First Look: 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse

John Burns
by John Burns

It's Now the Biggest Superquadro

This one should go some way in comforting the bereaved mourning the passing of the Panigale 1299. Though this smaller L-Twin is but a measly 955cc, the 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse arrives rated at 150 hp @ 10,500 rpm and 75 pound-feet of torque @ 9,000 rpm. Which is really quite a bit more than enough for most people, all in a package Ducati says weighs 435 pounds (wet, with a 90% fuel load). This special Corse model also gets suspension by Öhlins, some street-legal Ducati Performance Akrapovič titanium silencers, a lightweight lithium-ion battery, and a MotoGP-inspired matte paint scheme. Ducati says the 959 Panigale Corse is ready to race, (Isn’t that KTM‘s line?) but the valve clearances still only need to be checked every 15,000 miles.

first look 2018 ducati 959 panigale corse
The die-cast aluminum monocoque “frame” uses the 955cc Superquadro twin as a structural element, attaching itself directly to the cylinder heads, and containing the steering head bearings. That monocoque frame unit also acts as an air-box, with air filter, throttle bodies and the whole fuel system sealed within by the bottom of the aluminum fuel tank.
first look 2018 ducati 959 panigale corse
A multi-adjustable titanium-nitrided Öhlins NIX30 fork with 43mm sliders carries the front wheel, and a TTX36 shock suspends the rear. There’s an adjustable steering damper too. The 959 Corse electronics package includes ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS), Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW). Race, Sport and Wet ride modes combine these systems to give the bike three different personalities on-demand.
first look 2018 ducati 959 panigale corse
959 Panigale Corse main standard features Colors
  • Special racing color scheme with black wheel rims


  • Superquadro 955cc V-twin engine
  • Euro 4 compliant
  • Servo-assisted slipper clutch
  • 43mm multi-adjustable  titanium-nitride-treated Öhlins NIX30 fork
  • Multi-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber
  • Öhlins adjustable steering damper
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Ducati Performance street legal double exhaust in titanium by Akrapovič

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2 of 3 comments
  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Nov 06, 2017

    Is the shifter both up and down? Does the ABS have lean-angle sensitivity? If not, boo Ducati. Give the baby Pani the techno-love it deserves! ... And don’t make us mere mortals have to buy 200-plus unuseable bhp just to get very useable features like top notch lean angle-sensitive ABS, TC, and up/down QS.

  • Lennon2017 Lennon2017 on Nov 06, 2017

    I am so pleased that it’s taken Ducati 3+ years to add an Ohlins-specced option to the 959 line. Molto bene, y’all.