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Old May 4th 2015, 08:22 AM   #1
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I Ride: 2015 Ducati Panigale 1299S by way of 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale Base w/ABS
1299 Base vs. 1299S

This may have been asked already but I couldn't find it anywhere on the form. I want the 1299 but need to decide on which one 1299 base or 1299S. I don't do much (probably never) track riding. I mostly (98% of the time) do street riding, commuting and some distance rides.
Which one would you recommend given my use of the Panigale? 1299 base or 1299S?

Money is an object for me, but I'm willing to pay for what would be the best recommendation for my use of it.
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Old May 4th 2015, 08:28 AM   #2
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For the street, absolutely the Base.

There is no need for electronic buttons on the bars, lightweight forged wheels and Ohlins suspension on the street. You wont be pushing the bike hard enough to notice a difference.

Your ride through the mountains or to the grocery story will not be more enjoyable on the S than it would be on the base....but that extra $5,000 could go a long way into upgrades on the base.
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Old May 4th 2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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I hate to differ from Chris's opinion because he is obviously much more experienced than I am. My way of thinking was the opposite. The electronic suspension and LED lights among a few others were what I wanted on the street. Wheels I could've done without because I know I wouldn't see the benefit of them, but I guess they look nice. Honestly for the money I think the S should come with a slip on like the Tri used to.

For the track I would've absolutely gotten the base and used the left over funds for upgrading the suspension/wheels myself.

Expect most to come in here suggesting whatever they bought. The base guys will always say it's the best option and the same with the S owners. In the long run it's up to you and what you think is best for you and your budget. If money is an issue, I would get the base and not feel like I settled one bit. They're all great machines. The cost difference between the base and S is what I spent on my last track bike so it's not like we're talking about a trivial amount here.
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
I hate to differ from Chris's opinion because he is obviously much more experienced than I am. My way of thinking was the opposite. The electronic suspension and LED lights among a few others were what I wanted on the street. Wheels I could've done without because I know I wouldn't see the benefit of them, but I guess they look nice. Honestly for the money I think the S should come with a slip on like the Tri used to.

For the track I would've absolutely gotten the base and used the left over funds for upgrading the suspension/wheels myself.

Expect most to come in here suggesting whatever they bought. The base guys will always say it's the best option and the same with the S owners. In the long run it's up to you and what you think is best for you and your budget. If money is an issue, I would get the base and not feel like I settled one bit. They're all great machines. The cost difference between the base and S is what I spent on my last track bike so it's not like we're talking about a trivial amount here.

If I have to spend more, I just have to spend more.. Of course I'd rather spend less, I just want to hear everyone's (or anyone's) opinions to make the right call for myself.

Keep the thoughts coming...
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
I hate to differ from Chris's opinion because he is obviously much more experienced than I am. My way of thinking was the opposite. The electronic suspension and LED lights among a few others were what I wanted on the street. Wheels I could've done without because I know I wouldn't see the benefit of them, but I guess they look nice. Honestly for the money I think the S should come with a slip on like the Tri used to.

For the track I would've absolutely gotten the base and used the left over funds for upgrading the suspension/wheels myself.

Expect most to come in here suggesting whatever they bought. The base guys will always say it's the best option and the same with the S owners. In the long run it's up to you and what you think is best for you and your budget. If money is an issue, I would get the base and not feel like I settled one bit. They're all great machines. The cost difference between the base and S is what I spent on my last track bike so it's not like we're talking about a trivial amount here.
I guess it all depends on what type of riding somebody does on the street (but you do have a valid point with the LED lights).

Personally, suspension is the least of my worries on the street...I never touch it. The suspension on my Triumph Sprint ST really SUCKS. It is the old style RSU forks and WAY undersprung for my 215lbs (without gear) plus saddlebags loaded etc. But I have about 25,000 miles on it with no complaints.

Sportbikes are the same way. Modern OEM sportbike suspension is about at the technological level of WSBK suspension of 12-15 years ago and it is definitely capable of handling any kind of pace people will ride on the street.

