Ducati may have made us all wait an extra week to learn about the all-new 2023 Panigale V4 R—but it’s hard to deny that it was worth the extra time. On October 14, 2022, Ducati opened its garage doors to show us all what racing is, at this exact moment in time. Given the advances derived from its dedicated race bikes that you can now see in a production bike, it’s easy to see why it makes those claims.
The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R is powered by Bologna’s 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine, which has a top speed of 16,500 rpm in sixth gear. In stock trim, it makes a claimed 207 horsepower at 13,500 rpm. Fit the full titanium Akrapovič racing exhaust, however, and you’ll unlock 237 horsepower. That’s not all, though.
Because more is clearly more, Ducati says that if you take your Akrapovič-kitted Panigale V4 R and also use a special new motor oil that Ducati Corse and Shell have been working on together, you can achieve an astonishing 240.5 horsepower. The oil in question includes a proprietary blend of racing additives, which Ducati says gives an additional 10 percent reduction in mechanical friction. (This oil may not be available in all regions, but if it’s available in your area, Ducati wants you to know that it’s a thing.)
Two road-machine firsts for Ducati are present inside the Desmosedici Stradale R engine. The first are gun-drilled titanium connecting rods, which feature a 0.06 mm diameter hole drilled longitudinally within each rod. This acts as an oil passage to carry lubrication along its length, which aids in its performance in extreme racing conditions.
The second big deal inside the Desmo Stradale R engine are pistons that use a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) surface treatment to reduce friction. Their geometry has also been altered, resulting in a slightly lighter weight (we’re talking five whole grams). This type of consideration is common in the MotoGP and Formula One worlds, but has not previously been seen on a road bike.
Other changes derived from Ducati’s racing experience include more aggressively-profiled intake cams, gear ratios altered to more closely reflect those of Ducati’s WSBK Panigale race bikes, and a gorgeous new dry clutch also derived from WSBK.
Gallery: 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Electronics changes include Power Mode expansion, as well as slight tweaks to the Ducati Traction Control and Ride-By-Wire, Engine Brake Control EVO, and Ducati Quick Shifter systems. Additional software is available as an option if you choose to only use your Panigale V4 R on the track, which is made to work with slicks and rain tires.
Suspension-wise, you get a fully adjustable Öhlins NPX25/30 fork up front, with travel increased by 0.2 inches (or 5mm) over the previous V4 R. In back, an Öhlins TTX36 shock and a single-sided swingarm with adjustable pivot height allow you to make fine adjustments to your suspension setup as needed.
Other advances include the brushed aluminum tank with a 4.5 gallon capacity, a flatter seat, more compact carbon fiber winglets that still offer the same level of aerodynamic flow, a fairing that enhances engine cooling, magnesium wheels, and more.
Each 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R will come with a number inscribed in the triple clamp, though it’s unclear at this time how many the company plans to make. It will retail for $44,995 in the U.S. and $52,995 in Canada, and should roll into dealerships sometime in spring, 2023. If you’re located in another market, your best bet is to contact your local Ducati dealer to enquire about pricing and availability in your region.