Ducati’s most powerful and prestigious motorcycle this side of the full-carbon fibre Superleggera has just launched in India at Rs 69.9 lakh ex-showroom. The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R comes with a smaller 998cc V4 engine compared with the 1103cc motor from the ‘regular’ Panigale V4. This sub-1,000cc capacity allows the bike to comply with WSBK specifications.
- Powered by a 218hp, 998cc V4 engine
- Five units have arrived in India and all have been spoken for
This marks the first time that the V4R has been sold in India since 2019 and it's the first time we have received the bike in Euro 5/BS6 form. For 2023, the engine gets some features developed for Ducati’s race teams, including ‘gun drilled’ titanium connecting rods and pistons with DLC surface treatment.
Called the Desmosedici Stradale R, this manic motor can now scream all the way to 16,500rpm in 6th gear and 16,000rpm in the other five. That is an astonishingly high figure for what is an emissions-compliant, road-legal motorcycle. Ducati claims a peak output of 218hp at 15,500rpm, a number that beats every other superbike on sale.
However, if you throw on the titanium, track-only full-system Akrapovič exhaust (which will cost about as much as some of Ducati’s more affordable motorcycles), that number increases to 237hp, 3hp more than the previous V4R. But wait, there’s more! If you also use a specially formulated engine oil from Shell, the lower frictional losses take the total power output to a dizzying 240.5hp.
Chassis-wise, the V4R uses a similar aluminum front frame to the latest Panigale V4, but the suspension is now manually controlled Ohlins - NPX25/30 at the front and a TTX36 rear shock. The front end now has 5mm more travel than before, a similar update that was seen on the V4 and V4 S for 2023. The swingarm pivot point can also be adjusted in four positions in 2mm increments.
The Brembo Stylema brakes and forged aluminum wheels are similar to what you’ll find on the Panigale V4 S. The bike weighs in at 193.5kg which matches the BMW S 1000 RR Pro M Sport. With the optional race exhaust, that number drops to 188.5kg which is in the ballpark of smaller middleweight nakeds like the 2023 Triumph Street Triple RS.
The bodywork looks familiar, but the wings are carbon fibre in this application. Ducati has also modified the layout of the air extractors in the lower sections of the fairing in compliance with World Superbike regulations. The bike’s now come with a prominent number "1" on the face and side to remind onlookers of Ducati’s domination in MotoGP and World Superbike last year, a trend that continues in 2023 thus far.
In terms of electronics, the V4R gets modified Power Modes for this Desmosedici Stradale R engine, a new Track Evo display for the TFT dashboard, and refinements to the traction control system. There are now dedicated engine maps for every gear to try and make that power as usable as possible.
Unlike every other Ducati on sale in India that comes in from Thailand, the Panigale V4 R is a CBU from Italy, and that reflects in its Rs 69.9 lakh price tag. The company says five units have arrived in India and they all have already been sold.