Ducati launches new 240-horsepower 2023 Panigale V4 R

Ducati has aired the fourth episode of their World Premiere web series, this time launching the 2023 Panigale V4 R, with more power, agility, and stability.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R. - Ducati Media

Ducati has aired the fourth episode of its World Premiere web series, This is Racing, in which it launched a new version of the Panigale V4 R. 

The new Panigale V4 R seeks to bring the top line of Ducati’s road-going sports bikes closer to the factory race bikes of the World Superbike Championship. 

As anyone who has watched WorldSBK this year can attest, the engine of the current V4 R is its strongest asset. The visual of Alvaro Bautista blowing by rivals in a straight line has become a normality, but even still Ducati has sought more power from the road-going V4 motor for 2023. 

Standard, the 2023 Panigale V4 R will produce 218 horsepower at 15,500rpm, with the maximum revs set at 16,500rpm. Adding a racing exhaust and the latest fuel that has been developed by Shell in conjunction with Ducati will bring the max power output to 240.5 horsepower, which is not a small number. 

Another key to the additional power has been the use of gun-drilled titanium connecting rods and DLC-treated pistons, which Ducati say is a first for a road bike, although the technology is common in Formula One and MotoGP prototype racers. Inertia is also reduced thanks to new piston geometry, which reduces their weight by two per cent, or five grams. 

To control that power, there are also new engine modes, with “Full” and “Low” being added. “Full” unleashes the full power of the V4 R, with electronic aids only in first gear. (Hard to not think that Ben Spies might have liked his electronics that way round at Indianapolis in 2013.) “Low”, on the other hand, reduces the power to 160 horsepower to make the bike more suitable to road riding.

When off the power, the Engine Brake Control EVO 2 system allows for gear-by-gear adjustment to the engine braking settings across three levels. 
Finally on electronics (at least running in standard trim), the Ducati Quick Shift is refined and optimised to deliver smooth shifts with both partial and full throttle.

When it comes to track use, Ducati has developed the Ducati Performance DTC EVO 3 software which is sold as an extra. This makes the bike illegal to ride on the road, essentially, but allows the rear light to flash in rain conditions and replaces the “Street” riding mode with a mode designed for rain conditions.

While the suspension still comes from Ohlins, the travel in the NPX25/30 pressurised fork is increased by 5mm. Additionally, a change to the swingarm pivot position raises the rear ride height by 20mm. This raises the centre of gravity, which increases agility. Additionally, the stiffness of the rear shock (which is preload-adjustable) has decreased from 105N/mm to 80N/mm. Ducati says this should aid stability.

The livery is also new, with white number plates containing a bold “1” on both side fairings and the front. Its black wheels almost makes the 2023 Panigale V4 R look more ‘racey’ than the WorldSBK race bikes which use silver wheels to manage tyre temperatures. Another aesthetic addition is the brushed aluminium fuel tank, which has a capacity of 17 litres.

Aerodynamically, the winglets are new, but the same as those seen on the standard V4 that was announced a few months ago. They are slightly slimmer, but dual-planed now with a slot between the upper and lower planes. The extraction vents at the bottom of the fairing are also updated to be in-line with the standards of WorldSBK.

The dashboard graphics also include the new Track EVO type, along with the regular Track and Road types, allowing the rider to be fully informed of what the bike is doing - which electronics are engaged, which gear is selected, which engine mode is currently being used et cetera - at 180mph with the next braking zone fast-approaching. 

Finally, the 2023 Panigale V4 R will be a numbered model for the first time. Each bike’s uniquity is verified by a plaque on the steering head.

to get up close and personal with the biggest new models in the Ducate range, get yourself over to Motorcycle Live starting this weekend, 19th November 2022.

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