DUCATI PANIGALE V2 (2020 - on) Review
- Stunning new V2 sportsbike from Ducati
- May be the smaller Panigale, but still makes 155bhp
- Handling every bit as good as you'd expect
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Not only does the new Ducati Panigale V2 now look as mean and purposeful as its pricier V4 siblings, it’s a more well-rounded machine than ever - faster, lighter, more agile and involving.
- Related: 2020 Ducati Panigale V4 S review
Sure, you might be able to go quicker on a superbike for a lap or two, if you’ve got the talent, strength, fitness and fresh rubber, but you’ll be quicker for longer, with less effort and a bigger smile on your face riding the Panigale V2. No current sportsbike offers such a blissful blend of power and handling or goes to such lengths to flatter its rider.
Ducati Panigale V2 video review by Michael Neeves:
Ducati Panigale V2 White Rosso livery revealed
On Wednesday, July 1 2020, Ducati revealed a 'White Rosso' livery for the Panigale V2.
Produced to sit alongside the existing red finish available since the bike's launch, the new design sees the mid-sized superbike painted in a silky white, complete with licks of Ducati red on the rims, front air intakes and air deflectors located just below the petrol tank.
Beneath that is a new Panigale V2 logo, which does not feature on the red version of the machine.
Slide your way between the two colours here:
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Continuing with the 959’s monocoque airbox ‘frame’ the V2 is uncannily stabile under hard braking and rolling into corners. Such a stiff chassis made the 1199 and 1299 Panigales tie themselves in knots on the throttle, but with more modest power the V2 dances through curves with unwavering accuracy. Showa fork internals are tweaked, a 2mm longer Sachs shock tips weight forward for crisper steering and there’s less rear preload for extra feel and grip.
All this adds up to sense of lightness, easy agility and the kind of corner speed that would have a clumsier superbike tripping over its laces.
Few ABS systems can handle track work now. They panic at the first sign of the rear wheel going light under extreme braking and the resulting loss of stopping power can send you sailing past a corner or clattering into the back of someone else. It’s a relief to discover the Ducati’s electronics leave the V2’s Brembos to do what they do best.
With three levels of ABS, there’s a safe a steady mode for the road or rain, one that disables the anti-rear wheel lift setting (and lets you drift in on the back brake) and one with no rear ABS for unimpeded, muscle-bulging late braking antics.
EngineNext up: Reliability
It’s the same 955cc V-twin Superquadro motor as the Panigale 959, but now fitted with a cat-packed Euro5 exhaust. Ducati say power is up 5bhp to 153bhp and torque increases a whisker, thanks to its new underslung pipe, higher-flow injectors and bigger V4-esque intakes. But our dyno results for the V2 are a
Acceleration and speed aren’t too different from the old bike’s, but that’s a good thing. It still revs manically like a race engine and has bucket-loads of smooth, crisp (especially in Race mode) and perfectly delivered thrust. A superbike will always batter mind, body and tyres with its immense torque and inertia, but the Panigale V2’s power delivery is kinder and easy to manage.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Fit, finish and paint quality are top notch and everything you’d expect from a premium-priced sportsbike like this. Aside from mirror stalks that are too easy to break you shouldn’t expect any mechanical or electronic problems. Oil servicing is either yearly, or every 7500 miles (whichever comes first) and valve checks are every 15,000 miles.
We've got two Ducati Panigale V2 owners' reviews on the site, and it's a full five stars, with the only negative comment that the side stand is tough to use with boots on.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
In terms of the kind of equipment and performance you get for your money, the Panigale V2 is worth it, but there’s no getting away from the fact it’s expensive to buy and insure. PCP deals make ownership easier, if you’re not worried about ever owning the bike.
'Is it better than a big-capacity sportsbike?' - Your questions answered
First published 15 June 2020 by Michael Neeves
And praise the lord they have because their new £14,995 Panigale V2 (2020 pricing), which replaces the 959 (and 899 before it) not only now looks as sensational as its V4 sister, it’s actually more engaging and flattering, making more sense than a tyre-shredding, brain and body-battering superbike.
We’ve already ridden it on track at the world launch at Jerez and on the road around our MCN250 test route, but you wanted to know more. These were your most-asked questions...
Will there be a Streetfighter version?
Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali hinted at a Streetfighter V2 when MCN spoke to him last year. He said: "We now have a Panigale V2 that makes 155bhp and lets you experience exciting sport riding without being extreme. We would like to have naked bikes in different categories, too. The Streetfighter V4 will remain at the top and then we would have other bikes to give the same feeling with less extreme performance. We’re thinking of a very interesting new naked."
What’s it like on the road?
