Ducati unveils Panigale V4 ahead of EICMA

It's the supersport bike that everyone has been waiting for...

Ducati unveils Panigale V4 ahead of EICMA

DUCATI has pulled the covers from the hotly anticipated Panigale V4 (above) – the first mass-production four-cylinder motorcycle to emerge from Borgo Panigale.

With a 1,103cc powertrain, derived directly from the MotoGP Desmosedici, the V4 will bring MotoGP technology to the masses, at a fraction of the price. It will cost from less than £20,000 when it goes on sale in January.

All eyes were on the red model at Ducati’s pre-EICMA press conference this evening, with suggestions that this could be the biggest new bike of EICMA 2017.

The Panigle V4 S

But why? Firstly, it’s a massive move for Ducati, shunning the favoured twin-cylinder set-up for a 90° V4. Secondly, and more pertinent to punters, it’s a mass-produced MotoGP-derived V4 that’s almost affordable.

The Desmodici Stradale engine is an 1103cc 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, which is how the four valves in each cylinder are controlled. It makes 214hp, and boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 1.1 hp/kg thanks to the bike’s kerb weight of 198kg (the S and Speciale weight 195kg). Torque of 91.5 lb-ft is seen at 10,000rpm.

This is the same configuration as the Desmosedici GP, with the 90° V4 rotated backwards by 42° to make it more compact and allow for ‘centralisation of mass’.  

A counter-rotating type crankshaft is present, which claims to make the bike quicker-turning by countering the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, as well as reducing wheelie and dive effect under acceleration and braking.

When the engine was revealed in September, Ducati said that the crank pins have a 70° offset, making for a 'twin Pulse' firing sequence that produces a ‘unique signature sound’ and provides ‘easy-to-handle power and excellent out-of-the-corner traction’.

The Italian manufacturer described the V4 as well suited to the track but also designed with road requirements in mind, with good low-down and mid-range torque, thanks to the slightly larger displacement than its MotoGP ‘counterpart’.

The Panigale V4 will replace the 1299 Panigale as the kingpin of Ducati’s Supersport range, offering enhanced performance and rideability in a stylish, lightweight package.

It will be available in three different guises: the £19,250 entry-level Panigale V4 and the £23,895 V4 S, both of which will enter dealerships in January. Following two months later will be the range topping V4 Speciale in a race livery. This will cost £34,995.

The Panigale V4 range is based on a new frame, in which the Desmosedici Stradale itself has a load-bearing function. Known as the ‘Front Frame’, Ducati claim that this set up is more compact and lighter than the previous perimeter frame, implementing the engine as a stressed chassis element.

Not only does this frame promise to improve riding feel, but it’s also allowed for a slimmer front of seat.

The base V4 is an extremely attractive bike, packed with technology. Dressed in Ducati Red, it’s got 43 mm Showa Big Piston Forks (BPF) and a Sachs monoshock – both of which are fully adjustable  - and a Sachs steering damper.

A Bosch 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit controls an electronics package comprising: Cornering Bosch EVO, Ducati Traction Control EVO Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Ducati Wheelie Control EVO, Ducati Power Launch, Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO (with buttons for quickshifting) and Engine Brake Control EVO.

These elements are implemented in all three riding modes of Race, Sport, Street, which can be adjusted via the new TFT display.

The wheels wear Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber, while new Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers
 provide the stopping power.

The bike boasts a full-LED headlight with DRL 
and is compatable with both the Ducati Data Analyser + GPS and Ducati Multimedia System.

The S, meanwhile, adds Öhlins NIX-30 forks,TTX 36 shock absorber and a steering damper, all of which boast the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system. There’s also high spec components including aluminium forged wheels, a lithium-ion battery
and cast magnesium alloy front sub frame.

Finally, the range topping Speciale boasts the same standard spec as the Panigale V4 S, with added components comprising machined-from-solid top yoke with identification number, Alcantara seat, dedicated handle grips, adjustable foot pegsracing articulated levers, race fuel tank cap and brake level protection.

There’s a host of carbon fibre parts including front/rear mudguards, heel guard and swinging arm, while the bike is supplied with addition equipment including full racing titanium Ducati Performance by Akrapovič exhaust system, racing screen, plate holder removal kit, machined-from solid mirror replacement plugs, Ducati Data Analyser+ GPS (DDA + GPS) and a bike cover.