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Old 21st April 2021, 17:12   #1
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Default Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." - Christopher Reeve

Let me begin by quoting something I posted in my Drakula - Apache RR310 Thread (Drakula - My TVS Apache RR 310)

Quote:
There is something about motorbikes, which makes me go weak on my knees. I had always loved them from young age, and always wanted to own one looker of a bike. You place a Ducati Panigale and a Lamborghini side by side, I know where my feet will take me, I don't even have to try.
Exactly Three years after posting that, this happened, the key to happiness.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210421_170904.jpg

And the Happiness itself.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-1.jpeg

Likes -
The way it looks, it's mesmerizing. I can actually sit and stare at it for hours.
The Torquey L-Twin Engine, oodles of torque.
It can go fast like real fast.
Slipper Clutch + Ride by wire + 6 speed gearbox combination.
Multitude of Electronics with three riding modes, It has you covered.
Great exhaust note.
Quick Shifter.
Great brakes.

Dislikes -
Heat, heat, heat, oh and before I forget HEAT.
Wooden Plank like Seat.
Missing Auto Blipper (Big Miss, specially, When the Supersport S which is more touring oriented gets it)
Expensive to Maintain.
Difficult to procure accessories, specially with Ali-express not shipping anymore to India, and Covid wreaking havoc on any travel plans.
Dated Speedometer with major miss being no fuel Gauge on the Speedometer.
The stock shotgun exhausts looks mediocre.

Last edited by AtheK : 29th April 2021 at 01:02.
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Old 21st April 2021, 18:16   #2
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

The Road To Happiness

Year into Drakula ownership I realized that although it is a great bike, the vibrations are something I am not able to live with. We had a great time together and you can read about it on the thread above. The power though enough for Indian roads is very linear, so it got boring, and I started looking for a change. In my ownership thread I had mentioned one bike that I was eyeing during my bike search was Ninja 650, and luckily a well kept bike came up for sale. I acted quickly, and I had the Ninja home in around a week time, the owner was a great guy and had hardly pushed the bike, we are still friends and he went on to pick an ADV bike. The Drakula was then sold after few months to a really nice chap, who too has stayed in touch till now. Drakula has since changed hands again and is with another owner, who I have no idea about, so long my friend.

Ninja 650 was a very good upgrade, the biggest gripe I had with RR310 was gone, this is a smooth engine and you don't have vibrations, you can tour on it all day long. I was able to do around 600 KMs a day trip without any issues. The only issue I had with bike was again the fact that power delivery is very linear, and though it does everything well, it just does not excel in anything. The fun factor started disappearing, and then the lockdown and pandemic happened. With no rides I had a lot of free time to think what to do, add to it the mood which was borderline depressing. I spoke to wife one day and told her about my bucket list of owning a Ducati, luckily the IT industry did not take a major hit and I had been saving for the bike for quite sometime. She reluctantly agreed and I started looking for a pre worshipped bike on every platform.

In the entire Ducati range the only family that excites me is the Panigale family, and with the budget I had the only logical choice was 959 as V2 had just entered the market, and would be sometime before it shows up in the used bike market. Luckily I was able to land a Panigale 959 in couple of days, it was a very well kept bike and after a quick test ride, i decided to go ahead with the bike. Owner was in Dubai, and his friend helped with Test ride and other things. Owner informed me that RC is with VST Ducati and he will arrange it shortly and I can then do the transfer and take the bike. Then started a long wait for VST to find the RC.

In the meantime I had already put my Ninja for sale, and I found a nice buyer (again some one I have been in touch with till date), he made the payment and took the bike. One of the parting shot of the Ninja 650 during my last ride on it to Yelagiri.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20201107_102735.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20201107_093602.jpg

Make no mistake, Ninja 650 was a great bike and will always be close to my heart, just that I guess if I had got it directly before Drakula, I would have kept it much longer. This plus the Lockdown just fast tracked the decision to get the Ducati. I eventually though still ended up putting around 7000 KMs on it which is almost equivalent to how much I did on Drakula. So long my Friend.

In the meantime the owner of 959 was in constant touch with VST, but they were not able to find his RC. Him being in Dubai and with no option to travel, we could also not lodge an FIR to get a duplicate RC. We eventually had to let go off the deal, the bike is still with him as of today, we are still in touch and he was one of the first one to congratulate me once I was able to get my hands on 959.

With the deal off the table I was back to point zero, and hence started the search for a clean bike. Riding friends were informed and constant refresh of platforms like OLX and others was started. This is when the reality hit me that the SBK used market has been pretty much taken over by dealers and middle men. It's near impossible to get a clean bike on trading platforms, and the one being traded by dealers and middle men are very shoddy. This issue seems to be even more prevalent with brands like Ducati and BMW. After one month of frantic searching I did not get even one good lead, and a couple of bikes which did show up were either lapped up by dealers or were just not worthy enough for a look as well. With lockdown almost gone and majority of my friends back riding, itch to get a bike was getting stronger with every passing day. I decided to widen my search and look for other bikes as well while I continued my search for Panigale. Below are the few bikes i considered.

1. Multistrada 1260S

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-multi.jpg

Unfortunately a good friend and one of the biggest Ducati fan I have known is no more with us, but what still remained was his bike. I got to know it was on sale, and I started contemplating that if I should pick it. The bike after all is top of the line with all the electronics in the world and a proven workhorse. I slept over it for few days, read all about it and it is indeed a technological marvel. One thing i could not come on terms was the looks, no matter how much I try, how hard I try, I was not able to look past it. The bike just did not connect, I tried Hard very hard, but just could not. No offense to current Multi owners, beauty lies in the eye of beholder, just that it does not work for me.

