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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just broke 2200 miles this morning on my 959 and thought I would share my impressions now that I have a little more experience with the machine. I purchased this bike new in March of 2016, so have had about 7 months now to become accustomed to it and get things sorted out. This is my first Ducati, having come from a long line of Japanese I-4 sportbikes, so you may need to filter any of my comments through that lens.


First off engine power is great, good low end, decent midrange and smooth power right up to the redline. No complaints here, I do aggressive back road riding and you really don't need any more power than this has on offer. The quick shifter is smooth and trouble free and does a great job of keeping the engine on the boil right in it's sweet spot.


The L-4 mill is nearly vibration free allowing only the pleasant twin cylinder power pulses to get through to the bars, seat and grips.


Speaking of seat, there's been a lot of complaints about the under seat rear exhaust and rear cylinder heating up the butt and thighs but since I started using full leathers for every ride, this has not been an issue for me. In jeans, especially in the summer time, it can be a bit toasty but only when slowing for stop and go traffic.


The transmission and clutch are buttery smooth and the gear ratios seem well matched to the engine's powerband.


I have my traction control set on level 3 and it seems seamless on the backroads, no harsh intervention, so good stuff.


ABS is set on Level 1 for minimum intervention and I've never felt it activate.


My EBC (Engine Braking Control) is on Level 2 which gives some but not excessive engine braking when rolling off the throttle.


The Brembo brakes are good, not great in my humble opinion, offering a soft initial pull, good modulation and feel and decent stopping power overall.


My 959 starts easily every time, hot or cold and I have not suffered any mechanical issues thus far.


Fit and finish on the bike is excellent and paint durability seems good so far.


Servicing this bike is expensive, I changed my own engine oil and filter at the first service and it set me back $158...ouch. I'm used to $29 home oil changes on the Jap bikes so be prepared to take a hit in the wallet.


Ergonomics on the 959 are a little different if you are used to Jap sportbikes. It's narrow through the waist and takes some getting used to if you like to hang off in the turns. You have to develop the touch points that work for you as the anorexic fuel tank offers little in the way of support, still working on finding my comfort zone here. Fortunately the foot pegs work, they're well knurled and offer superior grip for your boot. The bars are wide and offer high leverage when muscling over into a turn. Overall riding comfort is about average for a sportbike with the overall feeling of sitting on the bike rather than in it. It works well for back road apex strafing but not my first choice for a long commute or freeway droning.


Now to handling and this is where I have had some issues. On smooth corners the bike locks in like it's on rails so all good so far. What is not so good is the suspension action on less than smooth turns where I was experiencing excessive chassis pitch on standard suspension suspensions settings where the bike was slow to settle in to the corners. I have been all over the suspension clickers and preload adjustments and finally settled in on the suggested race settings from the owner's manual except for front preload where I ended up one turn less than standard to sharpen the turn in. This has given the best overall compromise between bump compliance and control with the bike settling in to the turns better now but it has a very stiff and unyielding ride. The bike seems to skip off the sharp edge bumps rather than absorb them gracefully. Part of this may be down to the frameless monocoque design and part due to excessive high speed compression damping front and rear. Unfortunately, there are no adjustments for this on the stock suspension components, only low speed compression adjustments are available, so an internal revalve on both the forks and shock may be the only real fix.


Another handling issue is the lack of feel or feedback when burying the front end in a corner. I can't feel what's going on down at the front contact patch so it is difficult to have full confidence where the front tire's traction limit actually is. The front tire doesn't slip when heeled over, it's just like I'm riding by Braille, feeling for traction in the front.

Lastly is engine surging. Not everyone appears to have this issue but there are others I've talked to that do. When in the closed loop operating range at around 5000 rpm, my engine bucks and surges like it's running lean. This is more of an annoyance when riding in a straight line but when it happens in a turn, the snatchy off-on throttle response can upset the chassis. I've started using a lower gear in the corners to keep the engine spinning above the problem area but the overall fix is going to be a piggyback fueling module like the Rapid Bike unit.


That's all I have for now but will report back when I have 4000 miles. I think this bike is just going to take some time for me to adjust to.


 

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nice insights on the 959! it's not perfect but have been having a blast everytime i ride it!

just curious, if you did the oil change yourself how did the price get to $158? first 1000km service for my bike at my dealer is just a few bucks more. did you have to bring your bike to the dealer to get the service light reset?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
nice insights on the 959! it's not perfect but have been having a blast everytime i ride it!

just curious, if you did the oil change yourself how did the price get to $158? first 1000km service for my bike at my dealer is just a few bucks more. did you have to bring your bike to the dealer to get the service light reset?

My bad, I went back and checked and I paid $137 not $158 for the First Service Kit from AMS Ducati in Dallas. That included four liters of the recommended Shell Synthetic 15W50 oil, an oil filter cartridge an O-ring and a drain plug gasket plus 8.25% sales tax. I noticed on the AMS website, they have now dropped the price of the first service kit to a more reasonable $99.00.


http://www.959panigale.net/forum/959-panigale-service-maintenance-warranty/3370-first-service-5.html
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Here was my post from the First Service thread back in May 2016.






post #30 of 82 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 12:39 PM Thread Starter Kruz
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Dallas TX
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Well I finally found the Shell Advance 4T 15W50 at a Ducati dealer across town at $19 a liter, so 4 liters plus the oil filter, crush washer and two o-rings came to $137.31, not cheap but much better than the $382 quoted for the first service.
 

