Ducati skipped the 2016 Auto Expo and chose the India Bike Week for the unveiling of its 959 Panigale. It is a successor to the Italian manufacturer’s 899 Panigale which was recently taken off the shelves in India.
The main focus around the development of the 959 Panigale is to meet new Euro 4 noise and emission laws, which will come into effect in 2017. The Italian manufacturer has gone ahead and tweaked the motorcycle aesthetically as well. The wider nose fairing and screen improve aerodynamic performance and add to the aggressive look of the new front end, also enhanced by larger-section front air intakes. The motorcycle fairing now includes redesigned lateral air intakes and new rear view mirrors. The new bike is also equipped with aluminium billet-machined footrests.
The new 955 cc twin-cylinder power unit is the first Superquadro to have obtained Euro 4 type-approval. It comes with a new stroke length and other innovations that have given rise to an even more impressive torque curve and increased maximum power, now 157bhp at 10.500 rpm. The Italian superbike produces 8.4Nm more torque, totalling to 107.4Nm. The 959 Panigale's increased displacement comes courtesy of a slightly longer stroke, up from 57.2mm to 60.8mm while the bore remains at 100mm.
Other updates to the engine include a slip/assist clutch, and an additional fuel injector per cylinder. The chassis has been modified with a 4mm-lower swingarm pivot. Rake and trail are unchanged at 24 degrees and 96mm respectively, but wheelbase grows by 5mm to 1431mm. The Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Riding Mode technology including Ride-by-Wire, triple-stage Bosch ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC) also make their way onto the motorcycle.
Ducati could price the 959 Panigale marginally higher than its predecessor. We expect it to be somewhere between the Rs 14 lakh – Rs 16 lakh.