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Old 19-Jun-2012, 06:45 AM
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Stealth Stealth is offline
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Bikes: 998R, Panigale S
 
Posts: 439
Join Date: Jul 2001
Just back from 300 mile trip on the Pani.

Impressions? FANTASTIC!!!

This bike is without question, outstanding. Currently running in the engine so no exceeding 5500rpm but this takes the bike over 100mph in 6th gear anyway. I have not seen the white smoke from the exhausts that seems to characterise a lot of the comments on US forums. Nor have I seen the head bolts loosening and oil seepage - also mentioned on the US forums. May be early days but no point inviting problems.

The much talked about hole in performance under 6000 rpm is not evident to me but I wonder if this is because of the full Termi system. IMO, the full Termis do transform the performance and the feel of the bike.

Any downsides?

The seat is a bit hard but hey... its Italian and aren't you supposed to put up with some suffering for your art? In truth, the seat is OK but won't be good for people who are expecting a sofa like experience.

The heat from the exhausts is noticeable but not yet intrusive. In fact on a cold day I suspect it is really welcome. Yesterday was quite warm and I did quite a bit of slow traffic with the engine reaching 95F. I am imagining it isn't going to get much hotter, so OK for now.

Loose fasteners. I did lose one of the screw and associated washers that attach the forward heat shield on the termi silencer.These had been fitted with "copper ease". Now all have been replaced with Loctite. I also went round and retightened all the fairing fasteners - some of which were loose. No idea whether they weren't tight in the first place or had worked loose. I will be checking all fasteners in these early days.

I did have a couple of embarrassing moments where the engine wouldn't start and I imagined all sorts of electronic failures. The truth is that I experienced "fail safes". The first was, you start the engine OK, put the bike into 1st gear and it stalls. Then you realise that the side stand is down - doh!
The second is, you press the start button and nothing happens. Huge embarrassment and fears for the worse until I realised that I left the bike in first gear (it was on a hill so I didn't want it to roll of the side stand).

Bike is now covered in road grime (it was raining a bit on Sunday) and the chain could do with a small adjustment (why no C spanner in the toolkit? Shop told me, people can get the dealer to adjust the chain! - no way!).

On the overall performance, as far as can be told while running in, it is deceptively fast. It is quick to accelerate and to decelerate (even before you brake which says some something about the engine braking). The engine invites you to keep it in high gear and just roll on the throttle. On motorways, I found that when I did this, I got the sensation of gentle acceleration - nothing incredible. Except, that where there had been cars right behind me, I now had what appeared to be specks in the mirror. The acceleration is amazing and I haven't yet got into the rev range that the journos write glowingly about.

Anyway, thought this might be of interest to new and aspiring Pani owners.

I now definitely feel the need to get the first service out the way and am hatching the notion of a trip to Italy. This is definitely a bike to take over the Alps and if anyone knows the road that goes out to Sorrento from Naples then this is the bike to do it on. Can't wait.
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