Goodbye Ducati Panigale 959, Hello Panigale V2

Ducati heads into MY2020 with a revamped, low-displacement Panigale that the factory rebranded from the Panigale 959 to the Panigale V2. It’s a mixture of old and new with new body fairings over a modified monocoque frame, upgraded suspension components, and six-axis ride-quality controls to deliver extra safety on the road. Power comes from the Superquadro V-twin plant with over 150 ponies on tap to serve as the icing on the cake.

  • 2020 Ducati Panigale V2
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    955 cc
  • Top Speed:
    169 (est) mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    16495
  • Price:

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Design

2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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Ducati borrowed from its high-displacement Panigale V4 while scaling down a bit to compliment the smaller mill for an overall leaner and cleaner build.

For the overall V2 design, Ducati borrowed from its high-displacement Panigale V4 while scaling down a bit to compliment the smaller mill for an overall leaner and cleaner build. A pair of large intake ports in the fairing shunt pressurized air from the entry directly into the airbox for a low-budget boost to the engine’s volumetric efficiency without having to add the bulk and weight of a turbo- or super-charger.

Brow-like LED DRLs contribute a bit of an angry-bird look to the V2’s visage and tie in with the look of its big brother. Strong cheekbones widen the fairing above the lights with a compact bubblescreen to complete the pilot’s protection, but you’ll have to tuck all the way in to find the wind pocket since the factory wasted nothing on superfluous, drag-inducing bulk up front.

Mirrors and blinkers are combined to make it easy to strike both at once ahead of track days and keep the front end clean. As for the body panels themselves, they form a “dual layer” fairing that acts as both a cowling and vent to promote adequate ventilation while maintaining that Panigale panache. The saddle is built to maximize longitudinal movement, but if you were hoping for a shorter seat height you’d better go ahead and grab your crying pillow, ’cause the seat was lifted from 32.48 inches off the ground up to 33.1 inches high.

All of the instrumentation is crammed into a 4.3-inch color TFT dashboard that doubles as a rider interface for the higher ride-control electronics. The handlebars bolt directly to the top triple clamp to pull you forward into the racing position, and while much of the V2 is arranged to allow for the comfort of daily riders, the rider’s triangle falls outside such considerations so you can forget about pushing off to find a comfortable upright riding posture.

Broad shoulders top the tank ahead of the narrow waist to create the knee pocket and leave plenty of room for transverse body English for you fiery-eyed kneedraggers out there. The lofted p-pad forms a substantial buttstop for the pilot, and the V2 comes with fold-up footpegs if you want to share the fun with a (very brave) friend. Why brave? Well, the tail end is definitely built with aerodynamic considerations as front-burner issues and not passenger comfort and safety.

To complete the package, a short wing-shaped mudguard mounts the plate and rear blinkers below the underslung taillight, all in LEDs to provide max visibility even under broad daylight.

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Chassis

2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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No surprise, you get a very maneuverable ride with an abundance of eagerness in the corners.

Ducati likes their monocoque frames, so the Panigale V2 is built around a die-cast aluminum structure that relies on the engine as a stressed member to complete the assembly and displace some of the framework. The steering head section bolts directly to the cylinder head, and it doubles as the airbox in another bid to limit weight and bulk. It sets a rake angle of 24-degrees that falls toward the bottom of the range, and that couples with the 3.7 inches of trail to indicate a very maneuverable ride with an abundance of eagerness in the corners. Weight distribution is measured at 52-percent front and 48-percent rear over a 1,436 mm wheelbase to polish off the handling figures.

Showa Big Piston Fork stems float the front end on 43 mm inner tubes with the full trinity of adjustments that let you dial it in for preference and conditions. Sachs provides the steering damper that soaks up kickback at the bars, as well as the monoshock out back that tames the single-side aluminum swingarm with the full spectrum of adjustments.