In addition to that being the biggest drawback below are few points that just made the decision easier.

1. The bike had been stripped of all accessories that Mihir had so thoughtfully added to the bike, the legacy of the bike had been tainted.
2. The asking price was a bit high as per market standards.
3. Desmo service was due in another 4000 KMs, so another minimum expense of 50 Thousand lined up.
4. Accessories to be installed again which would cost another big hole in the pocket.

I might have let go off not owning your bike but Mihir my friend you are missed, and may your soul RIP.

2. BMW R1200RS

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-bmw.jpg

A BMW R1200RS came up for sale, the bike looked beautiful and had all the makings of being a powerhouse when needed and a tourer for majority of the time. I did some reading around and thought this could be a good option and deserved a look.

I called up the owner and got to know bike was DL registered and that kind of killed the deal as with the way Bangalore cops have been these days I really did not want to take the trouble of having an outstation bike. The owner is a gem of a person and we are in constant touch, beauty of finding a true biker is that you connect pretty immediately. The bike is posted on the Team BHP classified, though it is now sold.

3. The Mighty V4

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What?
Why?
Isn't that a track focused machine?
Are you out of your mind?

Those are the probable questions that would strike you in the flow of this writeup, well when you get desperate you suddenly realize that the heart and head balance goes for a toss, your heart starts to take over your mind. I got to know that a V4 has come up for sale, the asking price was almost double of my initial budget but then this bike is also one of those bikes which probably deserves that price tag. I sat down and recalculated finances and decided on a figure that I can offer the seller by taking a small amount of loan and pumping in a little bit of more savings. It was a stretch but then heart kept telling you that it is worth it and the saying of YOLO overshadowing your brain thinking capabilities.

The owner owns S1000RR and V4 and wanted to let go off V4 as he was not able to do justice to have both similar powered super sports in his garage. I met him and took a look at the bike, I was already sold on the bike, seeing the bike was a formality, and the bike was kept well. The only problem was that tires were dead and I could not ride it, I anyway did not want to as i did not have experience of handling such powerful bike and then riding it in such a condition would have been disastrous to say the least. So I saw the owner riding it and got a go ahead from VST that the bike was clean and maintained well. I decided to take the leap of faith and made an offer to the owner, the stretch that I had worked out. He told me he would get back to me.

While waiting for him to answer I also checked out the previous gen S1000RR, because why not. Since I was almost spending so much better to check S1000RR as well, a couple of TN registered were on sale and some through dealers in Bangalore. The price quoted was high and I was anyway smitten by the V4, so I waited for the owner to respond.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-1bmws1000rr20174591.jpeg

This looks so damn neat though too.

So the owner messaged me and told me he can give me the bike at around 50K more then I had quoted. I sat down and did my calculations, it meant i would have to shell out close to 1.5 lacs more, as I will need to get a new set of tires and a full fledged servicing done. Insurance also had lapsed which will need to be renewed. The goal post had been shifted. I told him I need couple of days to respond to him. I spoke to my wife and she said do what you want to do, and we all know what that means.

Head started taking over the heart now, i realized i was just pushing myself too much towards something that I would never use to it's potential. Forget roads, an extremely experienced rider would not be able to push the V4 to it's limits on a track itself, I would hardly scrape the surface. I was in all honesty scared as well, a jump to 200+ BHP from a puny 65 BHP bike that I was riding, that was too much, the bike builds speed like crazy, and although I have a lot of control on my wrists now, thank to me getting old, you never know when you make a small mistake, margin of error with this bike is low. So with a heavy heart I had to say No to the owner.

4. Enter Panigale 959 AKA Mark 13

During Pooja

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210318_154424_176.jpg

V4 owner asked me that since I had mentioned that I was interested in 959 a friend of his might be interested to sell his bike. He said he has recently picked it but he might sell it as he was eyeing the V4, this was a welcome break. He called him and his friend said he is still not sure, but I can come take a look at the bike. I went and took a look and was sold immediately it was a very well kept bike and it was shining. The owner had taken good care of the bike and it had near new tires and had SC project Exhaust installed. The brake pads were recently changed, only immediate expense was replacing the rear brake disc and getting a new key as the bike just had one Key.

I had few friends accompanying me, and they also liked what they saw, we did a quick test ride, everything seemed to work fine and we agreed upon a price. He quoted a reasonable price so I did not haggle, though the owner informed me that the insurance is expired so I asked him to reduce that price or get the insurance done. He agreed to it and i paid him a token amount and deal was done. We got Mark 13 home in the next couple of days and started the transfer process.

Just like that a childhood dream was fulfilled , I finally owned a Panigale and i was overwhelmed, a feeling hard to describe and type, so I request you guys to please roll with it

The Three Bikes, the part and star of this story, together on a ride.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210311_182204.jpg

Last edited by AtheK : 29th April 2021 at 01:09.
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Old 21st April 2021, 23:27   #3
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Bringing Mark 13 home

The bike went straight to a friend place who loves to detail bikes and does it as a part time job. This was also supposed to be a surprise for a family as no one was informed about this purchase and plan was to show them the red on valentine's day, the day of red. He only collected the bike as well for me, and I did not see her till much later. So my friend had over a week to work on the bike and boy did he work his magic.

