With the current feedback seen from here, I thought it would be great for every one to see these first impressions of the 899. whether to help potential owners to decide or just to grasp on how 899 Panigale really is to ride.
These are some of the initial reviews
These are some of the initial reviews
Chrisj @ChrisjI'll do my best to answer your questions. I picked up mine last Thursday night and I have about 400 miles on it.
Ergonomics are awesome. I'm not sure how I can elaborate on this so I won't for now.
The low end torque is great... I was commuting on a monster 696 before and it did not take long to adjust. I have actually been riding in the Low power mode the past few days because its fun to actually be able to grab a handful of throttle and rev out the engine without obliterating the speed limit. Even in the low power mode at 'street speeds' the bike doesn't buck around and I am not forced to slip the clutch that often. So ya its good
The bike does get hot. If you have to sit in really bad stop / go traffic it can be uncomfortable.
Evolution @Evolution;Got my fist ride in. I have no experience whatsoever with Ducati's. What a difference in power delivery and sound vs the inline 4. Ergonomics are pretty good. Not as comfy as my 2012 CBR1000rr or my 2012 Suzuki GsxR 750. Handling wise it's very agile, feels so light and nimble. The sound is phenomenal for stock. As for heat it's going to be a very hot bike in summer. I thought my 1000rr got warm. This beast
bakes the legs and butt. It's nice right now at 5 degrees so I assume 30 degrees is going to be almost unbearable. Suspension is stiff, I'll play with that in spring as I'm sure the factory setting lean more to track use. Overall I'm happy with it. It's definitely a head turner machine.
Brainfry @BrainfryOk so a day (and 180 miles) later and I'm loving it. Here's my initial impressions.
Power delivery is fantastic. I played around with the different power modes a bit. You can specify high low or med power delivery in any mode. It still provides max HP but changes how sharply it's delivered. IN wet of course it cuts power to 100HP and the delivery is in low mode and it's really mild. I spent all day in sport mode and did a mix of city stop and go, highway and back roads. I'm taking it kind of easy during the break in but managed to average 46mpg through the first 180 miles which is way better than I thought it would. Ergos are also great and it felt no less comfortable than the CBR I just came off. The quickshifter works great and allows rapid upshifts with no hesitation at all. The Showa forks and Sachs shock are just fine on the road and handled varied road surfaces just fine. The front feels completely planted and the steering action is fast and easy. My previous Ducati experience is on the 748S (which I didn't like) and the 1198 (which I loved). It is easier to point and shoot than the 1198 is with way less steering effort required.
That exhaust heat is no joke, I'm going to need to try and do something about it. Ducati has continued their habit of putting pegs on that have absolutely no grip at all. That's it.
Overall I'm really happy with this bike, its a huge upgrade from a Japanese 600 that's for sure. It's plenty quick, is oozing with technology and the build quality is typical Ducati. I love it! Is it more money than a CBR1000 or R1 without being faster? Yup, but do I care? Not at all. It's definitely a superbike that you can live with day to day and that's exactly what I was looking for. As those who would claim it's underpowered....it's lighter than an 1198 with 30 more hp than a 916. What more could you want?
Honestly, for me the 899 is a better fit. I loved the SRR, but for mere mortals it was just so much bike that it was impossible to TRULY appreciate it. I tracked it mainly, but in the end it was overkill… I don't see doing as much track time now so the 899 is perfect. The second I sat on it it felt perfect ergonomically. The second I pulled away from the dealer it was like a second skin… handling, comfort, stability and power delivery was all IMO better than the SRR… for any of you that haven't ridden the BMW, the power comes on HARD and FAST up top… it's not as linear as the 899… or civilized. Not much at the bottom or middle either… (I ran a PCV/Autotune and full Akra pipe) Different strokes I suppose… pun intended. The Panigale's electronics are the BOMB too… so customizable and seamless…. with the EBC I'm not sure I'll even need a slipper, though assumed I would… (just used to them… had a Hinson on my Hyper and the SRR's was pretty tight) it's a TWIN after all, ha, ha. But blipping let's me hear that superquadra all the time… so win/win.
At any rate, no looking back… I'm really happy with my decision.
It's hard to compare really... the SRR had much larger forks and a wider rear wheel... more torque, HP and a HUGE flywheel... weight was similar... that said, and mind you, I haven't given the 899 a true test- I'd say the 899 handles better... it's hard not to with the geometry as it is and a 180 rear versus a 190... less mass to rotate, etc... I find it takes less effort to get it turned in and stood up again... from an ergo standpoint, it just feels really good. Planted, solid and stable. If I end up spending more time on the track though, I'd probably invest in a set of clip ons... just as I found on the SRR the bars are a bit too narrow for me... I've got pretty broad shoulders and a tall torso and found I couldn't really get forward and across the bike and down as far as I'd like without my arms and elbows getting squeezed in... so adjustable and wider bars are good and offer more leverage and maneuverability... many riders often over look this simple tweak to improve their riding... I find most sport bike bars to be too narrow... but again, many riders, many sizes...