It’s really not news that Ducati has lost some steam as of late with their massive v-twins. Realistically their heyday has long been over, with the rules being bent time and time again to aid in keeping the twins competitive in World Superbike. But the time has officially come where we must let go of the past and embrace the future. For Ducati, that future is in the shape of a V4.
We have heard rumors of a new V4 superbike for quite some time. With the success of Ducati’s monstrous MotoGP engine, it makes pretty good sense for that technology to trickle down into the Superbike classes. But it wasn’t until they announced the Panigale R Final Edition that things started to look really serious. Now, we can say with 100 percent certainty that the V4 is here, and it’s going to pick up where the Panigale left off.
For starters, Ducati is set to unveil the new bike on September 7th, just a stone’s throw away from now. The plan is to have three models, a base, an S and an R model. This seems to be a growing trend in Superbikes, allowing for a reasonable price point or a race ready bike from the factor, which one you choose is up to you. Power is rumored to be anywhere from 205hp to an insane 230hp for the full race prepped machines.
The current complaint about the 1198 Panigale R is the fact that they can’t seem to squeeze any more power from that massive V-twin. The pistons are already at the maximum 112mm bore and with an 11,750RPM redline, they’re pushing a maximum velocity. And while more power is always great, switching to a different engine configuration should also alleviate some of the handling issues that have plagued the Panigale as well. See, having only two pistons jutting up and down creates a different gyroscopic effect, resulting in a motorcycle that feels heavier with a lazier turn in than say an inline-4 machine. An inline 4 would be just too mainstream for Ducati though, so a V4 is the obvious pick.
Finally, though, we have been given some leaked footage of the new Ducati running. It is, in fact, a V4, and it does, in fact, sound absolutely incredible. It sounds almost exactly like a MotoGP bike, which is astounding. If the street legal version of this machines sounds half this good, we will have a new king of the streets. Prices are looking like they will start in the low $20k’s and go up from there. A small price to pay for a street legal MotoGP bike. Do yourself a favor and put some headphones on, you don’t want to miss this.