Ducati’s Panigale V4 R has made its official public debut at the 2018 EICMA show in Milan, with the superbike forming the centrepiece of the Italian brand’s 2019 model lineup.
Compared to previous R versions, the Panigale V4 R is now even more specialised and bristles with technology taken directly from MotoGP.
The modifications extend beyond the engine and suspension set-up; they also include the fairing, designed and developed by Ducati Corse in collaboration with the Ducati Style Centre to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The new fairing also incorporates the aerofoil appendages developed for the MotoGP prototypes. Made of carbon-fibre, they are claimed to generate 30 kg of downforce at 168 mph, thereby increasing stability as well as allowing for reduced reliance on electronic controls.
The Panigale V4 R is, to all intents and purposes, a road-legal WSBK category competition bike and constitutes the technical foundation for the official Ducati Superbikes that will compete in the World Championship as from the 2019 season.
The Desmosedici Stradale 1103 cm3 engine has been replaced with the 998 cm3 Desmosedici Stradale R to comply with displacement limits set by WSBK rules.
Unlike the larger V4 – designed to provide fluid power delivery and low-rev pulling power for optimal road use – the 998 cm3 Desmosedici Stradale R is claimed to offer more extreme performance as power delivery has been designed with the track in mind.
It also gets lighter internal components that have helped reduce the bike’s overall weight by 2 kg compared to the Panigale V4S, bringing kerb weight down to 193 kg. Ducati engineers say greater air intake efficiency allows faster engine ‘rev-up’ and shifts the rpm red zone higher to deliver improved acceleration.
The result is 217 bhp at 15,250 rpm, which is 2,250 rpm higher than the point of peak power on the 1103 cm3 V4. And these figures can be taken even higher by fitting the full-racing Ducati Performance exhaust by Akrapovič, which boosts maximum power to 231 bhp at 15,500 rpm. In short: the most powerful Ducati factory motorcycle ever!
Besides the Panigale V4 R, other key Ducati models debuting at this year’s EICMA are the second-generation Diavel 1260 (of which the sportier S version is pictured above), the all-new Hypermotard 950, and the MIG-RR – the manufacturer’s first ever e-mountainbike or e-bike.