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My new Panigale V4, part 6

Posted on August 11, 2018 by acruhl

First read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 (trackday!)

Yes, I did a dyno run. I’m not going to reveal the horsepower numbers because it was 106 degrees and the dyno doesn’t do perfect conversions for temperature. It’s above 180 and below 200 let’s say. The curve was pretty smooth so I’m happy with it. A few notes though: I was worried this would tear up the rear tire based on the wear I’ve seen on the street and the track. Turns out that thin strip of “street compound” tread down the center of the rear tire did it’s job and the tire didn’t suffer too much. We didn’t get torque because you have to get an RPM takeoff and it’s not so easy to do on this bike. You have to lift the gas tank and I didn’t want them to spend the time to do it. To do a proper run you have to turn off traction control, which isn’t obvious on this bike and I didn’t study how to do it. I just assumed you could set DTC to 0 in race mode. You can’t. There’s another menu to do it. It took us a few minutes to find it. Anyways.

Riding this bike on the street is not nearly as unpleasant as I thought it would be. Going back to the 1199, I bought it pretty much sight unseen and didn’t get a test ride. I was just so enthused that Ducati went so “all out” on a twin that I had to have it. Within about a mile on my first ride I was thinking “what did I get myself into?”. It was just an animal. Imagine trying to go on a nice walk with your dog, but your dog is a tiger. It’s pulling you along, dictating what’s happening. You’re pretty much just trying to keep things under control and not get injured. That’s how it was with the 1199. I’ve heard the exhaust and map cured it but I never rode one with that stuff.

Not so on this bike. I got to test ride the V4S before I got mine and it only made me more certain that I wanted mine. It ran fine on the street, albeit super duper hot from the exhausts on the rear cylinders. Otherwise, it would cruise along on the street and still work really well on the mountain road. My base model was the same. And now that this new map is in place that deactivates the rear cylinders at a stop, it pretty much solves the heat issue. My only real issue is my throttle hand gets sore after some time. I’m thinking that’s my problem as much as the bike’s. I have to work on relaxing and supporting my body with my legs more on longer rides.

I haven’t done a thing to it (other than add a battery tender cable!) and it worked really, really well at the track as I stated earlier. This is the way motorcycling should be from my perspective, and it’s certainly not guaranteed that it will be with any bike you buy. The 1199 was an obvious example. Apparently the current GSX-R1000 is another example. They seriously limit the upper RPM power just because they want to. I would have returned this bike if I thought that was going on. (And it may be to some small extent, but it’s seriously fast so I’m not complaining.)

But I’m probably going to do a few things anyway. I don’t have lots of money to go around spending, this bike put a serious dent into that. But I think a few things might make it better. I want to get a lightweight battery since it’s mounted so high. I can see that making a bit of difference. (Although slim fast is cheaper and probably a smarter idea.) The lighter wheels on the V4S made a real difference at the track, so I might look into that. OZ makes some lighter wheels for not too awful much money. Also, I’m a huge fan of the 7 spoke forged wheels that came on the 2009 1198S, but I don’t know if they are that much lighter than my current cast wheels. I always tell people to upgrade controls first (levers, rearsets, brake lines) but the stock stuff works really well so I might not touch that stuff. Suspension upgrades are another obvious thing. During setup, ESP found that there is either a “bleed” circuit for rebound on the front (so you can’t completely lock it up) or it just doesn’t have enough range, but doesn’t have enough range and we’d like a bit ability to control rebound damping. So that requires a valving change. The rear shock is probably set up with a light spring that is preloaded heavily because there’s not a lot of initial movement and it’s a bit harsh. It ends up working OK at track pace but it’s a bit harsh at lower speeds. I’m thinking a Penske shock with the proper spring would be nice if it exists. I’ll look into it.

I could do with spending money on lots of other stuff though, including my dirt bike and 998. That’s probably a better idea because this Panigale V4 works pretty well already… And I need a new helmet… And leathers… And boots… Gotta keep the spending under control…

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