Riding the Ducati Panigale V4 S is quite a trip, as the experience is nothing short of relentless. There’s power everywhere, and if ever there was a machine to remind us that we, the riders, are the limiting factors in performance, this is it. By now there has been quite a lot written about the Ducati Panigale V4 S on the digital pages of Motorcycle.com. From our First Look of the bike a year ago, to Kevin Duke’s subsequent First Ride Review, we’ve then gone on to put it on the dyno against its natural rival, the Aprilia RSV4 RF, followed by a full-on showdown between the two Italians on both the street and the track. Hell, despite some of its shortcomings, we even gave the Panigale V4 S our 2018 Motorcycle of the Year award!
We’re getting a little giddy around here as we begin to gather the gamut of new superbikes for our most intensive shootout of the year! We’ve got a fabulous two-day street ride to begin our testing, stringing together some of our favorite twisty roads on an overnight trip to begin our superbike shootout. And then the hardcore performance testing will take place over two days at Auto Club Speedway with our friends at Fastrack Riders. If you can be near Fontana, California, May 26-27, you should sign yourself up for a fun day at the track with us!
As far as 2017 is concerned, this might be the year we remember as the one that saw the entire liter-class field go electric. No, I don’t mean like that. I mean electronic rider aids – every major player in the field has them now. Honda and Suzuki, with their CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000, respectively, had held out on introducing riding aids (beyond differing power modes in the Suzuki’s case) until this year. Meanwhile, the rest of the competition has leap-frogged ahead, introducing highly advanced traction control, wheelie control, launch control, slide control, and all kinds of other controls previously only seen on MotoGP machines.
Ducati seems to be ready to launch a new version of its limited-edition halo superbike, the Superleggera, and it apparently comes with some staggering numbers: 220 hp and 342 lbs. Oh, and then there’s the purported 66,000 English Pounds it’s rumored to cost in Europe.
It used to be commonplace to expect to see technology seen in Grand Prix racing bikes and/or World Superbikes trickle down to road-going production models within a decade’s time. Now, with OEMs like Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW and Ducati all having some way to view or alter bike parameters from a cell phone or tablet app, we’re seeing racing tech fast-track its way onto the bikes mere mortals like us can purchase, in less than half that time. Maybe the coolest part of this technological tour-de-force is the capabilities the manufacturers place in our hands, allowing changes to be made almost instantly, all from a few button or touchscreen presses.
If you’re like us, then you must be salivating over the 2015 literbike prospects. With no less than eight new bleeding-edge sportbikes on the table from both European and Japanese marques, the bar is being raised in the quest for track domination or, in the case of the Kawasaki H2 and H2R, simply having the rider experience intense acceleration like they’ve never felt before. However, there’s an interesting trend in the method in which each manufacturer is going about upping the literbike ante. More and more, a greater emphasis is placed on technology and electronics rather than hardware. Sure, hardware isn’t being ignored, but with today’s bikes making so much power, being able to harness it effectively is of utmost importance.
Ducati used EICMA 2014 to unveil the latest iteration of its flagship motorcycle, the 1299 Panigale. Featuring a huge 116mm bore and relatively short 60mm stroke, the 1299 actually displaces 1285cc. More importantly, however, it now puts out a whopping 205 hp! For a full breakdown of the 1299 Panigale, check out our preview story. MO’s Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Duke, is in Milan, where he’s sent us his quick impressions of Ducati’s latest superbike.
Big news coming out of the Ducati camp today at EICMA 2014: Bologna’s flagship sportbike is indeed increasing in displacement – introducing the Ducati 1299 Panigale. Rumors about a bigger Panigale had been spreading among the industry throughout the year, with Portland, Oregon dealer, Motocorsa, fanning the flames with this picture taken at Ducati’s U.S. dealer meeting. With the secret out of the bag, let’s take a closer look at the 1299 Panigale.
EICMA, the biggest motorcycle show of the year, is just around the corner. Hosted in Milan, EICMA is the international stage where the major (and some minor) manufacturers will reveal their new models. This week’s Top 10 is all about bikes we’re excited to see at the show. Truth be told, there are more than 10 bikes to choose from – Husqvarna’s three street models, and a possible KTM 1050 Adventure, are just a few which barely missed the cut. That said, the 10 we’ve gathered here have us truly excited for the year to come in motorcycling. Keep it here starting November 3, as the MO team brings you all the action from EICMA as it happens.