A pair of 17-inch, five-spoke cast wheels round out the rolling chassis with none other than Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso Corsa II hoops to make the final connection to the tarmac. A 120/70 mounts up front opposite a 180/60 to bring generous contact patches to the table and plenty of traction. The tires run a triple-compound blend of rubber with a trio of zones that deliver specialized grip through all the riding stages.

Brembo monobloc M4.32 calipers haul the V2 down with dual 320 mm discs up front and a 245 mm disc out back, and here we find the first of the six-axis wizardry in the cornering ABS feature that factors in vehicle attitude and forces when it calculates the available traction and the appropriate level of ABS intervention. The system rocks a trio of preset performance profiles for quick and easy, push-button configuration.

Frame: Monocoque Aluminum
Front Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa BPF fork. 43 mm chromed inner tubes
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheel Travel (Front/Rear): 4.72 in (120 mm) / 5.12 in (130 mm)
Rake: 24°
Front Wheel Trail: 3.70 in (94 mm)
Front Brake: Dual 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 4-piston calipers with Cornering ABS EVO
Rear Brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper with Cornering ABS EVO
Front Wheel: 5-spokes light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Rear Wheel: 5-spokes light alloy 5,50” x 17”
Front Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 180/60 ZR17

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Drivetrain

2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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The 90° V-Twin Superquadro engine has more horsepower than its predecessors to the tune of 155 ponies.

Power on the Panigale V2 comes from a compact Superquadro engine laid out in a 90-degree V-twin configuration just like the “959” it replaces, but it puts out an additional five horsepower for a total of 155 ponies at a lofty 10,750 rpm. You have a minimal increase in torque, as well, with 76.7 pound-feet on tap at 9 grand. At the time of this writing, the 2020 Panigale V2 has yet to be released, and while the top speed is currently an unknown factor, it’s safe to say it’s up there. The “959” was in the neighborhood of 169 mph, and I expect nothing less from the V2. I mean, it is a Ducati, after all. The new mill meets Euro 5 and comes with a rapid oil-recovery system that provides low-pressure oil to the bottom end in a bid to reduce the stiction-drag effects associated with high-pressure/high-volume oil pumps.

A ride-by-wire throttle control and 62 mm, oval throttle bodies manage the induction, but the signal is modified by several systems before it makes it to the engine. It starts with the Riding Modes feature that bundles the function of a handful of systems — Power Modes, Traction Control, Wheelie Control, and Engine Brake Control —to give you complete control over power delivery and your ride-quality and safety systems. The six-speed transmission boasts the Ducati Quick Shift feature, and this year, it works both up and down the range for complete coverage. If you’re into actual track use, you’ll be glad to hear that the V2 comes ready for GPS-supported race features such as the Ducati Lap Timer, Multimedia System, and Ducati Data Analyzer that lets you track and review your laps after the fact.

Engine: Superquadro 90° V2, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Displacement: 955 cc
Bore x Stroke: 100 mm x 60.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Power: 155 hp (114 kW) @ 10,750 rpm
Torque: 76.7 lb-ft (104 Nm) @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies
Exhaust: 2-1-2-1 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.77:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/16 3=27/18 4=25/20 5=24/22 6=23/24
Final Drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
Clutch: Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Pricing

2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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MSRP shakes out at $16.5k, which is not bad for the level of sophistication.

MSRP on the 2020 Panigale V2 is $16,495, which is not bad for the caliber of bike and level of sophistication. Price-wise, it falls between the Panigale 959 and the Panigale 959 Corse from last year.

Instrumentation: Digital unit with 4,3" TFT color display
Safety Equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration
Standard Equipment: Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Sachs steering damper, Auto-off indicators
Ready For: Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), anti-theft, Ducati Lap Timer GPS (DLT GPS)
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red
Price: $16,495

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Competitors

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- image 812602
2020 Ducati Panigale V2
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Neither comes out a clear winner, so it'll come down to brand loyalty or a really impartial test ride for you to make the decision.

