Ducati builds a dream machine for the fortunate few

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Words: NZ Autocar
20 May 2020

After a factory stoppage for the Coronavirus pandemic, Ducati is now back down to business in Borgo Panigale, having built 1000 bikes since the factory restart. One of them is the bike you see here, the first pre-production Panigale V4 Superleggera.

Ducati describes this bike as approximating a MotoGP machine for the road, just like the Desmosedici of old then. And you can see why by the power to weight ratio, 224hp and a dry weight of 159kg.

Even though the statement was somewhat lost in translation, Ducati boss, Claudio Domenicali, kind of nailed it when he said “It is our foremost pioneristic creature”. By this we guess he means it is the best (limited) production bike they’re ever produced.

Only 500 are to be made. And they cost even more than the Desmosedici did back around the turn of the century. It went for $120,000. This one will cost you around $165k. How come? Because most critical bits, engine aside, are made from carbon fibre. That includes the frame, the swingarm, and the wheels.

And it is also the most powerful bike they’ve ever made. The track version with special exhaust makes over 230hp. That’s 171kW.

Keeping the show on the road are the most extreme brakes known to Brembo but also an aerodynamic package that can help keep the front wheel pinned out of corners when the throttle also is.

Alessandro Valia, Ducati’s official test rider, took the Superleggera V4 fitted with the racing kit and slick tires to the Mugello circuit and produced a best lap time of 1:52:45 which is only two seconds adrift of the lap time that Ducati racer Michele Pirro set on the V4 R superbike in the 2019 Italian Motorspeed Championship (CIV).

Each of the Superleggera V4s will be individually numbered and provided with a certificate of authenticity.

The prospective owner will also receive the opportunity to participate in the “SBK Experience” which allows them to ride the Panigale V4 R that competes in the World Superbike Championship.

Some lucky owners will even get to ride the Desmosedici GP20 used by Dovizioso and Petrucci, naturally under the close eyes of the Ducati Corse technicians.

Special helmets and leathers with integrated air-bag will also be on offer for the chosen few.

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