Ducati unleashes its “ultimate racetrack machine”, the numbered-edition 2023 Panigale V4 SP2.
The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 is the culmination of the best of the best premium performance components, presented as a crowning achievement in motorcycle engineering. So let’s just get into what components make this SP2 more than just another Panigale V4 with a prettier face.
For starters, while the platform is the 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 S, this “sport production” edition employs a proper list of performance bit mostly common on the race machines of pro riders on the WorldSBK grid… Namely, the Brembo Stlema R front brake calipers are operated by Brembo’s Multiple Click System (MCS) radial pump. The MCS allows the wheelbase of the Panigale V4 SP2 to be adjusted between three presets to dial in brake feel. The front brakes are actuated with an adjustable lever, managed via a remote adjuster positioned by a knob on the left bar grip.
The Panigale V4 SP2 rolls on carbon fiber wheels with a five split-spoke design that are 1.4 kilograms lighter than the forged aluminum wheels of the V4 S. The difference of which results in a 26% reduction of inertia at the front, and a reduction of 46% at the rear. That is quite a significant if not drastic decrease.
The aluminum front frame employs the Desmosedici Stradale engine as a stressed component while the aluminum swingarm and the seat bracket are connected directly to the engine.
The suspension set up of the Panigale V4 SP2 is top tier as a pair of Öhlins NPX25/30 pressurized forks with electronically controlled 125 mm of travel and a pressurized cartridge damping system handle front end duties. At the rear, an Öhlins TTX36 shock does the work. These two components, combined with the Öhlins electronic steering damper absorber and with the electronic steering damper compose the Smart EC 2.0 system. The primary characteristic of this system is the Objective Based Tuning Interface (OBTI) that is managed by “objectives” and not “clicks”. The result is significantly smoother and more instinctive management of the overall suspension system.
A Track Evo display mode is an option on the instrument panel that borrows its format from the Ducati MotoGP machines. On display in this mode is all of the pertinent electronic data of the Panigale V4 SP2 on one screen, plus a few bells and whistles. Segments include the tachometer (centered at the top of the screen), gearing (center of the screen), and four sectors with specific colors that exhibit the bike’s electronic control features (right side of the screen). The chronometer, number of laps completed and speed are displayed on the left side of the screen.
Did I mention that the Panigale V4 SP2 was primarily conceived, developed, and engineered for track or race dace duties? It comes equipped with a GPS module that enables an automatic lap time function. Ducati offers its optional Slick Ducati Performance Software that includes traction control presets for rain or slick tyres, storage of five different race tracks, and another five additional customizable riding modes in addition to the standard four (Race 1, Race 2, Sport and Street).
The powerplant of the Panigale V4 SP2 is the counter-rotating crankshaft 1,103 cc Desmosedici Stradale engine that delivers 215.5 hp at 13,000 rpm, available in a full, high, medium and low power mode. Compared to the 2021 Panigale V4 S, that’s a performance gain of 1.5 hp. That performance increase is boosted to 228 hp when the optional Akrapovič full titanium Ducati Performance racing exhaust is installed, not to mention the weight saving benefits (total weight with racing exhaust installed: 370 pounds, dry).
With an MSRP of $39,500.00, the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 arrives in the notable “Winter Test Livery” (matt black fairings, matt carbon rims and wings, bright red accents, brush aluminum tank), each one branded with its number of production. It also includes a race/track kit with purchase, that includes billet aluminum mirror block offs, plate holder removal kit as well an open carbon clutch cover for its STM-EVO SBK dry clutch assembly. The bike is expected to arrive in dealerships later in 2022.
Start saving your money… yesterday.