Ducati Panigale V4 Sp2

Best Review : New Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 2023

Without the homologated-only Ducati Panigale V4 R in the 2022 range, Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 falls below only the very expensive Superleggera V4 in the company’s superbike lineup – combining exotic materials, livery-inspired paint and an electronically oriented Ducati Corse pre-season test track. with the latest updates applied to the more mainstream models.

Since Ducati is reviving the ‘SP’ branding on the 2021 Ducati Panigale V4, bringing back terms familiar on previous superbikes like the 851 and 916, it’s clear that the door is open to developing the engine with the SP2 version, although few would have predicted that it would appear just a year after its original launch. .

The SP2’s early arrival was driven by the fact that the bike on which it is based, the normal Ducati Panigale V4, has been given subtle but significant upgrades this year, creating a situation where the cheaper model is more powerful than the SP and features more performance. -date styling. We tested the old and new Panigale respectively and found the new model almost a second faster than the previous model.

Changes on that front include a reshaped fuel tank, like on the base 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 but finished in bare aluminum to contrast with the black and red ‘Winter Test’ graphics, plus redesigned seats to improve ergonomics. The winglet – slimmer than before to reduce drag but without losing downforce – is made of carbon fiber, as are the front fenders and both wheels, saving 1.4kg in rotation, unaltered mass even compared to the forged alloys on the Ducati Panigale V4 S. Rims these, identical to those on the original SP, reduce front inertia by 26% and rear by 46% compared to forged aluminum S wheels. The Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 is like the standard 2022 Ducati Panigale  V4, the lower fairing has also been redesigned, with the addition of cooling gills.

 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 Is Comfort and economy

The updated seat and tank profiles of all 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 models mean the ergonomics of the new SP2 should be a step ahead of the original, and like its predecessor, it also benefits from a Rizoma billet alloy rearset that can be mounted in a variety of suitable positions. your size, preference and how much cornering clearance you need.

The pegs also promise to provide better grip than regular ones, as well as match the billet top yoke that sets the SP2 apart from the cheaper Panigales. The top yoke is engraved with the bike’s sequential production number, although Ducati has not currently set a limit on how many will be made.

Given the fact that the engine is identical to the stock Ducati Panigale V4, the economy of the SP2 is not expected to change from that model, which tops out at 37mpg.

This is a track only test, but I have driven the now ‘old’ SP on the road. The dry clutch is heavier than standard, but is only needed when you are stopping or walking as clutchless quickshifter replacement is easy. The electronic suspension and driver aids can be adjusted for road riding and softened accordingly, not to mention the adjustable Rizoma pegs that can be repositioned for a more spacious riding position. Ducati calls the SP2 the ‘Best Racetrack Machine’ but some changes to the SP2 above standard will benefit road users. And I’m sure some will be ridden on the road, simply because their owners want them to be seen. And why not!

2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2

Power and torque

In line with the standard 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 and V4 S, the new SP2 gets a 1.5hp boost for a maximum of 215.5hp at 13,000rpm, with a maximum torque of 91.2lbft at 9500rpm, though as usual Ducati’s measurements are at a slightly smaller metric horse. than our braver empire. Using more archaic measurements, the 2022 bike makes 212.5hp, up from 211hp, although if you’re tall enough to see the difference, you should probably apply for the position of riding the WSBK Ducati Panigale rather than the road one.

Engine, gearbox, and exhaust

The SP2 engine is identical to the standard 2022 Ducati Panigale V4, complete with four driving modes – Street, Sport, Race A and Race B – but as with the previous Ducati Panigale V4 SP, it is driven through the STM-EVO dry slipper clutch, which is designed to improve engine performance. braking behavior, and reduce the possibility of locking the rear wheels. You can even order different secondary clutch springs from the accessory catalog to match the mechanical elements of the engine braking characteristics.

The gearbox is from the stock Ducati Panigale, but the SP2’s final drive is via the lighter 520 chain, with custom sprockets to match.

While there are no changes to the exhaust system, there is an optional Akrapovic titanium pipe, for track use only, with twin high-level dampers. This boosts power to 228hp (or 225 imperial horses), as well as cutting 5kg off the SP2’s weight to bring it down to a very low 168kg (dry). Wet, it equates to 189kg.