The bike was buffed, polished, majority of the swirl marks removed. He also cleaned up the underbody and found out few niggles in the bike which obviously we could not figure out in initial viewing. Those were all taken care of and I unfortunately could not visit him even once to see the bike as I had no valid reason to step out of home for long, thanks to dear Corona. The chain was cleaned up the loosened bolts tightened, the Exhaust was touching the swing arm he made sure that a bush was sourced and installed. He also kept me updated with the pictures of before and after, and here I have attached few of them.


Before

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210209wa0019.jpg

After

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210209wa0020.jpg

Masked before working around the bike.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210209wa0016.jpg

The Final Shine

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210209wa0030.jpg

The Front with visor all cleaned up.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210212wa0044.jpg

That Tail

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210209wa0038.jpg

The bike getting a small sticker to christen her arrival.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img20210211wa0043.jpg

The final pics sent to me before the day I finally went to see her. He was like how can you not come see your bike, you have some patience, and I could not go as I wanted to keep this as a surprise for the family.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-screenshot_20210303141131.jpg
Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-screenshot_20210303141138.jpg

I saw the bike just one day before getting it home, couple of my friends had made it to the day, and friend had it covered. I was given a chance to unveil it like in a showroom, with friends around, felt great and I finally did get to see her in Flesh as MY bike. This sounds dramatic I know, but well it just felt good so I decided to pen it down. We made a video of the entire thing, but i will refrain from posting it here. God Bless such friends, he single handedly made the entire purchase as good as a new bike. A photo clicked at his place with both the Mark 13 together.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210213_160553.jpg

The next day early morning, they had a plan to go for a morning ride, and they rode the bike to my place and handed it over to me, I quietly went and parked it in the parking, put a cover and came home and dozed off. Ready for the unveiling.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210214_072040.jpg

The day was Valentine Days and we had all decided to go for family lunch. The entire family was down and finally a well planned week worth of surprise was revealed.

The two happiest souls.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-2.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-3.jpg

Wife and mom were in shock. Wife thought it was the V4 and since I had told her the sticker price, she was still digesting that I actually ended up buying it. It all settled down after everything was revealed and an happy ending followed, though she still holds a grudge that I should have told her earlier.

PS: I penned down this part just to emphasize that even if it is a pre worshipped bike, try to make it a new like experience, as my wife reminded me of one of the advertisement, it's new for us. Also these are tough times and it's good to have your family and friends watching your back and vice versa, this too will pass.

Last edited by AtheK : 29th April 2021 at 00:35.
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Old 22nd April 2021, 00:29   #4
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Since this is a discontinued model, and this thread probably will not help many with there buying decision, I would rather pen down my views of Living with a Ducati.

Living with a Ducati Panigale

It's Tough!!!!

You obviously get bombarded with the usual questions that all Superbike users are asked as a part of ownership like "You could have bought a car" to "Kitna deti hai" and so on, we get used to answering this over the time. It's all the same here, and you either give a witty answer and smile or you just tell the truth and move on, choice depends generally on the one who is asking the question. I won't bore you with the specifics of those as you have heard or read them before. I will instead focus on the Likes and Dislikes that I have mentioned in my first post.

Now that I have ridden the bike close to 2000 KMs I think I am pretty well equipped to answer majority of them. I will detail each dislike followed by a probable solution that I have researched and think might be able to resolve that issue. Will end this with detailing the like part in next post, as I personally like to end things on happy note.

1. Heat

The biggest dislike about the bike is the heat it produces, this bike can run hot like real real hot (Both in looks and in Literal sense). Now lot of people out there(read Ducati die hard fans) will say it's the character of the bike, well who am I to disagree, but what I can say is that this character can make riding the bike a pain sometimes. Not that I was not aware of the heat issues, having already ridden a couple of them before, but having a small ride just to understand the character of a bike and then living with it long term are two different side of the coins.

The bike is powered by Super Quadro L-Twin engine producing 157 BHP with 107.4nm Torque, that is insane power figures for a twin engine. This obviously means it will get hot, the problem is that with this configuration, you are sitting on one of the engine head, and the heat is also trapped in the fairing escaping near your feet. If you are not wearing riding boots, this is felt all the time you are riding. The fact that the seat itself is very thin means the seat gets heated up as well. Now up north where the winters are nice and cold my fellow riders might actually enjoy the warmth (at least from the seat), but down here in Bangalore it gets in the way of your overall experience.

The heat also escapes near your thighs, and this is the most discomforting of all the three major outlets. It's like something is roasting your legs slowly, and I must warn people who want to reproduce to be a little careful, thank god I already have one and have no more plans to get another. If you are wearing riding pants, it helps, but you can still feel it, and will have to let go off holding the tank with your legs occasionally to cool off. This also means it is tough to do long rides because of the discomfort from the heat and the plank like seat, so you need to take breaks much more regularly. When you decide to tour on a bike that is meant for the tracks this is a trade off that you have to live with.

This also means that bike is pretty much impossible to ride within the city as I have seen temperature reach almost up to 117 degrees when I was taking it for servicing, the engine cut off is 120 degrees and you will be sitting at the side of the road waiting for the engine to cool down. Now people might argue why would you ride it in the city anyway, the answer is when you get back after morning rides, there is not much you can do but to cut through city to reach home. That is the only time I ride it in cities and I am lucky to have a Highway just 5 minutes away from my house, that is the other reason I was able to put so many miles on it in such a short time.

Probable Solutions:

1. Replace Wooden plank like seat with a Ducati Comfort seat. This adds another 10 mm to seat height and will make the already aggressive riding position a bit more aggressive, but a boon in a long run. It will reduce heat reaching your bum, almost making it disappear and help you go long as well. I have already ordered this seat and will probably update the thread once I receive it.

