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Aerodynamic package by Ducati Corse
Co-developed by Ducati Corse and the Ducati Style Center, the new Panigale V4 2020 aerodynamics package now mirrors that of the Panigale V4 R. The result; fairings that - in true Panigale style - meet official Ducati Superbike requirements in full.
As in MotoGP, aerodynamic development involved a series of preliminary CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) studies, followed by optimisation on a full-scale wind tunnel model.
The new Panigale V4 2020 aerodynamics package includes:
Plexiglas screen, nose fairing and larger lateral fairings
More efficient lateral vents for radiator through-air Aerofoils
The new Plexiglas screen - higher and more angled - provides better airflow protection for riders, especially in the helmet and upper shoulder areas. The screen works in concert with a new nose fairing that is higher and wider (+15 mm per side) in the arm-shield zone to reduce arm and shoulder-induced drag on the straights.
The lateral fairings have been widened considerably (+38 mm per side) with the dual aim of reducing on-rider airflow impact and maximising aerofoil efficiency.
On the sides, the stylish air vents of the new Panigale V4 2020 have been replaced by more efficient ones that increase air through-speeds on water and oil radiators by 6% and 16% respectively.
The aerofoils take their cue from those on the GP16, designed before regulations led to restrictions on foil shapes. Consequently, aerofoils of the new Panigale V4 2020 are even more efficient that those currently employed in MotoGP.
These monoplane single-element foils have a trapezoidal layout and a profile that tapers from root to tip. Foil performance has been improved thanks to the insertion of the longitudinally arranged strake and the winglet which 'insulates' the airflow over its surfaces. To ensure the required strength and stiffness, aerofoils of the new Panigale V4 2020 are made of fibreglass-reinforced thermoplastic.
Working in concert with the fairing design, the aerofoils increase overall downforce (+30 kg at 270 kph). Greater downforce reduces both front wheel 'floating' at high speed and the tendency to wheel-up while giving a boost to stability during braking at the turn-in point and through the corner.
This dynamic behaviour lets riders - against a small increase in steering torque that stems from the heightened stability - lower lap times as it reduces electronic control intervention, helping riders keep the throttle open longer and brake later, even when cornering has already begun.
V4 90° layout
The new Panigale V4 2020 is powered by the 1,103 cm3 Desmosedici Stradale (banked 42° back from the horizontal), a MotoGP-derived 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, a one-of-a-kind engine featuring a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order. The engine can deliver 214 hp at 13,000 rpm and a torque of 12.6 kgm at 10,000 rpm, making for awesome road riding.
Desmo: blending tradition and the future
The new engine is designed around the Desmodromic system, a characteristic that helps make Ducati the fastest prototypes of the top racing class in motorcycle racing. With this high-rotation engine the "Desmo" achieves its maximum technical value, reaching levels of sophistication, compactness and lightness never seen before on a Ducati.
On street bikes the crankshaft rotates in the same direction as the wheels. In contrast, in MotoGP the counter-rotating crankshaft that rotates in the opposite direction is commonly used. The Desmosedici Stradale has borrowed this technical solution to compensate for part of the gyroscopic effect produced by the wheels, making the bike more agile and precise when changing directions. The counter-rotating crankshaft also generates a torque due to inertia that tends to lower the front end during acceleration, and the rear end when braking, thus reducing the wheelie phenomenon.
"Twin Pulse" firing order
Combined with the V engine layout, this particular shaft geometry allows for a special 'Twin Pulse' ignition sequence. The distinctiveness lies in the fact that the two left-hand cylinders fire closely together, as do the two right-hand ones. On the timing chart, the ignition points are, then, at 0°, 90°, 290° and 380°. This particular firing order makes the V4 sound just like the MotoGP Desmosedici.
New changes for top performances
The new Panigale V4 2020 features new, specially developed Ride by Wire system mappings with several torque delivery control settings. Track-dedicated RbW mapping aligns rider demand with delivered torque more closely, resulting in smoother, more predictable throttle response. The new torque delivery control strategy lets the rider stabilise more easily on the desired throttle aperture through and out of the corners. Additionally, linearization of torque curves in gears I, II and III varies according to the selected Power Mode to minimise stability loss during acceleration.
The Desmosedici Stradale was developed to combine racing performance with all the necessities for road use. To maximise mid-range torque - so important for the enjoyability of motorcycles on roads open to traffic - and to achieve torque and power at slower speeds, the engine has a larger displacement than the MotoGP version, specifically 1,103 cm³. It delivers a power output of more than 155 kW (210 hp) at 13,000 rpm and a maximum torque of over 120 Nm (12.2 Kgm) from 8,750 to 12,250 rpm in the Euro 4 version.
The 81 mm bore is the same as that used on the Desmosedici GP, the maximum size allowed by MotoGP regulations, and is the largest in the Supersport 4-cylinder segment. The 53.5 mm stroke is longer than the GP engine, to provide increased torque when used on the road, and reduce maximum engine rotation speed. The use of the same bore as the Desmosedici GP engine means that all the fluid dynamics, which in fact make up the heart of the engine, are also very similar in the two drive units.
The V4 90° layout makes the engine extremely compact, allowing the centring of the masses and better integration into the bike. In fact, the Desmosedici Stradale has been inserted into the vehicle with the front bank of the cylinders rotated back by 42° with respect to the horizontal plane, as on the Ducati engines competing in MotoGP.
This optimises the distribution of weight, allows for the use of more extensive radiators and makes it possible to shift the swinging arm pivot forwards. Its architecture also generates a natural balancing of first-order forces, without the gain in weight and loss of power of a balance shaft.
Variable height intake funnels optimise cylinder filling at all rotation speeds with important benefits in terms of power and rideability. The fuel supply system is thus completed by oval throttle bodies, each with two injectors: one below the throttle and the other above.
