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.
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.
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.
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.