Frame changer 1
One of the most dramatic changes is the ditching of the Panigale’s monocoque ‘ frameless’ design in favour of a more conventional twin-spar cast frame. Still around half the size of a normal frame, it can be seen emerging from the headstock and arcing to the rear bank of cylinders.
Emperor’s new 2 clothes
The outline, attitude, and silhouette are all unmistakeable – making it clear that Ducati want the new V4 to look like an evolution of the existing road family, not a clone of their Motogp Desmosedici. This hints that they’re unlikely to call it a Desmosedici – while it seems equally likely it won’t inherit the Panigale name, either. That instantly recognisable face has put on a few pounds, though. The front-end and flanks are noticeably more haunched and muscular than its V2 forebear, inevitable considering the near doubling of the width of the engine.
Light show 3
The headlamps and sidelights are all mounted in the air intake ports, as given away by one of the LED headlamps being illuminated (see below). It’s a clear evolution of the Panigale look. We can also see a new style of high-mounted numberplate mount, and neat small indicators mounted to the trellis subframe.
Shock move 4
The rear shock has been repositioned and it’s now nestling down behind the rider’s left ankle. It appears to be a mechanical Öhlins shock (a TTX36 is our guess). But this test mule clearly isn’t a top spec model, as the fork also bears no sign of electronic adjustment. We’d expect this to be addresses on an S model.
Exhaustive changes 5
While the engine capacity has at best remained unchanged, at worst decreased by 200cc, the increased focus on emissions means the exhaust has grown to cope. It’s clear to see two headers entering the large collector at the front, and another two at the rear. And it’s a big box. Clearly this is a road legal system.