EICMA 2015: First Look at the New 2016 Ducati 959 Panigale

Ducati’s New “Supermid” Is Nearly A Literbike

As the displacement of Ducati's L-twin literbikes keeps climbing, so does the size of its "Supermid." The new 959 Panigale—designed to be a slightly smaller, more comfortable, and more affordable alternative to the laser-focused 1299 Panigale—will replace the 899 Panigale and gets a displacement bump via increased engine stroke for a "more enjoyable everyday riding experience and more thrills on the race track" says Ducati. This is the same treatment Ducati has applied to its 939 Hypermotards and Hyperstrada, which were also just announced at EICMA in Milan, Italy.

The new engine has had its stroke increased from 57.2 to 60.8mm while retaining the same 100mm bore, imparting the motor with an additional 57cc for a total displacement of 955cc. Compared to the 899 Panigale it’s replacing, the 959 Panigale makes 9 more horsepower and 6.2 more lb.-ft. of torque according to Ducati’s claims. That’s 157 hp and 79.2 lb.-ft. for the 959 versus 148 hp and 73 lb.-ft. for the outgoing 899.

And compared to the claimed figures for the last superbike in Ducati’s lineup to reside so close to 1,000cc—we’re talking about the 2005 999 here—the 959 Panigale makes 17 more horsepower and weighs 22 pounds less. My, how far we’ve come in just 10 years!

Other changes for 2016 include a wider, more aerodynamic nose with larger air intakes, revised side louvers, new mirrors, and grippier machined-aluminum footpegs. The new engine is EURO 4 compliant, making it the first Superquadro engine to receive certification. Hardware required to meet EURO 4’s stricter noise- and tailpipe-emissions standards may help explain the 959’s claimed dry weight, which is listed as 388 pounds, up 16 pounds compared to the 899.

As with its big brother, the 959 Panigale has adjustable ride modes, TC, and ABS, as well as tunable electronic engine braking (EBC) and a quickshifter. The 959 Panigale will be available in traditional Ducati red with black wheels or in Arctic White Silk with contrasting red wheels. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

2016 959 Panigale (Euro model)©Motorcyclist