2018 Ducati Panigale V4S Test Ride and Review: A Modern Marvel
Written by The Duke of DC.
The Power of the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4S is Staggering
Horsepower is a unit of measurement for power, described as the rate at which work is done. At a staggering 214 horsepower, the new Ducati Panigale V4S is putting in some serious work.
Here’s a pretty eye-opening fact:
The Panigale V4S has a power-to-weight ratio of 1.79 lbs/hp… the current Super Sport version of the fastest street-legal production car, the Bugatti Veyron has a power-to-weight of 3.46 lbs/hp. You’ll have to trust me on this one, but smaller is truly better in this comparison, and at nearly half the power-to-weight ratio, the Ducati V4 engine is a modern marvel.
There’s a humbleness that one feels the first time they realize that they’re basically sitting on an Italian rocketship with wheels. To be fair, I can’t say I know much about the Italian space program, but I can say that if you pointed the new Panigale V4S up at the stars, you’d be forced to mutter through the glorious exhaust note “we have liftoff, Houston”.
No single motorcycle has required, nay demanded, the same level of respect as the new V4S Panigale, and yet after only a short time riding, the bike becomes an extension of you. To simply think about an upcoming corner is to have executed the most precise outside-inside-outside, apex crushing approach of your lifetime. Imagining that you’ve twisted your wrist and you’ll just as soon notice your speedometer creeping into the triple digits. Alst while being serenaded by one of the most brutal exhaust symphonies that the industry has to offer.
A Next Level V4 Engine
If you’ve been following DukeOfDC for a while, you already know I’m a huge sucker for V4 configurations on motorcycles. My Aprilia Tuono was one of the most incredible motorcycles I’ve ever owned, and it was, in large part, because no one was making V4’s like Aprilia did, well at least not yet. The new 2018 Ducati Panigale V4S takes the V4 engine to the next level, and holy hell it was worth the wait.
I want you all to say this with me, out loud Desmosedici Stradale. It’s like a magic Italian spell that, once said, turns any engine into something straight out of MotoGP, and this V4S is no exception. The 90 degree 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 makes its incredible 214hp at an even more incredible 13,000rpm, and right up there at 10,000rpm, it’s producing a max 91.5 lb-ft of linear, usable torque. This is what I adore about the V4. You get the top end high-speed horsepower of a true liter bike mixed with the smile-inducing real-world-using-torque of a big twin, all rolled into one.
Did I enjoy taking the Ducati Panigale for a test ride?
An even more impressive, albeit embarrassing fact is the 237 times I said “wow” while taking this beauty for a 40-mile test ride through various riding conditions. It should be mentioned that I was scolded like a schoolboy by the ever diligent staff of Coleman Powersports, even before I turned the bike on. They know how intoxicating the rush of speed on this Italian stallion can be, and had almost literally begged me to take it easy. Even at what I would consider a relatively labored pace, the Duc shined brighter than most. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a dedicated commuter, the Panigale will answer the mail with ease… just make sure you’ve got a chiropractor on speed dial.
Watch me test ride the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4S
The (very few) Downsides
That leads me to the not so nice, but equally important breakdown of things that certainly leave something to be desired on the Panigale V4S, comfort.
Now I would have to assume that once you’ve set your sights on a supersport bike in general, you’ll have come to terms with the lack of comfort that the class is known for. That being said, the Ducati takes the comfort standard and breaks through the glass ceiling as effortlessly as you’ll feel your vertebrate start to seperate in your first couple of minutes. The seat almost feels intentionally painful, as to remind you that it’s a privilege to ride a Ducati Panigale, and that pain is in fact beauty. Your knees will find a new home buried high into your chest, your wrists will bend like an out of work contortionist, and you’ll be in a constant battle between the back of your helmet and the top of your jacket, as you strain to keep your head up and eyes on the road. But who cares… that’s right, who cares. You’re riding one of the single most beautiful, powerful, and precise motorcycles ever built. The pain fades away as you cycle through the gears effortlessly via the quickshifter and auto-blipper, racing infinitely towards the 13,000rpm sweet spot.
How much is a Ducati Panigale?
The 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 comes in three trims: V4 (Base), V4S, V4S Speciale. The pricing ranges from an MSRP of $21,995 on the V4 to $39,995 on the Speciale. Based on data from Rollick, the most popular trims are:
- 2018 Ducati Panigale V4
- 2018 Ducati Panigale V4S
- 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale
However, when it comes to available inventory for sale, the 2018 V4S is the most carried model by dealers. You can get a price and see specs on the Panigale using the Rollick Buying Program.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a used Panigale V4S, since the bike was introduced in 2018, there’s not much available used inventory. You might have better luck with the 1299.
The Final Say
Ducati has always held a very special place in the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts like myself, and the new Panigale V4S raises the bar even higher. It makes my hair stand on end to think that this is just the beginning for Ducati and the implementation of this brilliant motor technology as it makes its way into the chassis of its brethren. La vita è più dolce con te → Life is sweeter with you, Ducati.
About the Duke of DC
You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YoutTube channel and follow me on Twitter.