Yank Ducati’s new Panigale V4 R out of its box, replace the purely decorative stock exhaust with an Akrapovic titanium racing pipe and fill it with Shell’s fancy “performance oil” and you’re sitting on a machine that makes 240.5 horsepower.

Already one of the most powerful production motorcycles in all of Christendom, the Panigale rises to new heights of insanity in its latest and greatest incarnation. In stock form, fully roadworthy and ready to pass any pesky Euro 5 emissions tests you might encounter on the way to the shops, its 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R V4 engine.

I have a small fast car that makes more than half the power. It weighs 8.3 times more than a Ducati and can carry five people plus luggage. The comparison is inappropriate, but I’m adding it because it blows my mind. I’ve ridden a few bikes over the 200 horsepower mark, it’s never been anything more than a religious moment to find full throttle at high revs on these things, and the thought of 240 makes me feel sticky, panting, and a little tense. These are wild times and the motorcycle world retains its ability to shock me with its horrific excesses. Viva Ducati!

Dry weight is 172 kg (379 lb) with standard under suspension exhaust, 167 kg (368 lb) with racing pipe


To increase the power and rev limit to such an extent, Ducati switched to “drilled” titanium rods with internal lubrication channels, as well as piston liners coated with a diamond-like carbon surface treatment – the same as used in MotoGP and Formula 1 engines. The pistons themselves have somehow lost five grams (0.17 oz), or as much as 2%, compared to previous lightweight designs. The intake cams are 1 mm (0.039 in) higher, the variable-length intake pipes are now 5 mm (0.19 in) shorter in the lowest high-power configuration, and the gear ratio has been lengthened in the first few gears to match what’s running the World Superbike team.

It has a new dry clutch design, is 800 grams (28 ounces) lighter, 24 mm (0.9 inches) smaller in diameter and, as always, ready for riders to play extravagant drum solos on it at traffic lights. Most of the electronics are new, adapted from the 22/23-model Panigale V4; You now get four different “engine strategies” with engine maps and engine braking levels that can be assigned to each gear. A low-power mode for riding in rain and gravel now produces 160 horses, or basically the same as the legendary K5 GSX-R1000 done flat.

Itchy elbows?  Panigale will help you
Itchy elbows? Panigale will help you


Naturally, the suspension is by Ohlins, with an NPX25/30 compression fork that travels 5mm further than its predecessor and a TTX36 shock – both non-electronic items with mechanical adjustment for experienced riders, rather than manual luxury electronic systems. The wheels are made of lightweight magnesium, and the adjustable swingarm pivot is slightly higher in its standard position – all of which should make this thing a little more nimble to handle, Ducati says, as if the previous version wasn’t created entirely from the dreams and tears of a unicorn.

There’s more – there’s always more – but if you’ve read this far, you’ve earned the right to get the details in Italian with subtitles, and we invite you to watch the relatively short launch video below. In summary, the new Panigale V4 R is a very fast, very sexy bike, probably the most outrageous machine in the superbike class – again – and we look forward to the next version, which is surely being prepared in the backrooms of Borgo Panigale, which will surface during six months and somehow make this greyhound look like a pig.

Ducati 2023 World Premiere Series 4 | Panigale V4 R | This is racing

Source: Ducati