What to look for when buying a Ducati Panigale

19 January 2016

What to look for when buying a Ducati Panigale

What do i look for when buying a second hand Ducati Panigale?

It's a question we've been asked a few times and most user forums will tell you similar stories.

One of the main issues with the Ducati Panigale 1199 is heat. It sometimes affects starting and amongst other niggly issues, seems to be one of the main complaints from users across the web.

There are apparent loose bolts that sometimes appear, so it's worth checking over your bike after long runs and giving it at least a monthly checkup if you're out on it a lot. The indicator stalk (left) and dial kit are known issues, and while Ducati initially offered warranty replacements for the dial kit, it's been a few years since their launch now, so you might struggle to get one for free. When any car or bike is mass produced, there are variants in the manufacture process which can cause issues in some batches, models or even a whole year's worth of a particular model - in this case the 2012 model seems to have far more issues than others. 

We can see from many owner forums and groups that there may be issues with:

  • Main bottom Swingarm bolt loose (near rearsets)
  • Burnt fairing underneath the Exhaust pipe (RHS)
  • Soft paint (2012 issue i believe as i havnt heard much more goin into 2013)
  • Smoking Exhaust (Sealed Valves which may take time)

ducati panigale faults

Photo credit: "Ducati 1199 Panigale R (8226624471)" by Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK - Ducati 1199 Panigale RUploaded by tm. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

So worth looking out for these when purchasing a Ducati yourself. One owner, Frosty has posted a list of typical problems you might find and estimates on time and cost to repair them. If you're outside of your warranty though, expect these to be much higher:


Description: Left hand controls not working properly (Right indicators/horn)Factory Part issue. Cause: Vibration leads to wiring short When it manifests: Approximately 1000mi. Fix: Wiring harness replacement. Repair Time: 10-20m fix, parts must be ordered by dealer. Cost: 0

Description: -Intermittent/complete gear sensor failure. -Quick shifter inoperable. -Power surge and mistaken gear indication when working (due to improper fueling for misidentified gear) -Unable to warm up in neutral with kickstand down. Cause: Possibly caused by change of rearsets. When it manifests: First 10m of riding. Fix: part replacement Repair time: 1hr fix. Cost: 0 when under warranty

Description: Lurching at 3k RPM Cause: It is a Ducati. When it manifests: Low RPMs Fix: Keep it above 3-4K rpm (or spend money for a sprocket and upmap) Repair Time: N/A Cost: More fuel?

Description: Lack of stability/twitchy Cause: Maladjusted suspension/overall geometry When it manifests: When it is moving Fix: Have suspension adjusted properly for weight, adjust riding style to fit responsiveness of the geometry Repair Time: varies Cost: Free if you can turn a wrench, otherwise the cost depends on who you take it to. Parts and labour if you're replacing springs.

Description: Rear brake lockup Cause: Rearset replacement, riding the brake When it manifests: After intense riding/ putting around Fix: Ensure you have proper pad clearance after installing new rearsets Repair Time: ~1hr Cost: 0 self repair or whatever your selected wrench will charge

Description: High oil consumption Cause: Various. Reports of both soft and hard break-ins causing this issue. When it manifests: Anywhere from initial break-in period (normal) to 1k+ km/mi after break-in Fix: Some have suggested increasing the weight of the oil or switching to mineral based instead of synthetic. Consult a certified tech, this could be a very serious issue. Repair Time: unk Cost: Various

Description: Moisture in display Cause: High humidity/being out in the rain. Design of display. When it manifests: various Fix: Keep it covered. Keep it dry. Deal with it. Repair Time:

Description: burn right rear of the belly pan Cause: Installation of Full Termi system When it manifests: First heatup after pipe installation Fix: larger rubber grommet to increase the spacing between the fairing and pipe Repair Time: 1hr Cost: 0 with warranty

Description: Right side heat shield bolt loose Cause: Vibration and heat from the pipe When it manifests: After heat shield replacement or a few thousand miles Fix: Overside bolt and red loctite Repair Time: 20 mins Cost:

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