The Ducati lineup at 2017 EICMA is as varied as it is exciting. Ducati’s ‘middleweight’ superbike, 959 Panigale Corse, gets sharper and more exclusive for 2018.
As dictates tradition, Ducati has always expanded its lineup with bikes that are built upon existing models, but get specialized equipment that sets them apart distinctively from the base bike. Motorcycles like the 848 EVO, 1199 and 1299 Panigale have had Corse editions. Even the 899 Panigale, which the 959 Panigale replaced, had a Corse sibling.
Now the 959 Panigale has gotten a big bump in components and power. The 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse replaces Showa forks with Öhlins suspension. Up front are NIX-30 forks with a TTX36 monoshock at the rear. Both are of course, fully adjustable. There is also a Öhlins adjustable steering damper present on the bike.
The 959 Panigale Corse also features a titanium slip-on exhaust from Akrapovic. The pipes will definitely add a little more power to the total. That should make for a pretty peppy motor. The 955 cc Superquadro engine already produces 150 hp at the crank. There is no word yet on exactly how much power the 959 Panigale Corse gains over the standard.
The standard 959 weighs a little more than 200 kg, on which the Corse again cuts down by more than 2 kg. The 959 Panigale Corse gets a lithium-ion battery in place of the regular one on the stock bike to bring the kerb weight to a respectable 197 kg. Harking back to Ducati’s MotoGP racing program, the 959 Panigale Corse sports a livery that looks very similar to Ducati’s MotoGP factory bikes.
The Ducati 959 Panigale retails for $15,400 pan-USA. With the upgraded components, weight savings, and power gains, expect the 959 Panigale Corse to ask for a slightly higher premium.