Ducati 959 Panigale Forum banner

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

I am pretty interested in buying a 959, I have loved ducati for years and years and years but now finally have the means to purchase one. Currently I ride an 05 Kawi 636, I have full exhaust, upgraded cams, tuner, K&N filter, and gears -1/+2. So my current bike pretty much shits on any 600/750 class I pull up beside. But at this point I am looking for a big step up in power, I've heard a lot of inconsistency on how the 959 compares to a Japanese liter bike. Basically at this point I'm going back and forth between the 959 and an R1. In style points of course the 959 by far, but where is it in terms of power? I rode an 899 and honestly it didnt feel much more aggressive at all over my modified 636. But I have never rode a 959 at this point. I just want to know how this ranks against the liter bikes and what should I expect, and really I mean in the sub-120 mph range. I'd much rather beat someone in 0-100 than in top speed.

Also, I have a very strong affection for the good ol wheelie. I have heard this bike is difficult to wheelie, would you guys agree with this or can the settings easily be adjusted? This is actually important to me, I am one of those guys, I'll probably pop at least one little wheelie every single time I take a ride. By no means am I a stunt rider, but I would love to throw this bike up to BP and ride it out one-wheel for a mile. I would imagine one could do this with any bike that has nearly 160 hp, but I am struggling to find videos and search results of many ducati wheelies. I'm trying to understand if its really a different kind of bike or just a different kind of rider? What about gearing it? have any of you guys went 1 down two up on the sprockets of the 959?

All in all, I want this bike. But 3 things that are important to me: I FEEL significant more power than I do on my current bike, I don't get outran by my buddies on liter bikes, and I cant throw this thing up on one wheel all day long. If yes to all, consider the bike purchased :wink2:

Any and all feedback would be really appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

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I dont think this is the bike for you based upon your needs. I was coming off a cooked R6 and while this bike is much faster and better layed out its not as brutal as an R1. Wheeling for a mile is not going to happen and the aftermarket isnt there yet. Maybe going into a the 1299 range or the 1299S gets you that brutality with Ducati flair. You will get taken by your Liter bike friends, not by a lot, but they will walk. Although will look better, and take less effort to run in the turns.

I think you need to try one but if you have ridden the new R1 its a totally different and scarier animal.

DB
 

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Here's what I suggest @Deez - make an appt to test ride one from a dealer. Once you get across town, pull into a parking spot and change the ENGine Output Power setting, the DTC Ducati Traction Control setting, the EBC Engine Brake setting and the ABS setting. Only then will you have your answer to those 3 Q's.

Consider yourself warned as to how quick the front comes up in the right seating position...

One thing you have to remember though - the engine loves it from 7K-11K - this is a racebike for the street, not a hill climber at 4K RPM
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's what I suggest @Deez - make an appt to test ride one from a dealer. Once you get across town, pull into a parking spot and change the ENGine Output Power setting, the DTC Ducati Traction Control setting, the EBC Engine Brake setting and the ABS setting. Only then will you have your answer to those 3 Q's.

Consider yourself warned as to how quick the front comes up in the right seating position...

One thing you have to remember though - the engine loves it from 7K-11K - this is a racebike for the street, not a hill climber at 4K RPM
I appreciate the info. I know I really just need to ride one. I guess I wanted to ask opinions from experienced owners though. Every time I see a ducati in person I start to get a hard on so I feel like if I go to a dealer without enough info I am just gonna come home with the **** thing. Also, its not like I'm going to take a dealer bike and go wheelie it for 6 blocks (or would I >:) ) but yeah just wanted to get an understanding from you guys of what long term ownership is like. Do most of you guys ride this bike exclusively? or do you hop on something else when you want to **** around?
 

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I appreciate the info. I know I really just need to ride one. I guess I wanted to ask opinions from experienced owners though. Every time I see a ducati in person I start to get a hard on so I feel like if I go to a dealer without enough info I am just gonna come home with the **** thing. Also, its not like I'm going to take a dealer bike and go wheelie it for 6 blocks (or would I >:) ) but yeah just wanted to get an understanding from you guys of what long term ownership is like. Do most of you guys ride this bike exclusively? or do you hop on something else when you want to **** around?
I have the 899 and after having ridden both, I can say that they are close to being the same. In fact, I have carbon fiber wheels, the Termignoni exhaust, and have lowered the overall weight to less than 400 lbs so it performs very well, particularly with the upgraded slipper clutch.

