I bought a Pani­gale V4…

Three proud Du­catisti on what it’s like to ac­tu­ally own a V4…

BIKE (UK) - - DUCATI - An­thony Charles Phillips From: Ep­som, Sur­rey Age: 49 Rid­ing for: 10 years

IWANT TO EVOLVE with Du­cati. I don’t care about de­pre­ci­a­tion be­cause I want to be right at the front with them. I’ve had an 848, 1198, 1199, 1299... and I bought this V4 as soon as pos­si­ble. The new en­gine is very dif­fer­ent to the old V-twin, but be­cause the en­gine’s 1103cc, you still have all that torque. I’d say the gear­box is far su­pe­rior, the heat is still a real is­sue, and the side­stand’s very awk­ward to use. It’s had a few re­calls, too: an ex­tra reser­voir bot­tle, an is­sue with the O-ring on the petrol tank, the clutch master cylin­der. But it’s roomier than the 1299 and it feels light to flick around. It’s sup­posed to be a track bike, but I think it’s the best road-go­ing Pani­gale for a long time. It’s done a few track­days, though. The tyres are al­ready shagged. Most of its track time has been at Sil­ver­stone, and the new sur­face is rip­ping Pirellis to bits in the heat. In fact, this is my sec­ond rear Su­per corsa. I’m an in­ter­me­di­ate track rider who likes go­ing fast out of cor­ners. I’ve had 175mph out of her down the Hangar Straight be­fore brak­ing for Stowe Cor­ner. The elec­tronic sys­tems are so good, you don’t re­alise how much power you’re putting through the tyre. You come in af­ter a ses­sion, the rear’s de­stroyed, and you think, ‘How did that hap­pen?’ It’s great be­ing here in Italy. Peo­ple keep stop­ping to check out the bike, but this colour scheme catches them out. The bike’s a stan­dard V4 with a smart wrap job, not a ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive Spe­ciale. The black in the head­lights, the mud­guards, and the white on the fair­ings: it’s a take on both the Spe­ciale and the Su­per­leg­gera. I think the stan­dard Pani­gale is a grower, not a shower. It doesn’t look beau­ti­ful un­til you start break­ing it up like this. The wrap also stops stone chips, and I can take it off and sell it as the orig­i­nal red. On our way down here we went on the Du­cati Fac­tory tour in Borgo Pani­gale, Bologna. I rock up and a guy walks over who thought he’d ac­tu­ally built my en­gine. He’s from Hol­land, and when they build the en­gine they mark the gear lever with a code – like a sig­na­ture. His is a dash, but mine’s got a dot on it. Next is a track ses­sion here at Misano to­mor­row. There’s just enough left on the rear tyre…

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