O Rad­i­cal V4 R is ridicu­lously sim­i­lar to a WSB weapon

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2019 NEW BIKES -

This is far more than a V4 S with a re­duced ca­pac­ity to sneak in­side WSB en­gine rules. The new Pani­gale V4 R uses a 998cc vari­ant of the Stradale en­gine, with in­creased power and a lit­tle less torque, all higher in the rev range where track-dwellers thrive. Lighter in­ter­nals mean a faster-ac­cel­er­at­ing en­gine that uses the same bore as the 1103, but with a shorter stroke.

It is a heady beast though, the red­line ar­riv­ing at 16,000rpm in gears one to five, and 16,500rpm in 6th; with peak power land­ing at 15,250rpm. The claimed 217bhp is

O 998cc V4 O 217bhp / 90ftlb O 193kg (kerb) O £34,995

enough for any nor­mal hu­man, but add the af­ter­mar­ket Akrapovic, and you can stretch that out to an even more im­pres­sive 230bhp.

In a road-friendly move born out of rac­ing ne­ces­sity, the R also gets a full set of new clothes, with a taller and more sharply an­gled screen for im­proved rider pro­tec­tion, at­tached to a new nose cowl that’s higher and wider than the V4 S’s. The side fair­ings are also wider and then there are those huge tea-tray car­bon wings, too. Ducati say they are even more ef­fi­cient than the ones banned on their Mo­togp bike, and that the in­creased down­force re­duces the amount of elec­tronic in­ter­ven­tion needed; although it fea­tures ev­ery elec­tronic rider aid avail­able.

The front frame is lighter, and ma­chined dif­fer­ently to op­ti­mise flex for me­chan­i­cal grip, while the swingarm pivot is now four­po­si­tion ad­justable (in 2mm steps), too. And it gets a new gas Öh­lins NPX 25/30 fork that’s been de­vel­oped in WSB. And if you can ride it to its limit, you should be rac­ing in WSB your­self!

‘Its limit might be on an­other planet for mere mor­tals like us, but it’s smooth and easy to ride’ FAST FACTS MICHAEL NEEVES CHIEF ROAD TESTER

Red Bull isn’t the only thing that gives you wings...

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