Panigale V4 S and V2: comparison 2 – 2020

Panigale V4 S and V2: comparison 2 – 2020

The comparison between the Ducati Panigale V4 S and the Panigale V2, two different bikes with distinct personalities, according to Gian Maria Liverani.

They are in the box, next to each other and are just waiting to be guided to understand what differences and affinities there are between the two types of superbikes that Ducati has on the list today. Similar in aesthetics, but extremely different in heart:here the classic twin-cylinder in its extreme evolution, 955 cc of history and of great tradition; next door, the brand new four cylinders Desmosedici Stradale 1103 cc, completely revised and evolved compared to the previous year’s version.

Here, in the Cremona Circuit, we are ready to repeat the comparison
we made two years ago between the first V4 and the 959:
two years in which a lot happened, with a clear evolution that affected both models.

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The aerodynamic protection offered by the two bikes is very different: on the new V4, compared to the previous version, the plexiglas is now higher; the dome is also wider both in height and sideways (+ 15 mm per side) to protect the rider’s arms and shoulders in the straight. The fairings have also been significantly enlarged (+ 38 mm per side), in this case also to improve the efficiency of the aerodynamic appendages. More traditional, from this point of view, is the V2 in which the smaller dimensions are evident than the V4, thus resulting in a more visually compact motion, also due to the absence of wings.

But it’s time to lower the visor and give gas, starting to turn with the Panigale V2,a very easy and intuitive bike, so much so that as soon as you get on it you feel like you have already driven it.

The greatest value of the bike is its engine, very elastic, with a nice acceleration, a lot of fun as it is exploitable by everyone, to be recommended therefore to those who are not a superexperienced and do not want to have a maximoto because it is too powerful.

Se si scende dalla quattro cilindri, bisogna abituarsi a utilizzarla come una Ducati classica, nel senso che il motore finisce prima, in quanto non raggiunge i regimi della Panigale V4: infatti, quando si arriva vicino agli undicimila giri, interviene il limitatore, quindi è una moto che va sfruttata utilizzando il cambio più che la manopola del gas!

The Panigale V2 has a completely new aesthetic, much closer to that of its older sister, also thanks to the single-arm swingarm and the exhaust with silencer under the engine. Below, the S version of the V4 equipped with Öhlins electronically control event based suspension, based on the second generation Öhlins Smart EC system.


Perfect position in the saddle, as well as for handlebars and platforms, in order to configure a structure at the same time sporty, but also acceptable as comfort, a topic that allows us to emphasize another advantage of the V2, namely that tired little and therefore allows you to turn for a long time with a commitment acceptable to the amateur.

In comparison, the Panigale V2 differs from the previous 959 precisely because of its relative comfort, so much so that perhaps the 959 was more suitable for use on the track precisely because of its racing setting.

Given this feature, it is natural to try to make the most of it, so much so that as soon as you enter the track you try to pull immediatelyto the maximum, without the need to get in confidence, precisely because it is an immediate bike, which gives confidence.

With the Panigale V2, therefore, even a not particularly experienced rider can try to get to the edge of the vehicle, which always gives great satisfaction, which with the V4 is definitely complicated, because it goes very strong!

Defects? To be improved, always referring to the use in the circuit, is the basic set-up: in fact, when braking a little aggressively the fork “walls” in the final part of its race and consequently the bike breaks down slightly in detached and in the following phase of curved entry: nothing serious, of course, probably a small defect that can be solved with an adequate calibration of the fork, but which testifies to the more universal character of the V2 , less radical than the previous twin-cylinders of Borgo Panigale.

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Giorgio Tedioli testing the Panigale V2. Compared to the 959, the new V2 has an ergonomics designed to improve comfort: the new saddle, in fact, allows greater longitudinal movement of the rider and greater comfort thanks to the new foam, while the position of the platforms remains unchanged. These changes, together with the revised calibration of the suspension, improve its potential for road use, as confirmed by the choice of tyres, the Diablo Rosso Corsa II, excellent for use on the track, but certainly comfortable using on the road in both dry and wet conditions.