2. Install a heat shield kit which helps to bring down the temperature by around 7 to 8 degrees. There is a company which makes these shields and overall the review is positive, I will need to wait for some one to come from US to get me this Kit. Alternatively I might just go ahead and install the sound dampening sheet, as by the look of it, this looks like a similar material.

Heat Shield for Ducati 959/899

3. Replace coolant with engine ice or equivalent. This is planned for my next servicing, and should help a bit with overall cooling.

4. Last is wear leather riding pants to save your thighs, as pretty much everyone has confirmed that it almost eliminates that heat. Problem though is that you will be then sweating much more compared to the textile pants I use now. I plan to anyway order a full leather suit, so an option could be to consider a two piece one, but this is still thought in progress.

2. Wooden plank like seat.

Covered in detail above with a probable fix.

3. Missing Auto Blipper

The bike comes with DQS (Ducati Quick Shifter) which works only while upshifting. It's simple to operate as you can upshift easily without needing to engage the clutch lever, all you need to do is open the throttle and go a gear up, works like a charm. What is missing though is that you can't downshift in a similar manner, this according to me is a big Miss, specially, when the Supersport S which is more touring oriented gets it, why would you leave out such a feature on your track focused bike. On paper it might not look like a big deal, but when you start using this feature you really find it such a boon.

Probable Solution: There are third party solutions available, but for now I have decided to not go with it.

4. Expensive to Maintain

Well guess this is a no brainer and everyone who is into riding would anyway know this. I was already aware of it and mentally prepared as well. The bike when delivered to me only had one key, and me being paranoid anyway wanted another key. Usually you need to place an order with VST and it takes them around a month to procure it after ordering, but in my case luckily they had one in stock. It costed me around 6 thousand rupees to get it ready including laser cutting of the duplicate key (which I had to get it done myself) and programming.

The second thing was replacing the rear disc which had reached end of life and was in pretty bad shape, this costs around 13 thousand rupees including labor. So a total of 19 thousand spent on getting two things fixed, and what I have been informed is that it costs almost close to 75 thousand rupees for Desmo service for Panigale 959, luckily that is sometime away for now.

Overall I found VST service OK and they got the entire thing done in couple of hours, the labor charge also reflected the time correctly.

Probable Solution: Take it to some other trusted garage who have experience in handling Superbikes. This time i had to go to VST as key needed to be programmed, but going forward I will probably head to another garage outside VST.


5. Difficult to procure accessories, specially with Ali-express not shipping anymore to India, and Covid wreaking havoc on any travel plans.

One of the bane of getting a model which is discontinued is lack of support of third party accessories. This is no different, although few accessories are already installed on the bike, it is missing any crash protection. This meant I needed Frame sliders and radiator and Fork guards to be procured. Unfortunately it's not available with anyone and only option left is Ali-Express. Thanks to our stand off with China this option is no more viable. In normal times it would have been easy to procure these from UK or US, but with no travel happening these days, that is also out of equation.

I was stuck in limbo until I realized that I can ship it all to my brother in Switzerland and he can then carry it back when ever he comes, or send it back if any of his friend is coming. I have ordered some of the stuff already which is already delivered to him, and will order some more in coming days, he does plan to visit in July but we will see how the situation is by then and take a call. Need to be very careful with bike till then.

Probable Solution Wait till covid subsides and travel resumes or request any friend or relative travelling from abroad.

6. Dated Speedometer with major miss being no fuel Gauge on the Speedometer.

The speedometer is just OK, for a bike that costs upward of 15 big ones it is pretty mediocre. Navigating through choices can be a chore and information displayed is too cluttered. It displays Speed, RPM, the riding mode you have selected and associated parameters. Engine temperature is constantly displayed and you have option to choose to display Time, Trip A or B along with Ambient temperature and total distance travelled. With so much happening on the speedo at a given point of time, it is surprising that Ducati decided to skip a fuel gauge on the bike. This means you either calculate when a refuel is going to happen, or wait for the refuel light that comes up when you have around 60 KMS of mileage left in the tank.

Below is how it looks as bare basics, photo taken from the internet. The day light visibility is OK, and it is white backlit.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-speedo.jpg

Probable Solution: None, live with it

7. The stock shotgun exhausts looks mediocre.

The stock shotgun exhaust looks like an afterthought in such a beautifully designed Bike. The 899 came with underbelly exhaust and looked so clean, where in the shotgun exhaust just stands out as a sore thumb. This was finally fixed in 2018 model when they launched it with underbelly exhaust, but don't think many of them made it to India except the Corse edition.

Stock Exhaust

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210328_084814.jpg

The previous owner had already installed the SC exhaust, and it looks much better then the Stock exhaust. I keep changing both the exhausts, ideally would like to keep the SC exhaust but due to fear of cops and all the drives that are going on in Bangalore I generally stick to stock exhaust.

SC Exhaust.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-4.jpg

The underbelly Exhaust in 2018 models, image taken from the internet.

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Probable Solution: Source the Underbelly 2018 exhaust and swap it with current exhaust. Will need to change lower fairings as well for this modification. This though is not on my priority list.

[8] The side Stand.

The side stand of the bike is so well integrated with the body of the bike that it becomes near impossible to find it, specially if you are wearing Riding boots. This can be very very irritating. It is still easy to find with normal boots, but with riding boots, sometimes you have to get down and put it down through hand. The designers sometimes go too far, wish they did the same with those shotgun cans.

