Ducati is not presenting a new sports car, nor even a new generation, but a new motorcycle dynasty in its history. With the Panigale V4 and its 4-cylinder V engine, the Italian brand has made the most important change since the introduction of the 851.
Tight, racy, furious, the new Bologna Superbike presents a silhouette in the continuity of the 1299 Panigale. Muscles on the skin, eyes eager for breath, concentrated line like a ball of nerves and tapered back – the design school will still capsize many people. An impeccable frivolity which is not without a certain reluctance. We would have liked a little more daring to accompany this upheaval. The Panigale V4 symbolizes a striking turning point in the mechanical history of Bolognese Superbikes. And yet, its design plays an extension while projecting itself into the near future. The orïThe air intake has become more triangular, the pots under the engine are still there, the stern is being renewed with a concern for purification and obvious beauty. Such an appetite for sharpness that the headlights are reduced to a minimum. Only luminous eyebrows come to borrow the face.
But how are we going to light the road at night? No problem, they haven’t disappeared. But we did everything to hide them, much more than on an R1. Put on the smartphone’s torch mode and look into the air jaws. They are there, shy, stashed at the edge of the cave.
Overhanging a 12.8-liter airbox, the aluminum tank plays several partitions: it accommodates most of the 16 liters of fuel in its lower part, under the pilot’s seat; in its front part, it houses all the electronics.
Before making the sliders moan, it will stun the senses. But the Panigale V4 reserves most of its prestige under the fairing.
It evolves, it operates, it shocks under the fairing. In frame, a lot, but the piece of choice, the surf, the heartbreak, it is in the crankcases that it is accomplished – where the number of cylinders has doubled. Long awaited, the V4 unit bodes a new sound for ducatist sportsmen as well as formidable behavior. We had to mark the occasion and set the bar very high straight away. The 1103 cm3 boiler delivers the colossal power of 214 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and a torque that reaches 12.6 mkg !!!
Enormous, quite simply. All the more so as the brand must immediately and imperatively mark pledges of strength, to shake up the pistards already in place and pass the pill on to the convinced Ducatists. In it, this block contains a mixture of Ducati and MotoGP DNA. We will detail it at the bottom of the article. Let us be satisfied for the moment with the essentials, with a desmodromic distribution within it, an angle between the cylinder banks of 90 °, a counter-rotating crankshaft, a variable intake and a twin-pulse engine timing..
Very large watts, with a final figure that makes you dizzy, well beyond the 200 nags (or a tad more) offered by the competition. 9 additional units compared to the 1299 Panigale, 14 more than an R1, 54 gained since the 1098, with almost identical volume. For its first expression in the world of sports, this block wants to paralyze everyone; and its raw power makes teeth bend.
But, in terms of performance, the Ducati engine is ultimately nothing exceptional. It takes a real advantage of its capacity compared to other boilers in the segment. Suddenly, with a little calculation, we realize that this V4 develops a force of 194 hp / liter of displacement, an efficiency just above that of a CBR 1000 RR.
Let’s save a final judgment for later. This engine promises us surprises for the R version, and it is still in its infancy. The dose of powder will only be more explosive in the near future..
Without waiting for tomorrow, the fury distributed by the 4 cyclinders will have to be tamed by a strong crew. The pilot will start by leaning on a sacred chassis. A new generation of machine, new frame. The V4 abandons the monocoque type frame of the Panigale to offer itself a whole new spine. Or rather, a few vertebrae, the element is so compact. But strong. The "Front Frame" uses huge aluminum spars based on the engine casings. The rigidity will be most adequate, and the lightness very present. This beautiful foundry set weighs only 4 kilos. And that’s where we continue to shiver: the engineers have succeeded in laying us a frame less heavy than that of the twin-cylinder Panigale. To find better, you have to type on the side of the Superleggera.
