Ducati paints racetracks, and the faces of its rivals red, with the introduction of its next generation and four-cylinder powered Panigale V4 (starting at $21,195). This sixth-generation Italian built Superbike marks a historic departure from its L Twin roots. Embarking into a multi-cylinder destiny in the never-ending quest for power, performance, and of course exhilaration. But did it succeed? After a day spent at Spain’s fast and twisty Circuit Ricardo Tormo MotoGP circuit, it’s clear the Borgo Panigale did its homework, offering a machine that goes toe to toe with the finest sportbikes on the planet.
Double the Pleasure
With a hard-hitting attitude and penchant for rpm, the outgoing Superquadro Twin was certainly a monster. But the all-new 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale supercharges the experience to a level we’ve never experienced on a Ducati, let alone any other production sportbike, displacement bump aside. It’s a true metamorphosis, offering an experience that goes from mild to wild, with the simple twist of the wrist.
Smoother than ever, the 90-degree V-Four produces a pleasing and highly linear spread of torque that is, at or near its 91 lb-ft peak (crank) from 8800 to 12,000 revs. The powerband is wider making it, dare we say, easy to control. But don’t for a second assume this Panigale lost any of its macho persona…