Ducati manufactures some of the most attractive sports bikes and superbikes of the moment. Things aren’t bad on the performance front either. But when they decide to go all out by implementing features from years of racing experience, things get a whole lot more exciting! And that is exactly what the Ducati Panigale V4 R 2023 brings.
The fact that it is a special WSBK homologation, based on the stock Ducati V4, is enough to make our eyes sparkle. Technology derived from MotoGP and WSBK for the roads? Yes please! And just when we thought things couldn’t get more extreme, here comes the 2023 V4 R with 240.5 hp and Desmosedici Stradale R screaming 16,500 RPM!
The level of customization and features on offer make the new V4 R a certified road toy that can set racetracks on fire. While Kawasaki offers the H2 superbike for the roads and a tougher H2 R for the racetracks, Ducati somehow found a way to blend both sides. And it’s amazing!
The Panigale V4 R engine has three faces; Each one more threatening than the last.
The Desmosedici Stradale R has been a masterpiece among superbike engines. And this time, Ducati has raised things to a whole new level with the 2023 Panigale 4V R. In its most sober state, the 998cc V4 engine makes 207 hp at 13,500 rpm and 82 pound-feet at 12,000 rpm.
Applying an Akrapovic titanium racing exhaust will push things up to 237hp and also push the max RPM to a crazy 16,500! Torque figures also jump to 87 lb-ft at 12,250 RPM with the race exhaust.
In its wildest form, the V4 can make 240.5 hp in this configuration with the use of a special Shell motor oil that Ducati claims reduced internal friction by 10 percent. The final increase in power is only 3.5 horses, but a lot of work has gone into making this happen, Ducati having intricately tuned the engine’s internals.
Changes include shorter intakes, raised intake cams, lighter pistons and modified titanium connecting rods to help better oil circulation. So yes, the new Panigale V4 R is one crazy bike at 240.5 horsepower, but you can only unleash all the horsepower on a race track with a very specific set of mods.
Technology and features straight from Ducati racing machines
Years of experience in MotoGP and World Superbike championships have helped Ducati create a monstrosity out of the Panigale 4V R. The first 4V R to be launched in 2019 was clearly a wild racing machine for the roads and passed the threshold of the superbikes. The 2023 model takes things even further!
Electronics is the main ingredient to tame this red devil. Ducati has recalibrated the Panigale V4 R’s nervous system to help it better handle all of its 240+ horsepower. Every bit of software can be adjusted and controlled via a new Track Evo instrument cluster that has been heavily adapted from MotoGP bikes.
The Panigale 4V R also gets updated Quick Shift software. Parts and features have been taken from Ducati’s WSBK bikes. The new V4 R features the same lightweight gearbox and dry clutch ratios seen on race bikes. This setup is much more aggressive and about 1.8 pounds lighter than before.
Driving dynamics brought to “God level” on the Ducati Panigale V4 R
Ducati has carved out the Panigale 4V R’s chassis, suspension, brakes and aerodynamics to help make driving the V4 R a heavenly affair. This crazy machine has all the characteristics to be one with the rider. The ergonomics are much more “fluid” helping the rider connect and hug the Panigale V4 R much better with a modified tank that helps the rider get more grip and support.
The seat is now slimmer and flatter, helping the rider move more with maneuvers. The exotic design may not look much revised, but Ducati has modified the body panels to improve engine cooling and road stability. Even though the wings are now 40 percent smaller at half the thickness, they still provide the same downforce as last year’s 4V R!
Ducati continues to fit high-spec Ohlins NPX 25/30 springs up front and a TTX monoshock unit at the rear. The front forks now have an additional 5mm of travel, but the length has been reduced by 4mm. Ducati has also raised the center of gravity with a 0.8-inch rear lift. This is said to give increased cornering agility, making the red-hot devil much more nimble.
Ducati offers a host of optional features to spice things up. The best of these is the Pit Stop package which provides tire warmers, garage stands and DTC EVO 3 software to prep this crazy machine before it hits the racetracks.
Optional magnesium-alloy wheels shave another 1.5 pounds off weight, this time in unsprung rotating mass. Many of the components of this Ducati superbike can be had in carbon fiber, thanks to Rizoma’s collaboration with Ducati Corsa.
Ducati Panigale V4 R 2023: prices and availability
The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R starts with an MSRP of $44,995. It sure is a hefty price tag even by superbike standards. But then again, the V4 R is not just any superbike! This crazy machine will be in Ducati dealerships only in the spring of 2023. So there’s plenty of time to think about what optional features you want on the wildest Ducati superbike out there.