Ducati pulls a surprise and brings a revamped Panigale V4 S to market for 2022.
The Bologna boys and girls at Ducati have just announced a heavily-revised Panigale V4 S superbike for the 2022 model year. It’s a bit of a surprise to see this machine because only last year Ducati presented another evolution of the V4 S that debuted in 2018, and proves Ducati has been far from sitting on its laurels during the Covid pandemic.
The 2022 V4 S isn’t an entirely new motorcycle but there are significant improvements to the aerodynamics, suspension, gearbox and electronics, so let’s get into it.
Headlining the changes is the new aero package. The 2021 Panigale V4 S swiped the V4 R’s bodywork in what now appears as a stop-gap model, but the 2022 V4 S gets more compact and thinner double-profile design wings that Ducati claim produce the same 81 lb of downforce on the chassis at 186 mph as in 2021.
The fairing also sports new extractors at the base to help the V4 motor shed some of the notorious heat it’s famous for.
Perhaps more interesting than that is the new ergonomics package, with Ducati fitting a flatter seat and a redesigned rear section of the gas tank that allows the rider to better grip it with their knees under braking. Hmm… wasn’t one Jorge Lorenzo trying to get this from Ducati for a season and a half in MotoGP? The sides of the tank at the top edge has also come in for a workover to allow for a more comfortable placement of the rider’s arms when at full lean.
Into the motor now, and while the base remains the same in the 1103 cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 for 210 hp at 12,500 rpm and 90.6 lb-ft of torque at 11,000 rpm, but the gearbox now features a taller first, second and sixth gears with the quick shifter reconfigured to boot.
Ducati reasoned these changes with the fact the rider can now use first gear more in tighter corners and thus gain the benefit of first gear’s quicker acceleration on the proceeding straight. The taller sixth gear is claimed to give a 1.8 percent increase in top speed.
There are four riding modes in Race A, Race B, Sport, Street, each with four engine configurations of Full, High, Medium, and Low. Full obviously gives you everything the motor can give. A new Ride by Wire map management system has been developed for the High and Medium power modes, now dedicated to each of the six gears, while the Low power mode gives 150 horsepower at the twistgrip for low grip situations.
Inside the electronics sit a new Track Evo mode that changes the dash to what Pecco Bagnaia has on his MotoGP machine with the gear position highlighted in the center and wheelie, traction, engine brake and slide control highlighted down the right side (this was a feature on the Superleggera last year).
Ducati’s partner Akrapovic has interestingly created a new full titanium exhaust primarily for track days that limit the noise to 105 dB, which is usually the limit for most racetracks around the world. This can also be lowered to 102 dB with the decibel killer.
That exhaust also brings with it a healthy dose of grunt, with power increasing 18 hp to 228 hp and torque going to 96.6 lb-ft. Weight is also reduced by 11 lb. Nice.
Switching to the chassis, the aluminum Front Frame remains unchanged, but the swingarm is mounted four millimeters higher to give more anti-squat and help maintain stability on hard acceleration. The fork is now the Öhlins NPX 25/30 electronically controlled pressurized unit with 5 mm more travel and running softer springs (down from 10 N /mm to 9.5 N / mm). The rear suspension is an unchanged Ohlins TTX36 and both ends are controlled by the Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based electronic suspension software.
Three-spoke forged aluminum wheels are coated in Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber and braked by four-piston Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, as they were in 2021.
If the V4 S is is a bit much, you can still get the base model V4, which comes with 43 mm fully-adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks (BPF), Sachs steering damper, Sachs monoshock (also fully adjustable) and five-spoke cast aluminum rims.
The Panigale V4 and Panigale V4 S will be available in North America starting in February 2022 in the Ducati Red color starting at $23,295 for the Panigale V4, with the Panigale V4 S starting at $29,995. Canadian pricing will start at CAD $26,495 for the Panigale V4, and the Panigale V4 S pricing will start at CAD $33,895.
The 2022 edition is a pretty significant overhaul for the Panigale V4 S and we’re excited to try it, especially the new riding position. Perhaps Lorenzo was right all along…