2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Expect to pay more than the $45k MSRP to unlock the claimed 240.5 hp

After a one week delay due to “organizational reasons,” Ducati released the fourth part of its 2023 World Première series, “This is Racing”. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the subject of the episode is the new 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R. We knew the V4 R would represent the pinnacle of Ducati’s racing development, so we eagerly awaited the official details.

And the information is as eye-popping as we expected. It starts with an MSRP of $44,995, a big jump from the $40k price of the previous Panigale V4 R, and what we thought was a 40,000 Euro price cap on World Superbike-eligible motorcycles.

The larger numbers go beyond the price. The new 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine with a maximum rev limit of 16,500 rpm in sixth gear (and “just” 16,000 rpm in the lower gears).

Ducati claims the Stradale R engine produces a peak output of 240.5 hp at 15,500 rpm, though there are a few asterisks beside that number. For one, that output requires a racing exhaust. The street-legal exhaust restricts the output to 218 hp at 15,500 rpm for Euro 5-compiant markets, and 207 hp at 13,500 rpm for North America. Peak torque is a claimed 82 lb-ft. at 12,000 rpm (with Euro 5 models ahead by a few decimal points). The full racing exhaust pushes the figures to 237 hp at 15,500 rpm and 87 lb-ft. at 12,250 rpm.

That’s still 3.5 hp short of the claimed 240.5 hp, hence the second asterisk. To unlock the full power, the Panigale V4 R requires a special oil developed by Shell and Ducati Corse. The oil contains additives specific to high-rpm engines with dry clutches like the V4 R’s. According to Ducati, the special performance oil guarantees a 10% reduction in mechanical friction, resulting in an increase of 3.5 hp (and an added 4.5 hp at the rev limit).

To help the oil do its job, the Desmosedici Stradale R’s titanium connecting rods received a new “gun drilled” treatment. The conrods have a small diameter hole drilled longitudinally along the length of the rod, creating an oil passage to improve lubrication in extreme conditions. The pistons have a new geometry to reduce their weight by 2%, and for further friction reduction, they received a Diamond Like Carbon surface treatment.

Other engine updates include more aggressive intake cam profiles increasing lift by 0.03 inches and shorter variable length horns. Like the other changes, Ducati says this update was made to improve performance at high revs.

The aforementioned dry clutch is also new, with a reduced diameter, axial length and weight derived from Ducati’s official World Superbike program. Ducati also lengthened the first, second, and sixth gear ratios compared to the previous V4 R, changes that were first introduced on the 2022 Panigale V4 S. According to Ducati, the updated gear ratios improve engine management when braking and acceleration out of corners. A shorter difference between first and second gears also allows the quick shift to work more effectively.

The V4 R also received the updated electronics from the 2022 and 2023 Panigale V4, with a new Track EVO dashboard display, engine braking, quickshifter, and refined traction control settings. The Ducati Performance DTC EVO 3 traction control also gets a new rain mode that replaces the previous Street Riding mode. Designed for wet surfaces and slick or rain tires, the mode also flashes the rear position lights as required by racing rules for rainy conditions.

The V4 R offers four power modes: Full, High, Medium and Low. In Full mode, the engine makes use of its full torque curve without any electronic filters except when its in first gear. The High and Medium modes have new ride-by-wire maps with different calibrations for all six gears. Low power mode is designed for street use or for low-grip surfaces, limiting power to 160 hp and providing more manageable throttle response. Ducati also updated the cooling fan control to better manage the engine heat.

The aluminum alloy “front frame” chassis remains unchanged, as does the single-sided aluminum swingarm, despite speculation that Ducati might change it for a double-sided swingarm. The swingarm pivot height remains adjustable through four height positions.

The fully adjustable suspension system follows the changes introduced in the 2022 Panigale V4 and V4 S, with an Öhlins NPX25/30 fork now offering 4.9 inches of travel (0.2 inches more than the previous V4 R) and an Öhlins TTX36 shock repositioned to increase the rear height by 0.8 inches for a higher center of gravity.

Ducati increased the aluminum fuel tank’s capacity to 4.5 gallons and gave it a new profile to improve support for a rider’s arms and legs during braking and cornering. A flatter seat with a new cover and thinner foam allows for easier side-to-side rider movement.

The fairing was updated to improve engine cooling while the aerodynamic package was revised with wings that are thinner and more compact than the previous package while providing the same aerodynamic load.

Ducati offers a number of accessories for the Panigale V4 R, including the Akrapovič full exhaust system required to maximize the horsepower output. An optional set of magnesium rims offer a claimed 1.5 pound weight reduction compared to the stock Marchesini forged aluminum wheels. Ducati also offers optional Rizoma footpegs, additional carbon fiber components and a Pit Stop accessory package which includes tire warmers and garage stands.

The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R comes in a MotoGP-derived racing livery with #1 white number plates on the front and side fairings. It will be produced in a numbered series, with the individual number shown on the billet aluminum top triple clamp.

The Ducati World Première 2023 series continues Oct. 20 with an episode titled “Push Forward”. A brief teaser at the end of the Panigale V4 R’s episode suggests it will be for an updated Streetfighter V4.

