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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted this on Ducati.ms awhile back, I saw this sub-forum and thought I would post it here.

I'll do 2 posts like the original, part one when it had 450 miles, and part two when it had 1,500 miles.


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Jan 27th, 2014

I have ~450 miles on my new 899 Panigale now so I thought I would write up a little review on the bike and make some comparisons to the 2009 848 I bought new prior. I've only ridden it in Sport mode up to this point since I'm still in the break-in period and it never seems to rain where I live. I've also been keeping the RPMs under 7K per the dealer until the 600 mile service. It's been about 60% straight roads and 40% mountain roads so far. I'll update again more when I'm at about 1,000 miles.

Head lights: The low beams seem to not project very far ahead at all and the high beam is very narrow and unidirectional. Makes it difficult to ride fast in pitch back on mountain roads. Even roads I've ridden for years it's very easy to out ride my lights and it slows me down. Suggestions welcome.

Suspension: The front seems very well sorted, the rear...stiff as ****. I'm not complaining but stay away from badly paved roads! Riding over the grapevine there were more than a few spots where I felt like I might get bounced off the seat and foot pegs! Everything else though seems great, it handles like a dream! At my 600 mile service my dealer said he will fully dial-in the suspension for my body on the bike so we'll see what difference that makes but I weigh about 185lbs and I can't imagine it getting better. I'm already faster and more confident than on my 848.

Ergonomics: It's obvious Ducati is going for street first and track as an after thought with the 899 compared to the previous bikes, but to me, this is OK. It hasn't lost any of it's appeal for tearing up and down high speed mountain roads one bit. If anything, it's more enjoyable for a street rider. I don't track my bike except for an advanced riding course here and there, so 99% of my riding is on public roads. The seat it MUCH improved over the 848. The tank is more comfortable to lean over, I feel allot less pressure on my wrists in all riding positions, it's nearly non-existent unless my posture is bad. It's actually easier to quickly flick to get thru a chicane or power thru an apex on a long sweep compared to the 848. The bike is just so easy to jump on and turn, everything feels great.

Power-band: I think Ducati really nailed it. The 848 down low was very rough and made the whole bike shake if I didn't keep the RPMs high in town. I went to a 14T front sprocket on the 848 so 1st gear wasn't so long and that really made all the difference on the 848 for riding in town, however it made it a white knuckle ride full throttle in 1st and 2nd with the front wheel lifting from the increased acceleration! The 899 right out of the box totally addressed this, VERY smooth in the low RPMs, no need to change the front sprocket. The torque has moved up slightly, but really, everything just feels smoother and more linear. I still haven't gone over 7K RPMs because of break-in, but once I do and get another few hundred miles, I'll come back and update this portion of my review.

Gearbox: Feels tighter than the 848, I haven't had any false neutrals (yet) like the 848. DQS is great when really accelerating but using it at any other time, like in town, **** no. After it cuts the throttle and next gear is engaged and the throttle comes back in, it bucks you forward a bit like it just wants you to twist the **** out of the throttle and ride it hard. Not cool stop light to stop light lol. I used to clutch-less up-shift my 848 without any problem but it took a feel for the right amount of throttle and engine RPM and instinct for it to be seamless. DQS just cuts the throttle for a split second. However when I pin the throttle and let her rip and use DQS, OMFG it accelerates like no other. I can't wait until I can go over 7K RPM, this thing is going to be mad going to redline using DQS. That said, twice now it's missed it's next gear and the RPMs shot up like it was in neutral. Both times thank god I wasn't crazy on the throttle so it didn't redline. But if that happens during a full throttle run after break-in, I'll be pissed, and it will no doubt scare the crap out of me. I think it's missed a 5th and a 6th gear to this point. It also feels to me anyway, that it needs more clutch to downshift than the 848.

Sound: I never thought I would like the 899 exhaust as much as I have. I was in love with the looks and sound of the cans under the seat, but wow, having them exit opposite sides in the middle of the bike, not only can you hear it better, but it really helps separate the individual combustion sound of each cylinder better giving it a very awesome and distinct sound! I wouldn't change a **** thing, it sounds great especially at higher RPMs with more than 50% throttle :drool: I also have no desire to get the Termi exhaust, this exhaust is so much louder in my helmet than the 848 I might even get earplugs for longer rides now as it is.

