The Ducati Supersport 950 wasn’t the only faired sportsbike which was unveiled in the recent episode of the Ducati World Premiere. It was joined by something special, exclusive, stealthy and well, murdered-out. The motorcycle in consideration here is the Ducati Panigale V4 SP. Ducati fanboys might remember the SP moniker which dates back to the Ducatis of the years gone by. It was last suffixed with the 916. So long SP, so long! SP stands for Sport Production but it isn’t going to replace the Panigale V4R as the homologation-spec model and will exist alongside the other Panigale V4s.
The current Panigale V4 lineup comprises of the base model, the V4S, the V4R, the mystic Superleggera V4 and the recently added V4 SP. The latter, however, is the amalgamation of all the models listed above.
The Panigale V4 SP’s performance is derived from the base V4 and the V4S models as it utilizes the same 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale engine (now in Euro 5 guise) which is good enough to pump out 214 hp at 13,000 rpm and 91.5 pound-feet of torque at 9,500 rpm. It does get the STM EVO-SBK dry clutch seen on the V4 R and Superleggera. Dry clutch, accompanied with the V4 growl? Isn’t this the stuff dreams are made of?
The SP utilizes the same suspension setup found on the V4S and gets the Öhlins NIX 30 fork, TTX 36 rear shock, and electronic steering damper. Also from the Superleggera, the SP gets a smattering of carbon, most notably carbon fibre rims. The rims drop unsprung mass, decreasing the moment of inertia for quicker handling.
Carbon fibre winglets and front mudguard are standard. It also inherits the Superleggera’s 330mm discs, Brembo Stylema R callipers, and remote adjusting device. It also gets numbered billet top triple clamp, Rizoma billet footpegs with carbon fibre heel guards, and adjustable rear brake and gearshift levers.
The black paintwork is intended to be a tribute to the ‘winter test’ colours used by Ducati’s MotoGP and WSB teams in the off-season. It also gets some electronics updates as it includes Race A and Race B ride modes, the latter of which limits torque in the lower three gears to accommodate for low-grip conditions.
The 2021 Panigales also get the latest ‘EVO 3’ version of Ducati’s traction control system, which is claimed to further improve its ability to get power down on the way out of corners. Apart from these updates, it gets the ‘usual’ set of electronics too, including- cornering ABS, traction control, slide control, wheelie control, launch control, engine brake control and a quickshifter.