In a riposte to the BMW Motorrad M1000RR, here’s the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4R which is just about as close to the bikes Ducati Corse races in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK). This is achieved by the use of a new performance oil developed by Shell in collaboration with the Corse team, which guarantees a 10% reduction in mechanical friction and increases maximum power a further 3.5 hp.
Combined with the racing only exhaust system the Panigale V4R produces 240.5 hp in full race trim. In standard “road-going” setup, the new 998 cc Desmosedici Stradale R V-four gets a redline of 16,500 rpm in sixth gear (16,000 in other ratios provided in the race kit) and delivers 218 hp at 15,500 rpm while remaining Euro-5 compliant depending on market specific regulations.
Gains in horsepower comes from “gun drilled” titanium connecting rods – a first ever for road-going motorcycles – taking a leaf from the armaments industry with a 1.6 mm diameter oil gallery in the rod. The hole runs the length of the rod, allowing passage of oil from the head to the small end, thereby improving lubrication and reliability.
The pistons have a new geometry making them 5 grams lighter, a 2% reduction in weight from previous, reducing inertia and increasing engine speed. Intake cams get 1 mm greater lift which is combined with 5 mm shorter, variable length, intake trumpets. This improves breathing at high revs and increases maximum power when the Panigale V4R is fitted with the racing exhaust.
Weight is reduced by 800 grams in the dry clutch assembly which now comes with diameter and axial length smaller by 24 mm in diameter. The Panigale V4 R uses the same gear ratios used by the WSBK racing Ducatis with first, second and sixth gears taller by 11.6%, 5.6& and 1.8%, respectively.
The aerodynamics package is revised with to provide greater efficiency with the new two-element wings – main and flap – giving the same aerodynamic load, but in a compact and thinner form with size reduced by 40% and 50%, respectively. The extractors in the lower fairing has been modified and complies with the WSBK regulations while on the left side, an air intake cools the quickshifter sensor.
In the suspension department, the forks and monoshock remain mechanically adjustable with the front Ohlins NPX25/30 fork getting 5 mm more travel. The rear TTX36 shock absorber now gets a hydraulic preload adjuster and goes from 312 to 316 mm centre distance, giving 4 mm more travel while adjusting the swingarm pivot to the +1 position increases rear height by 20 mm.
Fuel tank capacity goes up to 17 litres and still maintains the raw, brushed aluminium finish of the ‘R’ Panigale motorcycles. For track use, the Panigale V4R gets expanded power modes and a new “Track Evo” display on the dashboard. Each gear gets specific engine mapping with revised Full, High, Medium and Low power delivery modes and the new throttle control is 50% smaller with radial and axial clearances reduced.
For Panigale V4R riders who only use it on the racetrack, there is the optional Ducati Performance DTC EVO 3 software which allows fitment of slick and rain tyres. This activates a flashing rear light, as required by racing regulations in case of rain, and replaces the Street Riding Mode with Rain Mode as well as adding a Pit Speed Limiter.
Adding the full Akrapovic titanium exhaust reduces weight by 5 kg and comes with dedicated mapping for racetrack use only, affecting the traction, power, wheelie and riding modes and ups power to 237 hp. Weight saving is also seen in the magnesium wheels which reduce weight by 700 grams over the stock lightweight forged aluminium items.
A full set of performance accessories is available from the Ducati Performance catalogue, including racing footpegs, Pit Stop accessory package with tyre warmers and stands, and carbon-fibre bodywork including brake cooling ducts. In Malaysia, the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4R was priced at RM299,000.
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