Ducati has a new Panigale V4 and Panigale V4 S for 2022, and Bologna’s marketeers say this is the most significant evolution the series has seen yet.
Or, as the press release puts it: “The 2022 Panigale V4 represents the next step in the characteristic path of Borgo Panigale sport bikes, taking life from Ducati Corse’s long-time experience using continuous knowledge and technology-sharing from the world of racing, applied directly to production bikes.” That’s a mouthful, and what they’re really trying to say is, Ducati is building a better sportbike thanks to lessons learned in MotoGP.
The changes start with the bodywork; Ducati says the fairing has thinner, more compact winglets, which have increased efficiency, while the fairing lower is designed to help the cooling system run more efficiently, thereby improving engine efficiency.
On to the engine! The bike has an 1103 cc V4 with longer first, second and sixth gear (superbike-style gearing, Ducati says—it’s supposed to be more race-oriented), and reconfigured electronics that are supposed to result in punchier acceleration. The new engine is rated for 210 hp at 12,500 rpm, and 90.6 lb-ft of torque at 11,000 rpm.
The electronic tweakery includes four engine Power Modes: Full, High, Medium, and low. Ducati explains them this way: “The Full Power Mode is the sportiest ever adopted by a Panigale V4 and allows the engine to express its full potential with torque curves without electronic filters, except for first gear. 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, which guarantees the rider the possibility of always having optimal thrust when opening the throttle. The Low Power Mode has been conceived to make road riding even more enjoyable, limiting maximum power of the bike to 150 hp and offering a particularly manageable throttle response.”
If that’s not enough jam for you, Ducati also offers a full race exhaust that boosts output to 228 hp while cutting 5 kg of weight.
To go with the engine’s new Power Modes, Ducati has a new six-axis IMU that controls the bike’s electronic safety systems (leaning-sensitive ABS, traction control, etc.) through the four Riding Modes (Race A, Race B, Sport Street). There’s also a new dashboard to help riders adjust their electronics more easily.
The electronics package also includes a new Info Mode, that Ducati officially calls “Track Evo.” Here’s how the press release explains that:
“In the “Track Evo” screen, the tachometer moves on a horizontal scale positioned in the highest part of the instrument, which is the most visible, and the indication of the gear engaged is in the center of the screen. On the right area there are four sectors of different colors, each dedicated to an electronic control (DTC, DWC, DSC, EBC). These sectors light up individually when the electronics are working on a certain parameter, remaining on for the time necessary for the rider to identify which indicator is activated. This signaling mode facilitates the user’s task in understanding the control that has actually worked to allow him to intervene more precisely and punctually on the choice of the optimal level and to obtain better performance more quickly. The left sector completes the information with the stopwatch, the number of laps completed and the speed.
To make the gear change indication clearer a green LED positioned on the left side of the dashboard has been introduced. This solution is even more visible and precise in feedback.”
Whew. Far as we can understand, after reading that, this seems to be an onboard telemetrics system, technology that was only available for highly advanced race teams in the not-too-distant past.
The top-shelf Ducati Panigale V4 S superbike also gets new Ohlins NPX 25/30 forks, with electronically controlled internals. Ducati says the forks have a pressurized cartridge damping system (derived from Ohlins’ racing forks). This is supposed to minimize the risk of oil cavitation when compared to traditional fork design, meaning more front end feel and better braking support.
These new forks have 125 mm of travel, which is up 5 mm from the ’21 model, but the springs are slightly softer, which is supposed to make for smoother response.
In back, there’s an Ohlins TTX36 shock and Ohlins also provided a steering damper; these work with an event-based control system. All this electronic control can be adjusted to suit the riders needs and wants in braking, cornering and acceleration scenarios.
Another change to the V4 S chassis: The single-sided aluminum swingarm is set 4 mm higher than the ’21 model, which is supposed to resist squat and stabilize the bike in acceleration. There’s also a new set of three-spoke forged aluminum wheels, with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires. Front brakes use Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, with four 30 mm pistons squeezing 330 mm discs. In back, there’s a two-piston caliper and 245 mm disc.
The standard Panigale V4 gets 43 mm fully-adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks, a Sachs steering damper, a Sachs shock and five-spoke aluminum rims.
Both bikes should in in Canada starting in February 2022, in Ducati Red. Pricing starts at $26,495 for the standard Panigale V4, with the Panigale V4 S priced at $33,895.