Ducati is gearing up to release the final edition of its flagship superbike, which is due to be aptly named the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition.
Since it first arrived, the 1299 has proved very successful and impressed with its performance.
More recently Ducati released the jaw-dropping 1299 Superleggera, with the emphasis on lightweight performance. This was evident not only by its 167kg wet weight but also by its extraordinary price tag.
For the Final Edition, Ducati has taken some inspiration from the Superleggera with a reported wet weight of 179kg and engine that has been tuned to deliver a claimed 209hp at 11,000rpm. Unlike the Superleggera, the Final Edition will use steel cylinder liners, steel fasteners and a die cast crankcase.
As you might expect, production of this Final Edition will be limited, although there is no official confirmation as yet on that number.
Pricing is also still to be finalised but don’t expect it to come cheap.
The bike is due to be officially revealed on July 7 at the Laguna Seca Moto GP weekend.
Ducati is already drawing considerable attention Stateside with reports that American bike builder Harley-Davidson is the latest company to be linked with a planned purchase of the Italian bike brand.
Back in 2012, Audi paid €860 million for Ducati, and this helped bolster the bike builder ahead of launching a glut of new model lines.
But ever since the Dieselgate scandal rocked the Volkswagen Group, question marks have remained over whether Ducati would be sold off.
It now seems increasingly likely that it will be sold to the highest bidder, with the company expected to command a value in excess of €1.5 billion, which will make a tidy profit for the Volkswagen Group.
Harley-Davidson hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of success in recent years, with falling sales figures and slimming profit margins. Questions also remain as to whether Harley-Davidson can secure the capital needed to complete such a purchase, but doing so could ultimately help Harley’s bottom line.
There are other parties also interested in acquiring Ducati, including a group of US dealers and Indian motorcycle maker TVS and Hero MotoCorp.
While we may not know the identity of its new owner by the time the 1299 R Panigale Final Edition rolls out of the paddock, it does seem like a suitable name to close off a chapter of Ducati history.