Arguably the biggest superbike announcement for the 2019 model year, the Ducati Panigale V4 R is getting no shortage of press, and it is easy to see why.
The Ducati looks great in race trim, and it doesn’t take much to boost the machine’s peak horsepower figure to 231 hp (172 kW).
In its racing trim, the Ducati Panigale V4 RS19 will climb to over 17,000 rpm – that is, at least until the WorldSBK performance-balancing rules get ahold of it.
Weighing 4.4 lbs lighter than the Panigale V4 S, the R-spec model has other notable features, besides its 998cc displacement.
For starters, there is an adjustable swingarm pivot, and the mechanical Öhlins suspension pieces, which reduce weight compared to the electronically controlled pieces from the Swedish brand.
This of course means that there is no electronic suspension on the Panigale V4 R, but Ducati has updated the rider aid package to include a pit lane limiter as well as a GPS-powered lap timer.
Cornering ABS, IMU-assisted traction control (with slide control), wheelie control, launch control, and rear-wheel slide control continue as part of the electronics package.
And so far, the response from racers, both in WorldSBK and BSB, has been positive about the machine’s capabilities.
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR of Jonathan Rea might be the machine to beat next year, but we suspect that all eyes will be on the ride Ducatis with Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista at the helms.
We will have to wait until February to see if all of Ducati’s hard work has paid off for the racing season; and for our ride test, we will have to wait even longer before we can ride a production version of the Ducati Panigale V4 R in anger.
Until then, we have a bevy of high-resolution photos for you to enjoy in the photo gallery below.