Common Tread

Ducati unveils the V4 R, its most powerful sport bike yet

Nov 05, 2018

Warning, track day riders: If you buy the new 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R with the Akrapovic race exhaust for track-only use, you are out of excuses. The V4 R gives you more horsepower than Casey Stoner had when he rode a Ducati to the marque's last MotoGP rider's championship in 2007 and the V4 R has aerodynamic wings modeled after Andrea Dovizioso's 2016 MotoGP bike, which Ducati says were more effective than the current ones that were revised to meet the new rules.

In other words, if you're riding the V4 R and you're still not fast, it must be you.

The Panigale V4 R was the big ending to the live streaming unveiling of the new models, which has become a Ducati tradition in recent years, featuring CEO Claudio Domenicali, the marque's MotoGP and World Superbike stars, and lots of glitzy video, thundering music and strobe lights. The presentation only seems to get bigger each year, with Domenicali on stage a full hour and 20 minutes this time.

CEO Claudio Domenicali and new Ducati models
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali with the three new models for 2019. Ducati photo.

In addition to the V4 R, two other new models for 2019 are the Diavel 1260 and 1260 S and the Hypermotard 950 and 950 SP. Tweaks were announced to other models and Domenicali also showed off the new MIG-RR electric mountain bike built in conjunction with Thok Ebikes, a company founded by former bicycle racer Stefano Migliorini. The MIG-RR will only be sold in Europe, for now.

But first, the star of the show.

Ducati Panigale V4 R on the track
Ducati says the 2019 Panigale V4 R is its most powerful street bike yet. It's also the first with carbon fiber winglets to help keep the front tire planted at high speeds and fast acceleration. Ducati photo.

The 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R

The V4 R will be the basis of Ducati's World Superbike effort. That means that instead of the 1,103 cc Desmosedici Stradale engine, the V4 R gets by with just 998 cc to meet World Superbike displacement limits. But that liter of displacement is tuned to the hilt and uses lighter internal components to rev even faster. Ducati claims 221 horsepower at a sky-high 15,250 rpm, 2,250 rpm higher than the peak on the 1,103 cc version.

"The race track is the natural environment for the Panigale V4 R," said Domenicali, so Ducati has made it easy to convert the bike to track use. Add the full racing exhaust system made by Akrapovic and power tops out at 234 at 15,500 rpm, making it the most powerful Ducati street bike yet. Yeah, Stoner made do with less power and still beat Valentino Rossi to the title.

Ducati Panigale V4 R
The 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R will be the basis of the company's World Superbike effort. Ducati photo.

The carbon fiber wings were modeled after Ducati's second generation of aerodynamic aids in MotoGP, which Domenicali said were more effective that the ones allowed by current MotoGP rules. The added downforce increases stability under braking and reduces wheelies without having to use as much electronic intervention.

In addition to the wings, the fairing was redesigned and actually made a bit wider, for better aerodynamics. Those fins on the sides of the fairing are designed to improve air flow through the radiator and move more heat away from engine and rider. The weight is reported as 426 pounds, a few lighter than the V4 S.

Ducati Panigale V4 S Corse Pirro edition
The Race of Champions at the big WDK2018 festival featured Ducati stars past and present on individually painted bikes. Michele Pirro won, so Ducati is releasing this V4 S Corse painted like Pirro's bike for 2019. Ducati photo.

Additions to the electronics for 2019 are a pit speed limiter and a GPS lap timer built into the instrument panel. The V4 R gets Öhlins suspension, naturally, and has race-ready features such as an adjustable swingarm pivot.

We await pricing on this track-day weapon.

Ducati Diavel 1260
The Diavel 1260 and 1260 S get new electronics, along with the 1,262 cc engine. Ducati photo.

The 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260

For 2019, Ducati's distinctive Diavel gets the 1,262 cc DVT engine found in the previous XDiavel and the Multistrada 1260, as well as new electronics with cornering ABS, cruise control and power launch features. The Diavel was also redesigned for a fresh look.

"Either you love it or hate it and we love it desperately," said Domenicali, who called the Diavel the "liaison between the naked and the cruiser worlds."

The Diavel 1260 S performance version gets Öhlins suspension, Brembo M50 brakes and DQS, Ducati's quickshifter system.

Ducati Hypermotard 950 and 950 S
The new Hypermotard 950 and 950 S for 2019. Ducati photo.

The 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950

The third new model for 2019 is the Hypermotard 950, which also comes in a high-performance S version. They replace the 939 version.

"This bike is a playmate and the game is on," said Domenicali, describing the Hyper's mission as "pure fun." The new version is six pounds lighter, slimmer, adds more mid-range torque and now has a full-color TFT instrument panel.

Ducati Multistrada 950 S
The Multistrada 950 S gets the same electronics as the Multistrada 1260. Ducati photo.

The full presentation is below, in case you want to see more of Domenicali and watch Chaz Davies speak Italian.