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20 November 2017
The jury may still be out on what’s the best of the fresh metal at the NEC bike show, but Ducati’s stunning Panigale V4 is surely among leaders of the 2017 pack.
The first mass-produced V4 to roll of the Bologna production line is, as you might expect, a thing of beauty.
Indeed this is the motorcycle that visitors to Milan’s EICMA voted as the show’s “Most Beautiful Bike”.
Whilst maintaining that distinctive Ducati look, this new machine marks a step-change for the Italian manufacturer.
Firstly, it’s one hell of a powerful beast, its MotoGP-derived, 1,103 cc Desmosedici Stradale four cylinder engine generating a claimed 214bhp. You can also harness more horses if you go for the optional Akrapovic exhaust.
Splash the cash on the £35k top-of-the-range, limited edition Speciale and the bhp count hits a whopping 226.
Those clever Italian designers have also cunningly offset the weight gain caused by adding those two additional cylinders to Ducati’s traditional V2 set-up.
This they’ve done through introduction of a lightweight aluminium alloy “Front Frame”, using the Stradale as a stressed member.
The Panigale V4 thus weighs in dry at only 175 kg, with the S and Speciale editions shaving off a further kilo.
The sub-£20k standard model still boasts quite a spec. This includes 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork and Brembo’s new monobloc Stylema four-piston calipers.
There’s also a nice box of electronic tricks, with a six axis IMU enabling Ducati’s Slide Control to be incorporated within its proprietary Traction Control EVO.
Also standard are Bosch’s ABS Cornering EVO and Ducati’s Quick Shift, Wheelie Control, Power Control, Engine Brake Control EVO and Electronic Suspension EVO.
Go for the Panigale V4 S and you’ll enjoy Ohlins’ semi-active suspension to the front and its full adjustable TTX36 shocks on the back.
Both front and rear wheels are also upgraded from five spoke light alloys, to three spoke forged aluminium alloys.
The Speciale adds Akrapovic’s Ducati titanium racing exhaust, plenty of carbon upgrades and its own tasty livery.
Each is also individually numbered, with the digits engraved on the top yoke which itself has been machine crafted from solid.
There’s no doubt that it’s a most welcome addition to the Supersports mix. It is also arguably the bike of this year’s NEC show.
If you’re heading for Motorcycle Live, don’t forget to visit the Principal Insurance stand in Hall 4 (4B20). We’ve got much magnificent metal on display as you can see here.
You can also claim your free 2018 calendar which is full of biking eye-candy, old and new. You can get a flavour for it by clicking here.
If you have any bike insurance questions, the Principal posse will be more than pleased to have a chat with you too.
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