5. Ducati 1299 Panigale


When Ducati makes a change to its flagship superbike, it’s a no-brainer that we want to ride it. So, when it was announced the 1199 Panigale would morph into the 1299 Panigale, Ducati had our full attention. With a massive 116mm bore size, the Panigale’s Superquadro engine gets bumped to 1285cc, and is claimed to make 205 hp, surpassing the elusive “double ton,” or, 200-hp mark. Combined with its claimed 106.7 lb-ft of torque, the merits of the bigger engine alone already had us anxious to ride the 1299.

Of course, Ducati’s electronics package, featuring traction control, wheelie control, engine brake control, and race ABS, among others, will make getting all this power to the ground as easy as possible, but a safety feature we’re curious to try is the new Cornering ABS system. Basically, the system is supposed to allow aggressive braking while leaned over, greatly reducing the chances of tucking the front during deceleration. When traction control was first introduced on production bikes with the 1098R, I remember touching my knee on the ground, whacking the throttle, and being amazed by the fact I wasn’t being high-sided to the moon. Maybe I’ll build up the courage to be just as brave with Cornering ABS.

Pricing for the base 1299 Panigale is set at $19,295. The up-spec S version goes up to $24,995.