The 2019 EICMA show in Milan is next week, and there we expect to see a bevy of new models, including a few from Aprilia, but those crafty Italian have gotten a jump on things, releasing today the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory.
As we predicted, the new top-spec superbike is getting a displacement increase to 1,078cc on its 65° V4 engine (we wonder why), which gives the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory a class-leading peak power figure of 214hp (159.6 kW), and 90 lbs•ft (122 Nm) of torque.
Matching that substantial gain in power, the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory gets a solid weight reduction, tipping the scales at 439 lbs when fully fueled. Helping cut the weight down is a lithium-ion battery from Bosch and a street legal titanium exhaust from Akrapovic.
For those doing the math, we will save you the trouble: the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory weighs 11 lbs lighter than its predecessor, and makes 16hp more power, and 5 lbs•ft more torque as well. Win, win, win.
We are knee-deep in new bike season right now, and it seems no motorcycle is safe from the internet’s two-wheeled rumor mill. This week, we see a number of rumors concerning the Honda CBR1000RR, and what the 2019 model year will bring for Big Red’s superbike offering.
Credible rumors suggest that the Honda CBR1000RR will see another update for next year, with promises of 212hp as Honda follows the rest of the pack with two variations of its venerable superbike.
Less credible rumors involve the CBR1000RR getting a name change for the US market, as the word “Fireblade” has been registered with the US Patents and Trademarks Office by the Japanese brand.
When the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled debuted, I said that this was the scrambler model the Bologna should have released first. Built actually to go off-road, it is the real scrambler in Ducati’s Scrambler lineup.
Now, I have a feeling that in a few months’ time I’m going to be saying this phrase again about a different bike, as there are some rumors floating in the Bothan Spy network that an 1,079cc version of the Desert Sled is set to debut for the 2019 model year.
This supposed Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled 1100 (try saying name that three times fast) will add to the Scrambler 1100 lineup from Ducati, adding some off-road prowess to a family of bikes that is really just a reworked Ducati Monster 1100.
This is the 10th year of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, and despite that duration, the V4 superbike remains one of the top machines that you can stick in your garage.
Part of this is due to the fact that the RSV4 is an incredibly well-engineered high-tech motorcycle. After all, it was the first superbike to use an inertial measurement unit (IMU) in conjunction with traction control, and one of the first superbikes to have a ride-by-wire throttle.
The other part of Aprilia’s dominance comes down to the fact that the Italian brand has consistently updated the RSV4 every couple of years, helping keep it at the sharp end of the superbike stick. Now if you believe the rumors, the 2019 model year will be no different.
Is the Ducati Panigale V4 S the most anticipated motorcycle of 2018? If you are a diehard sport biker, the answer is probably yes, though a number of significant models are debuting this year, from several manufacturers.
Still, in terms of ground-changing machines, the Panigale V4 has to rank high up on the list, as it is Ducati’s first proper four-cylinder motorcycle to go into mainstream production.
Yes, the Apollo came before it – all ~1.9 models that were produced – and the Desmosedici RR was also a MotoGP-inspired V4 motorcycle, but those were only available to a select few, with a total of 1,500 units ever made.
The Ducati Panigale V4 and its progeny, however, are here for everyone…and Ducati has taken quite a gamble in producing this “New Opera” – as the tagline goes.
I am writing to you today from Valencia, Spain – where we just finished a day of riding at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which is better known as the final stop on the MotoGP Championship calendar.
It is a new track for me to ride, and I have to give Ducati credit for picking a venue that doesn’t play just to the strengths of its new motorcycle. A short and technical course, the Valencian circuit is fun and rewarding to ride, but it is also a torture-rack test for a motorcycle’s handling prowess.
It would have been really easy for Ducati to take us somewhere, say like Mugello, where a fast and flowing circuit could hide any flaws in the Panigale V4 chassis design, while in-turn it could also hightlight the superbike’s claimed 214hp.
But here we are in Spain, getting to ride the first entry into this next chapter of Ducati superbike history, so let me tell you what you need to know about Ducati’s new flagship motorcycle, the Panigale V4 S.
While on the exterior, there might seem to be a great deal of similarities between the Ducati Panigale V4 and its predecessor the Ducati 1299 Panigale, stripping away the bodywork shows that the relation is mostly skin deep.
