For 2016, the Ducati Panigale 899 is being replaced with the new Panigale 959 which now slots in directly below its bigger sibling, the Panigale 1299. The 2016 Ducati Panigale 959 is powered by a new, Euro4-compliant 955cc Superquadro V-twin that bellows out 157bhp at 10,500rpm. The bike itself weighs 176 kilos dry, so performance should be very impressive indeed.
While the Panigale 959 doesn't get the 1299’s single-sided swingarm, it does get most of its elder sibling’s technologies – Bosch ABS, multi-stage traction control, ABS, quick-shifter, multiple riding modes, ride-by-wire throttle control and a host of other, impressive-sounding things that we don’t fully understand. Weight distribution is 51% at the front, 49% at the rear, and the bike is equipped with fully adjustable 43mm Showa BPF forks, an adjustable Sachs steering damper and a fully adjustable, side-mounted Sachs monoshock at the rear. The Ducati 959 rolls on 17-inch alloys, shod with 120/70 (front) and 180/60 (rear) ZR-rated Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres. At the front, twin 320mm brake discs are gripped by radial-mount 4-piston M4.32 Brembo monobloc callipers for phenomenal stopping power.
Colours available for the 2016 Ducati Panigale 959 include red (with black wheels) and white (with red wheels). In the US, the bike comes with the standard Panigale-spec underbelly exhaust, while other markets get the other (uglier...) exhaust system, with twin side-mounted cans for Euro4 compliance. Still, the ugly exhaust notwithstanding, the 959 should be a big step ahead over the outgoing 899 in terms of outright performance. Will be very interesting to see how this Panigale does in the market, and whether a lot of buyers will actually prefer this over the 1299. Stay tuned!