The Ducati Panigale V4 R made headlines with its 240 horsepower, but it’s still not the best Panigale (at least for the money)

The new Panigale V4 R is as close as possible to the WSBK race bike experience

In a typical Ducati fashion, the Bolognese factory has once again pushed the boundaries of superbikes by presenting the fierce 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R Although the V4 R has many upgrades over the V4, the new 998cc V4 engine But as impressive as that sounds, there’s a reasonable argument to be made that the Panigale V4 R isn’t really worth all the hype, at least in the United States.

The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R is less powerful than the Panigale V4 SP2

The Panigale V4 SP2 produces more horsepower than the new Panigale V4 R in standard trim

Despite being the most insane Panigale, the new V4 R is less powerful than Panigale V4 SP2 in the USA. While the R’s 998cc V4 engine makes 207 horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque as standard, the SP2’s 1103cc mill produces 210 horsepower and 90.6 lb-ft. Additionally, the V4 SP2 boasts Ohlins electronic suspension at both ends compared to the V4 R’s manually adjustable Ohlins, further tipping the SP2’s tale.


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The Panigale V4 R really comes into its own once you fire up the $7,100 titanium exhaust and switch to Shell’s special motor oil, which gives you access to its full 240 horsepower. But for all that, the V4 R costs more than $52,000, which is $12,000 more than the MSRP of the V4 SP2. So more frugal buyers can buy a Panigale V4 SP2, use the $6,000 to upgrade to match the V4 R’s performance, and happily save the remaining $6,000.

But the Panigale V4 R is a superbike unlike any other

The titanium exhaust (shown here) costs $7,100 and puts the maximum power up to 237 horsepower

Even after all the above facts, there’s no denying that the Panigale V4 R is a superbike unlike any other. Not only does it look good in its MotoGP-inspired livery, but it also promises an unrivaled riding experience on the racetrack. Not to mention, if you can afford a racing exhaust and special oil, the V4 R is the most powerful superbike in existence and comes staggeringly close to MotoGP-level horsepower. Since Ducati will only make a handful of these, it’s also a great collector’s item that can turn a profit later on.

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But given the price/horsepower ratio, the Panigale V4 SP2 makes more sense for US buyers. This is not the case in the European and UK markets, however, with the standard V4 R producing 218bhp there, which is 2.5 ponies more than the EU-spec V4 SP2. So, is the Panigale V4 R worth the hype? This is subjectivity, of course, but it also depends on where you live.