The number 21 has had a bit of magic to it for Ducati ever since Troy Bayliss sculpted it with his victories in motorcycling history. Now in 2021, 20 years after winning the 2001 Superbike World Championship, Ducati is paying homage to the legendary career of the Aussie rider by dedicating a run of special edition Panigales in his honour.
Dubbed the Ducati Panigale V2 Bayliss 1st Championship 20th Anniversary (say that 21 times at high speed!) the special is characterised by its unique livery, but it isn’t just a stickered up Panigale V2. The graphics are inspired by the bikes Bayliss rode to his first world title in 2001 – the 996 R – with the scheme revisiting the same colours and cuts.
Ducati didn’t just add cool graphics and call it a day, however. Befitting a bike honouring a race champion, the V2 Bayliss sports upgraded Öhlins suspension. Up front is a NX30 front fork while a TTX36 rear shock absorber handles the rear. According to Ducati, the Öhlins components guarantee maximum smoothness and are designed to achieve the best performance on the circuit. Just as a racer’s bike should perform.
Compared to the standard version, the V2 Bayliss is also 3kg lighter, thanks to the adoption of a lithium-ion battery and by the choice to go with the single-seater configuration to further link the special edition bike to the championship-winning machines.
The special touches continue with the addition of sport grips, a carbon fibre and titanium exhaust silencer, and the rider seat made by combining two different technical materials with double red stitching. Troy’s number 21 is embroidered in white on the saddle and, together with the green and red bands, makes up the Italian flag. The motorcycle is also equipped with self-cleaning brake and clutch pumps with smoke grey oil tanks for that extra bit of practicality.
While local delivery is yet to be confirmed, New Zealand pricing for the Panigale V2 Bayliss 1st Championship 20th Anniversary is set at $28,995.