2021 Ducati Panigale V4 SP is simply stunning

DUCATI will expand the Panigale V4 family by introducing the numbered Panigale V4 SP, signalling the return of the SP (Sport Production) branding on the fairing of a Ducati super sports bike.

Introduced for the first time on the legendary Ducati 851, this abbreviation identified the versions that formed the basis for the development of the racing bikes used in the Sport Production Championship.

In Ducati speak the acronym SP is used to recognise a production bike with specific technical equipment that makes it faster on the track. In this case, the Panigale V4 SP differs from the 2021 Panigale V4 S in a number of ways.

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Apart from the dedicated livery and the steering head machined from billet, which shows the progressive number of the bike, it features equipment designed to increase its dynamic track performance.

The Panigale V4 SP will be 1kg lighter compared to the Panigale V4 S, reducing the dry weight to 173kg, with its ‘Winter Test’ livery exclusive to this bike. Inspired by the look of the Ducati Corse bikes used in pre-season tests of the MotoGP and SBK Championships.

The Total Black effect created by the matte black of the fairings and carbon rims contrasts with the brilliance of the brushed aluminium tank, while the bright red accents that mark the tail, tank and fairing are a reference to the red of the Borgo Panigale sports bikes.

The seat is specific for the material used and is customised with the V4 SP logo, while the carbon wings are enhanced by the Italian flag that also appears on the factory Panigale V4 R SBK bikes.

The 2021Panigale V4 SP is powered by the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale engine, a 90-degree V4 with Desmodromic distribution, derived from MotoGP, unique in its kind for the counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order.

The engine is capable of delivering 159kW of power and 123Nm of torque, and uses an STM EVO-SBK dry clutch, made from billet aluminium.

Compared to the wet clutch of the Panigale V4 S, in the extreme use of the bike on the track, the dry clutch guarantees a more effective anti-hop function.

In terms of chassis, the Panigale V4 SP is equipped with state-of-the-art technical contents derived from the Ducati Superleggera V4 such as carbon rims, Brembo Stylema R front brake callipers, and Brembo brake pump with MCS.

Adjustable aluminium rider foot pegs with carbon heel guards also feature. The wheels of the Panigale V4 SP, with 5 split spokes, are made of high-strength carbon fibre and have aluminium hubs screwed to the composite structure.

Both allow a weight saving of 1.4kg compared to the forged aluminium wheels of the Panigale V4 S, which rises to 3.4kg compared to the aluminium wheels of the Panigale V4.

The braking system consists of two 330mm diameter Brembo discs at the front combined with the new Brembo Stylema R monobloc callipers, with racing-derived pistons equipped with ventilation holes.

The front brakes are operated by a Brembo radial pump with MCS (multiple click system) that allows you to quickly and easily adjust the wheelbase on three configurations to customise the braking feeling.

The distance adjustment of the brake lever is equipped with a remote adjusting device, which allows you to adjust the position of the lever via a knob located on the left grip, as occurs on racing bikes.

Like the Panigale V4 S, the SP version is also equipped with an Öhlins NIX-30 forks, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber and Öhlins steering damper, controlled by the second generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system.

It’s equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic package, based on the use of the 6-axis Bosch inertial platform, which includes controls for managing all phases of riding.

The operating parameters of each control are managed through the new Riding Mode strategy introduced on the Panigale V4 2021 range which allows the rider to make quick comparisons on the track between two different configurations to define the best set-up.

The Race Riding Mode has in fact been split into two specific mappings for track use (Race A and Race B), now freely comparable in the individual parameters, alongside the already existing Sport and Street.

The Panigale V4 SP also incorporates the new strategy contained in the Ducati Traction Control EVO 3 (DTC EVO 3), developed for 2021, and allowing it to intervene during the throttle reopening phase in the middle of the curve.

The aim is to gently manage the clearance recovery of the Desmosedici Stradale, avoiding the boost peak that can occur after clearance recovery is complete.

New software predictively adjusts the torque delivered, calibrating the angular acceleration of the crankshaft in order to make the clearance recovery phase fluid. This translates into more neutral behaviour when exiting corners and a better feel for the rider.

All the information necessary for riding is displayed on the high-resolution 5.0-inch full-TFT colour dashboard, which through an intuitive interface also allows you to adjust the settings of the individual controls.

The Panigale V4 SP is equipped with the Ducati Data Analyzer+ (DDA+) kit with GPS module. The DDA+ is a telemetry system, comparable to those used in racing competition.

It consists of a device for data acquisition via CAN line, and an analysis software for Windows and Mac PCs inspired by the professional applications. Pricing for the 2021 Ducati Panigale V4 SP starts at $51,890 ride away. It should arrive in Australia in June.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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