Ducati Panigale V4 Performance

 – the 226hp special beast


Story: Donovan Fourie
Pics: Milagro
Yesterday, we published a full track test of the long awaited Ducati Panigale V4 from the world launch at Valencia in Spain. That was the standard S version of the V4, and if you read the test, you’d know that it is a game changer.

That wasn’t all Ducati had installed – ss an add on for journalists, Ducati also had a bike with an assortment of perfromance add-ons. Available alongside the V4 and V4 S is the V4 Speciale model that pushes 226hp and is draped with carbon-fibre and special parts, and it probably costs slightly more than Madagadcar so they wouldn’t let journalists have a go on one of those, but what they did do is take a Panigale V4 S and kit it out with a full Akrapovic exhaust, an aftermarket airfilter and some mapping, creating a bike we simply called The Performance.

The results are extraordinary. It now pushed the same 226hp as the Speaciale and sounded like the hounds of Beelzebub himself. There is something so excitingly unique about getting on a motorcycle that truly barks whenever you open the throttle. And once you are on track, this bark bcomes full of bite as a further 12 hp grabs hold of your rear and will not let go. 226hp is what World Superbikes were pushing not long ago, and the bikes built by some of the lower teams are not pushing much more than that. It’s a flurry of angry wheelies, barks everytime the autoblip kicks in and pure savagery.


More so, it was equipped with actual World Superbike Pirelli slick tyres, and the techs at the track had fiddled with the suspension slightly to make it more solid. While the engine was screaming bloody murder, the tyres were having none of this and stuck firm to the tarmac. As we mentioned in the track test, that standard V4 S is already setting new benchmark, the standard V4 S is already better than every race bike and special production bike I’ve ever ridden, but this is all of that turned up to 11. The entire package is just overwhelming, as it exceeds your expectations and abilities through every piece of the circuit. Never have I had the opportunity to ride a motorcycle around a track with that much gusto and perfection.

I returned to the pits, gave the bike a very uncharacteristic, for me, blip only because i wanted to hear that bark just once more, and I then turn the motor off.

I felt saddened. I had just ridden something truly magnificent, truly perfect in everyway, and now it was over. It was like I had had a one night stand with Scarlett Johannsen, the most incredible night of my life, and now she was boarding a plane to LA and I might never see her again.

Would I get a chance like this ever again? To experience something this good? The truth is that I’m being a drama queen here. This performance machine is nothing more than a V4 S with some add-on goods, like many V4 S’s that are due to grace our roads and tracks. This bit of glory is open to the public. So while it feels like a special production model or a once-off racer, the truth is that soon anyone can own this exact beast.

The world is truly a magnificent place.


Below is a video of The Performance revving in pitlane. Turn up the volume.


Gallery – click to enlarge:

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