Long term update: Panigale's changing me
Nine hundred miles into the 1299 Panigale S experience and I get my first full Saturday afternoon with the new bike. I need it.
This is the first time a fancy-pancy Ducati has lived in my garage, and it still feels like we have an Italian exchange student staying. It’s also the first bike I’ve had that has more bhp than kilos and the computing power to land a rocket on Uranus, so I’m as curious as I am excited.
To kick off a bonding session I’d normally look at the sag or rotate the levers into a more natural position. Trouble is this isn’t a normal bike and I‘m hopelessly distracted. God, I hear myself saying aloud, it’s beautiful. I manage to ascertain that the levers are locked in position and can’t be moved but forget all about the sag as I become sidetracked by the suspension’s extraordinary menu of electronic damping options. Then I stumble across the – get this – lean angle indicator. “Hey kids, come and have a look at the lean-o-meter!”
Mmm. This supposed afternoon of achievement isn’t going too well. I manage to note that the oil level is on the low mark and maintain concentration long enough to adjust the chain slack, but that’s it.
I pull my helmet off the shelf, wheel the bike out of the garage and clatter off up the road, telling myself I’m just nipping to the Shell garage to buy a bottle of 10W-40 top-up oil. I get home two hours later. Something new is happening to me here.