As you can see, this Superbike is technically different from the one it replaces. Engine, frame, and suspensions sides. And it could almost come as a shock to see this Ducati adopting solutions … conventional. Ciao the enormous 50mm inverted Marzocchi fork. And place for a Showa with large pistons, the BPF, 43 mm in diameter. As for the rear damping, it is even more unique. Forget the spectacular lateral kinematics – the Sachs monoshock is positioned in a very classic rear center position. It is anchored to the V4 by a forged aluminum part. A steering damper also signed Sachs will calm the verve of the nose gear.
This bow that has not finished surprising us. The Panigale V4 having the will to orbit the sensations and to massacre the distances between each turn, it needs shock clamps to calm its speed. Brembo comes into play with all new calipers. The "stylema" are presented as an evolution of the famous M50. Still monobloc and radial fixing, their performance increases while presenting a weight gain of 70 g each. And when they bite the 330mm tracks, expect to take a tremendous load of deceleration..
Rear braking is provided by a 2-piston caliper and a 245mm disc. All monitored by an ABS, and large caliber: a Bosch 9.1MP unit active in bends.
And this is where the Panigale V4 relies on the good care of the electronics for all the dynamic phases of driving …. sorry, driving. We will of course find the impressive range developed by the previous Panigales. Have you dreamed of piloting a Rafale since you were a kid? Here is certainly the bike that comes closest to it.
On board, only the big world in silicon:
– ABS Cornering EVO, on 3 levels. The most restrictive (3) for the road; the 2 in sporty driving which allows gliding when entering a turn; and the 1 which acts only on the front brake
– DTC EVO traction control. More responsive and more efficient thanks to its algorithm and the information communicated by the IMU inertial unit. At setting 1 or 2 (on the 8 available), the “Spin on demand” function allows more watts to be sent for expert piloting.
– DSC glide control. Introduced with the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario, it works in addition to the DTC and manages rear wheel drift.
– The DQS EVO shifter. Active on both ascent and descent, it not only allows cannon gear changes but also adapted according to piloting because it also interacts with the IMU.
– The DWC EVO anti-wheeling. By detecting and controlling wheelies as well as possible, it ensures maximum traction.
– DPL standing start aid. To throw off the starting blocks at startup, the Ducati Power Launch offers 3 levels of assistance, from the most efficient (1) to the most stable (3).
– Management of the EBC EVO engine brake. It is adjusted according to 3 levels of intervention, and modulates automatically according to the angle of the motorcycle thanks to the IMU.
To cover all this, we find the Driving Modes, inseparable from the Ducati philosophy. There are three of them, named Sport, Race and Street. And are customizable. The pilot will be able to refine each mode to his sauce; and restore the original settings at will and if necessary.
Race – This mode is intended for pilots with a strong technical background, who will exploit the full potential of the V4 Panigale on the circuit. In Race mode, the pilot has a fiery 214 hp, with direct throttle response. This racing mode implies by default a low intervention of electronic assistance, without compromising safety, with the ABS intervening only on the front wheel to offer maximum braking, but with the Cornering function still active..
Sport – By selecting the Sport mode, the 214 horses tumble sportingly. Electronic aids are calibrated for slightly less sharp pilots while maintaining spectacular efficiency and driving. See: Drift control under braking is active, which allows the rear wheel to slip when cornering. Rear wheel lift control is on the alert, and ABS cornering is configured to provide maximum cornering performance.
Street – This mode is the most suitable for the road with the Panigale V4. The throttle response is more gradual for the 214 horsepower. The default setting of the electronic controls ensures maximum safety, ensuring the best grip and maximum stability.
A very strong on-board assistance, bringing together everything that Ducati can provide for the series; the fruits of an electronic generation. Small regret, the Panigale V4 arrives without new, except for a new color screen of better resolution. This 5-inch TFT panel displays a definition of 800 x 480 pixels, new graphics and two types of displays, Track or Road. Finally, and perhaps by dint of bitching that a good old needle tachometer, it is more readable than bargraphs, Ducati has installed (simulated) one in the digital display.
