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2021 Ducati Panigale V4S

With such a robust electronics suite, even new folks can keep it dirty-side down

Ducati refined its Panigale V4 S model ahead of MY21 with a number of improvements across the board. The lump is now cleaner with a Euro-5 emissions rating, and it comes with new engine-control electronics for even more safety and control than before. New brake- and clutch-actuation equipment joins with a new chain guard as stock equipment. For the first time, the Panigale V4 S comes pre-wired to make installation of the optional heated grips a plug-and-play affair to extend both your riding range and riding season.

  • 2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V4
  • Displacement:
    1103 cc
  • Top Speed:
    205 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    28695
  • Price:

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Design

  • Aerodynamics package from the V4 R
  • Five-inch high-def TFT display
  • LED lighting
  • Quick race transformation
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
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2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994450
Passionate and aggressive, the newest version of the “V4 S” platform toes the design line with an instantly recognizable profile.

The Panigale V4 S packs in lots of windtunnel-tested aerodynamics from the V4 R for low-drag penetration and performance at speed. The front fender is cut down to the lower limits of functionality to reduce unsprung weight at the front axle, and it rocks foil-shaped uprights to shunt the incoming air outboard and into laminar flow with the engine cowling.

Viewed head on, the V4 S presents a serious face to the world with angry-bird DRL brows over recessed headlights. All-around LED tech ensures effective two-way visibility to the world. A barely-there, racer-style bubblescreen punches a hole in the wind for the pilot, but you’ll have to tuck in ever so tightly if you expect to find it.

The mirrors come perched on long stalks with the blinkers built in. While they are shaped with performance in mind, you can easily strike the equipment and plug its body holes for proper track work. Same thing with the mudguard/blinker/plateholder assembly out back. It’s made to be easily removed as a unit to simplify race prep.

Ducati brings the newest TFT technology to bear in its five-inch, 189.59 PPI, color instrument package that sports an 800x480 resolution and an easy-to-see screen, no matter the ambient light conditions. Below the instruments, the leading edge of the cowl extends forward to almost swallow the front wheel and give the finished package that signature Panigale aggression.

At the cheeks, a set of inverted, foil-shaped winglets generates downward force with the incoming air pressure and boast a clipped downward turn at the outer edge to mitigate the drag-inducing, wing-tip vortices that would otherwise form at speed. I mean, there’s no shortage of windtunnel testing on the body panels in general, but these stubby little wings are by far the most conspicuous display of the Panigale V4’s racing chops.

Vents in the side panels draw cooling air through the radiators and engine compartment then reintegrates it with the slipstream just ahead of the rider’s knee. The pilot’s seat rides in a deep swale at 32.9 inches off the deck behind a 4.23-gallon fuel tank hump, but the pillion is lofted for a bit of a seating offset. If you’re more into the solo-riding life, the rear fairing/seat cover will give you the look you’re looking for.

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Chassis

  • Ducati Corse-spec front frame
  • Fully electronic adjustable Öhlins suspension
  • Ride-mode suspension adjustments
  • eager in the corners and faster to the apex
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994463
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994452
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994457

Aluminum alloy was the material of choice for the bolt-up front frame on the Panigale V4 S. It uses the engine as a stressed member to hook up with the rear structure and aluminum single-side swingarm pivot. The alloy was also used in the 17-inch, three-spoke wheels to limit unsprung weight at the axles, front and rear.

The hubs come shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber in a 120/70 ahead of a 200/60 and a “Z” rating that makes them suitable for both street and track use. Hand-powered pumps serve both the front brakes and the clutch throwout system with a self-bleeding feature that ensures proper operation and consistent feel at the levers.

We get our first glimpse of the sheer electronic brilliance that is the Panigale V4 S in the suspension.

Öhlins floats the front end on 43 mm, NIX30 usd forks, and a full set of adjustments. But the best part, the Öhlins Smart EC2.0 handles it all automatically through an event-based system that eliminates the need for tools, or even conscious rider input. Out back, an Öhlins TTX36 monoshock takes care of business under the same electronic umbrella.

