The V4 S signals a new chapter in Ducati’s rich history as this new steed is equipped with a new engine, frame and an overall electronic package that will try to put you as close as ever to a total MotoGP experience, every single day.
PSBK Expert class racer and current Masters class champion John Defensor took the much talked about Ducati Panigale V4 S for a spin at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia and shares with us his experience on what makes this bike so special. It is equipped with a 1103cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree Stradale engine, that is inspired by the Desmocedici MotoGP engine, which churns out a whopping 214 Italian horses. While having 200 hp on a road bike doesn’t seem new to some, the V4 S is all about the experience in how smoothly this bike transfers all that power from the engine to an unforgettable riding experience each time you twist the throttle even when it reaches its peak power at 13k rpm. Even with 2 more cylinders compared with the 1299, it still weighs just barely 2 kilos more.
Aggressive front view
Advanced full-LED headlight
One bike feature that should strike you is its crankshaft which rotates in the opposite direction which results in faster change of direction and turning. Other notable features include a high-end Ohlins TTX 36 shock absorber and adjustable Ohlins NIC30 43mm forks. This works hand in hand with the Smart EC 2.0 which gives the bike an analysis for weight transfer, grip, and even turn-in geometry, according to Ducati. It also has 3 riding modes, Ducati Power Launch, Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control, Traction Control, Slide Control, and a whole lot more electronic safety goodies that will automatically boost confidence in corners. And since this is a street-legal bike, how about a service interval of 15,000 miles? The bike is indeed very accurate in corners, according to our test rider John Defensor, and while this bike is a road bike, the best venue to unleash its power is in a large racetrack.
Passenger seat and footpegs kit as standard equipment
Sharp rear light
The Panigale V4 S boasts of a MotoGP derived setup and how about having one in your garage? A lot of you racers are wondering what’s the difference between this and the 1299, one, this has a whole lot more electronics. For a racer, it has electronic suspension, it automatically adjusts when you put on the brakes, it automatically adjusts when you get on the gas, there is a feature to adjust during mid-corner. It’s a giant leap forward in terms of electronics and safety. It has traction control just like the 1299. Another big difference between this and the 1299 is its stability. It’s very stable in the corners, entering the corners and with the reverse crankshaft, it’s much easier and it finishes the corner, it doesn’t understeer like the 1299 and 1199.
Inspired by MotoGP
InsideRACING: How was your experience in Sepang with the Ducati Panigale V4 S?
John Defensor: The experience in Sepang was great. We were able to go around the track. We had 5 sessions at the Sepang International Circuit. As you know, Sepang is a MotoGP track so that’s where all the fastest bikes run and we were able to ride the Panigale V4 S there. On the first 2 sessions, we were allowed to familiarize ourselves both with the bike and the track. On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sessions, we were let loose to test the bike and push it to its limits.
Mr. John Defensor
InsideRACING: What are the unique features of this new Ducati Panigale V4 S?
John Defensor: One of the unique features of this bike is it has a lot of electronics and it has electronic suspension on it, everything adjusts dynamically. So for the regular user, this makes this bike very friendly. What this means is if you’re a regular street rider and the road is bumpy, the suspension will adjust to it and when you start to accelerate, the suspension adjusts on it also, it stiffens the compression and the rebound, or whatever it needs to do. It’s very user-friendly for the ones who will be using this on the road and for the racers in the racetrack because of the amount of electronics built into it and the sensors that are into it, especially the very unique and advanced IMU system on it. It knows the rate of acceleration the engine is doing, the acceleration of the wheels, it knows when it’s giving it gas, it knows all of the factors, all of those in it. It makes the bike more stable during acceleration and when you get on the brakes, it makes it more stable when it’s braking and it also knows when you’re in the corner. All of those things are being adjusted on the fly, several hundred times per second and that makes this bike very unique and very advanced.
Event- based Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension system (S version)
New Brembo monoblock Stylema
InsideRACING: You’ve ridden almost all superbike brands, how is this bike compared to others?
John Defensor: Each of the bikes – the Suzukis, the BMWs, the Yamahas, the Hondas, the Kawasakis, and all the other brands – they have their own unique characters. This bike has its own unique characteristic as well. Even comparing this to the V2, it’s very unique, it’s different. At this point in time, this is electronically the most advanced bike out there. It has a lot of sensors, monitors, everything the rider is doing it monitors the situations it’s in and everything adjusts automatically. Manufacturers always try to improve on what they have. When the 1299 came out, we thought that was the best bike there is. It was very advanced – it had wheelie control, traction control… and then they came out with this. It’s even more advanced. It has electronic suspension that dynamically adjusts on the fly. It has slide control, it monitors the weights, it monitors its wheelie control and it has ABS. Everything is integrated, it makes the whole experience much safer, and at the same time it makes the rider go faster within a certain safety limit. At the same time, for all those hard-core racers, they can turn it all off and still be as fast as like any other bike. Hopefully we get one of these, we’re already testing it right now as we speak, there’s several V4’s being tested.
InsideRACING: Any final word?
John Defensor: This is a great bike to have. It’s a very unique experience. A unique bike on the market and it’s the only one with the V4 MotoGP derived engine so please come over and check it out.
“When the 1299 came out, we thought that was the best bike there is. It was very advanced – it had wheelie control, traction control… and then they came out with this. It’s even more advanced. It has electronic suspension that dynamically adjusts on the fly. It has slide control, it monitors the weights, it monitors its wheelie control and it has ABS. Everything is integrated, it makes the whole experience much safer, and at the same time it makes the rider go faster within a certain safety limit. At the same time, for all those hard-core racers, they can turn it all off and still be as fast like any other bike.”
Maximum TORQUE’s Mr. Al Camba with John Defensor
*This article was published in InsideRACING’s Volume 16 Number 10 issue 2018.