2018 Ducati 959 Panigale

The essential one-liter V-twin superbike

2018 Ducati 959 Panigale
2018 Ducati 959 PanigaleCRS

TV-twin literbikes have been pure magic ever since ye olde English rule of the Brough Superior SS 100 and Vincent Black Shadow. Fast-forward many decades to 2018, and meet the Italian version, Ducati’s 959 Panigale. Its 150-hp Superquadro engine displaces 955cc and nestles inside a monocoque frame that helps keep claimed dry weight to a feathery 387 pounds for a raw weight-to-power ratio of 2.6:1—significantly better than oh, say, a $1 million McLaren Senna. Yee-haw! Standard on the 959 Panigale: ride-by-wire throttle control, selectable power modes, a quickshifter, a racy slipper clutch, Brembo Monoblock brakes with Bosch ABS and a rear-wheel anti-lift feature, and LED lighting.

For a $2,200 upcharge, the track-spec 959 Panigale Corse edition adds a Ducati MotoGP-inspired two-tone matte red, white, and black paint scheme, top-shelf Öhlins suspension, an Öhlins steering damper, and a lightweight lithium-ion battery. On both models, the specified engine maintenance interval is 7,500 miles, more frequent than some other Ducati models require.

Likes: Light, narrow, fast, and flat gorgeous in Corse livery

Dislikes: A bit needy in the maintenance department

Verdict: The latest expression of a historic performance formula

2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Specs and Pricing

MSRP $15,395

Cycle World 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Reviews