Ducati 899 Panigale and Ducati 1199 Panigale in the test

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23 Pictures

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4200 euros, 47 hp, three kilograms – in order of importance, these are the most striking differences between the two Panigale. But the motorcycles that look like twins also have very different characters.

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Measurements and specially scheduled test drives help to find differences and similarities …

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… In a nutshell: The 1199 is handier, both are too loud.

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As I said: the 899 is three kilograms heavier. The weight difference between the drivers is greater.

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cutter

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… Because of its clutching clutch, the 899 loses more time than necessary when accelerating from a standstill, although its shift assistant worked better than that of the 1199.

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Slightly higher peak speeds and slightly shorter gear ratios help the 899 to bravely stick to its big sister. Above all, the torque in the last gear is remarkable …

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Engine: The curves of the Panigale 899 do not quite correspond to the ideal of linear power delivery, but they come closer to it than the lively ups and downs that the 1199 produces. Although not designed as radically short-stroke as the 1198 exemplifies, the smaller engine achieves a higher specific output than the large one.

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… while the same plane at 899 presents itself as Cinderella. When driving, including the racetrack, the displays can also be easily read on the 899. The shift light provides reliable information.

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The display of the individual menu levels on the 1199 is generous, …

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The most striking feature of the 899 remains the two-arm swing arm. For all other differences you have to take a closer look and drive. Compared to the 1199 you can see that the driver’s seat is upholstered ten millimeters higher. The fork sliding tubes were coated with chrome.

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The 1199 engine runs rougher than its descendant with a smaller displacement. Instead, the large engine rides breathtaking acceleration attacks from 7000 rpm. The chassis requires a highly concentrated driver with a good feeling for the grip limit of the front tire.

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The rear suspension of the 899 is simpler and more comfortable.

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The lever system of the 1199 was constructed in an elaborate and complex manner. By turning the insert, the progression curve becomes steeper, and both the drawbar and the shock absorber can be adjusted in length.

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On one of the last beautiful autumn days, the Ducs shoot amicably over the Swabian Alb.

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Steel tube instead of cast aluminum: Part of the weight difference of three kilograms in favor of the 1199 is in the rear frame …

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… The magnesium engine covers and wheels should make up the rest. Tea rear frames are only screwed to the rear cylinder heads.

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Ducati 899 Panigale and Ducati 1199 Panigale in the test

4200 euros, 47 hp, three kilograms

4,200 euros, 47 hp, three kilograms – in order of importance, these are the most striking differences between the Ducati 899 Panigale and the Ducati 1199 Panigale. But the motorcycles that look like twins also have very different characters.

The Ducati 8th99 Panigale was no exception: like most other test bikes, it had to be put to the test before anything else could happen to it. And before a meter was driven, the power and torque curves determined there caused discussions. “The little ones are just as wavy as the big ones. Is that supposed to be more homogeneous performance? ”Some asked.

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Ducati 899 Panigale and Ducati 1199 Panigale in the test
4200 euros, 47 hp, three kilograms

Ducati 899 Panigale follow the same rhythm as in those of the 1199, but are by no means as strong. What’s more, the 899’s Superquadro V2 has almost exactly 75 percent of the displacement of the 1199 engine, which is an 1198. According to actually measured values, the smaller engine delivers more than 75 percent of the power and torque of the larger one almost over the entire speed range. Even where the 1198’s lead is greatest, around 4000 rpm, it is exactly 75 percent, nowhere less.

Ducati 899 Panigale slight advantages in terms of air culture

This is noticeable in everyday driving and confirms the driving impressions that the Ducati 899 Panigale made under completely different circumstances at the presentation in Imola. Because it develops its performance less abruptly than the 1199 and of course has less to offer overall, the contrasts between getting stuck in the torque hole and the outbreak of motor violence on the 899 are not nearly as blatant as the Ducati 1199 Panigale is used to . Although this is less enjoyable, it is easier to drive where driving is particularly fun: in technically difficult passages where you have to brake a lot, shift up and down and steer carefully, i.e. in combinations of bends with changing radii.

