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Ducati Superleggera V4 rolls off the production line

Nizam Shaikh
Written by Nizam Shaikh

The first Ducati Superleggera V4 has rolled off the production line at Ducati’s Borgo Panigale production line in Italy. The brand revealed the Superleggera V4 in February 2020 and regular readers would know that the Bologna headquartered premium superbike manufacturer had announced that the Superleggera V4 is scheduled for delivery in June 2020. Codenamed ‘Project 1708’ the Ducati Superleggera V4 is based on the Ducati V4R Superbike and will be produced with a limited-run of just 500 units worldwide. 

The Superleggera V4, as the name suggests, literally translates to ‘Super Light’ and Ducati has painstakingly chased every single gram to bring the weight down to 159 kg which is 16 kg less than the Panigale V4 and by mounting the Racing kit supplied with the bike the weight drops down further to 152.2 kgs.

The motorcycle has been lightened using the entire load-bearing structure of the chassis, subframe, swingarm and rims, made out of composite carbon fibre and is the only motorcycle in the world to have been approved for road use with these components. Ducati employs various techniques borrowed from the aerospace industry, such as thermography, ultrasound checks and tomography to ensure every part is flawless and safe for road use.

At its heart, the Ducati Superleggera V4 is powered by a Desmosedici Stradale R 90-degree V-4-cylinder 998cc liquid-cooled engine with a lightened counter-rotating crankshaft and a Desmodromic Valve system ‘Hand-Set’ by Ducati technician who then signs the rear cylinder bank with his name. The engine features a full ride-by-wire electronic fuel injection system with elliptical throttle bodies, aerodynamic valves and variable-length intakes that develops 224 Hp of power, EU Homologation Value in Road configuration, and 234 Hp of power when equipped with a type-approved Akrapovič racing exhaust system. 

The lightweight Desmosedici Stradale R engine generates 116 Nm as standard and 119 Nm of torque in race configuration. The powerplant comes with a 6-speed transmission laced with Ducati Quick Shift EVO2 (DQS) up/down quickshifter and a hydraulically operated dry slipper clutch. The Superleggera V4 is also equipped with an impressive electronics package that includes three riding modes – Race A, Race B and Sport. Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Ducati Slide Control, Engine Braking Control, a GPS module, Lap Timer EVO 2, Pit Limiter, Ducati Data Acquisition DDA2 and a “RaceGP” dashboard derived from the Desmosedici GP20 dashboard designed for Andrea Dovizioso, intended for race use. 

The Superleggera also benefits from high-performance mechanical parts such as fully adjustable Titanium Nitride (TiN) coated 43mm Ohlins NPX25/30 pressurised fork on the front and a fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 with GP valve and Titanium spring mounted to the Carbon Fibre single-sided swingarm on the rear along with twin 330mm discs with Brembo callipers on the front and a single 245mm disc with Brembo callipers on the rear equipped with an MCS radial-pump and cornering ABS system (ABS EVO).

The Ducati Superleggera also features aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork, race-style windscreen, full LED headlights and tail lights with integrated LED daytime running lights, high-flow air filter, a light-weight Lithium-Ion battery, an Ohlins steering damper, a carbon fibre bi-plane wing based on the Desmosedici GP16 MotoGP bike which claims to provide 50kg of downforce at 270 kmph, 20 kg more than the wings on the MY20 Panigale V4 & V4R, and helps the rider to keep the front end down with less intrusion from the electronic system.

The purchase experience includes the possibility of personalizing the riding leathers with airbags from the “SuMisura Ducati” line, as well as completing the look with a carbon helmet, replicating the colours and graphics of the Superleggera V4. The motorcycle also carries the individual (XXX/500) number coinciding with the chassis number, inscribed on the steering head, and on the ignition key, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. 

Each motorcycle is also equipped with a Racing kit which includes a full system exhaust from Akrapovič for racing track use in titanium, carbon fibre open clutch cover, Ducati Data Analyzer + GPS (DDA + GPS), headlamp and light replacement kit, brake lever protection, mirror replacement aluminium caps, racing fuel cap, side stand removal kit,  swingarm cover in carbon fibre with titanium “slider”, license plate holder removal kit, motorcycle cover, battery charger and front and rear stand.

The Ducati Superleggera V4 is supplied in a specially designed wooden crate made for transporting the masterpiece and its kit. The owner also receives a sculptural reproduction of the Superleggera V4 in 1:10 scale, personalised with the motorbike number, a true collector’s item.  

Ducati has invited the owner of the Superleggera V4 001/500 to Borgo Panigale to take the delivery personally from Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicali. Ducati has also offered all the Superleggera V4 customers to test the “Official” Panigale V4 R of the SBK World Championship and a chance to purchase access to the “MotoGP Experience and ride the Desmosedici GP, which is indeed a Dream for all motorheads.