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Ducati 899 Panigale Reader Answers

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Earlier this week we asked readers to submit questions pertinent to Ducati’s new Panigale 899. As predicted it rained during our test so we didn’t get very much riding time (about 30 minutes) and the time we did was on a brand new track, in slightly hazardous conditions. Even still the 899 was a surprisingly easy motorcycle to get acclimated to. Here are the answers to your questions.

AM: 1 - having the same gearbox of the 1199 does the gears feel loooong? 2- Per Ducati the 899 is 10 lbs heavier. How did they manage that??? Does it feel heavier? 3 - In your opinion, is it worth saving $3,000.00 and get 10 lbs more with less HP?

motousa_adam: The 899 has a five-tooth larger rear sprocket compared to the 1199 so it retains a close-ratio feel and quick acceleration. The 899 weighs more than the 1199 because it uses a heavier swingarm, subframe, wheels, and a few other components. The difference does not feel that severe in motion. I would purchase the real deal 1199 over the 899 in spite of the three grand price difference. For me it’s all about performance first and foremost.

tenderbeef03: -Does the 899 have the same heating issue as the 1199 under the seat? 2-Double swing arm, handling better then a single? 3-899 was made as a everyday bike also. comfort better then 1199? 4-Will their be an 899 Evo, 899S, 899R, OR 899 Superleggera?

motousa_adam: We rode the bike on track in cool, wet conditions so there was no engine heat issue that we could feel. The new heat shield that was fitted on ’13 Panigales made riding much more comfortable on the street compared to the ’12 model. Yes the Panigale kicks off more engine heat than other bikes but I actually like the feature as it helps keep me warm on cool morning rides. Due to the conditions it was not possible to understand if the double swingarm had an effect on handling. The 899 employs a thicker rider seat so in theory it should be more cozy. It would have been nice if they added adjustable footpegs and a taller windscreen though. That would help ride quality on the street. Right now there isn’t any up-spec model available but knowing Ducati that kind of model is in the works.

DanPan: Only 1 question, is it better than a MV F3 800 ?

motousa_adam: I haven’t ridden the F3 800 yet so I can’t answer that. But based on my experience on the F3 675 the potential is definitely there. Hopefully we will be able to do a shootout between those two bikes later this fall.

AnthonyD: Where can it race? Where will it be raced? Is it better than the 1098 or would you rather pick up a used 1098 for your money? Also, why did they ditch the single sided swinger?

motousa_adam: The 899 can be raced in WERA competition in the B Superstock and Superbike classes as well as the Heavyweight Twins class. It can also be raced in popular classes within the AFM organization. At the international level it will not be eligible in World Supersport. Right now Ducati is seeking to get it approved here in the U.S. for the Daytona SportBike class. I like newer machines better than older ones so I would buy the newer 899 over a 1098. But a deal is a deal and if I could find a clean and cheap 1098 I would probably buy that instead. Ducati got used a double sided swingarm to make the 899 look different and to save money.

mattyd112: Top speed? 0-60 time? 1/4 mile time? Comparison to the 1199? Comparison to s1000rr,1199, rsv4 etc? Is there a noticeable difference between 1000cc bikes and the 899? What is doing a wheelie like in sport and/or race mode? 10,750rpm is quite a bit less than top competitors. Is that a problem in your opinion?

motousa_adam: Due to the circumstances and protocol of the test it was impossible to get that data. We will have those numbers (minus top speed) sometime this fall when/if we do a shootout. Yes, liter-class bikes are still in a different league compared to the 899. Though the 899 could perhaps give Yamaha’s R1 a run for its money. I didn’t get a chance to wheelie it but based on my experience on the 1199 and the powerband of the 899’s engine wheelies will be easy in first or second gear. Third and fourth gear wheelies might require some technique though. For smoothest modulation of wheelies I recommend Sport mode.

SenorDuc: Are the mirrors functional unlike the 848? How is the powerband, plenty of torque in low rpm or do you have to run high rpm's to get it going?

motousa_adam: I didn't pay attention to the mirrors since I was so focused on what was going on in front of me! But based on my experience on the 1199 the 899 mirrors will be useless. It is a bummer as I rely on my mirrors a lot on the street. As expected, the powerband is even more top-end biased as compared to the already high-strung EVO-spec 848. While it works nicely on circuits the 899 will be more challenging to ride on the street as you’ll have to wind up the motor even more to get it to go anywhere.

DooovaaalDiddy: How do I get a job like yours? No, seriously.....

motousa_adam: The best way to get a job as an editor at a motorcycle publication would be to, A. Learn how to ride all kinds of motorcycles safety, swiftly and without crashing or hurting yourself. That is paramount. It is also helpful to understand the technology of a motorcycle and how they work. This is becoming more challenging with the inclusion of automobile technologies but still if you like to read and are into it, it’s pretty easy to understand. B. Start writing about motorcycles, whether it’s the actual machines or the characters that are riding/engineering/designing or doing whatever with them. C. Meet people and hang out with other motorcycle enthusiasts. You never know whom you’ll meet and what doors will be opened. D. Visit the Company Overview page at Motorcycle-USA.com. There aren’t any open positions right now but that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you have a great resume and really know what you’re doing then you might be luck. Good luck.

Noitall: How is the 899 an advance over the 848. Barely any more power, no lighter, no more torque. The electronics are a gimic on track anyway. The quickshifter is a dangerous move unless the Ducati gearboxes have improved a lot since the 1098. If it handles anything like the 1199 the 848 will blow it away on track. Also in a crash the 1199 destroy themselves. The 848 is a lot more forgiving.

motousa_adam: The 899 is an advance on the 848 in major areas: handling and ergonomics / rider interface. With its revised center of gravity and rake/trail numbers the 899 steers much sharper than the sluggish 848. Due to the conditions it was impossible to get an accurate read on the chassis but based on our experience on the 1199 I believe this machine could out-handle the bigger bike since the engine doesn’t have the power to overwhelm the stock suspension like the big bike does—especially on bumpy American circuits like Buttonwillow Raceway and the Streets of Willow Springs. The ergonomics are more ‘normal’ and Japanese-like than the outgoing 848 therefore it will be an easier bike to get a feel for.

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