The 2020 version of the Panigale V4 boosts performance even further and takes track riding to the next level for amateurs and pros alike. A series of refinements make for an easier, more user-friendly, less fatiguing ride while simultaneously making the bike faster not just on individual laps but over entire timed sessions.
The Aero Pack provides enhanced airflow protection and improves overall vehicle stability, enhancing confidence. The Front Frame, instead, modifies stiffness to give better front-end 'feel' at extreme lean angles. Ducati and Ducati Corse engineers have crunched the feedback/data numbers from customers all over the world and Superbike World Championship events. Their analysis has led to a series of aerodynamic, chassis, electronic control and Ride by Wire mapping changes: designed to increase stability and turn-in speed, these changes make it easier to close corners and ensure riders enjoy more confident throttle control.
The S version comes with Öhlins event-based electronic control; this uses the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC (Electronic Control) system that, exploits the full potential of the IMU 6D.
Aerodynamic package by Ducati Corse
Co-developed by Ducati Corse and the Ducati Style Center, the Panigale V4 MY2020 aerodynamics package now mirrors that of the Panigale V4 R. The result; fairings that - in true Panigale style - meet official Ducati Superbike requirements in full.
As in MotoGP, aerodynamic development involved a series of preliminary CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) studies, followed by optimisation on a full-scale wind tunnel model.
The Panigale V4 aerodynamics package includes:
• Plexiglas screen, nose fairing and larger lateral fairings
• More efficient lateral vents for radiator through-air
The new Plexiglas screen - higher and more angled - provides better airflow protection for riders, especially in the helmet and upper shoulder areas. The screen works in concert with a new nose fairing that is higher and wider (+15 mm per side) in the arm-shield zone to reduce arm and shoulder-induced drag on the straights.
The lateral fairings have been widened considerably (+38 mm per side) with the dual aim of reducing on-rider airflow impact and maximising aerofoil efficiency.
On the sides, the stylish air vents of the Panigale V4 have been replaced by more efficient ones that increase air through-speeds on water and oil radiators by 6% and 16% respectively.
The aerofoils take their cue from those on the GP16, designed before regulations led to restrictions on foil shapes. Consequently, Panigale V4 aerofoils are even more efficient that those currently employed in MotoGP.
These monoplane single-element foils have a trapezoidal layout and a profile that tapers from root to tip. Foil performance has been improved thanks to the insertion of the longitudinally arranged strake and the winglet which 'insulates' the airflow over its surfaces. To ensure the required strength and stiffness, Panigale V4 aerofoils are made of fibreglass-reinforced thermoplastic.
Working in concert with the fairing design, the aerofoils increase overall downforce (+30kg at 270kph). Greater downforce reduces both front wheel 'floating' at high speed and the tendency to wheel-up while giving a boost to stability during braking at the turn-in point and through the corner.
This dynamic behaviour lets riders - against a small increase in steering torque that stems from the heightened stability - lower lap times as it reduces electronic control intervention, helping riders keep the throttle open longer and brake later, even when cornering has already begun.
New changes for top performances
The Panigale V4 MY2020 features new, specially developed Ride by Wire system mappings with several torque delivery control settings. Track-dedicated RbW mapping aligns rider demand with delivered torque more closely, resulting in smoother, more predictable throttle response. The new torque delivery control strategy lets the rider stabilise more easily on the desired throttle aperture through and out of the corners. Additionally, linearization of torque curves in gears I, II and III varies according to the selected Power Mode to minimise stability loss during acceleration.
V4 90° layout
The Panigale V4 is powered by the 1,103cm3 Desmosedici Stradale (banked 42° back from the horizontal), a MotoGP-derived 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, a one-of-a-kind engine featuring a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order. The engine can deliver 214hp at 13,000rpm and a torque of 12.6kgm at 10,000rpm, making for awesome road riding.
Desmo: blending tradition and the future
The new engine is designed around the Desmodromic system, a characteristic that helps make Ducati the fastest prototypes of the top racing class in motorcycle racing. With this high-rotation engine the "Desmo" achieves its maximum technical value, reaching levels of sophistication, compactness and lightness never seen before on a Ducati.
On street bikes the crankshaft rotates in the same direction as the wheels. In contrast, in MotoGP the counter-rotating crankshaft that rotates in the opposite direction is commonly used. The Desmosedici Stradale has borrowed this technical solution to compensate for part of the gyroscopic effect produced by the wheels, making the bike more agile and precise when changing directions. The counter-rotating crankshaft also generates a torque due to inertia that tends to lower the front end during acceleration, and the rear end when braking, thus reducing the wheelie phenomenon.