Descending from V2 to bake the older sister, the first thing you notice is the size of the bike and its width; the V4 is definitely a more impressive bike, so you immediately realize that you are riding a more powerful bike.

Once started, at low speed, the V4 provesto be an easy bike, because in the first gears it has an almost electric supply, very docile, but when you go up laps it is unleashed by definitely changing character!

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It becomes, for all purposes, a racing bike: it has a perfect trim up to a decidedly high level, because it is really complicated to put it in difficulty.

Of course, it is a bike suitable for those who are used to going strong and have confidence with the very high speeds that it is able to reach, even if the bike makes it relatively easy to reach dizziness speeds, indeed, perhaps precisely for this reason it can embarrass those who do not have the habit of reading certain figures on the speedometer!

In fact, even on the straight of the Cremona circuit, which is long, but in which you insert from a second curve, you get to use the sixth, therefore close to 300 Km/h! Important speeds, to which you must be accustomed!

As mappings we tested the Sport and the Race: as an engine there is not so much difference (unlike the 2019 version where the Race was perhaps too aggressive), while of course we change many parameters related to control electronics.

What is surprising in this new version of the V4 S is its ease in changing direction,so much so that a minimum displacement of the body is enough, that the bike follows the trajectory indicated by the rider’s gaze with maximum ease.

A dowry that integrates with the precision of the front,perfect in braking and absolutely precise on a curved journey, so much so that it seems to be riding a racing bike that has already achieved its perfect balance.

Among other things, there is a clear feeling that the wings contribute to this result; in fact, at the end of the long straight, at high speed, at the time of detaching, one has the clear impression of having greater stability and more load on the front.

One aspect that you then have to get used to, as it is not really natural, is to slide the rear tire at will at turn exit, so much so that, once you have taken your hand, you do not feel the need to close the gas, on the contrary it is spontaneous to keep open because you feel safety and confidence.

Keep in mind that the V4, compared to the 2019 version, is actually a different bike: wider, more enveloping, with a completely different engine usage, especially in the first three gears,where the previous version was a bit aggressive, while now you can give everything gas even in this juncture without ever going into difficulty.

These are our feelings born from the comparison, although we fear that we have not answered all your doubts about what to prefer between V2 and V4!

The reason is that this is the classic case where you have to ask yourself what use you want to make of the bike and above all to evaluate with sincerity what your ability and experience as a motorcyclist is.

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Whatever the preference, we can certainly comment that both bikes mark a decisive step forward compared to the previous year’s versions; the four-cylinder is easier, more intuitive and less fatigued, while the V2 marks a decisive advance in terms of electronic equipment (now also equipped with the six-axis inertial platform) and cycling, with the arrival of the single-arm swingarm distinctive sign of each Ducati superbike.

If you do not go with a decent frequency on the track, the advice is certainly for the V2, while if the circuits are the natural environment and you are looking for performance, then the best choice is the V4.

In fact, we have to say that the V4 is also an excellent bike to ride in the street, precisely because of its very docile delivery at low speeds, even better than the V2: however, honestly, using the four-cylinder to walk seems a little wasted!

To conclude this comparison between Ducati, we can say that we liked the V2 very much and that all its problems arise from the comparison with the V4,undoubtedly the most successful and complete sports bike in the field of supersports.

In the final evaluation of the two bikes, then, it is necessary to take into account the important price difference (with which, if you want, you can buy a second bike!), since it testifies to the obvious gap that there is between the two proposals. If the V4 is certainly the non plus ultra for the sports biker, the V2 is the ideal solution for a user who wants to ride a Ducati superbike, but who does not agree to be taken for a walk by a motorcycle that has too high power and performance to be exploited by those who do not have skills and reflexes close to those of a professional rider.

In addition, the V2 represents the ideal and romantic solution for the ducatista a little nostalgic, as in it it finds all the sensations of the dear and old Desmo twin-cylinders, but in a context of enormously superior electronic management, a factor that, in addition to safety, greatly increases driving pleasure.

For everyone else, to paraphrase a well-known advertisement, there is only the Panigale V4,an absolute reference point in the field of supersports.

Photohouse Photo

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