DUCATI PANIGALE V4S 25° Anniversario 916 (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
There is no denying the Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 is something very special. Turning heads everywhere it goes with its gorgeous paintwork and clattery exposed clutch, it offers a presence unsurpassed by any other superbike on sale.
- Related: Full Ducati 916 review and used buying guide
- Latest news: Ducati Panigale V4 and V4S updated for 2020
All 500 machines will have undoubtedly been snapped up by dedicated collectors by the time deliveries begin in October, however at almost £37,000, from a riding perspective it is very hard to justify over the £24,295 V4 S model.
Despite improved stability under brakes and on change of direction, for the vast majority of riders (including this tester), the standard ‘S’ model is more than capable. However, for exclusivity and additional control at the limits of riding, the 916 edition is the bike to have.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Although making the same power as the standard V4S, the bike has lost an additional 1.5kg, thanks to new Marchesini Racing forged magnesium wheels and Euro 4-compliant Akrapovič silencers.
Never a slow bike to begin with, the benefits of the extra weight shedding are most apparent on corner entry and during changes of direction, with the Anniversario turning both more quickly and with greater stability than the mass-production alternative.
This is coupled with powerful four-piston radial Brembo Monobloc Stylema calipers, complete with Bosch cornering ABS, which bite hard onto two 330mm semi-floating discs. Taken directly from the S model, they allow you to trail brake further into the corner, with no visible intrusion from the electronics.
With so much power and cornering ability, riding the bike is an unrelenting sensory assault that can sometimes leave you feeling like a passenger, with only the world’s best riders able to extract everything from it, in much the same way as the standard V4S.
This was highlighted further when the bike was fitted with a set of Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC2 slick tyres, during the launch. Providing sublime levels of grip around the sun-kissed Californian asphalt of Laguna Seca, it feels like a genuine race bike with lights, rather than something developed for the road, before being modified for short circuit duties.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario is nothing short of a race bike with a number plate, with more power and performance than you could ever hope to extract on the road. It's brilliantly bonkers and arguably too fast for some tighter race tracks, too.
Once out of a corner and onto the throttle, the bike’s 211bhp powerhouse delivers an addictive, relentless drive from low down in the revs that surges all the way to the redline with the front wheel skimming gently along the tarmac, thanks to excellent in-built wheelie control.
No sooner have you left one corner, the next is upon you, with no time to rest on the straights as you constantly feed the bike gears to stop the quick-revving engine from bouncing against the limiter.
Delivering a dramatic MotoGP-inspired wail from its twin Akra exits, the engine feels surprisingly smooth at all times, producing no noticeable vibes on circuit and minimal rumbles on tick over.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Although difficult to discuss at such an early stage, owner comments on our previous Panigale V4S review appear to be largely positive, with some reports being made about issues with the bike’s electrics. However, on the whole, feedback is positive for both the machines and the strong dealer network.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At just shy of £37,000, the Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 is not cheap and with the base bike being so good already (and £12,700 less), only the best riders in the world will be able to truly extract the full differences between them.
That said, by adding just the magnesium wheels (£4212), Akrapovič exhaust (£4270.46) and dry clutch (£2808) from the Anniversario to a conventional £24,295 S model as optional extras, the bill comes to an additional £11,290.46, highlighting the new bike to be quite good value, when you consider all of its extra features.
What’s more, by limiting the production run to just 500 units globally, it won’t be long until all of them have been sold, with the vast majority likely to become part of larger collections. Sadly, this means some will never grace the race track at all.
Just 500 Anniversarios will be produced worldwide, with the bike receiving a number of subtle performance modifications, alongside a striking new paint job inspired by Fogarty’s championship-winning 1999 Ducati 996. To mark each bike’s authenticity, the top yoke will be engraved with its own unique production number out of 500, too.
Complete with large number ones on the front and sides, and optional ‘Foggy’ and ‘Shell’ stickers for you to apply yourself, the bike turns heads wherever it goes, helped further by the clattering dry clutch lifted directly from the V4 R, reminiscent of Ducatis of old.
Just sitting on the bike feels like a special place to be, with a 916 logo laid across the tank’s deep red paint in front of you and lashings of Rizoma accessories, reminding you of its exclusivity at all times. What’s more, despite its focused nature, it feels surprisingly roomy, allowing you to move around the bike between corners with ease.
To help improve your lap times further, the tribute machine also gets a Ducati Data Analyser+ kit and GPS module, allowing riders to unleash their inner Dovizioso and measure inputs such as lean angle, brake pressure and throttle application ahead of their next track session.
What’s more, there’s a taller screen, meaning less buffeting on the move at highspeed. A lack of wind also allows the rider to appreciate a crisper exhaust note from the Akrapovič silencers.
Alongside this, Ducati have also adopted technology derived from their Desmosedici GP18 MotoGP bike to produce Ducati Traction Control EVO 2, which is already being used on the V4R and V4R SBK.
Working in tandem with the IMU and adapting to both lean angle and wheelspin, Ducati claim that new system is able to intercept any loss of grip sooner, meaning a faster corner exit. Once onto the straights, new Quick Shift EVO 2 also claims to provide greater stability during upshifts above 10,000rpm.
|Engine type||90° V4, with counter-rotating crankshaft|
|Frame type||Cast-ally semi-monocoque|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front suspension||Öhlins NIX30 43mm fully-adjustable forks. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment|
|Rear suspension||Fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shock with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment|
|Front brake||2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, Brembo Monobloc Stylema four-piston radial calipers, cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||245mm disc, with two-piston caliper and cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||200/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£16,000 - £25,200|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||211 bhp|
|Max torque||91.5 ft-lb|
|Top speed||186 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2018: Ducati launch the 1103cc V4 range, taking the sportsbike world by storm, becoming the most sold superbike in the world and accounting for one in four sales. The bike replaces the brand’s long-tested V-twin formula, with the 1299 Panigale being the last two-cylinder superbike produced by the brand.
2019: Ducati reveal the Panigale V4 R, ahead of the 2019 racing season. Using a smaller 998cc V4 engine, the bike produces more power than both the S and the Anniversario and goes on to challenge for motorcycling championships across the globe. Parts used from the R on the new bike include the clutch and the front frame.
There are no other versions of the Anniversario.
MCN Long term test reports
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Owners' reviews for the DUCATI PANIGALE V4S (2019 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the DUCATI PANIGALE V4S (2019 - on).