At the ongoing 2017 EICMA, Milan, Ducati has successfully stunned the world with the launch of four new motorcycles. The Panigale V4 leads the assault.
The elusive V4 engine powered Ducati has been captured doing its test rounds for a while now. Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali even shared insights about the company’s vision for future superbikes and the new engine. Ducati has also been teasing the bikes through various media gimmicks, such as an audio bite of the motorcycle at San Marino GP. Here it is at last: the much awaited 2018 Ducati Panigale V4.
Ducatisti across the globe will forever have this date etched in their memory as the day Ducati ditched its signature L-Twin in favor of a series production V4. Dubbed ‘Desmosedici Stradale’, the engine literally means ‘Desmosedici for the road’. The motor is an 1103 cc liquid-cooled four stroke affair, good for 214 hp at the crank and a healthy 120 Nm of torque to tear up asphalt. One would think that these are all good numbers, but nothing too spectacular. After all, the Panigale V4’s own predecessor, the insane 1299 Superleggera pushed out 215 hp in a 170 kg body!
The Panigale V4, however, is a series production motorcycle. It does not get too many of the fancy bits the ultra-limited edition Superleggera boasts of. Yet the bike rings in at just a couple kilos shy of 200 kg, fully fueled. Dry weight stands at 174 kg. On to the juicier bits now.
The 1103 cc V4 has a 70-degree crank pin offset and a signature ‘Twin Pulse’ 0-90-290-380 firing order. This means that the V4 is basically two L-Twins joined at the hip. Ducati claims this helps the Panigale V4 maintain an identifiable link to the L-Twins of past in feel and character. It also features another link of identification to Ducati’s MotoGP program: the engine is counter rotating.
Although the Panigale V4 looks like an evolution of the old 1299 instead of an all-new bike, much has changed under the skin. It gets standard cornering ABS and dynamic slide control by Bosch. Bring in the drifters, this bike can take them all! The quickshifter on the V4 rapidly adapts to usage patterns, and aids in mid-corner shifting without disturbing the delicate balance of a leaning bike. The engine is also a stressed member of the aluminium frame, making for a rigid chassis with little flex.
The base Panigale V4 employs Showa 43 mm Big Piston forks, a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock, and a Sachs steering damper. The Ducati Panigale V4 S gets better kit like forged Marchesini wheels, cast magnesium subframe, lithium-ion battery. Additionally, it has better suspension in the form of Öhlins NIX30 forks and Öhlins TTX36 monoshock All the goodies result in weight savings over the standard Panigale V4, 2 kg to be precise. Overall, the V4 is only 5 kg heavier than the outgoing 1299, impressive considering the new bike gained two extra cylinders as well.
But wait, there’s a Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale too! Stay tuned for more updates from the 2017 EICMA!