High-tech to the end, the tracker is equipped with full LED lighting, automatic turn off indicators, and can optionally receive DDA + GPS data acquisition and the DMS multimedia system, in order to pair the phone via Bluetooth. A judicious idea to manage calls and SMS on a high voltage bomb that aims to go through bends at the speed of sound? lol. The possibility of enjoying your playlist will be more adequate.
From a very high technical level, is the diva successful, without reproach? The only problem is that she gained weight by mutating from twin to 4 legs. Almost 10 kilos because the Panigale V4 accuses 175 kilos dry. A figure that remains very acceptable, especially as the weight / power ratio is flattering. With 1.1 horsepower per kilo, the beautiful is very well off on this side too. And it allows itself to be the lightest of the 4-cylinder hypersports.
With the Panigale V4, Ducati presents once again a superb machine, devilishly attractive and of a very high level of sportiness. More than a chapter, it’s a new odyssey that begins for the Bologna missile lineage.
As always, this hypersport will be doubled with an S version, with suspensions Ösemi-active hlins, forged aluminum rims and a lighter Lithium-Ion battery.
The Panigale V4 will also be available in a simply monstrous Speciale version. The engine will be pushed into a dimension of power unknown on a production motorcycle. With 226 horsepower, this hypersport debunks in terms of numbers everything that exists on the road market.
Engine technology – the Desmosedici Stradale V4
For its debut, Ducati’s 4-cylinder V-shaped engine brought out the big game: 214 horsepower. Or just one horse less than the 1285 twin of the Superleggera, the pinnacle and finality of the twin lineage. The opening angle of its V is faithful to the house tradition, displaying 90 °. Also faithful, the desmodromic distribution is here deeply revised and miniaturized..
It controls 34 mm wide valves at the intake and 27.5 mm at the exhaust. Four camshafts and sixteen valves move in the cylinder heads to make the engine breathe as well as possible. Oval injection bodies have a diameter equivalent to 52 mm.
Its internal dimensions are modeled on the MotoGP block, with a bore of 81 mm is the maximum authorized by the regulations of the world championship. The piston stroke is 53.5 mm. It is not these dimensions that the Ducatists will have to tame but the engine speed. The twin of the 1299 Panigale turbined up to a little over 11,000 rpm while the V4 can take 14,000 rpm.
The cylinder firing order is not regular but said Twin-Pulse, i.e. a timing at 0 °, 90 °, 290 ° and 380 °. This gives it the behavior of an offset twin twin rather than a classic 4 cylinder. In order to reduce the gyroscopic effect, its crankshaft is counter-rotating. A solution borrowed from the competition, that very few machines on the market use.
The engine of the Panigale V4 also plays an important role in the chassis. It is tilted 42 ° backwards to optimize weight distribution, accommodate larger radiators and move the swingarm pivot as far as possible. In addition, it contributes to the rigidity of the frame and serves as an attachment point for the swingarm..
More power, more rpm, more cylinders, and more weight. At 64.9 kilos, the Desmosedici Stradale weighs 2.2 kilos more than the 1,285 cc Superquadro.
New engine but also new intake system. For the first time on a Ducati, there is a variable intake system. The ducts are lengthened or shortened depending on the engine speed to optimize the pressure waves. Ducati intends to widen the range of use of this block as much as possible. And that it agitates at best in the bowels. There is a compression ratio of 14: 1, forged steel connecting rods, aluminum liners coated with Nikasil, lubrication via semi-dry sump, a 6-speed gearbox, an oil bath clutch with 11 discs , and surprising service intervals for a mechanical of this caliber: standard service every 12,000 km and major service every 24,000 km.
What you must remember
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1299 Panigale 2017
Model marketed in
medium: 6.90 l
about 300 km / h
The technical aspect
Ducati 1100 Panigale V4 2018
- Tank: 16 liters
- Wheelbase: 1469 mm
- Dry weight: 175 kg
- Weight in running order: 198 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(81 x 53.5 mm)
at 13,000 rpm
at 10,000 rpm