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RideFast Magazine March 2020

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All the NEWS proudly

All the NEWS proudly brought to you by HJC HELMETS POWER-TO-WEIGHT JUGGERNAUT DUCATI’S WILD, WINGED SUPERLEGGERA V4 One horsepower per kilogram: it’s the kind of power-to-weight ratio you only see in the world’s most exclusive multi-million dollar hypercars. But at 231 hp and 152 kg, the Ducati Superleggera V4 absolutely obliterates that figure, making 1.54 hp/kg. This, mind you, is with a fancy racing kit and its titanium Akrapovic exhaust fitted. Out of the box (although the racing kit does come in the box), you’ll have to make do with a paltry 221 fully road-legal horsepower and a positively corpulent 159 kg. Thumbing through the regulations for World Superbike production-based racing, it appears the rules require WSBK bikes to weigh at least 168 kg. So there’s a genuine chance this one might not stick to the ground, and could float you away over the treetops. Superleggera is Italian for “Reallylight,” and Ducati has used this designation before for specialedition superbikes that are tuned to the eyeballs and shaved to the last gram for weight savings. This new V4 would instantly become the #1 machine kids would pin up on their bedroom walls, if touchscreens hadn’t been invented and kids gave a single, solitary toss about motorcycles any more. The entire load-bearing structure of the chassis is made from carbon or composites – the frame, the subframe, the wheels ... even the swingarm is an elaborate carbon construction that looks like you could pick it up with one finger. All the bodywork is carbon, too, much of it finished raw so you can see the weave. At this point, we have to discuss the hideous wings sprouting from the side fairings. Ducati calls them “biplane airfoils” and proudly boasts they give you 50 kg of downforce at 270 km/h, helping to keep the nose down under high-speed acceleration, and 6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MARCH 2020

ENGINE 998CC Desmo Stradale 90º V4, 4 valves per cylinder, LC POWER 224 HP @ 15,250RPM TORQUE 116 NM @ 11,750RPM WEIGHT 159 DRY WEIGHT KG squashing the front wheel down for extra traction when you’re braking at the end of a straight. Fine, if you’re riding this thing on the track, keep the wings on. On the road, they just make a beautiful bike look profoundly silly, and they don’t even look like you could rest your legs on them on the highway. The motor is the Desmosedici Stradale V4 R – the 998cc one instead of the 1,103cc unit that graces the standard Panigale. Why? It weighs less. It doesn’t seem to be lacking in power, either. And yes, that’s an open clutch cover. This thing will rattle like a tambourine at idle, like all Ducatis should. You wouldn’t expect Ducati to skimp on chassis componentry, so the combination of top-shelf Brembo and Ohlins gear is no surprise. Brakes are exclusive variants of the Stylema R series, and the suspension “The new Ducati Superleggera V4 is one of the most outrageous production motorcycles in history.” RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 7