Ducati Panigale V4 R Offers Race Technology in a Street Bike With a Catch

Ducati has continued its World Premiere web series, which involves online presentations of its latest models, with something that is as close to a racing bike for the street as you can get in 2022. The fourth episode in the series features the new Panigale V4 R, a bike that has over 240 horsepower in its track setup and can hit 16,500 rpm.
2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R 10 photos
Photo: Ducati
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The Borgo Panigale brand went through all the stops with its new bike, as it has adopted technology that was only seen in the MotoGP and Superbike championships. Hopefully, this will make other OEMs involved in top-tier motorsport implement even more high-tech solutions for street-going machines.

In the old days, F1 tech would arrive in high-end machines in a couple of years and then trickle down to affordable models as the years passed. One bit at a time, but it happened.

Now, while motorsport progress is still going strong in place of new regulations across the board, your next car probably does not have DRS, nor does it have “gun drilled” titanium connecting rods and pistons with DLC surface treatment.

Well, the latter two, while they may not be needed in an econobox – make a difference in a performance-oriented product, and they are standard in the new Ducati Panigale V4 R.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Photo: Ducati
Again, this is race-developed tech for the street, and Ducati had to go even further to make it work, as a special performance oil has been developed for this bike.

The oil itself has roots in racing but has been developed by Shell in collaboration with Ducati Corse to be used for more than the length of a Grand Prix, but do not expect it to be a long-life oil blend.

The new performance oil will only work in bikes with dry clutches, as it has a set of special, racing-type additives that are incompatible with a wet clutch—as most modern motorcycles (except Ducatis) have.

As Ducati explains, the Panigale V4 R still complies with Euro 5 regulations, but doing so requires using an exhaust system that has some limitations that restrict power.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Photo: Ducati
The Italian marque has explained that the street-going version of the 998-cc Desmosedici Stradale R, its motor, is 218 horsepower at 15,500 rpm.

In all but sixth gear, the motor is limited to 16,000 rpm in the Track Mode, which works in conjunction with the specially-developed race exhaust, which allows it to hit 237 horsepower, which is three more than its predecessor.

Now, in conjunction with the special oil, which helps reduce mechanical friction by ten percent, the maximum increase in power is 3.5 horsepower, which rises to a total of 4.5 horsepower at the limiter.

The total output thus reaches 240.5 horsepower, as Ducati notes. It is a big asterisk to many, but it is a new Euro 5-compliant superbike for the street that comes with race-proven technology. So, here's the catch - you cannot have both at the same time - either Euro 5 compliance with the exhaust or track-day exhaust with 240.5 horsepower.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Photo: Ducati
The motor has received more than just a limited bump, special oil, special pistons with Diamond-Like Carbon skirts, and exhaust to develop this level of power.

Ducati mentions fitting a more aggressive profile for the intake cams, new variable-length horns, and changes to the piston geometry that bring reduced inertia. They are lighter by five grams, which is the real-life equivalent of about two cubes of sugar.

For those who like to feel like they are their local Carl Fogarty or Troy Bayliss when they are at a track day, Ducati is pleased to inform you that the new Panigale V4 R comes with the same gear ratios used by the bikes in the WorldSBK Championship, and this was the case with the “old” Panigale V4 S 2022.

The MY2023 Panigale V4 R comes with an 11.6-percent “longer” first gear, as well as a 5.6-percent longer second gear, and the sixth is 1.8 percent longer while also having a higher rev limiter when compared to the previous bike.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Photo: Ducati
According to Ducati, first gear is now more usable in circuit riding than before, and there is better engine management during braking to help riders get the most out of it. The Ducati Quick Shift system works more effectively thanks to the new tech, as well.

The electronics come with several Power Modes, including the Track Evo display, calibrations for each gear – complete with refinements to the brand's traction control and Ride By Wire system, along with the latest Engine Brake Control Evo 2, recalibrated Ducati Quick Shift, and even special calibrations for the integrated cooling fan.

Out of the four engine strategies (or riding modes), which range from Low through Medium, High, and Full, include completely new designs for the first and the last, as well as revised versions of the others, just so the rider gets to enjoy the bike in all possible conditions. The Low power mode limits the peak output to 160 horsepower and is optimized for low-grip surfaces.

Also from WorldSBK is the dry clutch of the Panigale V4 R, which is derived from the race unit, but not identical to it. Its weight has been reduced by almost 800 grams (ca. 1.7 lbs.), while its diameter and axial length have also been reduced to help the bike rev faster and higher than ever before.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Photo: Ducati
The aero package also bears inspiration from racing, and so does the Akrapovic titanium full exhaust system that comes with a dedicated mapping for the ECU, which includes changes to its other electronic systems, so be sure to use it with the right exhaust.

The suspension is made by Öhlins and is fully mechanically adjustable – it does help immensely if you know what you are doing before messing with it. The bike has new shocks and springs with dedicated configurations, but most people might not be able to extract all that extra performance out of them, anyway.

Those who want to refine the bike by adding lightness can get optional magnesium rims, which save 0.7 kilograms (almost as much as the clutch, or about 1.5 lbs.) instead of the stock forged ones, which will improve nimbleness in all conditions for those looking for that extra one percent.

Carbon fiber elements for the bodywork are available for order, and your local Ducati dealer cannot wait to tell you all about it when you configure one.

If I were getting one of these numbered series bikes (for the first time that they come with a progressive number and model name shown on the billet aluminum steering), I would get one with all the bells and whistles. Or maybe keep your old 2022 Panigale V4; suit yourself.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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