06 July 2018

In awe of the V4

A surprising new recruit to Rosso Ducati’s demo fleet, the Panigale V4 S might be light but its got proper might and bite. Paul Browne took the MotoGP-inspired machine for a spin…

The numbers are shocking.

Before I’ve even gone near the new V4 I’ve read the spec sheet and see that Ducati’s newest sportsbike is putting out 214 horse power at 13,000 rpm while having a dry weight of only 174 kilos.

This is the first mass production Ducati to feature a V4 block and it’s been only possible because of the company’s involvement in MotoGP. It’s a staggering achievement for a mass produced road bike.

Electronic wizardry

To help manage the power and the lack of weight the bike features a host of electronic wizardry. The ABS system has been upgraded to the new Bosch cornering, offering that we first saw a few years ago on KTMs adventure bikes.

This means that ABS will both activate and work even when the bike is leaned over in the middle of a bend.

V4 SWorking with the race team at Ducati Corse, the developers have also been able to add slide control to the mix. This works in conjunction with the new traction control system.

This new system offers various settings, including the wonderfully titled “spin on demand” mode which now allows the rider to spin the rear up in relative safety. u.

To make things easier for the rider there is a new quick shifter that works when the bike is being changed both up and down through the gears.

Complex system

This is a complex system that uses the bike’s lean angle and ride-by-wire throttle to control the engine’s firing depending on the conditions when the gear selector is used. On the downshifts it uses the bike’s Engine Brake Control and the slipper clutch.

All of these features are straight off the Moto GP bike and make everything that has come before them seem quite dated!

V4 SAlso included is the Wheelie control system and a choice of riding and power modes.

The stopping power at the end of a wonderful braking system is courtesy of a brand new set of Brembo ‘Stylema’ radially mounted calipers. Thanks too to Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, the the bike sticks to dry tracks everywhere.

It would appear that whilst a road bike, this is a machine that has intentions that are very much track related.

The power delivery in all modes was striking and the bike’s behaviour on a variety of road surfaces was compliant and predictable.

But after taking advantage of the V4 S’s  frankly surprising appearance among Rosso Ducati‘s demo fleet, I got the feeling I hadn’t even begun to scratch the machine’s true potential.

I guess it’s just going to have to be taken out on track…

The Panigale V4 S retails for €29,900 whilst the standard bike will set you back €24,400. Finance is available. To book yourself a test ride call Keith on 01 464 2211.

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