Ducati have revealed a special version of their Panigale V4 S superbike, which pays tribute to 25 years of the iconic 916.
Just 500 individually-numbered Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916s will be built, with the bike getting its official unveil earlier today at Pebble Beach, California, as part of the American round of the World Superbike championship, at Laguna Seca.
Although based on the 1103cc, 211bhp V4 S, the £36,995 special version has been updated to feature the shaved-down front frame from the 998cc V4 R, alongside its distinctive rattling dry clutch, which not only produces a sound reminiscent of classic Ducatis, but also offers added benefits including a slightly lowered engine operating temperature and improved tunability.
Also included are Marchesini Racing forged magnesium wheels, saving 1kg, and a Euro4-compliant titanium Akrapovič silencer, which is 0.5kg lighter than the unit found on the conventional V4 S. Deliveries begin in October, so best get down to your local dealer to start talking about securing one of the 500 units on offer...
Alongside this, the bike also gains updated electronics, thanks to technology derived from the Desmosedici GP18 MotoGP bike. Now featuring is new Ducati Traction Control EVO 2, which is already being used on the V4 R and V4 R SBK.
Working in tandem with the IMU and adapting on the basis of lean angle and wheelspin, Ducati also claim that new system is able to intercept any loss of grip sooner, meaning a smoother, faster corner exits in all conditions.
Offering eight settings (six for the dry and two for the wet) the advanced traction system is complemented further by Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2, which aids the stability of gear changes above 10,000rpm heading up the gearbox.
To help improve your lap times further, the tribute machine also gets a Ducati Data Analyser+ kit and GPS module, allowing riders to measure inputs such as lean angle, brake pressure and throttle application.
A new livery
The bike was ridden onto the stage by four-time World Superbike champion, Carl Fogarty, who won all of his titles with the Italian brand in the 1990s.
In recognition of his achievements, all 500 machines come in a distinctive new livery, inspired by Fogarty’s championship-winning 1999 Ducati 996 World Superbike.
This is hammered home by the large number one found on the front and sides, as well as the optional Foggy and Shell stickers, which come included for you to apply yourself.
"I don’t think there will ever be a more beautiful bike than the 916," Fogarty told MCN at the launch. "It still looks new now, so to commemorate it 25 years on, I think it’s a really nice touch.
"My name and Ducati’s name will be together forever and you can’t change that. I might be with other manufacturers now and help out with CCM, but I will always be associated with Ducati and that’s why they asked me to come along.
"If someone had said to me three months ago that I was going to Laguna Seca to ride a superbike, I would’ve said that’s completely crazy."
In further celebration of the new bike, Ducati team riders Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies will also be running a special livery at Laguna this weekend.
Fogarty parade laps
On Sunday, July 14, Foggy completed two parades around Laguna Seca on the new bike, one with hundreds of Ducati owners and the other as a solo venture.
The first time he has ridden the 2.24-mile circuit in 20 years, MCN caught up with the four-time world champion after the first outing. "It felt nice to go around the circuit again. The last time I was here riding was exactly 20 years ago.
"[Lagina Seca] used to be my least favourite circuit on the calander back in the day. I really struggled here and it didn't suit my style of riding and I couldn't really carry the mid-corner speed.
"But, it's one of two circuits on the calendar - I think - which hasn't changed from back in the day. So, if someone said you had to come back and do a race, I would choose this place, or Phillip Island because it suits my left side and they're the only two tracks that haven't changed one bit.
"The parade was massive. I did two laps and as I was coming in, I just saw the back end of the group in front of me. It's great for them to get a lap around a world-famous circuit and it's surreal for me to think that I'm riding a superbike around Laguna Seca after 20 years since I last did it."
A tribute to Carlin Dunne
Tragically killed whilst competing at the 2019 Pikes Peak international Hill Climb aboard the Streetfighter V4 prototype, Ducati will be paying tribute to American racer Carlin Dunne, by auctioning off bike number five in support of Dunne’s mother, Romie.
Revealed at the presentation by Ducati North America CEO, Jason Chinnock, the money raised will sit alongside a GoFundMe page, also set up in support of her.
Ducati Panigale V4 25 Anniversario 916 specs
- Special colour scheme
- Numbered (xxx/500) machined-from-solid aluminium top yoke
- Front frame from V4 R
- Two-tone rider's seat
- Forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels
- Dry clutch
- Titanium Akrapovič silencer
- Ducati Traction Control EVO 2
- Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2
- Racing screen
- Carbon fibre front mudguard
- Carbon fibre rear mudguard
- Carbon fibre heel guards
- Carbon fibre/titanium swingarm cover
- Racing grips
- Adjustable billet aluminium rider footpegs
- Billet aluminium folding clutch and brake levers
- Brake lever guard
- Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+ ) kit with GPS module
- Open carbon fibre clutch cover
- Special Anniversario bike cover
- Billet aluminium racing-style filler cap
- Plate holder removal cover
- Billet aluminium rear view mirror plugs
- 'Shell' and 'Foggy' logo stickers
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