Other things: I wish the steering damper could be adjusted, it seems a tiny bit too soft for my taste and on rough freeways at speed, it really shows just how soft it is. I had installed an Ohlins on my 848, I may upgrade this one as well. I do miss adjusting it for different types of roads. The switch for the brights; with my gloves I seem to be accidentally hitting it at least once per ride with my index finger and not even noticing. The last 100 miles I've been really paying attention to it though and training myself to avoid it. Foot pegs, don't seem crazy slippery like people are saying, they seem just as grippy as the stock 848 ones did. Hard starts or failures to start due to the carbon canister, this hasn't happened to me a single time. Maybe I've been lucky? I wish the paint finish had clear coat to protect it, it needs it BAD! The mirrors; I dare say these are the first Ducati super bike mirrors that are actually useable! Sure I still need to move my elbow but I can actually SEE without them vibrating like **** as on the 848. The seat does feel a tiny bit lower, even if they did go with a thicker padded seat this time. Really wish it had the color TFT dash like the 1199 but this one is just as good as the 848, maybe a little better, it doesn't seem to attract moisture inside it like the 848 so that's a plus. Having a gear indicator now is cool. The rear brake feels better than the 848 for some reason. I love being able to adjust the electronic engine braking, it makes rolling into the throttle approaching the apex of a high speed corner less abrupt too going from engine brake into the throttle but maybe that's just due to the better gear box being tighter. It doesn't bother me it has no slipper since it has traction control, of course I never had any OMG moments on my 848 downshifting 2 or more gears at a time for a corner but then again I do only street ride.

Styling: I got used to the aesthetic of the exhaust not being under the seat pretty quick. With no trellis frame, the mount for the front end seems a little large and gives the front of the fuel tank a kinda cut-off look, everything else is gorgeous! I thought the 848/1098/1198 styling was the apex of Ducati design and couldn't get any better (being a fan of the 996 personally anyway) but this really is a great progression. The bike is just sex to look it. I also dare say the bike feels a TINY bit narrower, like my knees are more inwards and conform more naturally to the shape of the tank and side fairing. Brilliant shape that's for sure, functional and beautiful. I thought the doubled sided swing arm would bother me as much as the exhaust, but I also got over this pretty quick, It's not like I see it riding and looking at the bike, so much draws your attention elsewhere that it's the last thing you are looking at anyway. It doesn't bother me a great deal that getting the rear tire perfectly aligned will take more effort compared to the single sided swing arm which did this virtually automatically.

Upgrades: I never had any kind of tank protectors and and stuff on my 848, but this one really needs one on the tank with no clear-coat, I dare say an ABSOLUTE must. The paint is just stupid soft. Also while I don't mind the rear license plate bracket, the EVOTECH seems to really perfect the look using the 1199s LED smaller turn signals and bringing everything inwards. I had the Compwerks on my 848 but it seems too extreme for me on the 899. Maybe upgrade the steering damper to an Ohlins adjustable. That's about it for me. I had quite a few mods on my 848 but I just don't feel the need with the 899. Once I have it paid off I'll start replacing all of the black plastic with dry carbon pieces just for looks but that's really it. OK, fluid reservoir socks so I don't see the fluid when it turns dark too.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Mar 3rd, 2014

Ok, lets do this! I now have about 1,500 miles on her. I'll start from the top and cover all the gaps in the areas I reviewed prior...

Head lights: I haven't ridden any more high speed mountain roads at nite and I also haven't looked into modifying them yet, so nothing to report here. Although I have gotten used to where the high beam control is and not turning them on and off by accident.

Suspension: My dealer did dial in my suspension for me at the 600 miles service, turns out I'm 200lbs with full gear (**** fast food
). MUCH improved. Of course the rear shock is "broken in" now so to speak but everything feels much more settled and proper now. The guy really knew what he was doing as he has set up more than a few 899s for the UK race series now he said. He did suggest getting the rear shock re-sprung since I weigh so much, but I plan on dropping 30lbs lol. I love doing high RPM full throttle hard exiting coming off corners on high speed (60-90mph) very curvy mountain roads. I tend to not rush corners, then carry allot of speed thru them before blasting out of them. I start accelerating prior to the apex rolling it on easy and keeping it neutral with no engine breaking even going into the turn. I'm usually around 8K right AT the apex as I really start accelerating out of it. The 899 feels like it is made for this style of riding. It's already a handful on the lower speed 2nd gear turns where the front wheel comes off the ground exiting the corner going into 3rd. I feel **** near overly confident on this bike and at first I had to stop accidentally rushing the turns and putting too much force on the front tire effecting it's turn in. Over the last 1,000 miles I've sorted that and gotten comfortable feathering the rear brake a bit to correct if I do it again.

