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Ducati has launched the Panigale V4 in India and has created a benchmark in the superbike segment with the new launch. The Panigale V4 is the first road-going Ducati to feature a V4 engine replacing L-twin engine layout. The V4 now produces 210PS of power and weighs just 175kg (dry weight)!

It sports a different look, yet retains the Panigale essence. The headlamp is slimmer with larger air ducts now. There are two fairings in place - while the inner fairing extracts heat away from the radiator, the outer one gives the bike a cleaner appearance. A lot of Ducati’s learnings from MotoGP, in terms of aerodynamics and lightness, have gone into the bike. The tailpiece is a short and sharp unit and looks more like a floating unit to let air pass. The instrument console includes a large colour TFT screen that displays a host of info in a clean layout. 

Talking point, of course, is the new 1,103cc V4 motor. It is the first roadgoing Ducati V4 and also marks the end of a long and illustrious line of Ducati L-twin flagship motorcycles. The 90-degree V4 has been developed using learnings from Ducati’s MotoGP program.

A chief example is the counter rotating crankshaft which significantly improves the overall handling of the bike. The new V4 makes 214PS at 13,000rpm and 124Nm of torque at 10,000rpm. The more exotic Panigale V4 Speciale makes 226PS with the help of the racing kit. To keep things in check, you get rider modes, power modes, multi-level traction control, wheelie control, slide control, electronic engine braking and Bosch cornering ABS - all controlled by a 6-axis IMU.

The new aluminium frame is a two-piece unit and uses the engine as a stressed member. The motor sits back into the chassis for better mass centralisation. The swingarm as well as the front rake are longer now; both of which add to a 32mm increase in wheelbase. The base Panigale V4 gets fully adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks (BPF) upside down front forks and fully adjustable Sachs rear monoshock dampers on aluminium alloys.

The Panigale V4 S meanwhile gets electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension setup at the rear with an updated software which gives you better tunability. It comes with forged Marchesini aluminium wheels. Braking too has been upgraded. The new Brembo Stylema brakes are an evolution of the top-spec M50 monoblocs. They are lighter, but offer better feedback and stopping power. 

Ducati sells three iterations of the Panigale V4 abroad - the Panigale V4, V4 S and V4 Speciale. For India, however, we get the V4 and the V4S. The Panigale V4 retails for Rs 20.53 lakh (ex-showroom), while the more exotic Panigale V4 S is offered for Rs 25.29 lakh (ex-showroom). Both bikes will compete with the Kawasaki ZX-10 RR, Ninja H2, BMW S1000RR Pro and Aprilia RSV4 RF.

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