When Ducati announced the launch of the 1299 Superleggera, with its carbon-fibre frame and swingarm – a first for production superbikes – it was surmised that it might, perhaps, be the ultimate street-going superbike as closely related to what the guys in the top flight ride as possible.

With the tagline Fortitudo mea in levitate (My lightness is my strength), the 1299 Superleggera shows that this is no idle boast. Weighing in at 167 kg wet, the 1299 Superleggera is just 1 kg below minimum race weight for a WSBK-class machine.

We assume that once the road-going hardware, such as lights, turn signals and mirrors, are removed, ballasting might be required to bring the Superleggera up to racing weight. Carbon-fibre abounds on the Superleggera, including the sub-frame, fairing and wheels.

This is coupled with its Desmodromic 1,285 cc Superquadro engine that puts out 215 hp at 11,000 rpm, and 146.5 Nm of torque at 9,000. Fed by Mitsubishi EFI with two injectors per cylinder, the 90-degree V-twin features ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies with flow-optimised intake trumpets.

On the suspension side of things, the front end of the Superleggera is suspended with a fully-adjustable 43mm upside-down Ohlins FL 936 fork, that contains lightweight springs, with sliders that feature titanium nitriding treatment to reduce stiction. At the back, an Ohlins TTX36 shock absorber with titanium spring features an adjustable linkage to switch swingarm movement between progressive and flat.

Braking is done by Brembo, front and rear, as can be expected. A Brembo MCS 19-21 adjustable-ratio front brake master cylinder powers twin Monobloc Evo M50 four-piston calipers that grab 330 mm semi-floating discs. At the back, a two-piston caliper clamps a 245 mm brake disc.

A full suite of riding aids comes with the Superleggera, including ride and power modes, cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO), Ducati Wheelie COontrol (DWC), Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Ducati Power Launch (DPL), engine braking control (EBC) Ducati up/down Quick Shift (DQS).

With a production run of 500 units for homologation purposes, the Ducati 1299 Superleggera is certainly exclusive, and such exclusivity does not come cheap, naturally. Priced at USD80,000 (RM358,760), the 1299 Superleggera will most likely be the provenance of race teams and privateers, along with a select group of Ducatistas.