At low revs the V-twin is smooth and has enough oomph for swift riding, but the meat of its power lives above 6000rpm and that’s what makes it so involving.
It’s more 'on its nose' than the 959, thanks to a longer rear shock and taller seat, but it’s still plush, stable and lives for fast sweepers. Pirelli Rosso Corsa IIs have lots of UK weather grip and there’s plenty of legroom, but it’s heavy on wrists, mirrors aren’t great and the fuel light comes on around 110 miles.
Why don’t Ducati make a more special 'S' version of the V2?
It’s because they don’t really need to and the stock bike has all you require for a thrilling and rewarding ride. Sure a shinier set of Öhlins suspension, chunkier Brembo calipers and lighter wheels would undoubtedly make ownership a warmer and fuzzier experience, but the V2 doesn’t exactly lack in the corners, or struggle to stop. It costs more than a base Kawasaki ZX-10R or Suzuki GSX-R1000, too, so isn't exactly built down to a price.
You now get spoiled with a machined aluminium top yoke, colour dash, an up/down quickshifter and top-shelf electronic rider aids, just like the Panigale V4. Maybe Ducati will produce a special version with more goodies as a last hurrah one day, just like the 2012 848 Evo Corse SE?
This, or the new Daytona 765?
The Triumph is Ducati’s only rival and costs £15,765, but only 765 have been made for Europe.
The twin and 126bhp (measured) triple use relatively modest power to devastating effect. The Brit is smoother and easier to push, especially with its sweet, Öhlins-clad 675R chassis. The stiffer Italian needs more rider input, but it’s faster (the 765 only does a true 152mph) and much better finished and equipped.
Is the Panigale V2 actually better than the Panigale V4?
Powered by the same 955cc V-twin Superquadro motor as the out-going 959 the V2 gets its superbike sister’s styling and single-sided swingarm. Ducati claim the V2 has 5bhp more than the 959, but MCN’s dyno reveals it is actually one bhp down, making 140bhp at the back wheel.
It’s no match for the 211bhp V4 in a straight line or around a fast racetrack, but while the V4 is a thing of explosive-powered wonder, it’s bloody hard to get the best out of, unless you know what you’re doing, where in the real world the V2 has such sweet handling and manageable power you’ll always keep up.
Rivals explored: Watch MCN's video review of the Triumph’s new Daytona Moto2 765 here:
Aping Ducati’s V4 superbike, the Panigale V2 has its big sister’s snarling snout, pointy rear end, gaping air intakes and for the first time a single-sided swingarm. The V4-inspired seat is 20mm longer and 5mm thicker, giving you a luxurious amount of room to play with, which will be music to the ears of taller riders.
Bars are wide and low pegs don’t punish creaky knees, but there’s still plenty of ground clearance. Completing the big Ducati look is a 4.3in multi-function TFT colour screen (slightly smaller than the V4’s by half an inch) and new switchgear.
It’s out with the 959’s relatively basic riding aids and in with the same MotoGP-derived electronic strategies as Ducati’s 2020-model V4s. The Panigale V2 now gets an autoblipper, as well as a quickshifter and a six-axis gyro for lean-sensitive ABS and engine braking control. On a slow, low grip road or track, the smoother anti-wheelie and (non-lean) traction control will be a benefit, but on fast flowing corners the Panigale V2 has so much poise, mechanical grip and not an excess of power to deal with, the electronics are rarely troubled.
The White Rosso livery was revealed on July 1, 2020.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v V-twin|
|Frame type||Cast aluminium ‘airbox’ chassis|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm Showa forks, fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single Sachs shock, fully adjustable|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial monobloc Brembo calipers. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||245mm disc with twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£250|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||153 bhp|
|Max torque||77 ft-lb|
|Top speed||176 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2013 – 899 Panigale launches, replacing the 848. Features new Superquadro V-twin engine, 1199-style airbox chassis and electronic rider aids package.
2016 – 959 Panigale replaces 899 with new ‘stroked’ 955cc engine and controversial ‘shotgun’ exhaust cans designed to meet Euro4 rules. Power up by 9bhp and torque increases by 6.2ftlb. Extra sound deadening adds 7kg. Slipper clutch is introduced for the first time, as well as 1299-style bodywork, Superleggera footpegs and a 4mm lower swingarm pivot position.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI PANIGALE V2 (2020 - on)
9 owners have reviewed their DUCATI PANIGALE V2 (2020 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Annual servicing cost: £250
A great engine which performs well with the added benefit of the up and down quick-shifter.Not a bike for commuting or riding in town, best on the open road.And probably the worst mirrors I have ever had on a bike. Feel flimsy and vibrate a lot so don't get to see much behind.
