Ducati Panigale V2 – What you need to know

Middleweights have always meant the world to Ducati and that includes flagship superbikes and the smaller-capacity, more usable bikes as well. The 90-degree, V-twin engine design had remained unchanged until Ducati introduced the Panigale V4 some years ago. Ducatis have appealed to a small audience here in India but that’s because of how expensive they are. The small tribe of Ducati riders in India have, over the years, understood what Ducatis are all about, their appeal, performance and that lineage the brand carries. This is exactly why we found it important to go for a spin on the Panigale V2.

Sharp looks

The whole bike gets a new makeover, giving it the look of the Panigale V4 and it’s called the Ducati Panigale V2. It is easily one of the most gorgeous looking Ducati Bikes on the market with those headlights positioned neatly within the dual air-intakes, the LED-running lights, the smooth bodywork alongside and the beautifully sculpted rear-end. The Ducati Panigale V2 is an eyeball magnet. The Panigale gets a single-sided swingarm and that leaves the beautiful alloy wheel exposed. Ducati Bikes have done a swell job as far as the exhaust packaging is concerned and the bike packs in more catalyst material as well.

More detailing

Then there are the smaller details, like the well-finished footpeg holders, high-quality switches and a machined triple clamp. The V2 also features a new TFT display and shares many electronic rider assists with the V4. Both bikes look identical, but there are differences, like the fairings, exhaust design and the side-mounted exhaust. The V2 is also more slender because it is basically a 959 beneath. So you get the monocoque-frame while the rest remains untouched. Also, the sub-frame has been redesigned. The brakes are the same as well, meaning you get a fully adjustable Showa fork up-front and a gas-charged Sachs rear shock. The suspension have been tweaked a bit and the bike sits lower on its nose.

Hit the track

Turn-in is almost effortless and the stability of the bike impresses. The riding position is the same, so the clip-ons and rear-set foot pegs allow for good cornering clearance. The seat offers decent comfort and the tank is a lot easier to grip; the V2 feels lighter and easier to rider than the old 959. The engine pushes out 152bhp and it has all the power to keep you entertained without scaring the rider. The 955cc engine produces more power than its predecessor, thanks to the efficient air intake, enhanced ECU calibration and new injectors. A slight blip of the throttle proves that the engine is responsive.

Should you buy one?

The bike enters and exits corners with immense poise, thanks to the new IMU-aided electronics. It even features launch control and slide-slip control, plus some features from the V4 like wheelie and ABS control, a bi-directional quickshifter and multi-stage adjustable traction; this puts it at par with many litre-class motorcycles. The V2 feels a lot like a smaller V4. This bike doesn’t just look the business; it’s well equipped, comes with electronics that can put a lot of other bikes to shame; in fact, if you’ve ridden the V4, you’ll know just how similar the Ducati Panigale V2 feels, minus the extra power of course. Some Japanese bikes undoubtedly offer you more value for the money, but those machines don’t come close to this when it comes to sex appeal and exclusivity. It’s a bike that’s hard to resist falling for.

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