Exactly like a racing bike at the start of a new championship season, the Panigale V4 MY20 presents new features across every technical area, from the chassis to the engine, electronics package for the management of various functions, aerodynamics, the setting, weight distribution, suspension calibration and even the Ducati Performance accessories. All round change. For the better. The Panigale V4 MY20 is more agile and enjoyable, reaches the apex faster and is stable in acceleration, even at full lean. A more high-performance production sports bike that is also easier and more intuitive.
The Desmosedici Stradale engine
The new Panigale V4 2020 features new, specially developed Ride by Wire system mappings with several torque delivery control settings. Track-dedicated RbW mapping aligns rider demand with delivered torque more closely, resulting in smoother, more predictable throttle response. The new torque delivery control strategy lets the rider stabilise more easily on the desired throttle aperture through and out of the corners. In addition, linearization of the torque curve in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear varies depending on the selected Power Mode to minimise stability loss during acceleration. The Panigale V4 is powered by the 1103 cc Desmosedici Stradale (banked 42° back from the horizontal), a MotoGP-derived 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, a one-of-a-kind engine featuring a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order. The engine can deliver 214 hp at 13,000 rpm and a torque of 12.6 kgm at 10,000 rpm, making for awesome road riding.The engine is designed around the Desmodromic system, a feature that contributes to ensuring that the Ducati is the fastest prototype in the reigning class of the world championship. With this high-rotation engine, the “Desmo” achieves its maximum technical value, reaching levels of sophistication, compactness and lightness never seen before on a Ducati.
On street bikes the crankshaft rotates in the same direction as the wheels. In contrast, in MotoGP, a counter-rotating crankshaft that rotates in the opposite direction is commonly used. The Desmosedici Stradale has borrowed this technical solution to compensate for part of the gyroscopic effect produced by the wheels, making the bike more agile when changing direction. This geometry, combined with the 90° V engine layout, allows for a particular kind of firing order, the so-called “Twin Pulse”. The peculiarity lies in the rapid firing of the two cylinders on the left side and then on the right side of the motorcycle. In the timing chart, the ignition points are at 0°, 90°, 290° and 380°. This particular firing order gives the V4 a sound that is very similar to that of the Desmosedici MotoGP.The active (firing) phases of cylinders on either side of the engine (left and right) are very close together, with ignition points at 0°-90°-290°-380°. This is a tried and tested solution that boosts traction when accelerating out of a turn. The crankshaft is a typical race component, counter-rotating with respect to the wheels and compensating in this way for any wheel lift during acceleration. Created in forged, case-hardened aluminium, it turns with the interposition of bearings (being monolithic) on three journals, while the valves are aerodynamically shaped to “cut” the lubricant with as little energy expenditure as possible, despite the semi-dry casing. Thanks to the introduction of so-called idle wheel on the primary driveline, it is counter-rotating, thus turning in an anticlockwise direction and generating gyroscopic effects during acceleration that are the opposite of those produced by components that rotate clockwise, thus limiting the tendency to wheelie.The wet clutch, lightweight and compact, reduces disc disengagement load, and therefore the force required on the lever thanks to a progressive self-servo mechanism.Gear shifting is carried out with support of the Ducati Quick Shift electronic system, mapped with shifting times and logics for quicker, more efficient gear changes, whether the rider is up-shifting or aggressively down-shifting.
True chassis perfection
One key feature of the new Panigale V4 MY20 is the introduction of the Front Frame. Built according to Ducati Corse specifications for the R version, changes to the suspension set-up result in a higher centre of gravity, an increased chain pull angle and improved use of suspension travel. Thanks to these modifications, the bike is easier to lay into the corner when you ease off the brakes, gets to the apex faster, soaks up any pits or ripples more effectively and behaves more neutrally out of the corner.The aluminium alloy front end is the same as that of the Panigale V4 R but less stiff, a structural change that comes directly from Ducati Corse. The new machine finished front aluminium plates make for a more flexible fork support section, a choice that results in greater front end ‘feel’ for the rider.The swingarm angle with respect to the ground is increased, as is the effect of chain pull in acceleration, meaning less rear suspension compression (so-called “squat”), which stabilises the Panigale through the longest, fastest turns.
The Panigale V4 is equipped with a 43 mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) that provides fully adjustable spring pre-load and compression and rebound damping. The fork bodies house chrome stanchions to which Brembo radial callipers are affixed. The front package is completed with a Sachs steering damper. The rear boasts a fully adjustable Sacks shock absorber, attached to one side of the Desmosedici Stradale engine with a forged aluminium bracket.The Panigale V4 S comes complete with an Öhlins NIX-30 fork, rear Öhlins TTX36 shock and an Öhlins steering damper with event-based control system. On these versions, the suspension and steering damper are controlled by the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system.On both versions, the fork and single-sided swingarm have softer, less pre-loaded springs, resulting in more efficient use of suspension travel to even out pits and ripples on the asphalt. Reduced fork stiffness translates into boosted load transfer to the front wheel during braking, for easier, more intuitive turn-ins, especially for the less expert rider.The Panigale V4 mounts die-cast aluminium wheels with a 5-spoke design, while the Panigale V4 S is equipped with 3-spoke forged aluminium alloy wheels. The wheels mount Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SP tyres, 120/70 ZR17 at the front and a revolutionary 200/60 ZR 17 at the rear. The latest version of the DIABLO™ Supercorsa SP, in its 200/60 ZR 17 size, is already widely used for the slick product in the FIM Superbike World Championship and represents a real generational leap in the field of replica racing tyres. Innovative rear tyre profiling maximises the contact patch at maximum lean and takes full advantage of the employed dual compound design, which adopts the same SC2 compound used for racing slicks in the shoulder zone to provide race-grade grip, yet still guarantees the strength and versatility needed for road riding
Mechanically-speaking, braking involves 330 mm steel discs and Brembo Stylema monobloc callipers, mounted with radial attachment to the light alloy feet of the chrome fork stanchions. Cornering ABS Bosch EVO is confirmed, allowing the rider to make adjustments depending on the situation and riding style, and is uniquely equipped with the “Only Front” function that frees the rear wheel from any electronic filter while retaining Cornering ABS at the front.
