Ducati, the Italian superbike maker based in Bologna, always readies something special for every edition of the EICMA show, world's largest two-wheeler exhibition in Italy. For the ongoing 2018 edition, Ducati has upped the ante by bringing the most powerful production bike ever (let's forget EVs for now), the Panigale V4 R.
The Panigale V4 R is a pure road-legal WSBK category competition bike and constitutes the technical foundation for the official Ducati Superbikes that will compete in the World Championship as from the 2019 season.
Experts in Ducati has replaced 1,103cc V4 Desmosedici Stradale engine (in Panigale V4 and V4 S) with 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R to comply with displacement limits set by WSBK rules in the V4 R.
The former is designed to provide fluid power delivery and excellent low-rev pulling power for optimal road use while the downsized 998cc engine in the new V4 R offers more extreme performance, ideal for track usage.
A bigger air intake efficiency allows faster engine 'rev-up' and shifts the rpm red zone higher to ensure improved acceleration in the 998 cc engine. As a result, it develops 221hp of power at 15,250 rpm which is 2,250 rpm higher than the point of peak power on the 1103cc engine.
Before you judge the power figure is inferior to Kawasaki Ninja H2 that develops 231hp from a supercharged engine, a full-racing Ducati Performance exhaust by Akrapovic will take the total output of Panigale V4 R to 234hp at 15,500 rpm.
In short, the Panigale is the most powerful Ducati factory motorcycle ever and also the most powerful road-legal production bike ever.
The extreme performance is also complemented with bringing kerb weight down to just 193 kg by lighter internal components. The Panigale V4 R is lighter by 2 kg compared to the Panigale V4S, bringing kerb weight down to just 193 kg. To put it into perspective, the KTM 390 Duke that we see on the road every now and then weighs at 154 kg.
Ducati India sells the Panigale V4 at Rs 20.53 lakh while the Panigale V4 S is priced at Rs 25.29 lakh (Ex-showroom). Hence, the Panigale V4 R expected to be priced well under Rs 30 lakh. On the other hand, the rival-in-chief Kawasaki Ninja H2 costs Rs 34.5 lakh (ex-showroom).