Probable Solution: Install Side stand extender both to give stability to bike and fix this issue, this is already ordered.

That brings me to end of dislikes, as you would have noticed majority of them are easy to live with except the heat part, which had a lengthy writeup/rant as well from me. Hopefully the probable fixes make it much more easier and more fun to ride.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th April 2021 at 19:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 28th April 2021, 18:09   #5
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Let's now delve into the Likes and what makes Ducati Extra Special to Own!!

Likes -

1. The way it looks, it's mesmerizing. I can actually sit and stare at it for hours.

The Italians, well they just know how to design automobiles. Ducati designers are no different, this is one looker of a bike. The amount of heads turn to take a second glimpse of this beauty is Insane. While on the road this can be distracting, to say the least. Every single cut and curve seems to have been immaculately thought of, the way every panel integrates with the other one screams pure class. One day I just took my burger and coke to parking lot and had my dinner appreciating how beautiful it looks. The stock rear seat was removed and replaced with a seat cowl, which adds more character to the bike and makes it look even better. In the pictures shared above most of them are with cowl installed.

You sometimes feel like taking the bike out just to take photos, I have been found guilty of just randomly parking my bike in my locality and clicking away photos to glory. Probably more then half of the photos in my camera gallery must be of my bike. Few of such photos for your viewing pleasure.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210416_190118.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-5.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-6.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-7.jpg

The headlights are dapper, they leave a small gap and you have winglets next to them, looks fantastic and mean. The previous owner has replaced the low beam yellow stock lights with White LED lights and they look smashing. The high beam is still Yellow, which is great as it really helps while riding on the highway in the night, which hardly has been much of use case though. Previous owner has also installed aftermarket tail lights with integrated indicators, looks smashing to say the least.

Stock mirrors on Ducati on Panigale are fragile and brake very easily, replacement set costs around 15 thousand. I have removed the stock mirrors recently and installed mirror blockers with indicators.

The head lights and mirror blockers in action.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-img_20210416_132439.jpg

I will be installing the bar end mirrors, but unfortunately I don't have the 12MM bit to open the stock bar end. This is a picture of how it will look once installed, lockdown has started and I will install it once we are ready to ride again. I hope it is capable enough to show me what is coming from behind then being totally useless. If it does not live up to that expectation I will switch back to stock mirrors.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-8.jpg

Do share your thoughts about how does this look, or do you think that Stock mirrors looked better.

This is one of those bikes which has a beautiful tail, everything looks so well proportioned. It looks as good from the back as from the front. I have the tail tidy installed and that exposes the rear 180/60 profile tire, and boy does it look good? Well I guess I will wrap up here or I can keep typing all day long.

Another problem that I face is to plan where to park the bike when left unattended, unfortunately people do not even ask permission to click photos and I am always concerned that they will end up snapping the mirror. Worst being that they might just drop the bike, have had instances in which I have seen people making there small kids sit on bike and then stepping away to take photos, if the kid moves wrong way he might end up dropping the bike on himself. This is a pain that is felt I guess with majority of superbike owners in India.

2. The Engine & Clutch
- The Torquey L-Twin Engine, oodles of torque.
- It can go fast like real fast.
- Slipper Clutch + Ride by wire + 6 speed gearbox combination.


I will club three points together in one single post, as they are all pretty much inter related. Let's begin with the numbers, this is powered by L Twin SuperQuadro engine which produces around 157 HP and 107.5NM of Torque. Those numbers translate to around 897 bhp/Ton dry or around 793 Bhp/Ton wet, those are insane power numbers. I will not go into comparing them with cars, but within superbikes itself, that puts it pretty high, and this is the baby Panigale we are talking about. The bike feels much more sleek and narrow then it is and masks it's dry weight of 175kg real well.

The bike though behaves well with all that power, it has three riding modes which I will cover later. This bike can pick up speeds real fast, it surpasses the legal speeds on our roads in first gear itself, and hits unspeakable speeds in 4th or 5th gear itself. I have not been able to push the bike to it's limit as I chicken out (rightly so), before I can even scratch the surface. This bike screams to be ridden on the track. The initial power band is surprisingly a bit linear for the character the engine has, which is a good in a way, or else you will be popping wheelies before you know. It's pretty good in a way because unfortunately the bike does not come with Wheelie Control, an issue fixed in V2. As you build speed and and build on the RPM the bike comes into it's own, once you cross 5000 RPM it pretty much turns into a rocket and begs you to keep pushing it harder. The gear shifts are butter smooth, and with DQS at your disposal backed by slipper clutch you can just go up, up, up on the gears and down, down, down, it's insane fun.

The bike has ride by wire and reacts to every input of throttle it receives from your wrist the way it should, no drama, plain riding fun. The torque is addictive and it is delivered in dollops in pretty much entire power band, I don't think there has been any moment when I have felt that I need more power (Except maybe the day I was riding with the V4 and S1000RR). You can corner on this bike like it was built for cornering, it's effortless. I am not an accomplished rider, but with my limited skills I could start seeing myself hitting the corners with much more confidence and aplomb then ever before, it's like you don't even have to try it just leans all by itself. The Pirelli Diabolo Rosso tires working overtime to keep that grip going. I am sure I can go on to lean much more, but I am scared of dropping the bike and probably will leave it for when I get a chance to take it to track.

