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Ducati Panigale V4 | NEWS

Project 1409 is a biggie for Ducati. It’s the new Panigale V4 superbike that was revealed in Milan.

 Taking the huge step of moving the firm’s range-topping superbike from a V-twin to an 1103cc V4 engine risks alienating loyal customers, and there’s no guarantee of victory – either in showrooms or on track – over rival four-cylinder machines.

But following its unveiling there will be plenty breathing a sigh of relief as, on paper at least, it promises to be stunning. The numbers are astronomical. Even the basic version makes a claimed 157.5kW at 13,000rpm and weighs just 175kg dry (174kg for the S, 173kg for the Speciale).

Opt for the range-topping, limited-edition Panigale V4 Speciale, fitted with its Akrapovič titanium exhaust, and bolt on all the optional weight-saving parts in the catalogue, and the power rises to 166kW while dry weight drops to only 164kg.

We’ve already seen a lot of spy shots and leaked pictures of the new V4 superbike, and Ducati long ago released detailed engine specifications, but this is the first time we’ve had a clear overview of the complete bike.

There’s a three-model range. The basic Panigale V4 gets a Showa BPF fork and a Sachs shock. Step up to the ‘S’ model and you get a semi-active Öhlins NIX30 fork and a TTX36 shock, plus forged Marchesini wheels and a host of additional electronics. With the Special, of which only 1500 will be made, you get the race Akrapovič, magnesium Marchesinis and a special paint scheme on top of all that, plus GPS datalogging.