An inertial-measurement unit relays information about chassis position and directional forces to make the Bosch ABS compensate automatically for lean angles when braking in a curve. Brembo supplies the anchors with dual, 330 mm front discs and four-bore, Monobloc Stylema calipers to provide the bulk of the stopping power, and out back, there’s a 245 mm disc and two-piston caliper to help keep your rear end behind you.

Frame: Aluminum alloy "Front Frame" with optimized stiffnesses
Front suspension/ Travel: Electronically adjustable Ø 43 mm Öhlins NIX30 event-based/4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Electronically adjustable Öhlins TTX36 event-based/ 5.1 in (130 mm)
Rake: 24.5°
Trail: 3.94 in (100 mm)
Front wheel: Marchesini aluminum forged 3.50" x 17"
Rear wheel: Marchesini aluminum forged 6.00” x 17”
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17
Front brake: Dual 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema® (M4.30) 4-piston calipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper with Cornering ABS EVO

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Drivetrain

  • 1,103 cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine
  • 214 hp and 91.5 lb-ft of torque
  • Ride modes with new control profiles
  • Robust electronics suite
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994467
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994464
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994453

Ducati refined its Desmosedici Stradale V4 and tuned the exhaust with Lambda probes and catalysts to comport to stringent Euro-5 emissions on the Panigale V4 S, but only on models bound for areas where it’s necessary. The factory managed to clean up the engine with no apparent loss in power, so it still cranks out a generous 214 horsepower at 13,000 rpm with 91.5 pound-feet of torque on tap at an even 10 grand. It’s a counter-rotating engine, so the inertial spool-up serves to pull the front end down into the tarmac for the betterment of the front contact patch, even at lower speeds where the foils are not yet effective.

An 81 mm bore and 53.5 mm stroke gives it a 1,103 cc displacement with a super-spicy, 14-to-1 compression ratio that will demand a high-octane road champagne to run properly. Each cylinder is serviced by a pair of fuel injectors for maximum atomization and effective flame-front propagation, and the induction is actively tuned through demand-driven, variable-height intake funnels that broadens the powerband, mostly downward, without sacrificing top-end performance.

To say that the electronics suite is robust would be an exercise in understatement.

The Panigale rolls with every thing but the kitchen sink, so much so that the factory claims even inexperienced riders can manage it. I have my doubts about that, and I’m positive that I would ride it way faster than my skillset can handle.

As for the gadgetry, there’s the Power Modes, lean-sensitive Traction Control, Wheelie Control, Engine Brake Control, and Ducati Slide Control come under the bundled control of the Riding Modes feature with new control profiles from which to choose for a total of four. Tune up power delivery or flatten the curve a bit as you need and/or conditions demand. Top speed is right around 205 mph.

Engine: Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, counter-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromic timing, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement: 1,103 cc
Bore x Stroke: 81 mm x 53.5 mm
Compression ratio: 14.0:1
Power: 214 hp (157.5 kW)
Torque: 91.5 lb-ft (124.0 Nm)
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies. Variable length intake system
Exhaust: 4-2-1-2 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 1.80:1
Ratio: 1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41
Clutch: Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Price

2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994451
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994461
MSRP is understandable high at $28.7k, and should prove to be a firewall for the uninitiated.

Price is understandably higher than the base model, though the actual $28,695 sticker may be a shock to riders flirting with the idea of upgrading from said base model. That $6,400 difference is significant, even at this price point, and may make the difference for a good many riders at the end of the day.

Instrumentation: Last generation digital unit with 5-inch TFT color display
Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tire calibration
Standard equipment: Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Sachs steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Auto-off indicators
Additional equipment: Passenger seat and footpegs kit
Ready for: Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft
Warranty: 24-month unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red
Price: $28,695

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Competitors

2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
- image 994462
2020 - 2021 BMW S 1000 RR
- image 837650

One stupidfast bike deserves another, so I went shopping for another race-worthy streetbike, the S 1000 RR by German giant BMW.

BMW S 1000 RR

2020 - 2021 BMW S 1000 RR
- image 837644
The base-model Panigale V4 is pricier than this Bavarian competitor, so it becomes a question of a little bit of power and a handful of electronics versus price.

Without a doubt, the S 1000 RR is [[well positioned to challenge this particular Italian stallion on just about every important metric. Performance matters, but so do looks, and this is one area where the sometimes-stodgy Beemer runs a very close second in the curb-appeal category. That’s no mean feat against a Ducati of any sort to be sure, and some may find it an arguable point, but I stand by that as a matter of personal opinion.

