Highly anticipated, the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 S offers impressive specs and a sleek design. From its engine to the brakes, it’s a quality sports bike. Throw in the wild caged animal that wants to leap out of the exhaust when you fire it up, and it just feels right.
We then threw a leg over, leaving Ducati’s HQ in Sydney and making our way through traffic. It’s a journey that easier and more comfortable than we expected. Unleash it on the bends and twists of the Old Road, and it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face.
It’s here, on the open road, where the bike really starts to divulge its true character. It’s fast, very fast. It just wants to go, but is still obedient and does exactly what you ask of it. A fair chunk of that goodness comes from the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale engine.
The Ducati Panigale V4 S produces a whopping 158.5kW of power and 123.6Nm of torque. It’s truly Jekyll & Hyde, one part escaped patient from a mental asylum and one part medicated, or tame, if you will.
A masterpiece of engineering, with its four cylinders arranged in a V configuration, the engine is incredibly responsive, delivering power in a smooth and controlled manner. The quick shifter is a joy to use too, and one of the best we have experienced.
The latter makes shifting gears, both up and down, a breeze. Whether you are accelerating out of a turn or cruising down the highway, the V4 S is a joy to ride. To ensure you’re always safe, there’s a noticeable power difference between ride modes as well.
Rain mode, for example, strips power down to around 111kW. You’ll also find Road and Sport mode, as well as two track specific options (which we didn’t test for want of a circuit to try them out on).
What makes the Panigale V4 S work though is that it’s the complete package. Its styling is proper sexy, the aerodynamic bodywork is designed to provide maximum performance, and the bike has a low-slung profile that looks amazing from any angle.
Everything is in the right place in terms of ergonomics too, and the rider doesn’t have to reach for any controls. The blinkers are well-placed and easy to use, although the self-cancelling function goes for one or two blinks too many.
The handling is world class. The V4 S is incredibly agile, and responds quickly to inputs. The suspension is top-notch, providing a smooth ride, even on bumpy roads. Designed to be ridden hard, it can handle anything you can throw at it.
It rides like it’s on rails, helped by an array of rider aids, including electronic suspension, wheelie control, lean angle ABS and traction control and slide control. This particular rider doesn’t mind a wheelie and with the right settings, you can facilitate a really good one.
The Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP tyres offer amazing feel and inspire full confidence too, but its the brake package that’s mind blowing. Equipped with a Brembo Stylema brake system, it will stop on a dime.
Dual 330mm discs and four-piston callipers feature up front, while the rear scores a 245mm disc with two-piston callipers. Incredibly responsive, they’ll do their thing on the road or track. It’s like hitting a wall, such is the power on offer to pull up the bike.
The colour scheme is also eye-catching, with the signature Ducati Red being complemented by black and white accents. Together, it all makes for an exceptional machine. The 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 S is fast, agile, and beautiful.
To own one, you’ll need to part with $45,000 ride away. It only comes in one colour, and is bundled with a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Ducati Australia also offers a range of owner benefits (like track days) that you can participate in.
Our test bike was provided by Ducati Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 S, contact your local Ducati dealer.