Bike has a stiff suspension, at least that is how it is setup on my bike. The manual has three settings for road, track and a one in between. The suspension is adjustable for both front and rear. I asked VST guys to set the bike on road settings but I guess they have gone ahead and made it even more stiffer and bike bumps around a bit on uneven surface. I am planning to take the bike to Indimotard to have the suspension setup for a mix of road and aggressive riding, the current stiff one helps in bike not hitting speed breakers, but makes the ride a bit uneven for my liking. The lockdown and increasing virus cases has put a halt on that plan for now, but once thing settles down a bit, that is first thing on my mind that needs immediate attention.

The riding stance in itself is pretty aggressive and I was scared that I will struggle to ride this bike for long. You sit inside the bike and there is very minimum scope of moving around. Initial few days it was a struggle and my wrists used to pain after a bit of riding. I even used to feel a pull on my calf muscle area due to the cramped riding position. I watched some YouTube videos checking what I was doing wrong, adjusted the riding position accordingly and with time I am now at home with the riding position. I can now ride around 150 KMs without needing a break, which is not bad, and I was able to do a single day ride of around 450 KMs. I should be able to extend my riding time without needing a break once I have sorted the Heat issues.

One of the biggest thought process if you are taking the bike out, is that you have to plan your route in advance. The bike has a turning radius of a car owing to the limited handle bar play while turning. It can be quite funny and irritating while trying to make a U turn within the city, even more so if you are stuck in slow moving traffic. Not only are you feeling the heat from the engine, you are also sweating thinking how would you take the upcoming U turn, one of the few times you can feel like a complete joker on the road.

3. Multitude of Electronics with three riding modes, It has you covered.

The bike has three riding modes
- Wet
- Sport
- Race

The three modes basically are pre determined from factory, and have varying degree of electronic Intervention namely, EBC (Engine Braking control) with values ranging from 1-3, DTC (Ducati Traction Control) with values ranging from 1-8, and ABS with values again ranging from 1-3. This is then coupled with engine power with Low power delivered in Wet mode which is around 100 BHP followed by full power delivered in other two modes.

Wet mode as you would have guessed is the most intrusive one from technical aids, and outputting less engine power. It is good to start here and then eventually grow your way up. The sport mode is akin the street mode where you have full engine power and still assisted with the technical help. Race mode is the most insane mode with minimum intervention from electronics and to be used by an experienced rider, I personally have still not used it and don't see myself doing that in near future too.

Each of the riding mode is customizable and rider can go ahead and change settings as per own liking, at this point of time I usually alternate between Sport and Wet mode, but going forward I do plan to have one more customized as per my riding style, that though will take some time. The current selected mode is constantly displayed on the speedo along with each parameters and you can change the riding mode on the fly.

This is how the setting menu look.

Name:  Riding mode.PNG
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4. Great Brakes

Bike is equipped with 2 X 320mm semi floating disc with Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers in front. The rear is a 245mm disc and Bosch ABS is standard.

The bike has beautiful brakes and stops the bike with absolutely no drama. The confidence level provided is top class and riding any other bike after been on saddle of Panigale for few hours takes time to adjust. Engine Braking control works brilliantly and if set to the highest value of 3 can actually be too intrusive. ABS is standard by Bosch and can be again tuned on how much intervention you want. If it is setup to 1 which is the lowest, it then acts only on front tires. The bike gives you umpteen options and you are free to explore them the way you want.

The rear disc had to be replaced which was quite expensive as mentioned in my above posts, i am dreading the day when the front would need to be replaced, this superbike business is a pretty costly affair.


5. Quick Shifter.

This has been covered in detail above, but honestly a boon to have.

6. Great exhaust note.

The Panigale sounds really nice for a twin cylinder engine, it does not have the deep throaty bass sound like you would get in an Inline 4, but the characteristic L Twin sound which is loud and more align to treble then to bass. I have made three videos of the same and I would rather place them here, which should help you understand how the bike sounds with Stock and Aftermarket Exhaust.

Stock Exhaust



Open Exhaust



SC Project Titanium Exhaust



I am personally a big fan of the SC, and try to use it when I can. The biggest advantage is since this is a slip on it takes around 10 minutes to swap them, so when I am hitting the highway near my home, it is always the SC exhaust.

The above according to me covers all the main points, do post if you think I have missed anything or something you need more details on.

Last edited by AtheK : 29th April 2021 at 01:33.
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Old 28th April 2021, 23:46   #6
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Mods planned and future plans.

Already Ordered and delivered to my brother in Switzerland)

1. Fork Protector.
2. Swing Arms protector.
3. Radiator Protectors.
4. Side Stand extender.
5. Third Party Clutch and Brake levers, this is to act as spare as OEM are very expensive.
6. Bar End mirrors
7. Seat Cowl (This is installed)
8. Bar End mirrors (To be Installed)
9. Ducati Comfort Seat
10. Some Stickers
11. Frame Plug Caps


Ordered but in Transit

1. Frame Sliders
2. Clear Clutch Cover, in action below.



Under Consideration

1. Underbody Exhaust.
2. Track Suit.

Track Days

I do plan to take this bike to the track and do track lessons, so racing suit will be a must just that with the kind of situation we find ourselves in, I am not sure when will I be able to go to a track. This is the reason track suit is still in consideration, hopefully some good sale comes through and I am able to pick one for myself at a decent price.

Below is the render I have planned for the bike for the day I will take it to the track.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-9.png

Ceramic Coating

I have procured the ceramic coating kit and since now we are in lockdown I am planning to spend one day and do the coating. Recommendation is to not use the bike for 4-5 days after applying the coat, and with lockdown keeping us home that should be easy.

