It makes sense, really. With Ducati gunning to be at the forefront of electronic advancements (both on and off the track), it stands to reason that customers willing to fork over extra cheddar for the most extra machine in the fleet would be given a taste of those same algorithms.
In doing so, both Ducati and the consumer benefit from a stark win-win. Ducatisti worldwide get to ride a monster of a machine that somehow still manages to handle like butter, and Ducati benefits from the increased accessibility of their units to the moto market.
With that being said, let’s dive into the specs of this pretty piece of Sport Production powerhouse and take a gander at what’s been rolled out.
The Panigale V4 SP2 may have been created with accessibility in mind, but she’s still light as a feather and built to make the competition eat her dust. Encased in the boatload of new carbon fiber accoutrements (wings, mudguards, cover, you name it) sits the same 1103cc V4 Desmosedici Stradale heart that currently beats in the V4S – the perfect complement to the SP2’s insane WSB spec 520 chain and an excellent match to Ducati’s new fitment: an STM-EVO SBK dry clutch with an improved ‘anti-hop’ for aggressive downshifts.
The total package brags a dry weight of 381lb, made even more bonkers by the potential to slap a titanium Akrapovic exhaust on the hip, scraping off a further 11lb and rendering the final weight a model-worthy 372lb.
Should you go with this pipe, the current power specs (210 hp @ 12,500 rpm, with 90.6 lb-ft of torque @ 11,000 rpm) will rise to a very nice 228 hp, with maximum torque climbing an extra six lb-ft for kicks and giggles.
There’s been an improvement here, too. The V4 SP2 uses the engine as a stressed member. Both the aluminum front frame, swingarm, and seat post directly connect to the engine, with “the pivot of the swingarm positioned in such a way as to increase the anti-squat effect, which [reduces] the sinking of the rear when exiting corners and when reopening the throttle, thus stabilizing the bike in acceleration.”
Here’s where things get magical.
Ducati’s boast that this version is ‘more intuitive’ isn’t just hot air. The V4 SP2 carries a beauty Öhlins suspension kit; a 125 mm (4.9 inch) travel NPX25 / 30 pressurized fork spruces up the front (electronically controlled and synced to a race-spec cartridge damping system), and a TTX36 shock absorber sits at the rear, with the whole kit and caboodle floating on an electronic steering damper. The kit forms the Smart EC 2.0 system that uses OBTI (Objective Based Tuning Interface) logic to give riders “a much more intuitive management than traditional systems.”
This was a tough category to pin down since the V4 SP2 has so much in the way of electronics, and everything is connected – so let’s talk about the package at the front that controls the ride.
The SP2 has four Ride Modes: Race A, Race B, Sport, and Street. A MotoGP-spec “Track Evo” display shows off colored sectors, each in control of an electronic mode that allows the rider to get a gander at what went on in the bike’s computer at different points in the circuit. This way, riders can understand how the bike reacts to the environs, allowing both rider and machine to read and sync up to each other like clockwork.
It’s sexy as hell, and the whole experience is accentuated by a GPS module that boasts an automatic Lap Time function and the ability to install the add-on Slick Ducati Performance Software for additional Ducati Traction Control as well as “the possibility of memorizing the coordinates of five different tracks…as well as five additional fully customizable Riding Modes.”
Everything runs through Ducati’s Data Analyzer, which acts as a base-level R2D2 and conducts an in-depth analysis of all performance data recorded.
Add to all this the addition of 5-split spoke carbon wheels (3.1 lb lighter than the ones on the Panigale V4 S), and customizable Brembo Stylema R® front brake calipers (operated by a Brembo Multiple Click System radial pump with three configurations to customize the braking feel), with the brake and clutch levers milled at the ends (like real race bikes!) to reduce resistance, and you’ve not just landed the most attractive carbon-clad supersport sweetie this side of the hemisphere – you’ve invested in a computer that is guaranteed to help you work with your machine on a level that has most sci-fi fans wetting their pants with happiness.
The Panigale V4 SP2 is a numbered unit fleet, and will be made available in “Winter Test” livery with the first pre-order deliveries in North America starting mid-2022. Expect your bike babe to be on the dealership doorstep by Q4 of 2022, with pricing starting at $39,500 USD ($45,595 CAD, $813,000 MX).
Drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.