What do you want to know about the Panigale V4?


This weekend sees the world press launch of Ducati’s Panigale V4 at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit, and I won a game of soggy Ryvita to claim the 44T ticket – much to Chris’s dismay. Without even riding it, the latest techno queen to exit Bologna has to be the most sought after steed of 2018, not least because we’re short of fresh superbikes this season. But that’s no excuse not to be deeply aroused by Ducati’s hottest offerings.

Valencia is a strange track to launch a 220bhp Bolognan missile in some ways. Those that have sampled the Ricardo Tormo circuit will appreciate its foibles, and its tight and twisty nature, and we’ll no doubt be spending a huge amount of time testing the V4’s second gear aptitude. Obviously, the start/finish straight will offer the chance to explore the Desmo’s top-end, abuse the 14,000rpm redline and pretend we’re fat Jorge Lorenzos, although it’s the cornering capabilities that will be scrutinised.

The basic geometry isn’t too far from the 1299 (trail is up from 96mm to 100mm) so, for me, the most intriguing aspect is the V4’s handling traits – aside from the motor itself. There are two motives: the first is Panigale’s new ‘front frame’ which should supply a more conventional chassis sensation, rather than a full monocoque. The second is the motor housed in that chassis: the L-twin was pure evil as soon as you overworked it, which then caused handling issues on a hot lap. It was never going to bother lap records in standard trim but that’s all set to change.

And then there’s the updated electronics (including slide control), suspension, Brembo brakes and tyres. We won’t bother dissecting trivialities such as fuel economy, its 16L tank and how it behaves dawdling at 30mph past your favoured café – that’s saved for a UK first ride in the coming weeks.

A large majority of Panigale V4s are sold before a demo ride, based purely on the looks and a hardcore Ducati following. But there’s a selection of potential buyers waiting to hear whether or not they need to cancel their RSV4 order and move into the red corner, and we’ll bring you the full rundown next week.

So, what d’ya wanna know? Leave a comment below or feel free to email us…

  20 comments for “What do you want to know about the Panigale V4?

  1. Joey
    January 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    As a 1299 owner, i was never setting the world alight in terms of laptimes, i’m faster on my r1…. but the 1299 was so involving and rabid, it was so much more enjoyable due to the sheer lunacy of the front in the air, bike getting out of shape on corner entry… felt like i was breaking every lap record. As a mere mortal, that is what made the bike so wonderful and exciting. I fear the v4 will just lack that bit of soul, i hope it will retain the lunacy of the v2… I dont care about lap times, i just want to know if it excites you the same way the 1299 does in spite of laptimes.

    • Alastair Fagan
      January 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. There’s nothing like a 1299 slapping you under protest.

  2. David Monaghan
    January 19, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    It’s something you already allude to but the present V2 Panigale has a slightly longer turning circle than it’s competitors but makes up for it by being very quick and easy to get cranked over into silly heroic lean angles but it still needs a bit of rear wheel spin to really get it to line up the exit. I’d like to know if the increased trail (and any wheelbase changes?) have changed this characteristic. Initial test ride reports from some of Joe Public in Dubai and the fact the launch is at Valencia would imply they have somehow made it quicker to turn?

  3. January 19, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Do any bits fall off?

  4. Ade
    January 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Can ya steal one for me? Times are hard

  5. Kendall Monahan
    January 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Will you have the opportunity to ride it on the street? I’d love to know if you believe that the S model is worth the extra money over the “standard” version, as the cost difference is significant. I’ve also read that the V4 riding position is even MORE committed than the 1299. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

    I’m plunking down a deposit on a bike within the next week but am waiting until I hear your take on the V4 as well as Chris’s POV on the updated R1M.

  6. Rod
    January 19, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I think Joey makes a very valid point. We expect it to hold its own against the newest bikes. That’s what sells and part of what makes us lust after them. But its that Ducati “character” that we really want! Does it make you feel like a millionaire? Will its scare the hell out of you and make you feel like your taming a beast?

    Also, can you dial the bike right back so someone with more money than skill can ride it? It is a joke how easy it is to get a bike license in the US and there are a lot of people who buy big bikes as a first bike or fashion accessories.

  7. Mort
    January 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    As a 1299S Panigale owner, I LOVED my 1299, even though you had to work like a mule to get the best out of it. At my local track I ended up being around 1.4 seconds a lap faster on my 1299 than I was on my previous BMW S1000RR, but it was about 5 times the effort. At the end of a 10 lap race, I was buggered.

    I would like to see if you can test the new V4 back-to-back with the 1299S and give us your thoughts on the differences and to also see lap time differentials. I would also like to see you go through ALL of the modes, i.e. all suspension and engine modes, as well as anti-wheelie modes, ending up with EVERYTHING turned off to see what the bike can do. Have a novice rider, a mid-level, a fast and a really fast rider ride in all modes to see if electronics are now better than even the best riders.