Thank you if you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading the writeup. My special thanks to some of the amazing team bhp members who are always around to help and the forums in itself to give a platform for like minded people to share views and discuss what they love the most.

I will leave you with some parting shots of the bike and I hope you like them, until next time

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-10.jpeg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-11.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-12.jpg

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-13.jpg

The Sun will Shine on us again, till then be strong be safe and stay at home.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-14.jpg

Until Next Time.

Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959-15.jpeg

Last edited by AtheK : 29th April 2021 at 01:35.
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Old 29th April 2021, 06:06   #7
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th April 2021, 07:59   #8
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Hi Athek,

As a fellow Ducatista, congratulations for owning a Ducati. Now you will get to experience the joys and occasional pain of an Italian L twin ownership.

For those who ask me"kitna deti hain" I tell them its an electric bike. Best to confuse people than keep hearing the same old questions.

Lovely pics of your bike and good to see the parts you want to put on the 959. I would like to add my thoughts to the Ducati ownership experience.

1. Heat - Every Ducati runs hot. You can add engine ice and exhaust heat guards, but the exhaust design of the Panigale is the culprit. The exhaust loop that sits under the seat and has a cover is going to boil you during summer. It makes a nice heater for the winter though!! You cannot run the 959 in the city in stop and go traffic.

2. Shotgun exhaust - This was to comply with emissions rules in India. The 959 sold in Japan have the same shotgun exhaust. I like the look of the shot gun exhaust but this is individual taste.

3. Desmo service / service costs - Ducatis are slightly more expensive to maintain than the Japanese ones but not that much. First, Desmo service costs 50k INR. My Delhi dealer charges that, and my FNG mechanic, who is ex-Ducati service tech charges around 30-40k INR. 75k is a rip off by the Bangalore dealer. No desmo dervice costs 75k. Normal oil and filter change for Ducatis cost around 10k INR. I do most of the work myself and keep the major ones for my mechanic.

Other than fluids, the biggest cost are the brake pads - ask your brother in Switzerland to order more brake pads. The ones here in India cost about 5000 rupees.

4. Parts availability - contrary to what everyone says, parts are easily available for Ducati. The 899 / 959 / 1199 / 1299 and even the V4 share a lot of similar parts and you can get them easily in India. Most Ducati dealers carry the parts you need.

Please do not use the parts from Ali-express. They are cheap but they are absolute rubbish. I order from www.desmoheart.com if I want the exotic bits. Ducati has a bigger presence in Thailand, and I often find parts online for sale in Thailand. Alternative is to look up on Carousell app and order parts from Singapore. If you have friends / family visiting Singapore or Bangkok (after Covid is gone), ask them to pick for you.

I cannot determine from your picture - but do you have a tank guard / protector installed? If not, I will recommend. Your leather jacket will rub against the tank and the paint gets scratched easily.

5. Autoblipper - I would not advise you to install the autoblipper. Ducati electronics are finicky. The DQS program, although good, will act up, when you add in after market parts and causes issues with the clutch and gearing. This is a known gremlin for Ducatis. Give your wallet a rest and enjoy the quick shifter.

Again, awesome to see your 959. I was thinking about getting a 959 after I got my 1199, but now I changed my mind and I am shopping for a 1299s or a V4s.

If anyone wants to sell their 1299s, I am interested.

Last edited by no_fear : 29th April 2021 at 08:24.
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Old 29th April 2021, 08:06   #9
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Congratulations on the Mark 13, Mr. Stark!
Jokes aside, congratulations on your new steed. Ducatis are the most sizzling(literally as well) machines I've ever seen. Some of them look odd but your bike stands out in the lot. I had the opportunity to get a close look at one and boy oh boy did it not bring those biking dreams alive!

Wishing you 2L Kilometres of cool rides!
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Old 29th April 2021, 10:14   #10
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

AtheK, congratulations on your Ducati Panigale 959! It is a fantastic machine and you have done it full justice with this memorable ownership thread. I loved going through the details of your previous bikes and what led you to this.

You have covered all the topics that any person interested in the motorcycle can ask. Well, except mileage

Im just sharing a few thoughts
- Like you said, the heat is tremendous. Get the current coolant flushed and go for Engine Ice only. It is a lot better than the Motul Motocool. I tried both on my Street Triple 675. The Engine Ice may not eliminate the heat problem but it will keep the bike cooler and for longer. If it is difficult for your FNGs to source it (availability can be scarce at times), just buy it yourself from Amazon.
- The Desmo service price sounds allright. I did my research on this and found that it was anywhere between Rs 50K and Rs 80K. Depending on the time taken really. Ive watched a few YT videos on how to do it at home. Its really painful and time consuming. If possible, sit with VST or the FNG while this is getting done. I do not trust our mechanics to go through every single step in a painstaking manner.
- I actually dont mind the Ducati dash. Once your mind gets used to seeing what number is where, you dont feel the clutter on the go. At least the speeds and tacho are easily visible on the move.
- I love that shotgun exhaust. It adds so much character to the motorcycle.
- Can you share some pictures of the bike with the aftermaret LED headlights?
- Those bar end mirrors look to be quite small and your visibility might be compromised. Hopefully it performs better than I expect it to.
- On the suspension, you dont need to go to any FNG. You seem to be a DIY guy and so does your friend. Just experiment with the settings yourself. Go by the manual and try out each of the recommended settings. Ride on the same roads so you can compare them back to back. Keep experimenting until you reach the perfect setting for your riding style and type of roads.
- Im assuming the bike must be at least 5 years old. Change the fork oil. Go with the OEM grade oil for now. Just that will make the bike handle so much better. I did it on my bike and there was such a big difference!
- Im sure that you will love track days on this motorcycle. I have met a guy from Bangalore who is a track regular on his 959. He told me that enjoys it so much more on the track than he does on highways. Considering your track plans, that is all the more reason to replace the fork oil on your bike now.

