My whole Panigale experience has been about riding: mainly in shortish clattering bursts of intensity that often leave my hands shaking; sometimes in lazy, torque fuelled canters across country that, now I come to think of it, also often leave my hands shaking.
The ride is all-consuming, and the main reason I haven’t felt the usual urge to modify or make endless lists of to-dos and what-to-buys. I’ve learnt how to make the electronics work the way I want them to, sprayed its flanks with the odd squirt of Muc-Off – and then just ridden the thing.
Another reason is because the S-model Panigale leaves the factory about right. It pre-drips with Öhlins and forged Marchesinis, and doesn’t need a tail tidy or any half-baked tat. The brake lines look a tad industrial and a carbon hugger, one that matches the matt finish of the front mudguard, would be nice.
Only the nasty rear section of the exhaust system, which has become a rusting eyesore, offends in any way – but the last thing the booming Panigale needs is a pair of aftermarket cans that are even louder than standard. Getting past the trackday noise meter is already a lottery.
No, what the 1299S needs is tyres and petrol. Every time its throttle is opened with intent you feel your wallet flinch in pain as the V-twin paints a black line of rubber molecules on the road, necking another quart of super unleaded in the process. It can destroy a rear in under 500 miles and empty a tank in just 75.
Working this bike’s throttle is possibly the greatest pleasure you can have on a motorcycle in 2015, so forget the mods for now, that’s where the money has to go.