The 899 also has slight advantages in terms of running smoothness, and although it is driven at slightly higher speeds, it consumes significantly less than its larger model – in direct comparison it saves 1.2 liters per 100 kilometers. Incidentally, the consumption values ​​were not determined on the standard test lap, but include the photo drives with frequent acceleration, braking, turning and repeated acceleration. They are therefore higher than in the evenly run measuring procedure. Either way, the 899 proves to be the more efficient engine, better suited for everyday use and not only cheaper to buy.

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899 with poorly controllable coupling

Thanks to its slightly shorter gear ratio, the Ducati 899 Panigale is not even much worse in acceleration than the almighty 1199. Out of the curve, the little one even stays closer to the big one than the measured values ​​suggest. The reason for this is the clutch of the 899, which jerks when the clutch is engaged quickly, and which is four tenths more difficult to meter, which spoils the result of the measurements from a standing start. A disadvantage that goes up to 200 km / h.

How efficiently the Ducati 899 Panigale uses its lower forces becomes clear when studying the torque values. Accelerated from 100 to 180 km / h in the last gear, the Panigale sisters stay on par, from 140 the smaller one even pulls away by a symbolic tenth of a second. This is due to the fact that the rear wheel power of the 899 and thus the tractive power is even slightly higher than that of the 1199 because of the shorter gear ratio at this speed. In view of this, the prognosis is daring that the 899 will hardly lose any time compared to the Ducati 1199 Panigale even on winding racetracks. It takes a good and daring driver to translate the tremendous performance of the 1199 into a reasonable lead. On the autobahn, this is only possible when there is little traffic, but never on the country road.

In one point the author was thoroughly mistaken in his assessment of the Ducati 899 Panigale: The smaller engine is no quieter than the big one. Probably because of its short gear and overall gear ratios, it even produces a higher sound pressure level than the 1198 when it is re-measured, but it produces less mechanical noise. But exhaust or mechanics, both Panigale stay below the specified values ​​for the stationary noise measurement, but they are simply much too loud for the driving noise measurement. Probably the Panigale driver who has neighbors who are enthusiastic about motorcycles when he shoots through his home area.

Ducati 1199 Panigale more manageable in the test

On the evening before the driving presentation in Imola, Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali had certified that the Ducati 899 Panigale had driving behavior that was less acute than that of the 1199, less tailored to the needs and skills of top drivers, but more to the requirements of amateurs. In order to be able to understand in a direct comparison what he meant by that, the MOTORRAD testers set out a short circuit on the top test area with a few tight and two slightly faster corners. In quick succession and with a highly concentrated dose, jagged changes of lean angle, braking into the bends and strong acceleration in an inclined position were required.

In fact, the Ducati 1199 Panigale turned out to be the more maneuverable motorcycle in a special sense in this driving program. From the middle position it folded faster into the curves than the 899 and retained this slight hyperagility down to the deepest slopes. She always wanted to go deeper and had to be stopped with pronounced steering movements into the curve. A design that makes it possible to drive the tightest radii at the apex, but requires the driver to have an unmistakable feeling for the grip limit of the front tire on the way from the turning point to there. Because when it starts to slide, the limit area is very narrow.

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More harmonious steering behavior in the small Panigale

In contrast, the small Panigale signaled the entry into the area beyond the 50 degree incline by a certain resistance, which it opposed to even lower inclines. The steering movements with which it could be brought back to the central position were significantly less. Which means that the Ducati 899 Panigale can be driven with less effort. The driver’s forearms and shoulder girdle are less stressed and he can allow himself to drive further ahead instead of focusing on his front tire for long seconds.

All in all, the steering behavior of the Ducati 899 Panigale is perceived as more harmonious. It also goes better with the lower power, which can be converted more efficiently into fast lap times on the racetrack with a round driving style and high cornering speeds, while the brute acceleration of the Ducati 1199 Panigale demands sharper lines in the corners. It would be nice now if the chassis geometry differences between the Panigale sisters could explain these different characteristics, which have been carefully extracted.

Solution in the design of the tires?

But unfortunately the opposite is the case. The Ducati 899 Panigale has the steeper steering head (65.5 instead of 65 degrees), the shorter caster (96 instead of 100 millimeters) and wheelbase (1426 instead of 1437 millimeters). It also has a narrower rear tire on a narrower rim. It also has a high 60s profile, so it bulges strongly. All facts that should actually make it easier to give in. The height of the rear, measured from the center of the rear wheel axle to the same reference point on the rear fairing, was exactly the same for both, to the nearest millimeter. So what could be the reason for the superb handiness of the Ducati 1199 Panigale? The three kilograms less weight that the 1199 weighs thanks to its magnesium engine cover, the lighter wheels and the aluminum frame rear, probably not.


