DUCATI PANIGALE V4S (2022 - on) Review
- More track-focussed and easier to ride
- New electronics, aero, bodywork and forks
- Racier internal gear ratios
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Ducati haven’t really shouted about it over the past few years, but they’ve been making a deliberate effort to make their road bikes easier to ride.
Even as recently as 2018 when they unleashed the Panigale V4 on the world, their shiny new superbike was all about big power and MotoGP tech, but you needed big kahunas to ride it fast and unless you were a Ducati test rider, or racer you had no hope.
It was tamed in 2020 and its table manners improved again in ’21, but for ’22 it’s taken its biggest, friendliest step.
New aero, clever mapping, revised gearbox ratios, refined rider aids, chassis upgrades and new ergonomics all work in perfect harmony to make the new Panigale V4 S friendlier on track.
It won’t just be the pros that can squeeze every ounce of the Ducati now, it’s a superbike for mere mortals, too. It does exactly what you ask with little protest, but that presents you with another problem: trying to hang on under the brutal force of braking, accelerating and cornering.
Before it was Panigale for show and everything else for go, but now it’s the superbike to make you look a hero.
— Motor Cycle News (@MCNnews) January 7, 2022
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Its chassis remains unchanged, but lighter new slotted wings create less drag but still produce the same 37kg of downforce at 186mph.
It’s impossible to say how well they work in isolation, as much of the Ducati’s superb anti-wheelie character also comes from clever mapping, electronic wheelie control, the counter rotating crank and its 4mm higher swingarm pivot (creating more anti squat), but they all combine to keep both wheels on the floor under hard acceleration.
Suspension remains Öhlins semi active, but with new NPX 25/30 gas forks with 5mm more travel (125mm) and lighter springs. Now the Panigale V4 is stabler, has more feel and easier to place on track.
A new two-tone seat is flatter for more room to move around and the one-litre bigger fuel tank (up to 17 litres) is more vertical and concave to let you wedge your knees in for support under the force of hard braking.
The new shape also gives your outside arm more room when you’re hanging off in a corner. Ducati says you can ride the Panigale V4 S for longer without getting tired, but when braking power is like hitting a brick wall and acceleration akin to a pukka race bike, it’s still all you can do to hang on at track speeds. It’s a superbike, after all.
EngineNext up: Reliability
There are now four power maps to choose from within four available riding modes. ‘Low’ restricts power to 150bhp (like a Panigale V2) for the wet and for the perfect and most manageable power delivery in the dry, ‘Medium’ and ‘High’ have full power and dedicated mapping in each gear – a first for a road bike.
They add calmness to the Ducati, but there’s also a disco ‘Full’ power mode for unbridled savagery in all but first gear – fun, but not always fast, unless you’ve got your game on. New dash graphics feature an easier to read ‘track’ display, derived from the Superleggera V4.
Its masterpiece of a MotoGP-inspired 1103cc 90-degree V4 desmo engine is unchanged and still insanely powerful. It has a counter rotating crank, twin pulse firing order and is packed with unobtanium, but there’s a new oil pump and its underslung tail pipes are 18% bigger (up from 35mm to 38mm) to reduce back pressure and increase power, releasing a claimed 2bhp more at the crank.
Despite the huge power available, the new mapping takes the sting out of it in the lower gears. Extra slots on the sides and underneath the bellypan draw out hot air from around the motor and even to keep the quickshifter cool.
New 1st/2nd/6th gear ratios, mimic Ducati’s WSB racer to peg back the Panigale’s aggression out of slow corners and help it along to a faster top speed. First is taller by 11.6%, so it’s easier to use lowest cog to get the bike stopped for hairpins and help it accelerate quicker on the way out.
With second gear lengthened by 5.6%, it’s closer to first and third, which helps keep the V4 on the boil as you quickshift gracefully through the box. Sixth is 1.8% longer, which Ducati says increases top speed by 3mph.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
2022 marks five years of the Panigale V4 S and in that time despite having a big cube V4 that revs to the moon and electronics galore it has proved to be completely reliable, as you’ll be able to see if you click on our owners’ review of the ’18 and ’20 models.
Parts and servicing aren’t cheap, but that’s to be expected - this is no built down to a price superbike, but an exquisitely built, beautifully finished supersonic work of art.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Ducati are gunning for the ‘special ones’ with the Panigale V4 S: Aprilia’s RSV4 Factory, the BMWs S1000RR M Package, Honda Fireblade SP and Yamaha R1M. It’s more expensive than all of them and set at a price few would be willing to pay, but for a superbike that mixes style, devastating speed, tech and track prowess, it can’t be beaten.
The Panigale V4 s comes with the best of the best chassis parts, electronics and a bombastic motor, although it would be nice to have some carbon fibre for the price.
You get Brembo Stylemas, Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP rubber, semi-active Öhlins suspension, forged ali wheels, wings, a lithium battery, racing handlebar grips and every lean sensitive rider aid box ticked: traction and stability control, anti-wheelie, launch control, ABS with slide control, engine braking control, four riding modes and four power maps and colour dash.
A full range of Ducati Performance accessories is available, including a lightweight, but trackday-quiet race exhaust. First seen on Ducati’s later WSB twins, the 105db (102db with baffle) titanium system is 6kg lighter, adds 12bhp…and costs £6156.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 1103cc, 8v, V4|
|Frame type||Aluminium ‘front frame’. Engine stressed member|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Öhlins NPX 25/30 43mm gas forks adjustable preload, semi-active damping|
|Rear suspension||Öhlins TTX36 shock adjustable preload, semi-active damping|
|Front brake||2 x 330mm front discs with four-piston Brembo Stylema monobloc radial calipers. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||220mm disc with Brembo twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||200/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||37 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||213 bhp|
|Max torque||91 ft-lb|
|Top speed||186 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||139 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2018 – Ducati Panigale V4 S introduced. MotoGP derived engine, partial ali beam frame, new suspension, styling and Stylema Brembos. Ducati’s first non-V-twin flagship since the 1970s.
- 2020 – Updated with the styling, wings and flexier frame from the V4 R. Changes to the mapping, rider aids and suspension to make it easier to ride fast on track.
- 2021 – Updated with Euro 5 exhaust and mapping tweaks, new traction control and extra Race riding modes.
- 2022 – New power maps, dash and engine upgrades including a new oil pump and larger exhaust manifold giving an extra 2bhp. New first, second and sixth gear ratios and revised wings, bodywork and seat. Öhlins electronic gas forks for the first time and a 4mm higher swingarm pivot.
Base spec Ducati Panigale V4. Five grand cheaper and identical to S model, except for: mechanically-adjustable Showa forks and Sachs shock, cast ali wheels, lead-acid battery and road-spec handlebar grips.
MCN Long term test reports
Ducati Panigale V4 S: 8467 miles of V4 heaven
Update 9: Ducati V4 S – 8467 miles of V4 heaven Published 9 January 2019 A look back on my year with Ducati’s stunner: 626 miles Friday 20th April: collect my V4 S from Ducati UK, Silverstone. Scoot around the corner to the paddock to show to my brother, who’s there with Bemsee. Being one of the fir…
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI PANIGALE V4S (2022 - on)
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