Tailor-made racing electronics
21Despite being a fearsome “time machine” on track, the Panigale V4 is still a very high-performance production sports bike. Its full power and speed cannot be expressed on the road of course, but a rider can still enjoy its dynamic qualities in total safety thanks to the three Riding Modes and dynamic safety and “vehicle control” systems. Three ABS Cornering EVO settings adapt system performance to the track, with settings 2 or 1, the latter incorporating the Only Front function, with ABS active at the front wheel even at full lean, while the rear is left free from any control. Option 3 is suited to road use or low-grip surfaces
Part of the traction control strategy of the Desmosedici GP18 MotoGP bike has already been used on the V4R and the Panigale V4 R SBK and is now made available for the V4 MY20. The DTC EVO 2 exploits a “predictive” type of strategy that significantly boosts power management even in situations of low grip, where the rear wheel is in a controlled slide.This is achieved thanks to a new electronics strategy and precision of recognising the position of the bike in space, executed by the 6-axis platform. This inertial platform has also allowed for the addition of slide control, something we see with MotoGP riders when the rear tyre produces that blue smoke.
Essentially, acting like the DTC EVO 2 on injection and throttle aperture, DSC (Ducati Slide Control) ensures slide angles remain within safe limits, even when a rider requires power while leaning out of a corner. The impossible brought to a possible level. Updates to response strategies and speed have been applied to the DWC EVO (Ducati Wheelie Control) and Ducati Power Launch (DPL) systems. The DQS EVO 2 with up/down function, developed for the new Panigale V4 2020, uses lean angle data to maximise bike stability when shifting gears through the corners. The electronic EBC EVO (Engine Brake Control) can be adjusted to work effectively with the anti-patter clutch (both the standard wet system, or the dry system, available as a Ducati Performance accessory).
Ducati was the first motorcycle manufacturer to use an instrument cluster with full TFT (Thin Film Transistor) colour display, with the 1199 Panigale in 2012. With the Panigale V4, Ducati sets a new standard, launching a bright, high definition (186.59 PPI – 800xRGBx480) full TFT 5” display with modern eye-catching graphics. Instrumentation development has prioritised readability and easy function access. The brand-new dashboard is dominated by the round ‘virtual’ rev counter on the right, marking a clean break with the past and drawing inspiration from high-end automotive production. Desmosedici Stradale revs are displayed within a 1000-15,000 rpm interval by a needle gauge. Movement of the latter is accompanied by a white trail that acts as a ‘shift light’, changing colour from white to orange and then red as the rev limit approaches. Two different lay-outs are available: ‘Track’ highlights lap times and makes the rpm range used on tracks much more visible; ‘Road’, instead, replaces lap times with info on the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and the rpm scale is more appropriate for the rev ranges used on public roads. For improved readability, indications for (digital) top speed, selected Riding Mode and selected gear retain the same position on both layouts. As well as offering the classic menu with total mileage covered, Trip 1, Trip 2, consumption, average consumption, Trip Fuel, Trip Time, average speed, air temperature, Lap On/Off (only in “Track” mode), Player On/Off (only in “Road” mode), the Panigale V4 dash also has another menu at the bottom right which can perform two functions: display/indication of parameters linked to the set Riding Mode or quick modification of DTC, DWC, EBC and DSC parameters. Lastly, Panigale V4 indicators are of the ‘auto off’ type, which means they switch off automatically after completing the turn or, should an indicator be tripped accidentally, switch off after the bike has travelled in a straight line for a certain distance (from 200 to 2000 metres depending on how fast the bike is going when the indicator is switched on).
Riding Modes provide users with three different pre-set riding styles so that Panigale V4 performance can be adapted to the rider, the nature of the track/route and the weather conditions. Changing the Riding Modes (choosing between Race, Sport and Street) instantaneously changes the character of the engine, the electronic control parameters and, on the new “S” version, the suspension set-up too. Riders can, of course, personalise parameters to suit their riding style and subsequently restore Ducati factory settings.Race Riding Mode As the name suggests, Race RM has been developed for expert riders who want to harness the full potential of the new Panigale V4 2020 on high-grip racetracks. By selecting Race, the rider can count on 214 hp, with direct Ride-by-Wire throttle response and, on the new “S” version, a very firm suspension set-up to optimise performance. Race mode sets the electronics at a low intervention level, but without reducing safety: to maximise braking performance, the ABS only intervenes at the front wheel, though the Cornering function remains on at all times.Sport Riding ModeSelecting Sport mode gives the rider 214 hp, with direct sport-style Ride by Wire throttle response and, on the new “S” version, a sport style suspension set-up. Electronic control settings allow even less experienced riders to enjoy effective, spectacular handling. In Sport mode, for example, the Slide by Brake function is engaged, allowing riders to drift into corners safely. Rear wheel lift detection during braking is on and the ABS Cornering function is set to maximise cornering performance.Street Riding Mode Street Riding Mode is recommended when riding the Panigale V4 on the road. As with Sport Riding Mode, this RM gives the rider 214 hp and progressive Ride by Wire throttle response; on the new “S” version it features a suspension set-up that is well suited to bumpy or pitted roads. Electronic control settings ensure grip and stability to maximise safety