If you are ok with sports bikes this is great. A good seated position not too far to reach the bars or too squashed in the leg (I am 6ft 2in). Seat is one of the best. Only downside is the pressure on the arms at low speeds, but then the bike is made to go quickly. I can easily go till it needs refuelling, fill up and go again.
Lovely feel and power delivery. Has the occasional hunting feel at slower speeds. Plenty of engine braking available.
No problems to date. Had the occasional missed gear with the quick-shifter, but probably user error.
Only had the first service done at 600+ miles, not the cheapest and will see what the first annual service costs.
I have the Rosso white as the red flashes and wheels look great. Haven't done many mods, but usual tail tidy, and radiator covers are worth it. Rosso Corsa III tyres come as standard and are very good, have ridden in winter as well as summer both in wet and cold (2°c) and no issues.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer at full price, no discounts offered or extras provided. Was mentioned I'd get a t-shirt but it never materialised.
Annual servicing cost: £280
A great bike to ride, everything feels effortless and probably has the right amount of power for road riding, not tracked mine yet.
Rear brake is pretty useless, aren't they all? Overall the ride is great besides that major heat issue, as mentioned previously! Definitely the most comfortable sports bike I've ever owned. The seat has a great amount of padding, position is great (very slightly wristy, that's being overly critical), I've managed a 300 mile run with a couple of coffee and cake breaks with no aches or pains.
Power delivery is great, I'd say the power is optimal for road riding with plenty of grunt and accelerates as well as some of the bigger bikes into license losing territory.
The mirrors are pretty awful, they have a hollow core stem, do not fold in and are very prone to snapping with little contact, a slight brush past with my jacket when getting out of the garage cost me £185 to replace (heavy for a mirror imo). No other issues to speak of expect, yep you guessed it, the heat !! I know others have mentioned it and I appreciate bikes get warm, try sitting at lights or stopping at roadworks in leathers, borders on unbearable !
About what you expect from Ducati, not the cheapest thing to buy or run but worth the expense.
The electronics are some of the best I've experienced: MV, KTM, Kawasaki and Aprilia previously. Quickshift is the best I've used, needs a heavy lift into 6th at pace (I know, I know). Tyres are great and can handle whatever you need them to.
Buying experience: £15915.06 - Inc biketrac, datatag, rear stand, quick charge and a £250 delivery charge on a cash purchase from Sheffield to Wales (a little disappointing as I was led to believe it was free before paying the initial deposit).SMC Bikes, Sheffield: Mixed bag, guys were great to deal with, very polite, informative and helpful. Bike arrived with no rear footpegs pegs bizarrely, after 8 months of chasing and promises I've now given up, also no PDI stamp in the service book and when I chased was told a new one would be sent with the missing rear footpegs pegs, again, no joy after 8 months and countless emails and calls. At the time of purchase SMC were the only dealer in the UK to have a brand new White Rosso V2 in stock and ready for delivery, my local Ducati dealer was quoting 3 months waiting for delivery.
Annual servicing cost: £240
Heat under the seat needs mentioning as a key characteristic of this bike, it is very noticeable particularly depending on what you are wearing - Kevlar jeans make it worse. Wing mirrors are useless the minute you are on the move they vibrate and you cant see clearly behind you. Handling is superb has a nice confidence inspiring front end, engine doesn't feel all that quick, you wouldn't think it has c.150bhp.
Suspension is adequate, not particularly stiff but also not that plush. Front end comes set up soft, but does work still ok on road and track. Brakes are good, but needs four fingers on the lever to really scrub off speed, two fingered braking doesn't seem to quite have enough power at times, brakes do have nice modulation though.
Not as quick as I'd of expected, albeit a very linear power delivery (IMO), comes more alive above 5-6,000 revs and then has a bit of top end like an old school two stroke, especially in 3rd gear you get a nice rush for the last 1-2,000 revs to the red line. Quick shifter is superb, both up and down the box, gear box feels very smooth, one of the nicest gear boxes of any brand of bike I've ridden.
1000+ miles covered to date and no issues. Feels like a well finished bike, similar in quality to Yamaha or Honda.4 out of 5 stars as did have a small weep from a fork seal from new, flagged to dealer who said doesn't look too bad monitor it, come 1000miles it seems to have stopped weeping, wasn't much but not an issue with any other brand of bike I've bought before (which includes most brands).
First oil service at 620miles was £240. Ducati say oil service each year so budget £240. Big service due 15,000 miles and assume a big bill. Costs appear comparable to most other brands, which is a pleasant surprise when you consider Ducati is considered a premium brand.
