That leaves us with the engine

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Lighter more powerful

All mounts and bearing inserts are placed during forming process for greatest strength. Lighter, more powerful, more exotic, and more awesome. If you do get a chance to try the launch control, it comes across more as a fall-back option rather than the quickest way you'll get off the line. These handbuilt, blueprinted engines are hybrids of World Superbike and World Endurance specifications.

It is of course ferociously fast. They have less rotational inertia too, which means better acceleration and braking. All it lacks is that aura of emotion and desire which surrounds the Panigale. At pounds fully fueled and with hp at the rear wheel, the power-to-weight ratio is stunning. Super trick, but easy to miss, is the tiny rear four-piston Brembo caliper with Ti pistons that pinches a mm disc.

Further electronic changes are aimed at providing an easier and more intuitive ride-by-wire throttle action. These technical marvels are as much about showcasing engineering knowledge as they are for developing ideas for future models. But then it's the turn of the traction control. It's cheaper, it's faster, it's probably more satisfying and certainly easier to ride, and as a road bike it will stand head and shoulders above most other superbikes, wherever they're from.

Performance lap to lap was absolutely consistent. Within a lap, it was quite clear that I was on something very special.

It never threatens, only enhances and extends what you want to do, and it does so like the electronics have plugged in to your neurons. But in recent years, a few of those same brands have decided to push the boundaries beyond the restraints imposed by racing and built no-holds-barred trackbikes. You won't wheelie and won't bog down so a pretty quick getaway is assured, but a good, fully manual launch will be quicker. So put some effort into the bars, alter your lines accordingly and you discover just how late it's possible to trail the front brake into the turn.

All mounts and bearing inserts

Control the acceleration with the clutch and the busy German electrons control the engine torque and front wheel lift for you. Open the door to a Panigale and you'll probably just look at it for a while thinking sweaty thoughts. That leaves us with the engine. Instead, it's not only the fastest, hardest cornering superbike you can buy, it's one of the most natural and easiest ones to ride, either at normal speeds or making full use of its performance.