Ducati are no longer holding themselves back when it comes to Superbike supremacy, unveiling the ulimate Panigale - the Panigale V4 R - at the company's home motor show in Milan today.
The new range-topping Panigale is the undisputed star of the Ducati World Première 2019 - and aspiring candidate for the title of 'best-looking bike of EICMA2018'. With its purposeful lines and very cool winglets (aerodynamic aids) the Ducati definitely has us wanting a poster for our bedroom wall! Compared to previous R versions, Ducati says the Panigale V4 R is now even more specialised and bristles with technology taken directly from the companies efforts in MotoGP.
The modifications extend far beyond the engine and suspension set-up: they also include the fairing, designed and developed by Ducati Corse in close collaboration with the Ducati Style Centre to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The new fairing also incorporates the winglets which were developed for the MotoGP prototypes. Made of carbon fibre, they increase stability throughout the ride, to allow for reduced reliance on electronic controls, boosting confidence for the pinnacle of rider performance.
The Panigale V4 R is, to all intents and purposes, a road-legal WSBK category competition bike and constitutes the technical foundation for the official Ducati Superbikes that will compete in the World Championship as from the 2019 season. Yes, you read that correctly, you can have a bike with wings for the freaking street!
In the engine department, the 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale engine has been replaced with the smaller 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R to comply with displacement limits set by WSBK rules. Unlike the larger V4 - which was designed to provide fluid power delivery and excellent low-rev pulling power for optimal road use - the 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R offers more extreme performance as power delivery has been designed with the track in mind.
While much of the competition are hovering around the 200hp mark, the new Ducati blows their doors off with a massive 221hp (162kW) at a screaming 15,250rpm. Those class leading numbers can be increased even higher by fitting the full-racing Ducati Performance exhaust by Akrapovič, which boosts maximum power to 234 hp (172 kW) at 15,500 rpm.
Like any good sports machine, power is pointless if it isn't matched by a very lightweight chassis, and the Panigale V4 R is no exception.
Overall bike weight is down by 2 kg compared to the Panigale V4S, with a claimed kerb weight of just 193kg. Greater air intake efficiency also allows faster engine 'rev-up' and shifts the rpm red zone higher to ensure improved acceleration.
"Ducati has achieved a striking degree of maturity", stated Ducati head honcho Claudio Domenicali on opening the Ducati World Premiere 2019. "It is a global flag bearer of some of the best aspects of Made in Italy excellence. Based on core values of Style, Sophistication and Performance, our company now offers a range as broad as it is state-of-the-art, He said. Today, safety and rider-friendliness have hit new heights, yet the brand's sporting soul is as evident as it has ever been. The Panigale V4 R, in fact, is the most powerful factory motorcycle ever built by Ducati. We're also delighted with our on-line presence, an area that has enjoyed excellent growth, thus confirming the extraordinary appeal of the entire Ducati product range.”
In short, the new V4 R is the most powerful Ducati factory motorcycle ever! We'll update you as soon as we have indications from Ducati ANZ on pricing and expected arrival into New Zealand.