I am not the most skilled rider out there, but I no longer ride mine as much as I do the BMW S1000RR, especially on the track and on spirited rides. The 899/959 is great for short tracks and more than enough bike for me and the majority of riders. However, the RR has extra umph past 9k RPM and ticks off more boxes with the dynamic suspension and smooth clutch less shifting.

If you want to walk away from all your pals on modded bikes, the RR will do it in stock form with close to 188RWHP and 199 at the crank; it doesn't need any coaxing to wheelie. Take it off the lot and just twist the throttle in 2nd and the front will stay in the air as long as you like.

You would enjoy the Ducati, but likely won't meet your requirements. Plus the twin is an entirely different bike than the inline 4 that you are used to.
 

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...where is it in terms of power? I rode an 899 and honestly it didnt feel much more aggressive at all over my modified 636. But I have never rode a 959 at this point. I just want to know how this ranks against the liter bikes and what should I expect, and really I mean in the sub-120 mph range. I'd much rather beat someone in 0-100 than in top speed.
If you got a 959, you'd want to change the gearing too similar to your 636, that'd get you a little more aggressiveness. Against other liter bikes though, I won't say you'd get walked 24-7, but you'd def lose a lot of the time. On the local circuit track, I'd get passed on the straights by liter bikes no problem, but it took probably a quarter of mile for them to get on me.

Also, I have a very strong affection for the good ol wheelie. I have heard this bike is difficult to wheelie, would you guys agree with this or can the settings easily be adjusted? This is actually important to me, I am one of those guys, I'll probably pop at least one little wheelie every single time I take a ride. By no means am I a stunt rider, but I would love to throw this bike up to BP and ride it out one-wheel for a mile. I would imagine one could do this with any bike that has nearly 160 hp, but I am struggling to find videos and search results of many ducati wheelies. I'm trying to understand if its really a different kind of bike or just a different kind of rider?
I can't get my 959 up to BP just cause I'm a chicken, but wheelies no problems. You've probably read that wheelie thread, but TC on the 959 messes with clutchups pretty hard, so some of us rely on setting up WET mode as "Wheelie Enabled Takeoff" mode with setting TC off. Clutch-ups with TC off in 2nd are no problem, power wheelies in first no problem at 7k. Can't say anything for 3rd.

What about gearing it? have any of you guys went 1 down two up on the sprockets of the 959?
A lot of people here go 2 up in the rear but leave the front the same. I know @dougo1199 has done this, maybe he can chime in.

I'm trying to understand if its really a different kind of bike or just a different kind of rider?
Different kind of rider is probably true.

To your 3 main points:
  • Going from ~40ft-lbs on your 636 to ~70ft-lbs on a 959, you'll have more for sure, but you'd definitely feel its not better than the ~80 on the base R1.
  • You gonna get outran by your buddies liter bikes, 959 times out of a thousand (purely conjecture), but that's gonna be one sweet Panigale to look at
  • You probably could wheelie it all day long, but there's definitely gonna be a (steep?) learning curve to the characteristics of the engine - its absolutely no where near as smooth as I4s.
I appreciate the info. I know I really just need to ride one. I guess I wanted to ask opinions from experienced owners though. Every time I see a ducati in person I start to get a hard on so I feel like if I go to a dealer without enough info I am just gonna come home with the **** thing. Also, its not like I'm going to take a dealer bike and go wheelie it for 6 blocks (or would I >:) ) but yeah just wanted to get an understanding from you guys of what long term ownership is like. Do most of you guys ride this bike exclusively? or do you hop on something else when you want to **** around?
If I could, I would totally get another bike to hoon on and turn my 959 into a track-only bike (I'm hoping to do it Fall of 2018). From the sounds of it, unless you get the 1299, a Panigale isn't going to make you happy. I'd say you're better looking at another bike. If you're really weighing the general aesthetics high, I'd hate for you to be disappointed when the butterflies disappears when the performance you're looking for isn't there.
 
