2016 Ducati 959 Panigale First Look

Adam Waheed | November 16, 2015
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Ducati adds displacement to its junior Panigale via a longer stroke engine. Pictured above is the European-spec Panigale 959 featuring a different exhaust configuration compared to the U.S. model.

The Panigale family continues to grow, quite literally with Ducati, again expanding the engine capacity of its “Supermid” and more entry-level (if you can call it that) 959 Panigale Superbike (TBD price).

The outgoing 899, wasn’t a slouch, either on the the dyno, or behind the windscreen, but it did require lots of revs (compared to the competition) — especially at a racetrack pace. So engineers beefed up bottom-end and mid-range ‘oomph by increasing piston stroke 3.6mm to 60.8mm, netting a 57cc increase. According to current press materials, the rest of the engine’s internals are unchanged.

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New exhaust pipes, and associated fuel/ignition mapping complement the set-up, and also meet the stricter Euro 4 emission standards being implemented next year. The 959 is claimed to produce 157 horsepower and nearly 80 lb-ft of torque at the crank. The drivetrain, including the quickshifer-equipped six-speed transmission and oil-bathed, hydraulically-actuated clutch remain the same however a slipper assist function was added. Final drive gearing was also modified (one tooth smaller rear sprocket). Other standard electronics include eight-way adjustable traction, three-way engine brake control, as well as multi-mode ABS.

The chassis and suspension are the same as before, but the body panels see a few aesthetic tweaks highlighted by a wider front snout, with bigger air intake scoops. The tail section and rear view mirrors were also re-shaped and the junior Panigale also benefits from a more grippy set of machined aluminum footpegs.

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All told the 959 weighs three pounds more than the 899 did the last time we tested it during our 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale Street Comparison shootout. No word on price or U.S. availability but expect an MSRP above the 899’s price of 15 grand. We’re scheduled to test ride the 959 next week, so stay tuned for a text and video review in the upcoming weeks.

Editor’s Note: Ducati says the U.S. spec Panigale 959 will weigh approximately 11 pound less than the European model because of its exhaust configuration.

2016 Ducati Panigale 959 Specs
Engine: 955cc liquid-cooled L-Twin, 8-valve, Desmodromic
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 60.8mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Fueling: Fuel-injection
Transmission: Six-speed
Clutch: Wet multi-plate with self-servo slipper function; hydraulic actuation
Final Drive: Chain; 15/43 gearing
Frame: Monocoque Aluminum
Front Suspension: Showa 43mm inverted fork with spring preload,
compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.72 inch travel
Rear Suspension: Sachs gas-charged shock with spring preload,
compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 5.12 inch travel
Front Brakes: 320mm discs with radial-mount Brembo monobloc four-piston calipers w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 245mm disc with single-piston caliper and ABS
Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa 120/70-17, 180/60-17
Curb Weight: 440 pounds (claimed, ready to ride)
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.0 degrees / 3.78 in.
Seat Height: 32.48 in.
Fuel Tank: 4.5 gallon
MSRP: TBD
Warranty: Two year, unlimited mileage
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Adam Waheed

Road Test Editor | Articles | Adam's insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

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