If the EC suspension could sense potholes, or speed bumps, or debris, etc and stiffen/soften based upon ROAD conditions, I could definitely see it. But instead it reacts to rider inputs (throttle, brakes, lean angle, etc)...and on the street, I personally don't ride hard enough to warrant altering anything.

But of course, to each their own. You really cant go wrong either way, it just depends on how much you want to spend.

Personally, I chose the S model for the track because I wanted the controls on the left bar but mostly the lightweight wheels (changing wheels renders a bike illegal for Superstock competition, and I wanted to keep it SS legal).
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:18 AM   #6
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One thing I can say for certain, if you even think you might want the S model, just get it. There is nothing worse than spending that kind of money, then a few months later thinking "I wish I would have gotten...".
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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The main question the street rider has to ask is whether the EC suspension is worth $6k, the other stuff is primarily cosmetic. Chris Ulrich (RR World) had good things to say about it on track, but an expert level rider would need to ride both machines back-to-back on a mountain road (after setting up the Base properly, and perhaps with a better rear shock) to see what difference it really makes.

Personally I prefer simple - fewer buttons/switches/wires - stuff that can go wrong, because I usually keep a bike at least 5 years. LED lights would be a nice cosmetic upgrade, but it's not worth $6k to me
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:22 AM   #8
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Realistically nothing on the S model is any more track than a base with upgraded suspension. the elec Íhlins suspension might have to be upgraded to be track ready . IMO the 1299S has really fancy street suspension and I like it and I think its cool and imo that is all that matters.
I bought the S over the base because the price seemed so close for what you get.
I like all the extras on the street And I'm sure Id like them on the track too. My track bike is an yamaha r6 someday maybe Ill put the ducati on the track .
every moment I've spent on this bike Has been a blast . the fun factor is through the roof , so what part of that is due to the "s" factor?
In my case it is a large part .
In ducati world 5k is nothing .

Last edited by Macattack; May 4th 2015 at 09:25 AM.
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:23 AM   #9
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I brought up the controls on the bar as being a big +1 for the S IMO. I know they can be retro fitted to the base but I was worried about cost. Another member here said around $250 but I find this hard to believe considering Ducati wants $300 just for a carbon fender. I don't think we'll see an aftermarket option available, so paying the DP tax is unavoidable.
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Old May 4th 2015, 09:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Macattack View Post
. the elec Íhlins suspension might have to be upgraded to be track ready . IMO the 1299S has really fancy street suspension and I like it and I think its cool and imo that is all that matters.
I bought the S over the base because the price seemed so close for what you get.
I like all the extras on the street And I'm sure Id like them on the track too. My track bike is an yamaha r6 someday maybe Ill put the ducati on the track .
every moment I've spent on this bike Has been a blast . the fun factor is through the roof , so what part of that is due to the "s" factor?
In my case it is a large part .
In ducati world 5k is nothing .
That is a real TTX shock and NIX-30 forks (think 30mm Cartridge Kit). In other words, it IS track/race suspension. All it needs is to be properly sprung and maybe some valving work based upon personal preference.

And there is no single modification that has more affect than lightweight wheels. That is the one mod that affects acceleration, braking, side-to-side transitions, top speed...everything.

Then there are the controls on the left bar.

I am only saying that the comment of "Realistically nothing on the S model is any more track than a base with upgraded suspension" isn't entirely accurate. The wheels are a HUGE bonus (and the primary reason I went with the S).

IMO, all of that stuff is unnecessary and overkill for the street. But then again, a Panigale in and of itself is overkill for the street. So at the end of the day, all that really matters is what somebody wants and can pay for.

As previously stated by Mr. Rogue, basically everyone will just suggest getting what they got (that should be expected). I am just saying that if I was purchasing one KNOWING it would be a street bike, I would get the Base. Then I would use the extra $5-6k for an exhaust a tuner and gearing.
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Last edited by Chaotic; May 4th 2015 at 09:43 AM.
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