Speculation as to what Ducati was planning to unveil at this year's EICMA in Milan, Italy has been rampant since international journalists received a somewhat cryptic invitation to attend a press launch at the GP Circuit in Valencia, Spain.
Last week, at Ducati's EICMA press conference, all secrets were revealed when the 959 Panigale was revealed along with a host of other interesting new machines from the Italian motorcycle company, including an all new XDiavel Cruiser, two new Scrambler variants (The Sixty2 and the Scrambler Flat Track Pro) and two new Multistradas, the "Pikes Peak" and a dirt focused Enduro model (AWESOME). And finally an all new Hypermotard. We'll have coverage of Ducati's full 2016 line-up, but let's overcome our ADHD and stay focused on the 959 Panigale.
1. The '16 Ducati 959 Panigale has been designed to be more accessible for everyday riding, while still being a capable track day weapon. The new 955cc twin-cylinder, "Superquadro engine" meets Euro 4 emissions standards, and delivers a higher torque curve and more maximum power. The new Panigale delivers 157 hp at 10,500 rpm thanks to its larger displacement, and increased piston stroke from 57.2 to 60.8 mm. The new machine has a slipper clutch to offset its high torque transmission to prevent the rear wheel from locking, during aggressive down shifting.
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2. Suspension and Brakes. The 959 has the same steering geometry as its predecessor, the 899, with 24° of rake and 96 mm front wheel trail. However, its rear end features a fused aluminium double-sided swing-arm with a 4 mm lower pivot than the 899, with the wheelbase fixed at 1,431 mm, and its weight distributed at 51% up front and 49% at the rear, which comes to an even 50/50 with a rider aboard.
3. The 2016 959 has a whole new look. Featuring a wider windscreen, new air vents in the front fairing, and redesigned rear view mirrors. The tail area is all new, divided into two sections, plus reshaped foot-pegs, shaped, machined billet aluminium footpegs. Taking visual cues from its bigger brother, the 1299 Panigale, the 2016 959 now has a compact monocoque structure frame made from fused aluminium.
4. You'd think that a tuned-up, more powerful engine would come with steeper service intervals, but fortunately that's not the case. The 959 Panigale's service intervals are at 12,000 km or 12 months.