    Cheers and thanks.

  8. Paul
    January 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I picked my V4S up yesterday. Only done 100 cold road miles. Stand-out things for me so far: dynamic suspension really smooths out bumpy UK roads yet firm and controlled when the pace picks up. Gearbox feels like it’s been made by a Swiss watch maker and the up/down quick shifter works really well. Feels small and easy to turn. Smooth power delivery.

    • Mort
      January 19, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      Nice feedback, thanks.

  9. Johnny Moezzi
    January 19, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve owned a 1299S and RSV4RF…glad Ducati has made this bike as I’d never have gone back to the twin after owning the RF. Curious to compare apples to apples (RSV vs V4)…understand peoples attachment to the twin but beyond the “muscle car” charms, there was no comparison in my book. The Ape is brilliant. A friend here in the states has ridden the v4…said it “turns in like a 250”. Eagerly await your take.

  10. Vas
    January 20, 2018 at 3:47 am

    I appreciate all designs, forms and opinions, but I am PERSONALLY firmly in the 4 cylinder camp. I loved my 2016 S1000R and after putting some 15,000 miles on it, I started to lose sleep over 1299 Panigale S mainly because of its looks, so I jumped on the opportunity to ride one at Ducati demo day, although they only had 959. I went from love to dislike in 30 minutes. The low revving and ‘agricultural’ rough feel of its V-twin did not steer good emotions for me, I didn’t even like the sound. It was a very hot day and I sure as hell did not appreciate extra heat radiating from exhaust up my ass. Torque down low and riding position for the street did not appeal. A few months later I purchased 2017 Aprilia Tuono Factory after test riding RSV4, and boy do I like this bike! I became a massive fan of its V4 engine. I totally get the hype and it overshadows the S1000 I had in almost every aspect. I know all about the ‘character’, but I also like smoothness and V4 does it both brilliantly. I am super excited about the new V4 Panigale,as I am just getting into track riding and if the new Panigale’s engine is just as good as Aprilia’s, I will seriously consider it as addition (not substitute) to my Tuono. So yeah, for me it is RSV4 vs Pani V4 comparison. Engine and drive train. I got tired of waiting for this review! Bring it on 44!

  11. Brian!
    January 20, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Hey dudes, 44 Teeth is the bomb! I’m curious about the brakes… these are the newest calipers from Brembo, but how do they feel? Also curious about the wheelie control/traction control and being able to put the power to the ground. And qualitatively, how scary is it? I’m 99.9999% sure I’m getting a V4S for track-only use and will benefit from the high-revving smoothness of a V4…. but I still want to be a but scared and awestruck too. Ducati!

  12. Hadley
    January 20, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Would you say this is a step forward as far as the S1K was when that first can out or just a improved taste?

  13. Chris P
    January 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Gyroscopic effect and inertia with the counter rotating crankshaft, do you feel the difference and does it feel like it improve handling /acceleration ?
    Does the twin pulse ignition reproduce V twin feel and does it really sound like Dovi’s GP17 bike ?
    That would be ‘les testicules de chiens’
    How extreme is it? Great round brands GP circuit but could you ride it to the chippy?
    I was intrigued with price difference between V4S and the Speciale
    So spec’d S as a Speciale less a couple of carbony bits, I guess plus paintwork and ltd edition number the Speciale is quite special! and it’s only a bit more than a Nissan Leaf, no brainier 😉
    Panigale V4 S £23,895.00 + £140 OTR Charges
    Full Akrapovic Exhaust £4,270.46
    Adjustable Rearsets £907.48
    Racing Seat £170.82
    Carbon Heel Guards £117.43
    Carbon Front Mudguard £266.90
    Carbon Hugger £266.90
    Carbon Swinging Arm Guard £234.88
    Articulated Levers £170.82 x2
    Quick Release Fuel Cap £197.51
    Front Brake Lever Protection £266.90
    Racing Screen £128.11
    Number Plate Removal Kit £26.69
    Billet Mirror Blanking Plates £96.08
    DDA + GPS £455.03
    Indoor Cover £213.53

    Total £31,995.36

  14. January 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Having owned a number of Ducatis over the years including two Panigales and currently running a 1299S, interested to know how the V4 compares in terms of power delivery and comfort (or lack of) and how it compares as an overall package. Is this a bike you would be swayed by against the V2 if both were sat in a showroom? Level of fit and finish? Ease of adjustability.

  15. Neil
    January 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    How noisy is it for U.K. Trackdays???

  16. Graeme
    January 21, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Does it look good in the pits?

  17. woody
    January 22, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’ve destroyed my 15 R1 riding 365 🙂 she’s still strong at 20k but the sump destroyed by the council’s grit and every bolt seized and rotten I need you salty boys to tell me which is my next ride – R1M vs RSV4R vs base 1299…

  18. Nate
    January 22, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I have bought the Speciale, how much better do you think it will be over the S?

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