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There are options to cut down the costs of oil changes. For me the Ducati oil filter, washer, and O-rings came out to $37.28 - (8.25%) tax included, and oil was $8/qt or $12/qt. motosport.com sells 15w-50 Yamalube performance full synthetic oil for $11.88/qt. You can pick up 15w-50 Mobile 1 full synthetic oil for $7.98/qt at wal-mart. KTM sells the same oil filters for a bit cheaper that you can buy on various websites. The only thing you can't do is turn off the pesky "service oil" notification.
 

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I agree with you on the lack of feeling in the front of the bike. I don't know if i should trust it or question it. I had by 959 suspension set to my height and weight at the local Ducati dealer. It helped some but the shock spring is going to have to be changed to a lighter one due to my weight. I had to do the same thing on my GSXR750. Suspension makes all the difference on any bike, especially dirt bikes. Ill be looking into companies such as Race Tech for a suspension job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did a long ride in the twisties with O_O yesterday and I think I have everything set up pretty well now, the bike seemed to be working much better and I didn't really notice the harshness in the bumps. I've made a lot of setup changes recently and the results have been mostly positive. Tightening up the rebound and compression on both ends and lowering the front end by taking out preload has taken the float out of the chassis and got the bike turning in better, the front seems to be biting harder now generating some feedback. Reducing engine braking by going to an EBC setting of 3 also has helped smooth things out. Fitting a fresh Pirelli up front and using a lower gear in the medium speed corners, 3rd vs 4th also has helped a bit. By spinning higher in the rpm range, throttle response on corner entry has improved, balancing the suspension. The faster I go, the better this bike seems to work. I think at this point I just need to ride it and get used to it, the confidence will come with time.
 

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Here's a humorous video O_O shot yesterday that shows just how bad the rear view mirrors are on the 959. We had just come out of some twisties and he was pretty far back, so I was cruising along slowly waiting for him to catch up with me. You can see me trying to look into my left, rear view mirror to see if I can see him coming, not realizing he had already caught up and was just behind me on my left. I pulled over at the stoplight and am looking over my right shoulder to see if he's coming and he passes me on my left and revs his motor to get my attention. Priceless!


 

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There are options to cut down the costs of oil changes. For me the Ducati oil filter, washer, and O-rings came out to $37.28 - (8.25%) tax included, and oil was $8/qt or $12/qt. motosport.com sells 15w-50 Yamalube performance full synthetic oil for $11.88/qt. You can pick up 15w-50 Mobile 1 full synthetic oil for $7.98/qt at wal-mart. KTM sells the same oil filters for a bit cheaper that you can buy on various websites. The only thing you can't do is turn off the pesky "service oil" notification.
Do we just take it to a certified Ducati tech to turn that 'Service Oil' indicator off?
 

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Do we just take it to a certified Ducati tech to turn that 'Service Oil' indicator off?

Yes, I haven't had the oil service light turned off yet, so I don't know how much they charge. It takes only a few minutes, so if they try to rip me off I'll just leave it on there. I spent almost $16,000 with this dealer, hoping they will do it for free.
 

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Here's a humorous video O_O shot yesterday that shows just how bad the rear view mirrors are on the 959.
They are so bad that numerous 959's have rejected their mirrors (referring to bikes who have broken mirrors from literally no impact). :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
They are so bad that numerous 959's have rejected their mirrors (referring to bikes who have broken mirrors from literally no impact). :nerd:

Mine haven't broken yet but Ducati needs to put one of those DOT stickers on there that says "Warning: Objects In Mirror Are Probably Your Elbows".


I've gotten used to just turning my head around and taking a good look like in the video. Minor quibble though.


 

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I think they work fine for determining if somethings behind you, or if that cop car turned around and is coming after you! lol! You're definitely not going to be reading someone's license plate numbers with them.
 

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i have modified mine so they are rubber mounted,makes a massive difference,you can make out there is a car behind now rather than a blur:nerd:
still have to pull your elbows in first though:(
 

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Off topic but my new friend O_O is an accomplished video guy. We are working on a Youtube video with highlights of our ride on Saturday set to Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus". We are having a few, small artistic differences at the moment on how we want the finished product to look but we'll get it worked out and post it soon.
 

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Yeah I asked at my dealer. They will only do it for 1 hour service charge, which comes out to $118. I asked the day I purchased my filter from them. I returned the next day having changed my oil to have the suspension set up to my weight, they still would not reset the oil service light. They charge me half an hour for the suspension work. I am not satisfied with this, but I have not been treated bad. This kind of treatment leads to losing my loyalty the second I get the chance.
 

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Do we just take it to a certified Ducati tech to turn that 'Service Oil' indicator off?
Yeah I asked at my dealer. They will only do it for 1 hour service charge, which comes out to $118. I asked the day I purchased my filter from them. I returned the next day having changed my oil to have the suspension set up to my weight, they still would not reset the oil service light. They charge me half an hour for the suspension work. I am not satisfied with this, but I have not been treated bad. This kind of treatment leads to losing my loyalty the second I get the chance.
 
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