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R Specifications

Engine TypeDesmosedici Stradale 90° V4, counter-rotating crankshaft, Desmodromic timing, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled.
Displacement998 cc
Bore x Stroke81 x 48.4 mm
Compression Ratio14.0:1
Claimed Power160.4 kW (218 hp) @ 15,500 rpm
152.2 kW (207 hp) @ 13,500 rpm (USA/CAN/MEX)
174 kW (237 hp) @ 15,500 rpm with full racing exhaust*
Claimed Torque111.3 Nm (82 lb-ft) @ 12,000 rpm
111.1 Nm (82 lb-ft) @ 12,000 rpm (USA/CAN/MEX)
118 Nm (87 lb-ft) @ 12,250 rpm with full racing exhaust*
Fuel InjectionElectronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies with aerodynamic valves. Variable length intake system
Exhaust4-2-1-2 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 4 lambda probes
Gearbox6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2
Primary DriveStraight cut gears; Ratio 1.80:1
Gear Ratios1=36/15 2=34/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=27/22
Final DriveChain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 42
ClutchHydraulically controlled slipper dry clutch. Self bleeding master cylinder.
FrameAluminum alloy “Front Frame” with optimized stiffnesses
Front SuspensionFully adjustable 43 mm Öhlins NPX 25/30 pressurized fork with TiN treatment. 4.9 inches of travel.
Rear SuspensionFully adjustable Ohlins TTX 36 unit with hydraulic spring preload adjuster. Aluminum single-sided swingarm. Adjustable pivot position +/- 3 mm single-sided swingarm. Adjustable pivot position +/- 3 mm. 5.1 inches of travel.
Front Wheel3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 3.50″ x 17″
Rear Wheel3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 6.00″ x 17″
Front TirePirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17
Rear TirePirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17
Front Brake2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema (M4.30) 4-piston callipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO. Self bleeding master cylinder.
Rear Brake245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
InstrumentationLast generation digital unit with 5″ TFT colour display
Claimed Dry Weight172 kg (379 lb), 167 kg (368 lb) with full racing exhaust*.
Claimed Curb Weight193.5 kg (427 lb), 188.5 kg (415 lb) with full racing exhaust*
Seat Height850 mm (33.5 in)
Wheelbase1,471mm (57.9 in)
Rake / Trail24.5°/3.94 inches
Fuel Capacity17 l – 4.49 gallon (US)
Number Of SeatsSingle seat
Safety EquipmentRiding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 3, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO 2, Auto tire calibration.
Standard EquipmentDucati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL)**, Öhlins steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Lithium-ion battery, Auto-off indicators, Racing style handle grips, Chain guard, Marchesini forged aluminum wheels, Carbon fiber front mudguard, Carbon fiber heatshield, Carbon fiber wings, Billet aluminum steering stem with bike number, High-flow air filter
Provided EquipmentMachined mirror block-off plates*, License plate mount removal plug*, Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module
Ready ForDucati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft
Warranty24 months unlimited mileage
Maintenance Service Intervals12,000 km (7,500 mi) / 12 months
Valve Clearance Adjustment Km24,000 km (15,000 mi)

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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Join the conversation
  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Oct 14, 2022

    I sure hope Alvaro can maintain his points lead and get that No 1 plate for Ducati, or that bold number on this 'R' could be a little embarrassing. 😉

  • MikeD MikeD on Oct 17, 2022

    What's the big deal about longitudinally drilled con-rods ? I thought it was a usual practice to help keep lubed the small end ? What I my missing here ? Is this not a normal practice in all ICE's ?

    "...𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒕-𝒍𝒆𝒈𝒂𝒍 𝒆𝒙𝒉𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒑𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒐 218 𝒉𝒑 𝒂𝒕 15,500 𝒓𝒑𝒎 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑬𝒖𝒓𝒐 5-𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒕𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 207 𝒉𝒑 𝒂𝒕 13,500 𝒓𝒑𝒎 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂. 𝑷𝒆𝒂𝒌 𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒒𝒖𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒄𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒅 82 𝒍𝒃-𝒇𝒕. 𝒂𝒕 12,000 𝒓𝒑𝒎 (𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑬𝒖𝒓𝒐 5 𝒎𝒐𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒂𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒂 𝒇𝒆𝒘 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒔).
    What kind of stupid EPA law limits it in the USA ? Noise limit ? Like what they did to the ZX-10R a few years ago ?

    𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒖𝒍𝒍 𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒙𝒉𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒑𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒈𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 237 𝒉𝒑 𝒂𝒕 15,500 𝒓𝒑𝒎 𝒂𝒏𝒅 87 𝒍𝒃-𝒇𝒕. 𝒂𝒕 12,250 𝒓𝒑𝒎..."
    Typical numbers fluffing by the OEM's. I guess odd #'s don't get taken seriously or something.
    Besides, 240 it's bigger than 237, so, bigger is always better or so we are always told.🙄

    Crabby complaining aside, a great machine. Get it while you can folks ! These things will be sought after in the not too distant future like a 1970 Dodge Challenger Convertible with a 426 Hemi and 4 speed manual.
    Or maybe it'll be a COMPLETE bad investment if our darling government decides to make illegal EVERY ICE powered vehicle no matter what.

    • See 1 previous
    • MikeD MikeD on Oct 19, 2022

      'Cudas pull A LOT of $ too.