"Twin Pulse" firing order
Combined with the V engine layout, this particular shaft geometry allows for a special 'Twin Pulse' ignition sequence. The distinctiveness lies in the fact that the two left-hand cylinders fire closely together, as do the two right-hand ones. On the timing chart, the ignition points are, then, at 0°, 90°, 290° and 380°. This particular firing order makes the V4 sound just like the MotoGP Desmosedici.
The Desmosedici Stradale was developed to combine racing performance with all the necessities for road use. To maximise mid-range torque - so important for the enjoyability of motorcycles on roads open to traffic - and to achieve torque and power at slower speeds, the engine has a larger displacement than the MotoGP version, specifically 1,103 cm³. It delivers a power output of more than 155kW (210hp) at 13,000rpm and a maximum torque of over 120Nm (12.2Kgm) from 8,750 to 12,250rpm in the Euro 4 version.
Racing architecture: road and track
The bore of (81 mm) is the same as that used by the Desmosedici GP engine and is the maximum dimension allowed by MotoGP regulations. It is also the highest in the four-cylinder supersport segment.
The stroke (53.5 mm) is longer compared to the Desmosedici GP engine in order to deliver higher torque on open road use, and to reduce maximum engine rotation speed.
The use of the same bore as the Desmosedici GP engine means that all the fluid dynamics (valves, intake pipes, throttle bodies), which in fact make up the heart of the engine where the performance is generated are also very similar in the two drive units.
The V4 90° layout makes the engine extremely compact, allowing the centring of the masses and better integration into the bike. In fact, the Desmosedici Stradale has been inserted into the vehicle with the front bank of the cylinders rotated back by 42° with respect to the horizontal plane, as on the Ducati engines competing in MotoGP. This optimises the distribution of weight, allows for the use of more extensive radiators and makes it possible to shift the swinging arm pivot forwards.
Its architecture also generates a natural balancing of first-order forces, without the gain in weight and loss of power of a balance shaft.
Variable height intake funnels and maintenance
Variable height intake funnels optimise cylinder filling at all rotation speeds with important benefits in terms of power and rideability. The fuel supply system is thus completed by oval throttle bodies, each with two injectors: one below the throttle and the other above.
Starting from the Desmosedici GP engine, the manufacturing technologies, the materials and the auxiliary components layouts have been modified to achieve the required road durability, achieving standard maintenance intervals of 24,000km (Desmo Service), Euro 4 homologation and high production capacity.
Major changes on the Panigale V4 MY2020 chassis have seen the introduction of the Front Frame. Built according to Ducati Corse specifications, the latter features a special suspension set-up with a higher barycentre, an increased chain pull angle and improved use of suspension travel. Thanks to these modifications, the bike is easier to lay into the corner when you ease off the brakes, gets to the apex faster, soaks up any pits or ripples more effectively and behaves more neutrally out of the corner.
Front Frame with Ducati Corse specifications
The Front Frame is now the same as the one on the V4 R but differs slightly on account of the lighter, machined sides; these ensure attainment of the stiffness targets set by Ducati Corse for the SBK championship and reduce weight even further.
Greater frame flexibility means less on-track tyre stress and improved front-end 'feel' at maximum lean angles.
Completing the chassis is the light magnesium front sub-frame and the shell-cast aluminium seat sub-frame (attached to the Front Frame at the top and bolted to the head of the rear cylinder bank below).
Higher barycentre and increased chain pull angle
The fork mounting has been lowered 4 mm, while the suspension now has two link rods that are shorter by 5 mm. These changes have resulted in a 5mm higher bike barycentre. The result? The bike is swifter at the drop-in and arrives at the apex faster.
A higher rear end also increases the chain pull angle: this results in an anti-squat effect and, therefore, greater bike stability during acceleration.
With a 24.5° rake and 100mm trail, steering geometry remains unchanged.
Improved bike balance
The Panigale V4 is equipped with a 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) that provides fully adjustable spring pre-load and compression and rebound damping. The fork bodies house chrome sliders with Brembo radial caliper mountings. A Sachs steering damper completes the front-end package. At the rear there is a fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber, one side of which is attached to the Desmosedici Stradale engine via a forged aluminium bracket.
The Panigale V4 S, instead, mounts an Öhlins NIX-30 fork, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber and an Öhlins event-based steering damper. On this version suspension and steering damper are controlled by the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system which, among other things, features the new OBTi (Objective Based Tuning Interface).
