With road-oriented tendencies, the 2018 Ducati's Panigale 959 may not be as ferocious as its larger and more powerful sibling, but the lighter weight family member is the most versatile machine in the stable.
With the Panigale 1299, the smaller Ducati is stellar on the racetrack, but in "real-world" driving the 959 is ideal as a Las Vegas rental. The 959 is Ducati's successful effort to offer then the best of multiple riding worlds.
Like the 899, its predecessor, and the 1299, the 959 features a monocoque chassis, but they're some design differences. The front fairings are wider and have inlet scoops that rest below the headlights. The muscular but well-contoured gas tank naturally Further complementary is the well-designed seat. Add the compact windscreen visor, and it's the overall appeal is the classic Ducati design.
The 959 is equipped with a 955cc V2 engine with 155 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. The Ducati brand is synonymous with power, and the Panigale advances impressively. It achieves the 0-60 mph standard in 2.3 seconds and a quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds. The rear-wheel beast has a top-speed of 169 mph.
Don't mistake the 959's slim styling for lack of attitude. The small Panigale is feisty but controlled and has Race, Rain, and Sport driving modes. While the options include presets for electronic aid assistance, individuality further identifies the 959's personality. Sports mode, best for street driving, allows full engine power. Rain mode limits power to 100 horsepower and increases the intervention level. Race mode improves throttle response.
Regardless of driving mode, the 959 is defined by its compactness. It's a slim, strong and confident bike. The driver is tipped forward toward the streamlined handlebars. The new slipper clutch appreciably advances more downshift freedom, allowing the driver to keep a chosen line. Brembo monobloc calibers add to the bike's stability.
The Panigale 959, like its larger family member, define Ducati's range and reputation. And isn't always good to have options?