The Noblest Ducati

The new Ducati Panigale 959 offers power, but with poise, balance, and maneuverability…

If you’re looking for an Italian superbike with ludicrous power, look elsewhere. The new Ducati Panigale 959 (ducatiusa.com) offers nobler traits: poise, balance, and maneuverability. Its 157 hp L-twin engine is no slouch, but it integrates harmoniously with the chassis, delivering fierceness along with confidence-inspiring finesse.

An evolution of the Panigale 899, the 959 features a slightly larger 955 cc engine and a slipper clutch to smooth out aggressive downshifts. It comes with a full suite of electronics, including traction control, antilock brakes, and engine-braking control. But the $15,000 bike also behaves well with all the systems switched off, showing how a sound mechanical foundation can make sophisticated technology seem superfluous.  

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