Ergonomics: Not much to add, it's just great. I have attached to this post a pic of me on my 848 the day I bought it and a pic of me on my 899 the day after I bought it. I'm 5.9" and the same weight in both pics, this should give you an idea on the difference in position. It doesn't seem THAT different riding it compared to the 848 but the pictures seem to tell another story. Go figure. The seat on the 899 is more comfortable, in every position. However when it comes to very long rides (300 miles and more) my ass ends up just as sore as the 848, weird. Maybe I'm just outta practice


Power-band: This is the real update in the review! This thing fucking LOVES to live above 7K! In town I never ride it below 4.5K and riding aggressively on mountain roads, I'm always between 7K and 11K, and between 8K and 11K, it is simply blissful! It's so smooth (vibration wise) to the 848. It's like, take an 848 with the 14T front sprocket, remove nearly all of the engine vibration from all RPMs, add 10-15 more HP, and that's the 899. Yes it is a tiny bit less torqy at the lower RPMs but you just don't notice it because you ride at a higher RPM than the 848 all the time because you don't worry about the bloody thing flying apart. Also the fueling at all RPMs is much better sorted than the 848. The 848 I added a FATDUC, the 899 just doesn't need it. Nor does it need a tooth smaller front sprocket. I just can't say enough about how fun this thing is at high RPM and full throttle coming out of high speed corners. You can't do that with the 1199 on public roads, so again like the 848, I have absolutely ZERO getting the smaller bike for the type of riding I do.

Gearbox: Since the first service DQS hasn't missed a single shift. I think it's because now that I can rev higher I am of course shifting higher. DQS really shines with the high RPM shifts with allot of throttle, it just isn't suited for regular in town riding. I also think the gear box has a much better feel to it after the first 1,000 miles it.

Sound: Yeah, **** ear plugs, this thing sounds so sweet at high RPM with the throttle wide open, it's worth going deaf to hear! The sound is SO Ducati and such music. I almost feel like a jackass in town riding a cog low all the time just to hear the sound, like a Harley rider with open pipes does, but screw it


Other things: Forget what I said about the steering damper, it's just fine after getting used to it. If I did track, then yeah I would get the Ohlins like my 848. I've ridden her twice now in the rain. Considering the default settings of the electronic aids in Sport mode, I didn't even bother with wet mode. I even TRIED getting the DTC to kick in (on straits, I don't have a death wish), it didn't. I feel much more comfortable on the 899 in the rain than the 848 just knowing in my mind the aids are there to save my ass. Considering the 1199s wet mode lowers it's HP to what the 899 usually is, I'm just not seeing the need for the wet mode on the 899 unless you are going to run the race wet tires it's calibrated for on a track. It's a very well balanced package.

Styling: It's still continuing to grow on me, which is amazing because I was already in love with it! It's like an amazingly beautiful and loving woman, you just love her more and more everyday for the rest of your life (course I'm still working on finding the woman
)

Upgrades: I'm still not feeling the need. I haven't even gotten any of the ones I said I would yet. Maybe this next winter. I'm spending so much time riding, I don't even have time for fool with "mods" haha! If anything, HIDs, Evotech tailtidy, and I really wanna do the Superleggera decals then clear over everything.

Alex
 

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OK, where the **** is my bike? I need it now! Why can't it be ready for delivery today? :eek:
 

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Hmmm. What would be the best way to protect the red paint then?

Opti coat?
Some sort of clear bra I've seen used on the 1199?
An aftermarket auto shop paints the clear?
 

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Hmmm. What would be the best way to protect the red paint then?

Opti coat?
Some sort of clear bra I've seen used on the 1199?
An aftermarket auto shop paints the clear?
I will do the Opti Coat. Not sure if I will do 2.0 or Pro. Both offers outstanding protection. The Pro comes with a lifetime guarantee but must be made by someone that is certified.
 

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I will do the Opti Coat. Not sure if I will do 2.0 or Pro. Both offers outstanding protection. The Pro comes with a lifetime guarantee but must be made by someone that is certified.
just go with 2.0 and do it yourself

wipe it down with a mixed solution if ISP alcohol and apply the 2.0 stuff in yourself.
 

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just go with 2.0 and do it yourself

wipe it down with a mixed solution if ISP alcohol and apply the 2.0 stuff in yourself.

I'm just afraid I'll **** it up. Since it is permament it's not like I can redo it :/


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