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The chassis requires a highly concentrated driver with a good feeling for the grip limit of the front tire.

Probably the solution to the riddle lies in the design of the tires. The Pirelli Supercorsa SP, original equipment on the Ducati 1199 Panigale, is closely related to real racing tires; The front tire in particular is optimized for high steering precision under high loads, such as those that occur when braking hard combined with vigorous turning. Such tires therefore have a more stable substructure than road tires of the Diablo Rosso Corsa type on the Ducati 899 Panigale. This in turn offers advantages in terms of comfort and straight-line stability. He manages this thanks to a more flexible substructure and, as a result, better self-damping of the tire. With loads of the type described above, however, it forms a wider contact area than a sports tire.

Little things lead to differences

And that in turn is the reason for the noticeably increasing resistance against the deepest slopes. Perhaps a seemingly banal difference, such as the different cover material for the driver’s seat, also plays a small role. The long-term test 1199, which accompanied her little sister for this comparison, still has a driver’s seat from the first series. It is covered with a very smooth material; the driver slips on the tank with the slightest deceleration and dynamically brings a lot of weight forward. The newly shaped and ten millimeters higher upholstered seat of the Ducati 899 Panigale has a rougher cover; you can therefore stay further back when braking, instead of attacking the corners with higher front wheel load and steeper steering geometry. Sounds like too far fetched? It’s possible. But it is precisely the two Panigals who teach that small things add up to tangible behavioral differences.


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The display of the individual menu levels on the 1199 is generous, while the same level on the 899 presents itself as Cinderella.

Basically, the Ducati 899 Panigale is equipped with the same package of electronic driving aids as the 1199. However, the display instrument that is used to set them is rather frugal – black on gray. If the electronics of the 1199 conjure up the individual topics of the setting menu in multicolored, large and written out on the display, the 899 is initially satisfied with a few lines. If you click through line by line, a lazy “rm” appears, for example, which on the Ducati 1199 Panigale means “riding mode”. That seems a little listless. The Ducati software specialists could have written a few more letters into the program for 4200 euros less. There would definitely be enough space on the gray surface.

For the light metal fetishists and to show how much detail the product planners go when it comes to cost savings, we would like to point out the bracket for the seat cushion. The 1199 Panigale is made of carefully machined aluminum sheet,
the Ducati 899 Panigale carries a thin, galvanized sheet steel part at this point.

Kleine Panigale is dignified and richly furnished

Otherwise, the Ducati 899 Panigale is so dignified and richly equipped that you have to be very meticulous to miss something compared to the 1199 Panigale. Least of all the single-sided swing arm, which is most likely even heavier than the newly designed double-sided swing arm of the smaller Panigale. Single-sided swing arms require more material for the same rigidity, and the large-diameter multi-row rolling bearings of the wheel carrier are heavier than simple standard wheel bearings of a double-sided swing arm.

The elaborate coating of the fork sliding tubes on the 1199, its larger brake discs or calipers were not noticeable during the test drives. Even after fast intermediate sprints on the motorway, the simpler brake system of the Ducati 899 Panigale decelerated as safely and steadily as one could wish. And neither the sturdy fork of the 1199 Panigale (guide tube diameter 50 millimeters) nor the thinner 43 fork of the 899 could prevent a gradually emerging unrest in the steering on motorways with concrete slab lanes. However, both machines then completed a comparison drive on a motorway with a seamless surface with impeccable high-speed stability.

Conclusion


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As I said, the 899 is three kilograms heavier than the 1199 Panigale. The weight difference between the drivers is greater.

For die-hard Ducatisti, the subject of this comparison is probably academic: None of them will do without the exclusivity and the power of the Ducati 1199 Panigale just to save 4200 euros and have it a little easier here and there. If you don’t love it that hard, but prefer to be fast through efficiency and harmonious interaction with your motorcycle, the mDucati 899 Panigaleit is better served. Aside from striving for racetrack performance, it also proves to be a motorcycle that is more suitable for everyday use.

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