The sound of a dry clutch, complete with cover opening without dampers, echoing from the garage at Misano (and doing so just 12 hours after the WSBK team emptied the pitlane) is a dream. There aren’t many bikes to catch the eye, but the SP2 is definitely one of them.

Ducati has always made its SPs truly special – from the 851 to the V4 Ducati Panigale they are the poster bike for every generation of Ducati superbikes – and this new V4 SP2 has made my heart beat faster than it should. Clutch in (lever action slightly heavier than standard), down in shifter (which can be easily moved to racing shifts), rear foot on Rizoma aluminum multi-adjustment toe pegs, complete with carbon heel guard, clutch out… and we’re off , headed for pit lane on preheated Pirelli tires. Quickly look over my shoulder, let’s go.

Given the compact nature of this test, there’s no time to warm up, so it’s straight to the hot loop. The Panigale can stretch its legs for the first time on a straight back, and even when you don’t fully get up to speed and uphill well before the red line at around 12,000rpm, it’s still very fast. I’ve said this before but it takes a while to recalibrate to drive any Ducati Panigale V4.

I’ve opted for the Race B mode – a moderate heat engine, if you prefer – with limited torque in lower gear. The power delivery is identical to the standard model, which I’ve ridden extensively in the past and I think this mode is the best fit for the way I ride.

Race A and full power was a little too aggressive, especially on a 36-degree heat day at Misano. Some super sharp track specialists may disagree and want more power, and this can be achieved by installing an Akrapovic exhaust system, but the standard power output is more than adequate, even on fast tracks like Misano. On most British circuits, it’s like flying a fighter jet around a supermarket parking lot.

Our tests were carried out on the day of the Pirelli track directly after the WSBK lap. The ‘pro’ group is mostly 1000cc race bikes with custom gearing, but the Panigale SP2 has no problem keeping up, occasionally escaping the slipstream and sprinting past it. Even when you’re tired, you can lazily square off, regain that massive power and drive through slower traffic without having to push hard around corners.

Dance with the smooth clutchless quickshifter, get incredible spin, and make a stunning SP2. Now, with lighter wheels, the SP2 accelerates even faster – so much so that Ducati was forced to recalibrate its excellent electronic rider aid. The straight-line speed isn’t a huge jump over the standard V4S (as when comparing the Streetfighter SP to a standard bike) but it’s noticeable when you ride both bikes in quick succession. Some might expect more power from the SP2 but, unless you’re Alvaro Bautista, it’s not necessary.

Handling, suspension, and weight

Like on the 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 S, the SP2 gets an updated suspension with NPX25/30 hlins forks instead of the previous NIX-30, while the rear shock still sports the ubiquitous TTX36. Both, as well as the hlins steering damper, are connected to the second generation hlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic control system.

Despite the carbon fiber ties, the weight savings on the SP2 aren’t as great as you might think. That reflects more on how light the Ducati Panigale V4 S is than a critique of the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2.

At 173kg dry, the SP2 weighs the same as the original SP and is only 1kg lighter than the V4 S. Wet, that means we can expect it to come in at 194kg (although many track-focused SP2 buyers will definitely opt for the Akrapovic exhaust mentioned above). above to deduct another 5kg of that total).

On paper, the difference isn’t that big, and the gap between the SP2 and the standard V4 S isn’t as significant as the difference between the Streetfighter V4 SP and Streetfighter V4 S, which proves to be only about two seconds. We didn’t have the Misano track solely to use in this test, but in successive private tests, Ducati test rider Alessandro Valia was one second faster. Since the Ducati Panigale V4 S and Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 use the same engine, the difference in lap times is purely due to handling.

Honestly, it’s hard to criticize the standard V4 S. Ducati’s recent improvements have made significant improvements, but changes to the SP2 put this Ducati Panigale on another level. The turning speed, especially during rapid changes in direction, and the accuracy of the lines make this bike first class.

In the very fast and scary fourth and fifth gear laps towards the end of the lap, I felt I could bring more speed in the corners every time. The SP2 pings from the curb apex to exit the curb and back to the curb apex with such precision that it is no more than a few millimeters different each lap, despite doing over 150mph.

