Ducati, the brand long regarded for making quick V-Twin powered road bikes, has just released a new flagship superbike powered by a V4 engine. That's right, Ducati's latest machine now has four cylinders and its name is the Panigale V4.
Thanks to two extra cylinders, Ducati made an all-new frame called the 'Front Frame'. Lighter and more compact than a perimeter frame, it keeps the weight down while utilizing the engine as a chassis element for smaller packaging. In addition, Ducati claimed that the new frame has more torsional and lateral rigidity than its predecessor.
At the heart of the 2018 Panigale is a new 1103cc, 90-degree V4 that comes with a counter-rotating crankshaft and four-valves per cylinder. Internally known as the Desmosedici Stradale V4, it replaces the 1285cc Superquadro V-Twin in the 1299 and produces 217 PS at 13,000 rpm and 122 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm.
The engine itself is derived from the MotoGP Desmosedici V4 and features TwinPulse technology (which mimics a V-Twin's firing sequence), four throttle bodies and a longer stroke for better low-to-mid torque delivery. The engine can even be specified with an Akrapovic racing exhaust which ups the power to 223 PS.
The suspension is comprised of Showa 43mm inverted forks and Sachs dampers. Both the forks and dampers are fully adjustable for preload, rebound and damping. Stopping power, on the other hand, comes courtesy of Brembo's new Stylema four-piston calipers. They are made from a single piece of alloy and bite onto 330mm discs. Grip is provided by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP radials that measure 120/70/17 at the front and 200/60/17 at the back.
Aside from its advanced powertrain, the Panigale V4 also comes with a 5-inch TFT redesigned instrument display that comes with two modes: Track and Road. The former focuses more on lap times while the latter displays key information like the multimedia system, tachometer, speedometer, riding mode and gear position.
A plethora of advanced safety systems also make their way in the 2018 Panigale V4. These include: ABS cornering, traction control, slide control, wheelie control, power launch, quick shift, engine brake control and electronic suspension control.
The 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 is available in standard and S versions, with the latter benefitting from an Ohlins suspension (NIX-30 front forks, TTX36 rear dampers), forged aluminum wheels, lightweight lithium-ion battery, Alcantara-trimmed seat and carbon fiber front / rear fenders.