Starting from the Desmosedici GP engine, the manufacturing technologies, the materials and the auxiliary components layouts have been modified to achieve the required road durability, achieving standard maintenance intervals of 24,000 km (Desmo Service), Euro 4 homologation and high production capacity.
Chassis and Ergonomics
Front Frame with Ducati Corse specifications
The Front Frame is now the same as the one on the V4 R but differs slightly on account of the lighter, machined sides; these ensure attainment of the stiffness targets set by Ducati Corse for the SBK championship and reduce weight even further.
Greater frame flexibility means less on-track tyre stress and improved front-end 'feel' at maximum lean angles.
Completing the chassis is the light magnesium front sub-frame and the shell-cast aluminium seat sub-frame (attached to the Front Frame at the top and bolted to the head of the rear cylinder bank below).
Higher barycentre and increased chain pull angle
The fork mounting has been lowered 4 mm, while the suspension now has two link rods that are shorter by 5 mm. These changes have resulted in a 5 mm higher bike barycentre. The result? The bike is swifter at the drop-in and arrives at the apex faster.
A higher rear end also increases the chain pull angle: this results in an anti-squat effect and, therefore, greater bike stability during acceleration.
With a 24.5° rake and 100 mm trail, steering geometry remains unchanged.
Improved bike balance
The new Panigale V4 2020 is equipped with a 43 mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) that provides fully adjustable spring pre-load and compression and rebound damping. The fork bodies house chrome sliders with Brembo radial caliper mountings. A Sachs steering damper completes the front-end package. At the rear there is a fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber, one side of which is attached to the Desmosedici Stradale engine via a forged aluminium bracket.
The new Panigale V4 S 2020, instead, mounts an Öhlins NIX-30 fork, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber and an Öhlins event-based steering damper. On this version suspension and steering damper are controlled by the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system which, among other things, features the new OBTi (Objective Based Tuning Interface).
On both versions, fork and single-sided swingarm have softer, less pre-loaded springs, resulting in more efficient use of suspension travel to even out pits and ripples on the asphalt. The combination of reduced fork stiffness and higher pre-loading gives better dive control during braking, resulting in easier, more intuitive turn-ins, especially for the less expert rider.
Latest-generation electronic controls
The new Panigale V4 2020 features a latest-generation electronics package based on a 6-axis inertial platform which instantly detects the bike's roll, yaw and pitch angles.
The electronics package oversees every aspect of the ride: some controls supervise start, acceleration and braking, others govern traction and others again lend a helping hand on corners and out-of-the-corner stretches.
ABS Cornering EVO
Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 3
Ducati Slide Control (DSC)
Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO
Ducati Power Launch (DPL)
Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS) EVO 2
Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO
Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) EVO
The Panigale V4 for 2021 features a new Riding Mode strategy that allows the rider to make quick comparisons between two different configurations on the track to define the best set-up. Riders can personalise parameters to suit their riding style or restore Ducati factory settings. DTC, DWC, DSC or EBC control levels can be adjusted quickly via the left switchgear.
New Ducati Riding Mode strategy
The Panigale V4 for 2021 features a new Riding Mode strategy that allows the rider to make quick comparisons between two different configurations on the track to define the best set-up. The Race Riding Mode has been split into two specific mappings for track use (Race A and Race B), now freely comparable in the individual parameters, which complement the already existing Sport and Street.
The Riding Modes allow you to choose between four different pre-set riding styles to offer the Panigale V4 behaviour that is perfectly adaptable to the rider, the type of track and the environmental conditions. Each Riding Mode is programmed to instantly change the character of the engine, the parameters of the electronic controls and, in the “S” version, also the suspension setting. Obviously, the rider is given the opportunity to customize his own riding styles and to subsequently restore the parameters set by Ducati.
Riding Mode Race A - Race A riding mode in its default configuration was developed for experienced riders who want to exploit the full potential of the bike on the track. By selecting Race A, the rider can count on all the engine power with direct ride-by-wire response when the throttle is opened. Race A mode provides for an electronics setting aimed at achieving maximum performance on tracks with consistent asphalt and high grip, without decreasing the level of safety, with the ABS intervening only on the front wheel to offer maximum braking performance, but with the Cornering feature always active. The DES system adjustments, on the “S” version, are set up with a high contribution of dynamic control in the acceleration and braking phases to ensure stability and precision even in the most forced manoeuvres.
Riding Mode Race B - by selecting the Riding Mode Race B the rider can count on all the engine power but with reduced torque delivery in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear compared to Race A, in order to make the bike more manageable during long sessions on the track, on circuits with characteristics that favour cornering rather than strong acceleration or characterized by irregular or low-grip surfaces. The electronic controls are set up in such a way as to allow even less experienced riders an effective and spectacular riding style. The DES system adjustments guarantee riding safety and high levels of grip even on bumpy or slippery conditions.
Sport Riding Mode - Selecting Sport gives the rider 214 hp, with direct sport-style Ride by Wire throttle response and, on the S version, a sport style suspension set-up. Electronic control settings allow even less experienced riders to enjoy effective, spectacular handling. In Sport mode, for example, the Slide by Brake function is engaged, allowing riders to drift into corners safely. Rear wheel lift detection during braking is on and the ABS Cornering function is set to maximise cornering performance.
Street Riding Mode - Street Riding Mode is recommended when riding the Panigale V4 on the streets. As with Sport Riding Mode, this RM gives the rider 214 hp and progressive Ride by Wire throttle response; on the Panigale V4 S version it features a suspension set-up that is well suited to bumpy or pitted roads. Electronic control settings ensure grip and stability to maximise safety.