Ducati Panigale V4 S First Ride Review
- Jan 29, 2018
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The Ducati V4 Panigale, which was launched earlier this year, has been a game changer for the Bolognese company. Not only did it mark the end of Ducati’s flagship motorcycle featuring an L-Twin motor, it also helped the manufacturer maintain a strong foothold in the superbike segment. If recent reports are to be believed, expect to see a lot more of the V4 motor in the near future.
In a recent interview published on MCN, Claudio Domenicali, the CEO of Ducati, was quoted saying, “There will be more V4s for sure. This engine is wonderful; and actually, it is a very strong platform – it is solid. It is obviously very light but the gearbox, the clutch and the engine cases have been built strong. In due time, our top-of-the-range bikes will go this direction."
While fans of the V4 motor have a reason to celebrate, we think Ducati is still far away from implementing the motor in other motorcycles from its portfolio. Why? A lot of reasons, really. First of all, the cost of manufacturing the Desmosedici Stradale is quite high as it finds its origin in Ducati’s MotoGP race bikes. As one can imagine, a lot of work has gone into making it street legal, including modifying the chassis, engine design and using more lightweight parts. So it’s just not practical (for now, at least) for Ducati to equip most of the motorcycles from its portfolio with this engine.
Second, according to Ducati, assembling a V4 engine takes almost twice as long as the older L-Twin motor. This fact alone narrows down the likely candidates to receive the V4 motor to a couple of bikes.
If we had to put on our tin foil hat and take a guess, we’d put our chips on the Multistrada, the Monster and the Diavel series. Domenicali seems to agree with this by saying, “We don’t think that we want to just take this engine and apply it as it is. The new motor will be one that will be based on this technology but will be much more tuned for longer distance and lower maintenance cost – and this is where we will focus our development. It’s taking time because we want to be right, but this is where we are going."
If Ducati were to do that, expect the company to launch a Multistrada or a supernaked to rival the Aprilia V4 Tuono. However, if Ducati decides to fit the Multistrada with a V4 motor, don’t expect it have the same explosive nature as the V4 Panigale. The Multistrada, being an adventure-tourer, will be tuned for relaxed riding, which means it will make most of its power lower in the rev range when compared to the high-strung nature of the Panigale V4. This also means that the motor on the Multistrada will produce a little less power when compared to the Panigale. Doing so will also help the company price the V4-powered Multistrada and Monster lower than the flagship.
However, the latest development from Ducati should not be read as the bike manufacturer ditching its legendary L-Twin engines for good. While it may no longer power the company’s flagship motorcycles, it’ll still find a place on mid-range models. For example, the upcoming Panigale 959 is said to be launched with an L-Twin heart.
It’s still too early to say what the Bolognese manufacturer is upto with its V4 engine. Right now, all we can do is speculate. But, we’ll keep our eyes peeled on what Ducati does next. Until then, let us know what you think of the latest development?
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