Nerd’s Eye View: Ducati Panigale 959
The bigger 1299 Panigale has a price close to $20k, so there are definitely cost cutting measures taken on the smaller 959. Overall, the base design is the same as we saw when we looked at the 1199 Panigale, but some lower specification parts are used on the 959.
The 959 has this basic LCD display as opposed to the fancy colored TFT used on the bigger bike. As is common on most bikes these days, there are many electronics tuning options for the rider aids. You have the global Race/Sport/Wet modes along with Ducati Quickshift, Engine Brake Control, Ducati Traction Control, and ABS. The modern sport bike has many electronic nannies now to help keep the rider in the saddle.
Standard issue compression and rebound adjusters are located at the top of the forks. The brake fluid reservoir has rubber isolators that are most likely there to prevent the cracking of the plastic due to vibration over time. I still think it’s cool that Ducati went through the trouble of machining out the middle of the bracket for the brake fluid reservoir to shave weight. Grams here and grams there add up. The big pocket taken out of the top of the triple clamps saves a good number of grams. Looking back at the brake fluid reservoir, there are two screws holding the cap on which is interesting because at first glance, one would think it was a twist on cap. The screws make it a bit of a pain in the ass to take off, but the cap certainly won’t come off while riding.
Looking down at the steering damper rod, it appears the rod still has a low-friction coating.
The clutch fluid reservoir does not have the screws to hold the cap on as the clutch fluid will not reach the same hot temperature that brake fluid is oft to do. The mounting bracket employs the same weight shaving philosophy seen throughout the bike.
Nothing too crazy on the left handle bar. You can see the indentation on the clutch lever which acts as the break-off point in the situation of the bike going down. I’m not sure what that toggle switch is for on the front of the assembly; maybe it’s for flashing the high beams. Notice the allen head socket screws are marked to indicate if they loosen or not. Fasteners have a way of shaking themselves loose on bikes. In fact, a buddy if mine had the screw holding the rear brake lever on his bike back out and fall off while on a ride. That’s even with Loctite applied. That’s why race bikes use a lot of safety wire.