RideFast December 2019

RobRidefast

SA's best motorcycle magazine!

If you reduce the Panigale

V2 to those thoughts though,

you do a disservice to what

Ducati has achieved with this

motorcycle because at its

core, the Ducati Panigale V2 is

a track bike for the track day

connoisseur.

The 153hp Superquadro

v-twin engine has a meaty

powerband from 9,000 rpm to

11,000 rpm that gives you a big

window of operation when it

comes not only to track riding,

but also on the street.

The torque curve is so flat,

that you actually lose the

acceleration rush that comes

from a rumbling engine finally

waking up.

This can make it a little tough

to tell where you are on the rev

range from the butt dyno, but

makes the machine very smooth

to operate, and it doesn’t try to

wheelie when ever the throttle

rotates more than one degreee.

For a criticism, that

smoothness does venture into

the subdued at points, but I would

graciously take that over the

inverse, which is part of the ethos

surrounding the Panigale V2.

As you would expect with

the six-axis IMU and the

lower horsepower engine,

the electronics really work

in concert with the machine,

thanks to the work Ducati has

made in its development with

the Panigale V4.

Because the 955cc v-twin

engine doesn’t breath the same

fire as the 1,103 V4, you see the

interventions from the traction

control and wheelie control less

often, which gives you more of

the impression that you are riding

the machine, rather than the

computer making your lap time.

“The power delivery is enough to excite,

but not overwhelm; the handling is solid

though not sharp; and the components

are sufficient but not flashy. Is this the

latest a greatest? Not quite, but its very

close…and very approachable. Most

importantly though, the Ducati Panigale

V2 is fun to ride.”

This make the two-wheeled

experience more enjoyable, and

because of the power figures,

you don’t fatigue as much on the

bike. Despite the workout that is

the Jerez circuit, with its plethora

of heavy-braking zones, the

Ducati Panigale V2 feels like a

bike I could ride all day.

Ducati has left no stone

unturned on this mild update

to the machine (let’s call it

the third-generation of the

“middleweight” Superquadro

machines), but yet the chassis

remains unchanged.

The monocoque frame on

the 959 always worked a bit

better than it did on the 1299

version, again because of the

power differences between

the machines, so this obviously

remains true.

Coupled with fully adjustable

Showa BPF forks and a Sachs

rear shock, the chassis feels

good on the track, though it

isn’t as precise in its cornering

and turning as say some of the

600cc inline-four bikes on the

market. Road-going riders might

see this as a positive trade off,

however, with the Panigale V2

more supple for canyon riding.

Riders might scuff at the

“low-spec” Brembo M4.32

calipers on the front-end of the

Panigale V2, but the braking

system put together by the

Italian brand is more than

sufficient to get the job done.

Intriguing to our eye was

the fact that Ducati has put the

a 180/60 sized rear tire on the

Panigale V2, which provides

ample grip when leaned

over, though at the cost for a

slower roll speed. It would be

interesting to see what a 180/55

option feels like on the Ducati,

and if this would help improve

the slightly sluggish handling of

the v-twin superbike.

Slightly tighter in its

ergonomics than the Panigale

V4, the bike at times does feel a

little cramped, especially from

the torso up on this 6’2” rider, but

at the end of a long day at the

track one does clearly benefit

from the 5mm thicker seat.

All-in-all, the Ducati Panigale

V2 feels like a robust package

for track riders…and it should,

since Ducati has been perfecting

this motorcycle for several

generations now.

The power delivery is enough

to excite, but not overwhelm;

the handling is solid though not

sharp; and the components are

sufficient but not flashy. Is this

the latest a greatest? Not quite,

but its very close…and very

approachable. Most importantly

though, the Ducati Panigale V2 is

fun to ride.

We spent five sessions on the

Panigale V2 (which is more than

normal at a press launch), and

I still wish Ducati had given us

more, as I wasn’t done enjoying

this bike for the day…and that’s

the true test of any motorcycle.

Yeah, But Would You Buy It

When I look at the space for this

odd segment, four bikes come

to mind. There is the Ducati

Panigale V2, obviously. But, there

is also the stout MV Agusta F3

800, the newly released Triumph

Daytona Moto2 765, and the

venerable Suzuki GSX-R750.

Despite starting this segment

so many years ago, sadly Suzuki

has yet to bring a meaningful

update to the GSX-R750, though

there have been creditable

rumors. So while it is in the

space, it is not sensible to

throw its keys into the ring as a

reasonable competitor against

the Ducati Panigale V2. The other

two bikes, however…

For the Triumph, it will be a

game of wait-and-see, as the

British brand hasn’t released

figures on pricing just yet. Rumors

peg the limited edition machine

at close to R350,000 MSRP,

however, and if that its the case,

then the Moto2-inspired machine

will have some difficulties.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 37

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines