The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 is another step toward the racetrack for the Italian brand’s flagship superbike. Although the Desmosedici Stradale motor and frame are mechanically unchanged from the ’22 Panigale V4 S we tested earlier this year, there are plenty of technical and hardware upgrades that will make this $39,500 a formidable racer and track day favorite. Let’s see what earns SP2 status for this latest Panigale.
- Carbon fiber wheels reduce unsprung weight by over three pounds compared to the V4 S’s forged aluminum wheels. According to Ducati, this reduces inertia by 26 percent for the front wheel and 46 percent for the rear.
- With the lighter wheels come stronger Brembo Stylema R calipers. The front braking system is highly adjustable, thanks to the Brembo MCS radial pump. There are three actuation ratios available so the rider can personalize the feel. Additionally, a remote brake lever adjuster near the left grip allows the rider to perfect the lever position without distracting the throttle hand. Further, the clutch and front brake levers have milled ends to reduce drag.
- The electronics on the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 are track-ready. There’s a new Track Evo display that is inspired by the dash readout used in MotoGP. The tachometer runs horizontally, with the gear position centered on the dash. Four sectors, delineated by different colors, tell you if electronic controls for traction, slide, wheelie, and engine braking control have been activated. The left side of the dash shows your speed, lap time, and number of laps completed. GPS is standard, which constantly monitors your track position. Finally, the Ducati Data Analyzer assists you in evaluating your track sessions.
- The most serious riders will want the optional Ducati Performance Software. This software ups the traction control game to include slick and rain tires. Five customizable riding modes can be stored, and the DPS can memorize five tracks.
- Ducati has also upgraded the base software. There are four power modes—Full, High, Medium, and Low—with Full and Low being new. Each gear in the six-speed transmission gets its own torque curve. Maximum output remains at 210 horsepower at 12,500 rpm, and 91 ft-lbs of torque at 11,000.
- A track-only full-titanium Ducati Performance exhaust system is optional. Ducati worked on it with Akrapovič. The results are impressive—an 18-horsepower peak output increase, and maximum torque is boosted to 97 ft-lbs. Plus, the system is 11 pounds lighter than the stock exhaust. Set aside $7100 for that goodie.
- If you’ve missed dry clutches on Ducatis, the SP2 has one. The dry clutch offers less resistance to the motor.
- A 520 chain, down from a 525, is lighter and allows the motor to spool up more rapidly.
- The SP2’s Rizoma adjustable racing footpegs are anodized aluminum, and grippier. Carbon fiber heel guards keep your boots where they belong.
- You get a track kit with the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2. The kit includes an open clutch carbon fiber clutch cover, billet aluminum caps for the mirror mounts, and parts to facilitate removing the license plate.
- Passengers don’t get to ride with you on the SP2. That’s a solo seat, so no two-up riding at the track.
- Winter Test livery gives the SP2 a factory look. Matte black dominates, with accenting coming from the brushed aluminum fuel tank and strategically placed red. Don’t miss the tricolore Italian flag graphic on the wings. Though it’s not offered as a limited edition model, the top triple-clamp has a specific number for each 2023 Panigale V4 SP2.
- Be patient—delivery of the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 isn’t until mid-2022, and that’s if you pre-order. Later orders won’t arrive until the final quarter of 2022.
2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 Specs
- Type: Desmosedici Stradale 90-degree V4 w/ counter-rotating crankshaft
- Displacement: 1103cc
- Bore x stroke: 81 x 53.5mm
- Maximum power: 210 horsepower @ 12,500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 91 ft-lbs @ 11,000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 14.0:1
- Valvetrain: Desmodromic actuation w/ 4vpc
- Fueling: Twin injectors per cylinder w/ elliptical throttle bodies
- Transmission: 6-speed w/ straight-cut gears and quickshifter
- Clutch: Dry multiplate w/ assist function
- Final drive: 520 chain
- Frame: Aluminum monocoque w/ Öhlins electronic steering damper
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable semi-active Öhlins NIX25/30 pressurized 43mm fork; 4.9 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Fully adjustable semi-active Öhlins TTX36 shock; 5.1 inches
- Wheels: 5 split-spoke carbon fiber
- Front wheel: 17 x 3.50
- Rear wheel: 17 x 6.00
- Tires: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 200/60 x 17
- Front brakes: Semi-floating 330mm discs w/ Brembo Stylema R 4-piston calipers and Brembo MC 19.21 self-bleeding master cylinder
- Rear brake: 245mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
- ABS: Cornering ABS Evo
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 57.8 inches
- Rake: 24.5 degrees
- Trail: 3.9 inches
- Seat height: 33.5 inches
- Fuel capacity: 4.5 gallons
- Curb weight: 429 pounds
- Color: Winter Test
2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 Price: $39,500 MSRP