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First Look: The 225 HP Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 Is a Carbon-Fiber Catapult in the Form of a Superbike

The new $39,500 model variant now gives Ducati the largest offering of superbikes available today.

The 225 Hp Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 superbike. Photo by Matteo Cavadini, courtesy of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

Ducati has unveiled its first new release for 2023, the gorgeous Panigale V4 SP2. Aimed at the track rider, the model brings back the SP (Sport Production) moniker made famous by Ducati’s legendary 888, 916 and 1198 variants, a name that should take the rider’s mind squarely to the nearest circuit rather than canyon.

Based on the Panigale V4 S, the new V4 SP2 retains the Desmosedici Stradale V4 motor that pumps out 225 hp when fitted with the titanium race exhaust, which you’d have to imagine all of them will be, and delivers 96 ft lbs of torque. The bike is priced at $39,500 and delivered only in the special all-black Winter Test livery normally associated with Ducati’s factory racing machines from MotoGP and WorldSBK. The V4 SP2 is differentiated from the V4 S by way of copious amounts of carbon fiber which help drop nearly nine pounds, contributing to and overall weight of 429 pounds with a full 4.49-gallon tank of gas.

The 225 Hp Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 superbike.

The 225 Hp Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 superbike.  Photo by Giovanni De Sandre, courtesy of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

Most notably, carbon fiber has been used for the wheels, helping drop unsprung weight considerably and giving the bike added agility in direction changes (not to mention less rotating mass to have to accelerate and slow down). There’s also an STM Racing dry clutch, remote front-brake adjuster—just like the WorldSBK machines—and a 520 racing-chain conversion.

The rider's perspective on the 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 superbike.

The rider’s perspective on the Panigale V4 SP2.  Photo by Giovanni De Sandre, courtesy of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

Being an SP model, there’s no accommodation for a passenger, so the single seat should help give an indication of the machine’s natural habitat. Interestingly, Ducati has still chosen to fit the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based electronic suspension to the SP2, as opposed to gracing it with the traditional manual suspension found on the race-ready V4 R. But the Öhlins electronic system operates a top-spec NPX25/30 pressurized fork and TTX36 shock, so the hardware is never in doubt.

The single-seat configuration on the 225 Hp Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 superbike.

The single-seat configuration underlines the bike’s track focus.  Photo by Giovanni De Sandre, courtesy of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

The arrival of the V4 SP2 makes the Panigale family now six bikes strong, a line that also comprises the Panigale V2, V2 Bayliss, V4, V4 S, V4 R. Throw in the chart-topping Superleggera V4 and that makes for the largest offering of superbikes available from any manufacturer today.

If you’d like a V4 SP2 in your garage, pre-orders will start to be accepted in the third quarter of 2022, with the bikes coming stateside by the end of the year.

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