DUCATI STRIKES A HIGH NOTE WITH THE NEW 959 PANIGALE
There are motorbikes and then there are motorbikes – Ducatis are the latter. With the introduction of the superb Panigale series, Ducati has once again powered through to the top of the superbike stack, and this latest two-wheeled rocket is no different.
Building on the success formula of the 899 Panigale, the 959 slots into the sweet spot for those who wanted a bit more oomph than the 899 but with the same acute corner-carving balance that gets away with the 1000+CC engines (because more CC equals more weight, which means less tossing the bike through corners). Ducati wanted to create a bike that was the perfect balance between performance, power, and thrills mixed with usability, safety, and control.
So what’s different?
The engine has been warmed over by Ducati’s mad scientists and the 995 CC 90-degree V-twin Superquadro engine now makes 157 horsepower and 79 pound-feet of torque, which is a six and eight percent bump over the 899. It also gets new head and case covers, as well as a new timing chain, gears, and guides so it can meet Euro 4 emissions and sound requirements. The added displacement was achieved by increasing the stroke of the engine, and thanks to Ducati’s addition of “showerhead” style fuel injectors low and mid range torque have improved significantly. The 959 also gets a slipper clutch, high-flow filter, and the exhaust system from the 1299 Panigale which increases to 60 mm in diameter.
Exterior wise, the front face has been slightly widened, and the front intakes have grown in proportion. The mirror stalks are also slightly shorter while the windshield has become slightly higher. The side fairings are also new and Ducati’s intention was to make the 959 look more akin to its 1299 sibling – something that they’ve achieved quite well as far as we are concerned.
Chassis wise, the swingarm pivot has been lowered by 4 mm which increases the wheelbase by 5 mm, which adds mechanical grip on corner exit and better straight line/high speed stability. The 959 weighs in at just 171 kilograms.
© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS JUNE 2016