Windtunnel-tested bodywork is a constant across the board, as is the minimally proportioned bubblescreen, and since the RR is meant to be easily set up for race days, it comes with a similar set of hang-on gear. The front blinkers are incorporated with the mirrors, while out back, the mudguard carries the rear turn signals and license plate, all of which are designed for quick removal to get down to the target race weight.

Beemer relies on its inline four-banger to take care of business with 205 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque, figures that fall a skosh short of the 214/91.5 from the Panigale but should be considered plenty by anyone’s streetbike standard. I mean, you’ll never do either bike justice on public roads if we’re honest, so unless you plan on racing, we’re really just talking about some bragging points with that little bit of extra oomph.

BMW more or less matches Duc in the electronic suspension controls, lean-sensitive ABS, and Riding Modes features plus a stock quick-shifter, but falls to second place under the sheer weight of the electronic wizardry the Duc brings to the table.

So far, the Beemer is looking like a “close, but no cigar” kind of proposition, all the way up to the checkout where things take a dramatic turn. The S 1000 RR rolls in its stock configuration for only $16,995, a price that leaves quite a bit of money on the table. Even the base-model Panigale V4 is pricier than this Bavarian competitor, so it becomes a question of a little bit of power and a handful of electronics versus price.

Read our full review of the BMW S 1000 RR.

He Said

“Is it worth the extra money? It depends upon how you plan to use the thing. If you’re content to be a stoplight burner and interstate speed freak, it may not be worth the extra cheddar. However, if you plan on racing or just feel like you need the extra training wheels the Duc brings to the table, then you may be able to justify the extra cost. That said, she’s a sexy beast in more ways than one, and a potent platform in the right hands.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The V4 S borrows bits and bobs from its more impressive sibling, the V4 R, so you can think of the V4 S as a V4 R-lite. The two look like twins now in the bodywork department, and the V4 R-derived frame is more stiff, but with softer front springs to make for more manageable street feel and handling. The electronics package is quite robust, and while Ducati feels like even new folks can manage the bike, I still have my reservations. Still, if you can afford the price of the V4 S, you probably have enough health insurance to test that out, so have at it and enjoy. It’s a beautiful machine.”

2021 Ducati Panigale V4 S Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, counter-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromic timing, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement: 1,103 cc
Bore x Stroke: 81 mm x 53.5 mm
Compression ratio: 14.0:1
Power: 214 hp (157.5 kW)
Torque: 91.5 lb-ft (124.0 Nm)
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies. Variable length intake system
Exhaust: 4-2-1-2 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 1.80:1
Ratio: 1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41
Clutch: Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch
Chassis:
Frame: Aluminum alloy "Front Frame" with optimized stiffnesses
Front suspension/ Travel: Electronically adjustable Ø 43 mm Öhlins NIX30 event-based/4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/ : Electronically adjustable Öhlins TTX36 event-based/ 5.1 in (130 mm)
Rake: 24.5°
Trail: 3.94 in (100 mm)
Front wheel: Marchesini aluminum forged 3.50" x 17"
Rear wheel: Marchesini aluminum forged 6.00” x 17”
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17
Front brake: Dual 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema® (M4.30) 4-piston calipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper with Cornering ABS EVO
Dimensions & Capacities:
Seat height: 32.9 in (835 mm)
Wheelbase: 57.8 in (1,469 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 4.23 gallons (16 l)
Fuel Economy: (6.9 l/100km)
Dry weight: 384 lb (174 kg)
Curb weight: 430 lb (195 kg)
Number of seats: Dual seats
Maintenance: 7,500 mi (12,000 km) / 12 months
Valve clearance adjustment: 15,000 mi (24,000 km)
Standard: Euro 4
Details:
Instrumentation: Last generation digital unit with 5-inch TFT color display
Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tire calibration
Standard equipment: Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Sachs steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Auto-off indicators
Additional equipment: Passenger seat and footpegs kit
Ready for: Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft
Warranty: 24-month unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red
Price: $28,695

Further Reading

Ducati

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TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, bmwmotorcycles.com

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