Ducati will be taking on a well-populated field with its new Panigale V2, no doubt about it, so I grabbed what I reckon to be a typical competitor with Kawasaki’s top-shelf Ninja ZX-10R ABS. Kawasaki espouses the windtunnel-tested program to give its Ninja a low-drag/high-penetration body, and similar to the Panigale, the Ninja rocks an intake port up front to take advantage of the pressurized air at the entry.

Mirror-mount front blinkers and a combination plateholder/turn signal/mudguard makes for quick and easy streamlining ahead of track days across the board. Suspension is likewise a wash with full adjustability front and rear. The Ninja benefits from the Kawasaki Intelligent Braking System for extra security in the corners to once again match the Duc, and the electronics suite is almost as robust with traction control, power modes, launch control, and corner management technology as part of the standard package. Kawi also runs a quick-shifter, but it only works on upshifts to cede a slim advantage to Ducati.

The 998 cc, four-cylinder mill produces a claimed 203 horsepower to leave Ducati in the dust in the brute-power department, and that’s before the ram-air effect factors in, so the difference could be even greater at speed. Neither comes out a clear winner, and not at the checkout counter, either, so it’ll come down to brand loyalty or a really impartial test ride for you to make the decision between them.

He Said

“Ya know, power figures and price aside, I would still prefer the Duc to the Ninja. Part of that is the aesthetics, and part of it is the technology without a single thought to the price or power, but to be fair, I’m unlikely to ever be interested in hitting a track. I’ll leave those of you who will engage in closed-circuit racing to make your own judgment. That said, I’m glad to see that the smaller Panigale line didn’t go away, but instead evolved to produce a net-new machine.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “So this is what happens when you smoosh a Panigale V4 with a 959 and sprinkle it with new styling bits. Naming the new model “V2” brings it in line with the current naming convention. It takes the focus off the engine size and puts it on the configuration. Note also that the new V2 has a single-sided swingarm, taking a cue from larger Panigales and saving some weight by dumping the double-sider. It’s a step up from the 959 and calling it the next generation of 959 would do it an injustice. It’s the new Panigale V2.”

2020 Ducati Panigale V2 Specifications

Engine: Superquadro 90° V2, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Displacement: 955 cc
Bore x Stroke: 100 mm x 60.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Power: 155 hp (114 kW) @ 10,750 rpm
Torque: 76.7 lb-ft (104 Nm) @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies
Exhaust: 2-1-2-1 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.77:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/16 3=27/18 4=25/20 5=24/22 6=23/24
Final Drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
Clutch: Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch
Chassis:
Frame: Monocoque Aluminum
Front Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa BPF fork. 43 mm chromed inner tubes
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheel Travel (Front/Rear): 4.72 in (120 mm) / 5.12 in (130 mm)
Rake: 24°
Front Wheel Trail: 3.70 in (94 mm)
Front Brake: Dual 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 4-piston calipers with Cornering ABS EVO
Rear Brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper with Cornering ABS EVO
Front Wheel: 5-spokes light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Rear Wheel: 5-spokes light alloy 5,50” x 17”
Front Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 180/60 ZR17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Dry Weight: 388 lb (176 kg)
Curb Weight: 441 lb (200 kg)
Seat Height: 840 mm (33.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1.436 mm (56.5 in)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.5 gallon (17 l)
Fuel Consumption: 39 mpg (6.0 l/100km)
Number Of Seats: Dual seat
Details:
Instrumentation: Digital unit with 4,3" TFT color display
Safety Equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration
Standard Equipment: Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Sachs steering damper, Auto-off indicators
Ready For: Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), anti-theft, Ducati Lap Timer GPS (DLT GPS)
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red
Price: $16,495

Further Reading

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- image 812585

See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Ducati 959 Panigale / 959 Panigale Corse

2019 Ducati 959 Panigale / 959 Panigale Corse
- image 829702

See our review of the Ducati 959 Panigale / 959 Panigale Corse.

Ducati

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Ducati news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, kawasaki.com

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