Misano’s first part is very technical, and it’s all about cutting the faux crest, letting the bike drift wide, then pulling it back to the right angle. A clean exit is essential and no more than a turn six. Again, the SP2 is noticeably more manageable than the Ducati Panigale V4 S; I can let it flow and hit the pavement at the exit with confidence. The Ducati Panigale V4 S wasn’t hard work, far from it, but after a 20-minute session of chasing a race bike in the sweltering heat of Italy, I had more to spare in the SP2. With a little effort, I was able to spin at the same speed, and most of the credit goes to those lighter wheels.

It’s also worth mentioning the adjustable pegs which, in the position I chose, sit a little higher than standard. The increased clearance allowed me to carry a bit more cornering speed as it kept my toes away from the Tarmac when I was too tired to get out of the way. The grip and feel of the pegs are also improved from standard; now you can actually push the pegs with confidence because it feels like your toes are pinched like bicycle clips.


Like its predecessor, the SP2 uses Brembo Stylema R 4-piston radial front brake calipers that grip 330mm discs and are supported by Bosch cornering ABS Evo. The remotely adjustable Brembo MCS 19.21 master cylinder provides control over it.

At the rear, there are 245mm discs with 2-pot calipers, again with cornering ABS.

I don’t think there will be much difference between the upgraded Brembo Stylema R stoppers given that the Brembo Stylema V4 S item is so powerful. But there is a stark difference, which may be partly due to the lighter carbon wheels.

Despite riding a lot of laps in SP2, I still braked too early; it’s hard to make your brain understand how good the R brakes are, especially when backed up by excellent electronics. The standard Ducati Panigale V4 S stopper was inconsistent, but the R stopper felt identical on every lap, the pressure and stopping power required was exactly the same on lap one and lap 15, despite the scorching heat and punishment.

There’s a lovely feel to it and the one-to-one connection with the stopper and remote control is a nice touch. I prefer the lever close to the bar and easy to adjust when out of pit lane. Even on high-speed tracks, you can easily adjust the lever with your left hand while still accelerating on the throttle with your right.

Rider aids, extra equipment, and accessories

Ducati has long been a leader in rider assistance, and while the Ducati Panigale SP2’s setup is largely the same as the original SP’s, it’s still right on the cutting edge of that technology.

You can expect to find riding mode, power mode, Bosch Cornering ABS Evo, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) Evo 3, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) Evo, Ducati Slide Control (DSC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC) Evo among riders. . assists, as well as the Ducati Power Launch (DPL) and Ducati Quick Shift (DPS) up/down Evo 2.

All of that is controlled via the same TFT display used on the standard 2022 Ducati Panigale, which adds a ‘Track Evo’ display mode to give more indications. good about how driver aids are set up and work.

The SP2 also gets a GPS-based Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) as standard to help you improve your own performance on the track, as well as an open cover for the dry clutch and a cover for the license plate bracket and mirror holes when the parts are installed. removed for circuit use.

The electronics are the same as the V4 and V4 S but recalibrated to keep up with the bike accelerating and decelerating faster.

The SP2 does come equipped with a GPS module unit as standard, housed in a single rear seat, which means it can accurately track your lap times and display each lap very clearly using the Track Evo display, which is derived from the one used in MotoGP. Lap times appear at the same point each lap, and once you’re back in the pits, you can flip through the screens to compare your best lap times. Constantly chasing lap times, using rider assistance to boost your performance turns SP2 into an arcade game, even if it’s fast, expensive, and physical.

The electronic aids and riders at the Ducati Panigale , as always, have been phenomenal. In Race B mode you can feel the anti-wheelie holding you back a bit, but every other rider assist is just doing its business in the background. Once you learn to trust the driver’s aids, to gain power faster and brake slower, it’s almost funny what you can avoid. Sure, there’s impressive mechanical grip from Pirelli tires, but when you’re tired or lazy and let the rider assistance do all the work, it’s like riding with the WSBK rider on your shoulder telling you what to do.

Driver aids are easy to change and change. Race B worked perfectly for me; on fairly flat tracks like Misano where you also rarely use first gear, wheelie control is easier. I’d add a little more sliding control at the end of the day as the Pirellis grip drops, but I enjoyed the movement and feel of the rider assist. The electronics are just some of the best you will find on the market and are impossible to fault.

SP2 comes with a box full of items, which cannot be used for the road. The mirror and license plate blank are there to create a neat finish when you remove the license plate and rearview mirror for the track. You also get an open clutch cover fitted to our test bike, which isn’t Euro-5 but sounds fantastic.

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