No cruise control (had it on last bike and miss it). Side stand is tricky to deploy, you have to get at it behind the foot peg - takes some knack and depending on foot wear, sports boots are harder to find it with, versus more casual boots. Great dash, albeit dash is smaller than on the V4 and isn't so clear to read because its smaller. Also no fuel gauge, you have to re-set the trip meter after each fill up to try and keep track of likely fuel range. Riding modes don't seem to make much difference to engine character, Street/Sport/Race having tried all three on track I couldn't tell much difference between them. By comparison my previous Speed Triple RS 2020 had various modes and they transformed the bike.
Buying experience: Excellent buying experience via Pro Twins in Godstone, Surrey, really friendly staff, all went smoothly, seem friendly post purchase and have good spares/accessories.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Engine is terrific, makes speed easy and plenty fast enough even on trackdays. Handling gets better the faster you go but the suspension is close to its limits on the track. If you are a fast track rider you'll be getting some mods, especially the front. Brakes are good, electronics are excellent and saves me a couple of times.
Likes 3 figure speed and corners. Loves Donnington and oulton Park more than cafés
It's a paech
Had a loose connector under the tank, ducati reckoned it was because I'd been tinkering but I'm not so sure as it had been for a service. Anyway ducati found the problem, fixed for free and it's been perfect
Only had one service so difficult to say.
Would have got 5 out of 5 but you end up buying carbon bits and really want a pipe
Buying experience: Great at ducati Manchester
Annual servicing cost: £160
A bike of quality and good looks. Perfect amount of power for the road. Suspension and handling is excellent. Running in is a bit of a faff and there’s a rev limiter at about 8000rpm if you pin the throttle in first 600 miles that know one seemed to know about.
Buying experience: From a dealer payed advertised price bug with extras FOC
Annual servicing cost: £250
Ducati have done it again, awesome bike. If this is the last V- twin then they have saved the best to last. Very difficult to fault, if any. Great on the track and road. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a sportsbike in the current time.
Exceptional. The bike suits my build, I am slim and 182cm tall. I have not had a sportsbike for 7 years so the riding poistion initially was extreme. As I have got used to it I have no issues. I recently went to the Nurburgring and did a total of 1900 miles, including 650 miles around the Ring. Throughout had no aches or pains. On the motorways I rode until the fuel light came on and did generally 130 miles. On the roads to Germany I stopped every 110 miles.
Excellent engine, unlike my previous Ducati V-twins it needs reving to get the best out of it. I was using one lower gear for most corners around the Ring. This makes the bike far more rewarding, requiring more rider input that previous sportsbike that I have owned. The sound of the twin on full chat is excillerating.
Excellent build quality.
Early days to say how costly to run. It is a Ducati though!
First class. The best quick shifter I have had on a bike. The traction control is not intrusive. I would highly recommend the full Akrapovic exhaust system. It completely changes the character of the bike, making it a proper Ducati V-twin. I would also recommend the Ducati Performance grips, which are softer that the OE ones and make a difference through towns.Very difficult to single out one feature, the obvious one is just owning a Ducati sportsbike.
Buying experience: I live in France and purchased from my local dealer in Nice. Superb. I paid the retail price for the bike. I was given a favourable Part Exchange and obtained substantial discount on the extras.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Stunning to look at, easy and rewarding to ride. Stable, planted and light through corners, superb engine. The quick shifter is a joy to use, and you soon imagine yourself as a GP rider as you dance your way through your local B road on a rising torrent of Italian power and noise.
Comfortable cruising in the fast lane on a motorway with minimal wind blast due to the high screen, but it really comes into its own through B road twistys where it has the handling or a 2 stroke with the grunt of a vtwin.
Real world power. Enough there to launch you on a wave of thrust out of corners, but not enough to make you feel out of control
First service at 650 miles, then yearly service. Major service at 15,000 miles
More electrical trickery than a smart phone to keep you upright. My favourite pics of equipment is the up and down quick shifter. This is superb and smooth and you almost feel like you are on a gp bike as you shift through the gears on the throttle and the bike rockets towards the horizon.
Buying experience: Purchased from Ducati Coventry. A superb buying experience. Made to feel very special and was kept updated though out the whole process of ordering the bike to taking delivery. They even took pictures of it as it was being unwrapped from its crate!
83 mpg so tank size not a problem
Smooth and plenty of power
Buying experience: Purchased from protwins in godstone, great to deal with.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Love everything about this bike ,looks great and very user friendly to ride ,only slight gripe is that the side stand is awkward to deploy when wearing boots .Other than that it’s perfect 👌
Lovely smooth power delivery with an ample amount of low end grunt
Great build quality ,beautifully put together bike
Unbelievable electrics ,great tyres ,good brakes ,handles beautifully