Bologna, Italy-based manufacturer Ducati has revealed the new Panigale V4 R, a supersports road bike with motorsport underpinnings. The motorbike benefits from a range of high-tech solutions that are similar to those used on Ducati bikes competing in the WorldSBK Championship.
Sitting at the center of the Panigale V4 R is the company’s latest 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine with a maximum engine speed of 16,500rpm in sixth gear (16,000rpm in the other ratios). This enables a maximum power output of 221ps at 15,500rpm. Despite a host of improvements, this year’s version delivers a slightly reduced power output compared with the previous iteration because of an exhaust system that complies with the strict Euro 5 regulations. However, the full potential of this engine can be used on the track by fitting the racing exhaust, enabling a peak power output of 240ps – 3ps more than its predecessor.
During engine development Ducati Corse worked in collaboration with Shell to produce a special performance oil. This oil, which is based on racing-type additives, reduces mechanical friction by 10%, increasing power output by 4ps or 5ps at the bike’s limiter. Its use on the Panigale V4 R is enabled by the bike’s dry clutch, as used in the MotoGP and SBK engines. Through a combination of the racing exhaust and the performance oil, the maximum power output of the Panigale V4 R can be 244ps.
This high power out has been achieved by using several motorsport-oriented solutions. These include, for the first time on a road bike, gun-drilled titanium connecting rods that have a 1.6mm diameter hole drilled longitudinally along the rod. This enables oil to pass from the head to the small end, improving lubrication and reliability under harsh conditions.
As used in MotoGP and Formula 1, the Desmosedici Stradale R’s pistons also have a skirt characterized by a diamond-like carbon surface treatment, reducing friction between piston and liner. The pistons, which feature a new geometry, are 5g lighter and a more aggressive intake cam profile has been used for greater lift.
The same gear ratios used by bikes competing in the WorldSBK Championship have been used for the Panigale V4 R. However, first gear has been lengthened by 11.6%, second by 5.6% and sixth gear by 1.8% compared with the 2022 model.
For customers who wish to use the Panigale V4 R only on the track, Ducati has developed the specific Ducati Performance DTC EVO 3 software for slicks and rain tires, which enables the flashing operation of the rear position light, as required by racing regulations in case of rain. As on the racing bikes, a pit limiter also features to limit the speed at the exit and entry of the pit lane.
Moving to the chassis, the Panigale V4 R uses the company’s well-known front frame and single-sided aluminum swingarm. The height of the rear swingarm pivot can be adjusted to four positions in 2mm increments. To improve rider feeling and grip, an Öhlins NPX25/30 pressurized fork has been used at the front with 5mm more travel than the 2022 model. When combined with the Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber and the adjustable rear swingarm pivot, riders can customize the bike’s center of gravity for greater maneuverability during changes of direction.
The bike’s aerodynamic package has also been changed for greater efficiency and benefits from two-element wings consisting of a main and a flap. These deliver the same aerodynamic load but are 40% smaller and 50% thinner.