Keep the great photos coming. Im sharing a couple of suspension videos from Dave Moss to help you with your suspension experiments.



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Old 29th April 2021, 10:49   #11
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

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- The Desmo service price sounds allright. I did my research on this and found that it was anywhere between Rs 50K and Rs 80K.
@ Neil,

Can I ask who quoted you 80k.

Desmo service is done to check the valve clearances and if the spacing is not proper, shims / spacers are added. Spark plugs are changed. The service guy uses the software to reset the desmo service notification. There are some special tools needed and Ducati provides those to the dealer already. If valve clearance and tolerance is found ok, that's it. No parts are needed.

Desmo service charge is pretty standardized from the Scrambler to Multistrada. For a dealer to quote 80k is not good behavior. Overcharging customers 20-30k hurts the brand and makes this one of the less sale-able qualities of Ducati.

Last edited by no_fear : 29th April 2021 at 10:55.
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Old 29th April 2021, 11:47   #12
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

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Originally Posted by no_fear View Post
@ Neil,

Can I ask who quoted you 80k.

Desmo service is done to check the valve clearances and if the spacing is not proper, shims / spacers are added. Spark plugs are changed. The service guy uses the software to reset the desmo service notification. There are some special tools needed and Ducati provides those to the dealer already. If valve clearance and tolerance is found ok, that's it. No parts are needed.

Desmo service charge is pretty standardized from the Scrambler to Multistrada. For a dealer to quote 80k is not good behavior. Overcharging customers 20-30k hurts the brand and makes this one of the less sale-able qualities of Ducati.
no_fear, I remember checking with the Bombay, Bangalore and the Cochin dealerships on the desmo service charges. I dont recall which one gave me this quote. This was between late 2016 and mid 2017. I am not sure if the labour rates prices have been revised over the years to make the pricing more standardized.

As you said, it depends on the actual time taken to check the valve clearances and get the right shims in. And then there is the perfect setting of the two belts. It really is most cumbersome just to watch a DIY video!

There is a belief, and you as a multiple Ducati bike owner, will know the market better than most, that many Ducatis in India get used thoroughly and are then sold a year or 6 months before the pending Desmo service. If someone knows about these charges and has kept aside the required finances for it, then its all good. The problem comes up when people are not really aware of the Desmo service costs (even if we assume Rs 50K), when they purchase a Ducati, either new or preowned.

On a personal note, I had taken multiple test rides of the 959. I absolutely loved it. The Cochin dealer gave me a good price that was below the actual on road price. My wife and I went to the dealership, to book the motorcycle. When we pulled out the cheque book, the sales head flippantly mentioned that there was no deal and we would have the pay the full on road price Ducati lost a 959 customer that day.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 29th April 2021 at 11:48.
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Old 29th April 2021, 11:49   #13
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Mighty congratulations AtheK. Now that's a proper upgrade from humble N650.
I was waiting for your ownership thread and boy am I glad that you took your time for this. Thanks for sharing drool worthy pics. Your Mark 13 looks smashing.

1. I feel the stock mirrors look a lot better than the bar end ones.
2. The SC Project exhaust has a nice ring to it and looks lovely. Loved the sound. I wish the cops were not so hard on super bikers. However, the silver lining is that you can swap it in 10 mins.
3. Love that tail tidy !!
4. No fuel gauge on the console. Seriously ? What is the total tank range ? Also what fuel do you feed her ?

Wishing you many miles on your Mark 13 and don't forget that more is less when it comes to pictures of a Ducati.
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Old 29th April 2021, 12:03   #14
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
no_fear, I remember checking with the Bombay, Bangalore and the Cochin dealerships on the desmo service charges.
Neil, very good points and thank you for clarifying. The prices came down after numerous owners complained to Ducati. A big chunk was the "labor charges" of 25k being tacked on. I wonder if VST is tacking that charge.

Yes, a lot of Ducatis are mis-handled and abused. I like collecting Ducatis and working on them, so I do extensive research on each bike and its easy to find what abuse or care each one has faced. Fortunately, due to my prior industry relationship with motorbike manufacturers, I am able to source parts and fix issues with comparative ease.

I am sorry and disheartened to hear about the Cochin dealer behaving like that. If you are ever interested in jumping back on a Ducati, please let me know. I have a good relationship with the Delhi dealer and often use his networks to refer my friends to the other dealerships to get better price or deals. Happy to help a fellow bhp-ian, and that too an avid motorcyclist!!!
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Old 29th April 2021, 14:36   #15
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Default re: Mark 13 | My Pre-Worshipped Ducati Panigale 959

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheK View Post
Bringing Mark 13 home

The final pics sent to me before the day I finally went to see her. He was like how can you not come see your bike, you have some patience, and I could not go as I wanted to keep this as a surprise for the family.

Attachment 2147258
Attachment 2147259
I was stoked when you sent these pictures to me over WhatsApp.

Congratulations on the Mark 13 sir, a very interesting name and I like it. Wishing you many many more miles on the bike, please do keep me posted if you plan to sell this off after the same mileage on your previous two bikes.
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