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I have an '09 ZX-6R and a '16 959 and to tell you the truth their both a hoot to ride, different for sure but both get down a twisty road equally well IMHO, they're just ridden a bit differently. In a straight line drag race I'd have to give the nod to the 959 with it's displacement advantage, good midrange and quick shifter, handling wise they're pretty much on par but the suspension on the ZX-6R is noticeably easier to live with if the road gets bumpy.
 

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i raced a japanese liter bike (R1) once (from a 15mph roll) and it smoked me. the 959 is not a 'liter bike'. if you're looking for pure power at a good cost get a japanese 1000cc inline 4.

If you want a sexy italian bike that's gonna 'break necks' competes with a 1000cc i-4 bike you'd have to go at least 1199. (others can correct me if i'm wrong here) theyre totally different engines so you cant compare 959cc L-Twin to 1000cc inline 4. doesnt work like that.

I'd say go R1, CBR1000, GSXR1000 unless of course you can afford an 1199. :D good luck in your search!
 

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I've found the 959 will easily hold it's own against the current crop of literbikes if well ridden and on a twisty road where absolute power is not going to be the determining factor. It will all come down to the rider except on a long straight road or a very fast track where the bike with the biggest HP number will win. A good example of this is one of our local road racing instructors who likes to show up for Sunday morning rides on an old, ragged out Suzuki SV650 and pretty much smokes everyone on their BMWs, Aprilias and the like. It's all in the wrist.
 

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I have a 959 and a 2017 R1M...the R1 will crush the 959 when it comes to acceleration. To me handling is a draw between the two. When it comes to looks, well the R1 has nothing on the Duc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Guys, seriously THANKS SO MUCH.... you all have had extremely thoughtful and informative answers and I feel like I have a better idea of what to expect.

Like I said, I LOVE the way the ducati looks, I'm such a little ducati fan boy at heart. But yeah at the same time I have to be realistic with what I want out of a motorcycle. I definitely love breaking necks, but at the end of the day I ride for me and so I gotta purchase something that does what I want when its between my legs not necessarily just eye candy. Kinda like a woman >:) .... but yeah I was thinking if I dont go with the 959, with the money I save buying a used R1, I could paint it, set it up real nice and have a sexy monster. BUT at the same time, I have been tempted by the s1000rr, I had the opportunity to ride one yesterday. Easily the fastest thing I've ever been on cars bikes anything. Felt like a **** plane taking off. Sooooooo needless to say, that bike has now joined this list lol
 

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@Deez , I think @Dbrisson nailed it. "I dont think this is the bike for you based upon your needs."
To meet the three criterion's you listed in your OP, you want a literbike. Adding sexy neck turning eye candy to the list and you just narrowed down your list to either an 1199 or 1299 Panigale.
 
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yeah i was torn between the 959 and a new R1 but at the end of the day i got the 959 and absolutely love it. Mine is 90% track 10% starbucks and while a newer japanese liter bike will tear it up in a straightaway people tend to stop and look at the Ducati over the yamaha.

I won't be selling my 959 but maybe i'll get a new R1 after its paid off and just have both
 

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at the end of the day i got the 959 and absolutely love it.
Yes same here, I do the BMW ride day at one of our track each year. You take your bike and also test ride the BMW of your choice, I always try the latest S1000RR on the day and have a ball while being careful not to crash because of the high insurance cost (it's about $3000 if you bin it) and I've seen a few crashes.

The point I want to make is after riding the latest S1000RR when I get back onto my Ducati I just love the feel of the twin and the technique of riding one. It used to be my 996, 1098 then 899 and now 959 but what ever it is I'm a DUC boy, you either love them and excuse inherent problems with them or go with the very good other Euro or Japanese offerings.

I get blown into the weeds down the straights by bigger HP bikes but I don't worry it's the corner speed I'm interested in and not covering my many mistakes with extra horsepower.
 
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...people tend to stop and look at the Ducati over the Yamaha.
That's 100% true. I have ridden in excess of 20 different bikes last year where about half of those were dealer demo's and no bike even came close to getting jaw-dropping stares, double take looks, "thumbs-ups" and compliments. It's a bike that brings out the exhibitionisms in all of us.
Moreover, the 959 is much more comfortable (and more fun) for the street than an R1. But that's just me as I don't have the same criterion's to match as the OP's.
 
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