Inspired by Ducati Corse’s MotoGP and World Superbike efforts, the new 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R puts up impressive power production numbers in addition to its revolutionary chassis design. The latest Desmosedici Stradale R is the big news, and there’s even more to talk about, so let’s go.
There are three levels of performance for the 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R V4. The street version doles out 207 horsepower at 13,500 rpm. When you get to the track and install the titanium Akrapovič racing exhaust system, the freer-breathing delivers 237 horsepower at a staggering 15,500 rpm—three horses more than last year. Another 3.5 horsepower is available if you use a special Shell oil that reduces mechanical friction by 10 percent, bringing the maximum output to 240.5 horsepower at 15,500 rpm. Torque peaks at 12,000 rpm with 82 ft-lbs produced from the street setup. That is upped to 87 ft-lbs at 12,250 rpm with the racing exhaust.
That extra three horsepower is produced by several changes. Starting from the beginning of the process, the EFI’s variable-length intake horns are 5mm shorter, which Ducati says allows the race exhaust to breathe better. The intake cams are more aggressive, with 1mm more lift. Then, pistons are five grams lighter—a two percent reduction—and get a MotoGP-style DLC coating. Finally, the titanium connecting rods get a 2mm hole drilled longitudinally to deliver oil to the small end. A new cooling fan control helps manage the heat that comes with so much power, with an accent on comfort during street riding.
The electronics, which were overhauled in 2022, have new calibrations. Full, High, Medium, and Low power modes are all optimized for the new version of the Desmosedici Stradale R motor. It all runs through a new Track Evo dashboard—adapted from MotoGP—that gives you access to the broad range of power delivery adjustability. For instance, you can adjust the engine braking level for each of the six gears. The track-only optional Ducati Performance DTC EVO 3 software is designed for use with slicks and racing rain tires, and takes away the street mode.
The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R has the same gearbox ratios used in the WSBK racebikes. First gear is raised 11.6 percent, with 2nd gear getting a 5.6 percent higher ratio. This makes 1st gear more usable on the track, and tightening up the gap between 1st and 2nd helps the quickshifter work more smoothly. The three extra horsepower allow 6th gear to be 1.8 percent higher for a faster top speed.
The new dry clutch is lighter, another trickle-down from World Superbike. The diameter and axial length of the clutch are each down nearly an inch, and the 1.8 pounds are cut off the weight.
Ducati has updated its Quick Shift software. When you have the throttle wide open, the quickshifter has a “torque restitution phase that guarantees more stability, which increases lap times,” according to a Ducati source. Street riders will appreciate that the quickshift reduces the ignition advance and cuts the EFI when shifting at less than full throttle.
Ducati has massaged the Panigale V4 R’s geometry for increased agility. The travel of the Öhlins NPX 25/30 fork is increased by 5mm and the shock length shortened by 4mm. However, the standard position of the swingarm pivot is not the +1 position, which lifts the motorcycle’s rear by 0.8 inches. This raises the center of gravity, which Ducati says provides “increased nimbleness during corner entry and direction changes.”
The shock spring rate is reduced significantly—to 80 N/nm, from 105 N/nm last year. According to Ducati, this facilitates weight transfers to the front on turn entry, which is why the fork has additional travel. The change in the swingarm pivot position adds anti-squat forces to the chassis. Also, the new spring gets a hydraulic preload adjuster.
Aerodynamics have been updated on the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R. The new two-element wings produce the same load as last year, yet are 40 percent smaller and half as thick. The fairing has also been redesigned for more stabilization and engine cooling.
Ergonomics are massaged, and that includes a new brushed aluminum fuel tank. Capacity is increased to 4.5 gallons, reflecting the increased fuel consumption of a more powerful motor. Ducati says the larger tank is easier for the rider’s legs to grip. The seat is flatter and thinner for 2023, and there’s a different cover to make it easier to move around on the superbike.
Ducati Performance offers plenty of accessories for the superbike. The Pit Stop package includes the DTC EVO 3 software, tire warmers, and garage stands. Magnesium wheels can be employed, cutting 1.5 pounds of unsprung rotating mass. Rizoma worked with Ducati Corse to develop aluminum footpegs, and plenty of carbon fiber can be had.
You can’t talk about a new Ducati without mentioning the graphics. This year the R gets #1 displayed proudly. Also, there’s a plate on the upper triple with the production number of your motorcycle.
You will have all winter to prepare for the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R, as it won’t be on showroom floors until Spring 2023. The list price for the superbike is $44,995.
Track photography by Matteo Cavadini / Alex Photo2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R SpecsENGINE
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!