The visitors who experienced the all-that-is-motorcycles show in Italy, aka EICMA, were treated to an extensive selection of new motorcycles but, with what has to be considered home ice advantage, the new Ducati Panigale V4 was given the nod as most attractive bike at the show. We have to agree that as red Ducatis go, it is a fine looking motorcycle but beauty has to be more than skin deep and in this case the beauty beneath the skin is the first V4 engine to be mass produced for a Ducati motorcycle. The horsepower wars are very much alive and kicking and Ducati like the other manufacturers in the fray was up to the challenge. There are several ways to go about the objective of bumping up the ponies ranging from supercharging to turbocharging to simply building a bigger engine but Ducati chose the option of adding an extra two cylinders to their V configuration – they had already done so with their racebikes so the template was ready and the results successful … successful enough for second place in the 2017 MotoGP standings. The power increase is accomplished with two additional cylinders but a decrease in displacement to 1103 cc. The Panigale V4 will be coming to market in three guises – base, “S” and “Special”. The base and the S version will arrive with 214hp and 91.5 lb-ft of torque while the Special with a race package bumps the hp to 226 and the torque to 98 lb-ft. The dry weight ranges from 386lbs for the base model to 381lbs for the “Special”. Too keep all that horsepower connected to the pavement the bikes come with riding modes, power modes, cornering ABS, traction control, wheelie control, engine braking control and slide control.
While the Panigale V4 will surely prove to be a worthy adversary, it is going to be interesting to see who launches the next salvo in this revived quest for world horsepower domination.