We expect superbikes to be powerful. And pretty. But few can claim to be as powerful or as pretty as Ducati’s latest. The 1299 Panigale S smooths out some of the less desirable features of the 1199: a bigger engine, yes, but also more comfort and, with the S specification, a host of electronic whistles and bells.
Compared with the standard model, the S has forged Marchesini wheels, an LED headlight and, crucially, a smart semi-active suspension system. The electronics suite is a large part of the 1299’s appeal, making the most of any rider’s ability.
Linked to clever inertial sensors, the bike constantly adjusts suspension settings and brake parameters in line with rider-selected modes. The big L-twin engine delivers 205hp, but the on-board intelligence is there to tame it with lean-angle sensitive cornering ABS, wheelie and traction control. It’s a bike that will appeal to Panigale enthusiasts and also bring more riders into the Ducati fold. They’ve raised their game with this one.
best of both worlds
The new 911: an easy decision
In recent years, the joke has been that Porsche release a new 911 whenever there’s an ‘r’ in the month. There are certainly plenty out there, catering to every sub-niche in what’s already a fairly niche marketplace. Now welcome the new 911 GT3 RS – the 911 for drivers who can’t decide whether they want a track car or a road car.
The GT3 RS has as much motorsport potential as Porsche believe they can cram into a road-legal model, with a 4-litre, six-cylinder engine producing 500hp, and a bespoke version of Porsche’s PDK gearbox. It’ll do 0-100kph in 3.3 seconds, but perhaps the more significant benchmark is a lap of the legendary Nordschleife circuit in 7m20s. That knocks the Carrera GT into the proverbial cocked hat.
Authentic additions to the journey…