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My new 1199 Panigale, part 8

Posted on August 29, 2012 by acruhl

It’s been a while since the last post. But I have plenty of updates since then so here we go.

First, read the previous parts:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

More random discussion points after 1351 miles:

o Since Part 7, Rossi has decided to ride for Yamaha for 2013. I’ve heard talk from Ducati that Checa will be staying at Althea on an 1199 in WSBK next year, and then the factory will be involved again in 2014. I think they have a lot riding on the success of the 1199 in WSBK, probably more so than the Desmosedici in MotoGP and they should really consider making sure the 1199 will be competitive. It needs to be successful. If it isn’t, they are going to lose some prestige in the market.

o There was a service bulletin (I think it wasn’t a recall) to re-grease the rear eccentric hub and also the pushrod attached to the swingarm and the linkage. During this time Steve at renaissance discovered that a grease seal on the hub was damaged for unknown reasons. Maybe it was installed wrong at the factory? Anyway, that isn’t a separate part so the whole hub had to be ordered. I was without the bike for about a week and a half.

o Since the linkage had to come off, Steve changed the rear suspension rising rate from “flat” to “progressive”. This is the setting you’re supposed to use if you carry a passenger, and I don’t. Apparently some magazine tests did this change and declared it was better for track riding, but I think they are mostly riding the 1199S with Ohlins. So far on the road, I have very little to report. The rear suspension does seem a bit stiffer over bumps, but I have no idea if this is a good thing. At street pace I think it makes not much difference to me. I had to try it, Steve already had it apart.

o Steve did some adjusting on the fuel injection and it’s been a very positive change. I had reported previously that when you open the throttle quickly at lower RPM, there is a huge hesitation. This is gone, you just get acceleration now. Also, the surging has been reduced probably about 50%. It’s still there, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. The hot starting problem is also mostly fixed. It used to be that it was very difficult to start after riding a while and then shutting it off for a few minutes. I only had this problem once since the injection was adjusted. The high RPM running is about the same, but this is not surprising. I think the adjustment was for idle and smaller throttle openings.

o I still have not ridden an 1199 with the slip on or full system and accompanying map. I really need to do this at some point so I can see how much different it is. I don’t care so much about top end power, these things are ridiculously fast as it is, I really only care about driveability around town. If it’s better than mine even after the adjustment, I really have to consider this mod.

o Akrapovic still has nothing for the 1199 as of now: Click here. I really wonder if they are not doing this because they can’t get into the ECU to make changes…

o I “confused” the shift indicator at one point. For whatever reason, I was trying to shift up from 3rd to 4th I think it was, and it stayed in 3rd but the indicator showed 4th. It fixed itself when I went into 1st or neutral, not sure which. No big deal.

o A day after I picked up my bike from the service I was talking about above, the right turn signal and upper “mode” button stopped working. So I couldn’t turn on the right turn signal, and I couldn’t scroll through the odo and trip settings. Wacky. I turned it off and back on, and the problem still existed. A few days went by when I couldn’t ride, so I started it up and checked the problem again before I called the dealer. It fixed itself, and hasn’t done it again since. (Update: It happened again, so I need to figure it out.) I’ve been told that one should use the official Ducati battery charger instead of a battery tender, I’m hoping this isn’t related somehow?

o I was lucky to trade rides with a club member on an 1198SP a few weeks ago. I hadn’t ridden a 1098 or 1198 for a while, so it was nice. You can definitely feel the lineage from my 998 in the 1198. They are related, you can feel it through the handlebars when turning into corners. It was really a nice feeling. If you’re a long time Ducati superbike rider, I think you would feel the same thing. It occurred to me that this bike (the 1198SP) is about as good as the 1098/1198 series will ever get, possibly excepting the 1098R or 1198R. And my base model 1199 should theoretically be the worst the 1199 ever will be, it should only get better from here. There are some clear advantages to the 1199 (weight, engine character, top end power), but the 1198SP has very tangible reasons why you might consider staying with it. The suspension action is better (it’s Ohlins, it should be), and there is more communication through the bars during turn in. For me, it’s similar to the old Ducati vs. Japanese argument which is logical because the 1199 has an aluminum frame like all of the Japanese bikes. But when you get fully on the side in a corner, the 1199 is better, and it’s easier to modulate the throttle coming off of corners since it doesn’t have the huge midrange power that the 1198 has. It’s a tough call. The 1198 is probably a better street bike, but the 1199 has much more potential at the track I think. Ducati bravely shed their heritage in order to make the ultimate twin cylinder street based race bike, and they have succeeded. Now we need to find out if it will be enough to stay with the competition.

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