Yes, the “frameless” chassis design remains, and yes the exhaust routing for the four-cylinder machine mimics that on the twin-cylinder bike, but there are noticeable, even critical differences between Ducati’s superbikes, which should translate to meaningful differences on the race track.
The most obvious is how raked back the Desmosedici Stradale engine sits within the Panigale V4 chassis, which measures at 42° from parallel – the same as the Italian company’s V4-powered MotoGP race bike. No coincidence there.
This allows for the “front frame” to become a much longer lever, and attach to the motorcycle in more conventional mounting points. Both of these factors can contribute to making the Panigale V4 handle better on the race track, and provide better rider feedback – a common complaint of the old design.
The reactions to the new Ducati Panigale V4 debuting at the EICMA show seem to be split, with some Ducatisti excited to see what the new V4 platform can bring to the table, while others are less-enthused about the movement away from Ducati’s v-twin tradition, and the V4’s very similar aesthetic to its predecessor.
Wherever you fall on that spectrum, the Panigale V4 looks the business on paper in terms of power, weight, and electronics. Helping whet our superbike appetites further, Ducati has posted a video of the company’s test riders flogging the 1,103cc machine around the Mugello circuit.
Get ready for the ripping and the tearing, because this is what 214 horses of desmodromic power looks like when its shredding Pirelli tires at speed (we can’t even fathom what 226hp looks like). Love it or hate, this looks like an epic bike to ride.
Oh, we through in some ultra high-resolution shots of the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S too, just for good measure. You’re welcome.
If you are a hardcore Ducatisti, you will probably mark today down in history, as Ducati has moved on from its v-twin superbike design, adopting its first production four-cylinder superbike*.
Today, the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 officially debuted in Milan, Italy for the EICMA show, and the new 1,103cc machine boasts some impressive figures: 211hp (157.5 kW) at the crank, 88.5 lbs•ft of peak torque, and a paltry 384 lbs weight when dry (436 lbs at the curb).
Considered more of an evolution of the Ducati 1299 Panigale superbike design by the Italians, the big changes to the new Panigale is its “Desmosedici Stradale” engine, which has a 70° crank pin offset and a “Twin Pulse” 0-90-290-380 firing order for its pistons.
This makes the Desmo Stradale V4 engine more like two v-twin engines mated next to each other – a bid to make the power and character of the Panigale V4 more recognizable to loyal Ducati owners. A nod to Ducati’s MotoGP program, the Desmosedici Stradale engine is counter-rotating as well.
Of course, Ducati doesn’t leave the changes to just the engine, as the Ducati Panigale V4 is truly an all-new machine beneath its fairings.
Ducati says that it has five new models for us at this year’s EICMA show. Yesterday we broke the news that there would be a Multistrada 950 Enduro, as well as the Ducati Multistrada 1260 (powered by the XDiavel’s Testastretta DVT 1262 engine).
We also know from CARB filings that there is a Ducati 959 Panigale Corse in the works; the Italian brand has already shown us the revamped Monster 821; and of course, we know that there will be the not-so-secret Ducati Panigale V4 showing in Milan.
But what about the Scrambler Ducati sub-brand? Well, it too will be seeing an addition to the family, in the guise of a larger machine. Get ready to say hello to the Ducati Scrambler 1100.
It seems like a no-brainer, right? Take the existing Triumph Daytona 675 supersport package, drop in the 1,050cc three-cylinder motor found in the Triumph Speed Triple (with a higher state of tune, of course), and call the beast the Triumph Daytona 1100 superbike. Boom. Done. It’s so easy Triumph, so why haven’t you done it already?!
The answer of course is that the superbike segment is extremely competitive and expensive to enter — just ask BMW Motorrad. A small manufacturer with a rich brand history, Triumph also has a propensity to zig when others zag, which is how the Speed Triple came about in the first place. However, the timing might be right for Hinckley to put some effort into a superbike project.
Editor’s note: To dispel any confusion, the above photo is a photoshoped “Hyperstrada” designed to be the embodiment of Ducati’s new bike.
Rumors are about that Ducati is already showing to a select number of dealers, what can only be described as a BMW R1200GS killer. Based on their 1100cc air-cooled motor that powers the Monster, Multistrada, and Hypermotard, the new bike aims to be a more trail oriented dual-sport than the other road-tied bikes it shares its power plant with. The new bike is supposedly going to replace that Multistrada in Ducati’s positioning, with a greater focus on having off-road capability.