The Ducati Panigale V2, a lithe sister in the Panigale family. Punchy, poised and perfect, for a track day…
I sit and gawp for a while at the Ducati Panigale V2 that has been teasingly placed in the centre of the Ducati Manchester showroom. The sunken headlights, double skin fairing and poised, pointed tail all echo the latest Panigale design theme. The V2 is guaranteed to make you question why you have to park it in your garage instead of rolling it into your living room.
Rolling away from Ducati Manchester, I felt more perched on the bike, rather than ‘in’ it, but it’s certainly not too aggressive. Having ridden in on my Ducati SuperSport S and swapped it for its lithe sister bike, I realise how smooth the Superquadro 955 is on the throttle; almost a little anticlimactic. I’m used to the big thump of my twin Akrapovic pipes rather than the Euro 5 compliant end can on the V2.
The magic happens when you open her up. You’re treated to a delicious Ducati roar whilst the power band kicks in past 8K and a steady pull to max out near 12 grand. Yes, I said power band on a twin. It pulls like a 600 with the torque to outdrive a 600. Not bad for a mere 155bhp. If you can throw a bike around well on a track day, you’d embarrass a heavier, 4 cylinder counterpart; and save money on your tyres, double win!
The corner handling is spot on. On the power, driving out on the corner exit, V2 giving its best roar, I’m genuinely grinning from ear to ear. I’ve never sat on a bike and felt so comfortable, well, hanging off. It’s an absolute track toy and the sooner I can take it to one, the better. Who needs a fuel gauge anyway? The TFT screen is perfect and far better than the utterly basic version on the SuperSport. 4.3 inches of Ducati infographics and easy access to race mode through some well designed switch gear. Job done.
Lots of bike brain in the V2 too, traction & wheelie control, up/down quick shift and cornering ABS; all controlled through a six axis inertial platform. So what? Bike brain keeps you shiny side up on the tarmac whilst you’re busy pretending to be a legend. Brakes? It has the Brembos, so it stops better than you.
Do I want one? Yes, but I’d keep it for track days. I’d throw a generous amount of carbon fibre at it for good measure and chop the pipe off. When you stop being a passenger on the V2 and earn your corners, it rewards you with juicy drive on the throttle, a few pops from the pipe and perfectly positioned handling to drop into the next set of twisties. Time to dust off those knee sliders!
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Review written and filmed by @laramoto
Ducati Panigale V2 loaned with thanks to Ducati Manchester