre. The mudguards are made of carbon fibre. Those fins /wings are made of carbon fibre. The exhaust end can is, of course, a titanium Akrapovič affair with carbon fibre detailing. Even the wheels are made from carbon fibre. There’s a lot of carbon fibre going on. Then at a second look I notice that the entire chassis, including the swingarm, is made of the stuff. I think I may just have fallen in love.

A grand set of pipes

All this is before we even consider what’s under of that carbon fibre. To manage the power, more on that later, it comes with the Ducati Power Launch system. Firing this over your head on the start line would, after all, make an angel cry. The companies in house developed quick shifter is of the up and down variety. There’s a lap timer as well as a pit lane limiter. It comes with the companies own traction control and slide control systems. There is also a wheelie control option as well as an engine brake control system. Standard equipment does, of course, include an Ohlins steering damper. There are quick adjustment buttons, it’s also fitted with a lithium ion battery to save weight.

Here's where it all gets a little bit unbelievable as in WTF. That stands for ‘What the feck’, an expression of shocked disbelief that on a cleanly written website such as this, we’re not allowed to put in print.

Anyway the thing is that the Superleggera also comes as standard with the following; A set of self-cancelling indicators, daytime running headlights and a tail light of the LED variety. Yes indeed, if you wanted to you could sling your dispatch bag over your shoulder and nip down to Tesco for a ‘few bits’ as it’s actually road legal!   

A great tail

Its’ technical brilliance and the materials that it’s made from scream exclusivity. Mirroring this is that limited edition production run. Each bike is, accordingly, individually numbered and comes with its own certificate showing its authenticity. That number is featured on the bikes frame as well as on the top yolk and even the bikes ignition key.  

Springs are sprung with a full set of Ohlins. Down the back is the staggeringly wonderful TTX 36 shock. All that saved weight is continued with an aluminium sprocket and even it’s bolted on with titanium wheel nuts.   

Then there’s that engine. With the racing kit fitted it puts out a staggering 234 HP. As you let that number sink in add to it the fact that it sits on the scales at only 152.2 kg. This stunning power to weight ratio, is only added to by the GP16 aerodynamic design. All of the internals are made from the very latest lightweight components. It might seem obvious, but it’s the most effective package ever developed by girls and boys at Ducati Corse.

If it was a lollipop...

But what is power without control? The bike offers a number of different riding modes. In addition to no fewer than five customisable modes there is also a choice of three ‘standard’ modes. Sport is for riding on the road. B mode is for reducing the torque in first and second gear. Then there’s A mode. This is what you set the bike to when you need to let the bikes full power out.

In that box of tricks that is the race kit there is a Data Analyser with GPS. It offers an option to reset the TFT dash as a Moto GP one. This allows you to count laps and see laptimes. Making this easier is the fact that you can store up to five different circuits data in the bike. Also included is a complete Akrapovič titanium racing exhaust, an open carbon fibre clutch cover as well as a carbon fibre swingarm cover. Those silly road legal lights can be replaced with the included replacement kit on the front and rear. There’s a reg plate holder and kickstand removal kit. On the mirrors the replacements are made from billet aluminium. There are lever guards included and the filler cap is a racing one.  

Yum-Yum

The Superleggera produces so much power and the wings create so much downforce that Pirelli have had to redesign their tyres for the bike. They did this while still keeping them road legal.

While this bike is being made with WSB customers in mind if you’re lucky / minted enough to buy one their buddies in Dainese have made a leather suit especially to go with the bike and Arai have a customised RX7 RR lid. The last one is made from, you guessed it, carbon fibre.

Give any of the team at Rosso Ducati a call on 014642211 and be prepared to drop somewhere in the region of €120,000 on one of the very best motorcycles ever made. If, however, I see it parked up outside a café in Laragh still in full road trim, I will not be held accountable for what I’ll do to you!   

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