On both versions, fork and single-sided swingarm have softer, less pre-loaded springs, resulting in more efficient use of suspension travel to even out pits and ripples on the asphalt. The combination of reduced fork stiffness and higher pre-loading gives better dive control during braking, resulting in easier, more intuitive turn-ins, especially for the less expert rider.
Wheels and tyres
While the Panigale V4 mounts cast aluminium 5-spoke wheels, the Panigale V4 S is equipped with 3-spoke forged aluminium alloy wheels.
The Panigale V4 mounts Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa SP tyres (120/70 ZR17 at the front, 200/60ZR17 at the rear). The latest version of the DIABLO Supercorsa SP tyre, in the 200/60ZR17 size already popular as a slick option in the FIM World Superbike Championship, is a racing replica milestone.
Innovative rear tyre profiling maximises the contact patch at maximum lean-over and takes full advantage of the employed bi-compound design; the latter adopts the same SC2 compound (used on racing slicks) in the shoulder zone to provide race-grade grip, yet still guarantees the strength and versatility needed for road riding.
Designed to work in harmony with the rear tyre, the front tyre has undergone further development: every aspect of handling - from feedback to support solidity, 'safety feel' and grip loss predictability - has been optimised by creating a new front profile. Lastly, the DIABLO Supercorsa SP tread features a 'flash' geometry intended to optimise track performance and reduce wear, plus narrower grooves designed to provide adequate support for stronger side forces.
Braking system with Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers
The Panigale V4 range features Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, developed out of the already high performance M50 calipers.
Stylema calipers, machined from a solid aluminium alloy block, have lightening zones on the body and attachment bushings; compared to the M50, these zones make them visibly more compact and lighten each caliper by 70 g without affecting stiffness. Other improvements on the internal ventilation front have made for more consistent efficiency.
Because of their extreme stiffness, Stylema calipers offer outstanding hydraulic efficiency; this means riders can count on excellent braking responsiveness, limited brake lever travel and first-rate 'feel'.
The dual Brembo calipers, each mounting four 30mm pistons, bite down on 330mm discs to give exceptional braking power. At the rear, instead, the system mounts a single 245mm disc with a 2-piston caliper. Braking is aided by the ABS Cornering EVO system, which uses the ultra-light 9.1MP control unit.
Latest-generation electronic controls
The Panigale V4 features a latest-generation electronics package based on a 6-axis inertial platform which instantly detects the bike's roll, yaw and pitch angles.
The electronics package oversees every aspect of the ride: some controls supervise start, acceleration and braking, others govern traction and others again lend a helping hand on corners and out-of-the-corner stretches.
• ABS Cornering EVO
• Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2
• Ducati Slide Control (DSC)
• Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO
• Ducati Power Launch (DPL)
• Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS) EVO 2
• Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO
• Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) EVO
The operational parameters for each of these controls are associated by default with the three Panigale V4 Riding Modes. Riders can personalise parameters to suit their riding style or restore Ducati factory settings. DTC, DWC, DSC or EBC control levels can be adjusted quickly via the left switchgear.
Ducati Riding Mode strategy
Riding Modes provide users with three different pre-set riding styles so that Panigale V4 performance can be adapted to the rider, the nature of the track/route and weather conditions. Changing the Riding Modes instantaneously changes the character of the engine, the electronic control parameters and, on the S version, the suspension set-up too. Riders can, of course, personalise parameters to suit their riding style and subsequently restore Ducati factory settings.
Race Riding Mode
As the name suggests, Race RM has been developed for expert riders who want to use all the potential of the Panigale V4 on high-grip racetracks. By selecting Race, the rider can count on 214hp, with direct Ride-by-Wire throttle response and, on the S version, a very firm suspension set-up to optimise performance. Race mode sets the electronics at a low intervention level, but without reducing safety: to maximise braking performance the ABS kicks is on the front wheel only but the Cornering function remains on at all times.
Sport Riding Mode
Selecting Sport gives the rider 214hp, with direct sport-style Ride by Wire throttle response and, on the S version, a sport style suspension set-up. Electronic control settings allow even less experienced riders to enjoy effective, spectacular handling. In Sport mode, for example, the Slide by Brake function is engaged, allowing riders to drift into corners safely. Rear wheel lift detection during braking is on and the ABS Cornering function is set to maximise cornering performance.
Street Riding Mode
Street Riding Mode is recommended when riding the Panigale V4 on the road. As with Sport Riding Mode, this RM gives the rider 214hp and progressive Ride by Wire throttle response; on the Panigale V4 S version it features a suspension set-up that is well suited to bumpy or pitted roads. Electronic control settings ensure grip and stability to maximise safety.