Something Interesting from Ducati’s Wind Tunnel Testing

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At the beginning of this month, Ducati posted a promo video for its new Panigale V4 superbike. The video shows the new machine testing in a wind tunnel, touting the tagline that the motorcycle was “shaped by the wind.”

Surely this access to a high-speed wind tunnel for development purposes is the byproduct and one of the benefits of Ducati being part of the Volkswagen Group.

Though, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has all but made wind tunnels obsolete, making such things more of a show of engineering, and thus marketing. We digress.

What is of note though in this video, however, beyond the interesting glimpses of Ducati’s physical fluidic analysis, is that it is a glimpse at one of the Panigale V4’s very early designs.

We know this because of the video screen-capture above, which shows a side-mounted shock on the wind tunnel model.

Having now seen the Panigale V4 in the flesh, we know that final design for the new Ducati Panigale V4 has a more traditional mounting point for the rear shock, behind the engine, at the center of the swingarm.

The assumption we can make then is that at one point in time, Ducati was considering keeping the side-mounted shock found on the preceding Ducati 1299 Panigale superbike, which surely would have been an interesting choice.

We know from our Bothan Spies that the final fairing design for the Ducati Panigale V4 wasn’t set until close to the motorcycle’s debut at EICMA. But, even spy photos from earlier this summer show the Panigale V4 with a more traditional rear shock mounting.

That makes the model used in this wind tunnel test a much earlier iteration in the design process, which is an interesting thing to spot in a Ducati marketing video. It kind of makes you wonder what else was in the running for the Ducati Panigale V4 superbike, doesn’t it?

Source: Ducati (YouTube)