Big news out of Ducati is the Panigale V4 R for 2019, which reigns in the capacity to 998cc and has it's eye on the brand's WorldSBK aspirations, with a race inspired package.
The undisputed star of Ducati’s 2019 line-up has to be the Panigale V4 R, a special version created specifically with an eye on the brand’s WorldSBK aspirations and competing in the Superbike class, which with their new V4 powerplant carries an obvious capacity restriction.
Apart from featuring a 998cc powerplant the Panigale V4 R also features technology which the brand boasts comes from their MotoGP experience including special fairings and of course the eye catching carbon-fibre aerofoils.
Despite an eye on racing, the Panigale V4 R is, to all intents and purposes, a road-legal WSBK category competition bike and will be the foundation for the official Ducati World Superbikes from 2019.
The Desmosedici Stradale 1103cc engine found in the standard V4 has been replaced by a 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R to comply with displacement limits set by WSBK rules, in a move that may also pay dividends in national and local racing circles for those wealthy enough to afford one of these coveted machines.
Naturally the 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R offers significantly different performance as well, with 221hp (162kW) of power at 15250rpm, that can be further boosted to 234hp with the full Ducati Performance Akrapovic exhaust system, with the brand happily introducing the V4 R as their most powerful factory machine ever.
The Desmosedici Stradale is a 90 degree Desmodromic V4, with a rearward rotating crankshaft and capacity of 998cc thanks to a bore and stroke of 81 x 48.4mm, with compression run at 14.0:1. In additional to the dual injectors per cylinder, RbW and elliptical throttle bodies, the brand also list aerodynamic valves in the specs, alongside the variable length intake system.
The boosted power from 214 in the 1103cc version to 221hp in the V4 R comes at a loss of peak torque, down 12Nm and available at higher revs of 11,500, while the peak power is also found 2250rpm higher.
The six-speed gearbox features a Ducati Quick Shift EVO up/down system, with a hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet clutch. The same aluminium alloy ‘front frame’ from the 1100 is also found but has been optimised for stiffness, while fully adjustable 43mm Ohlins NPX pressurised forks with TIN treatment are a considerable step up from the standard 1100, and aren’t an electronic system like on the V4 S.
The rear shock is a fully adjustble Ohlins TTX36 shock, mated to a aluminium single-sided swingarm, and the bike features an adjustable pivot position of +3/-3mm. Wheel specifications are still listed as the same as those found on the V4 S, with three-spoke Marchesini forged aluminium alloy wheels, and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres are standard fitment.
Brembo Monobloc Stylema M4.30 four-piston calipers are used on dual 330mm semi-floating discs, and Bosch Cornering ABS EVO is fitted. The rear brake system is a 245mm rotor with two-piston caliper.
The wheelbase is up 2mm on the V4 and V4 S to 1471mm, while sea height, rake and trail are all the same. Fuel capacity is likewise the same at 16L, with weight down 5kg over the standard V4, and 2kg from the S version. A single seat is also fitted, so never mind taking anyone for a ride on the back.
Standard electronics are extensive, with Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Traction Control EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO, Ducati Slide Control, Engine Brake Control EVO and Auto Tyre Calibration – which makes sure a change of tyres doesn’t stop all those other systems working properly.
There’s also Ducati Power Launch, the DQS EVO, full LED lighting and Daytime Running Lights, with a GPS module, Lap Timer EVO, Pit Limiter, Ohlins steering damper, ‘Quick Adjustment buttons’, a Lithium-ion battery, auto-off indicators, a high-flow airfilter, and carbon-fibre heatshields and front mudguard. Also standard fitment on the V4 R is machined mirror block-off plates, a license plate mount removal plug and Ducati Data Analyser+ making for a track ready machine.
Warranty and servicing is listed as the same as the standard V4, at 12,000km/12 month maintenance, and 24,000km valve clearance adjustment.
2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R Specifications
Claimed Power: 162kW(221hp)@15,250rpm
Claimed Torque: 112Nm(83lb-ft)@11,500rpm
Wet Weight: 193kg
Fuel capacity: 16L
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 998cc, 81 x 48.4mm bore x stroke, 14.0:1 compression ratio, twin injectors per cylinder, RBW, elliptical throttle-bodies, ‘aerodynamic’ valves, variable length intake system, 4-2-1-2 exhaust system
Gearbox: Six-speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO
Clutch: Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch
Chassis: Aluminum alloy “Front Frame” with optimised stiffnesses, aluminium single-sided swingarm
Suspension: Fully adjustable 43mm Ohlins NPX pressurised forks with TiN treatment, fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 shock,
Brakes: Bosch Cornering ABS EVO, Dual 330mm front semi-floating rotors, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema four-piston calipers, 245mm rotor, two-piston calliper
Wheels & Tyres: Marchesini forged aluminium alloy three-spoke wheels, 3.50 x 17in, 6.00 x 17in, Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, 120/70 – 17in, 200/60 – 17in
Seat height: 830mm
Instruments: 5in TFT colour display