Harder, better, faster, stronger: Ducati update the V4 Panigale to be ever more track focused
Ducati have given their top of the range Panigale V4 superbike an update with a view to making it an even more potent track performer, while also making it a bit easier to ride for us mere mortals.
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The heart of the beast, the 1103cc V4 engine has been given some small updates for increased efficiency including a new oil circuit and large exhaust outlets. The result is a small boost in peak power (up 1.5 bhp to 212bhp @ 13,000rpm) but this effect is multiplied by the altered gearing.
First, second and sixth gear have been lengthened to give more flexibility in low-speed corners while also increasing top speed. The taller gearing should also help calm the aggressive delivery in second.
Paired with the updated engine is a revised electronics system, which now offers four power modes: Full, High, Medium and Low. Ducati claim Full is their sportiest option ever offered, delivering full power without restriction in all but first gear (because you’d probably just flip the bloody thing).
Low power mode now drops power to 150bhp and softens the throttle considerably, which Ducati say makes for enjoyable road riding. To help make the most of these changes Ducati have also tweaked the riding position, with a flatter seat and altered tank.
Together Ducati says these changes help riders hold onto the bike better under hard braking and acceleration.
The bodywork has also had a small update including new wings that Ducati claim maintains the same downforce in a more efficient package. The fairing has also been tweaked to tunnel more cooling air towards the engine too.
Rather astonishingly some nod has been given to comfort, with new Öhlins NPX 25/30 semi-active forks that have 5mm more travel as well as softer springs for better bump absorption on rough roads. The rear is virtually unchanged bar a 4mm higher pivot point for the swingarm, which Ducati say increases the anti-squat effect under power.
If all these changes have you thinking ‘I must get one of these on track at once’, you’ll be delighted to know the dash has been redesigned to be simpler to read, as well as the addition of a new MotoGP inspired layout called ‘Track Evo’.
The new set up moves the tacho to a horizontal scale at the very top of the dash, while current gear takes centre stage. On the right of the dash sits four coloured panels, each referring to a dedicated safety function such as traction or ABS, which illuminate when they’re called up, so you have an idea of just how much electronic intervention you’re currently relying on.
If all four illuminate you win a full house, which is rewarded with is a sit down in the pits with a nice cup of tea. The updated Panigale V4 and V4S will be available from December.