2018 Ducati Panigale V4 Preview
Price Update: $21,195 base; $26,995 S; $39,995 Speciale
Since Fabio Taglioni designed the first Ducati V-twin in 1970, the Borgo Panigale-based brand has carved its history with this twin-based engine design.
The platform, known as the L-twin due to the front cylinder being parallel to the ground, continued through the ages. Since its intro, the V-twin was used in all street-going models, from the 1299 Panigale to the Ducati Scrambler 400.
Ducati only released one four-cylinder street-legal motorcycle in the past, the Desmosedici RR with its 989cc V4, which was based on the Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP bike. The RR was available for two years, and became a highly collectible motorcycle.
But things change drastically in 2018 in regards to Ducati’s top superbike. Ducati enters a new era with its first massed-produced V4 superbike.
Meet the Ducati Panigale V4, which delivers Ducati into a newest era since the original v-twin was developed back in 1970.
1. Goodbye 1299 Twin; Hello 1103cc V4 Stradale. The new 90-degree V4 produces 214 horsepower @ 13,000 rpm, and 91.5 ft/lbs of torque @ 10,000 rpm. This is nine more horsepower than the 1299 Panigale, though torque is down by 15.2 ft/lbs. The engine revs to 14,000 rpm. Take note that this won’t qualify for racing series (e.g., WorldSBK where twins are capped at 1200cc, and fours at 1000cc). Ducati is expected to release a V4 next year that will satisfy the racing regulations.
2. The Ducati Panigale V4, which continues to use the monocoque frame that uses the Desmosedici Stradale as a load-bearing member, weighs 436 lbs. wet. This is up 16 lbs. over the 1299 Panigale.
3. In typical model tradition, the new Ducati Panigale V4 is offered in multiple models: base, S and “Speciale” versions. The base arrives with Showa suspension, and the S and Speciale with Ohlins. The Speciale is further enhanced with carbon fiber
4. The V4 Stradale, which is banked 42 degrees rearward like the MotoGP setups, has a counter-rotating crankshaft. Unlike factory bikes where the crankshaft turns in the same direction as the wheels, the Stradale’s counter-rotates like in MotoGP, providing produces to benefits for handling and acceleration: gyroscopic effect and inertia.
5. To reproduce the feel and firing sequence of a V-twin, the V4 Stradale arrives with a “Twin Pulse” ignition. The two left-hand cylinders fire close together, as do the two right-hand cylinders. For you engine geeks, this is a 0°, 90°, 290° and 380° firing order. All you need to know is this should sound like Andrea Dovizioso’s GP17.
6. The V4 Stradale, which features a revised Desmodromic valve train and semi-dry sump lubrication (four pumps!), as general service intervals of 7,500 miles, and valve services every 15,000 miles.
7. The base model arrives with a 43m Showa Big Piston Fork, and a Sachs rear shock – all full adjustable. The V4 S and Speciale arrive with electronically controlled suspension: Ohlins NIX-30 fork, Ohlins TTX36 rear shock and Öhlins steering damper, with an event-based control system. The suspension and the steering damper are controlled by the second-generation control system Ohlins Smart EC 2.0, featuring, among other things, the new Objective Based Tuning Interface (OBTi).
8. The Ducati Panigale V4 feature a new Brembo Stylema calipers, which are the latest evolution of the iconic M50. Due to a more compact design, the brakes save 70 grams of weight for each caliper. Up front the four-piston Brembo Stylema calipers squeeze twin 330mm discs, and out back a two-piston caliper squeezes a single 245mm disc.
9. The Ducati Panigale V4 arrives with the latest in Ducati technology, including:
- ABS Cornering Bosch EVO
- Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO)
- Ducati Slide Control (DSC)
- Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO)
- Ducati Power Launch (DPL)
- Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO (DQS EVO)
- Engine Brake Control EVO (EBC EVO)
- Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO (DES EVO)
- Ducati Lap Timer GPS
- Ducati Data Analyser + GPS (optional, track analyzation data)
- Ducati Multimedia System (Optional, hooks bike to Smartphone)
10. The new Panigale V4 arrives with a tank similar to those used on the MotoGP prototypes. The 4.23-gallon tank relocates part of the fuel storage below the riders space, helping to lower center of gravity and improve handling.
11. Three Riding Modes are now available:
- Race: 214 horsepower; minimal intervention of electronics, for experienced rider
- Sport: 214 horsepower; more intervention of electronics, for less experienced riders
- Street: 213 horsepower; most intervention of electronics, best grip and stability
12. The 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 arrives with the second-generation full-color TFT display. The 5-inch display arrives with two different layouts: Track and Road.
For full specs and a photo gallery, click to page 2