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RSD 1199 SUPERLEGGERA

Jun 9th 2020

 

Words by: Nathon Verdugo

Images by: Jeff Allen / Joseph Hitzelberger

Video by: Sean Buckley / Joseph Hitzelberger

Read More: "Naked & Crazy" CycleWorld.com

Superleggera is Italian for Superlight, and when Ducati introduced their 1199 Superleggera in 2014, it was touted as an ultra-exclusive version of the 1199 Panigale R with dramatically increased power and a significant weight loss to its already supermodel thin predecessor.



 

The exclusivity came from production of the 1199 Superleggera being limited to only 500 worldwide as well as the pretty steep price tag coming in just under $70k. The already potent Superquadro engine that powered the Panigale family was massaged for the Superleggera to gain an extra 5hp from the R model, with the addition of a performance exhaust, one could gain another 5hp on top of that, making it the lightest and fastest production Superbike on the planet. For perspective with fluids added and in full street trim including mirrors, signals, and lights, the Superleggera weighed only a pound more than the WSBK minimum.

 

 

For this project, RSD decided to turn a scalpel into a switchblade without losing any of the precision. The precise deconstruction of a beautiful form is a task that can bite back. It’s not without a measure of concern for the original form that we remove the aesthetic shell of what existed to expose the secondary layer of mechanical beauty that is beneath.

 

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The inspiration for the deconstructed version of the SL came from the vintage superbikes of the ’70s and ’80s. It was a simpler time when men rode above the 170mph mark lap after lap without the aid of a fairing or windscreen. It was an age when racers' necks must have been much thicker and stronger, and knowing the SL is capable of pushing up towards the 200mph mark makes the task of riding the bike that much more daunting.

 

 

Knowing the rider would have to deal with overcoming the wind, it was paramount to maintain a fully functional electronics package. This was perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project. With nowhere to hide, the guts had to be exposed or covered with as minimal effort as possible.

 

 

The magnesium frame and L-twin engine are the canvas from which the rest of the bike springs forward, so we let it be the guide of each piece. Fairing turned to flat number plate and intake, which also holds the air sensor and GPS module as well as the gyro maintaining wheelie/ traction control.

 

 

Full Ti and tweaked Akrapovic exhausts system was chopped up to narrow and hug the fabricated tail section. The fuel tank was cut and modified to maintain the stock shape and flow with the new body lines while also making room for electronics.

 

Febur factory race radiator and oil cooler replaced the stock units and add plenty of cooling and Super Bike grit to the front of the bike. Carbon high bars were put in place of the standard clip on's, and a custom top triple clamp is being machined to carry custom risers.

Next stop for the machine is the carbon shop to repop many of the aluminum bits in carbon to further bring the weight down into what will be a lighter version of the SL. Paint will be finished by AIRTRIX with a beautiful mix of chrome, candy grey, bone white and subtle pinstriping inspired by choppers and hot rods.

In the end, you have the amalgamation of idea, fabrication, sketch, model, manufacture and realization of Italian-American brute luxury performance.

The process is tried, trued and repeated on every custom and production pieced cooked up in the RSD lab.  

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