The Ducati V4R Superleggera will cost you £85,000

07th February 2020
Laura Thomson

Superleggera – it’s the badge of performance and authenticity for anything Italian. And with it usually comes an astronomical price tag. The latest Ducati to earn its stripes is no exception, with the 500-unit limited edition Ducati V4R Superleggera to cost €100,000 (£85,000).


Based on the award-winning and frankly exceptional 998cc V4R, it will be the lightest and most powerful road bike ever to emerge from the manufacturer’s Bologna bolthole.

Weighing just 159kg in road configuration, the V4R Superleggera will put out 224hp, making for a ground-breaking power-to-weight ratio of 1.41hp/kg. In track configuration, which includes a full Akrapovič exhaust, the weight drops to 152.2kg while power rises to 234hp – giving a ratio of 1.54hp/kg.


It’s also the first road bike to boast a full carbon frame, with the frame, subframe, swingarm and wheels achieving a 6.7kg reduction in weight over the V4R’s aluminium alloy construction.

Much of the bike is designed for optimised track use, with an 11mm lengthened swingarm providing unparalleled deceleration power and higher cornering speeds, while MotoGP-derived ‘biplane' aerofoils on the full-carbon fairing provide a downforce of 50kg at 270kph – 20kg more than the Panigale V4 and V4R manage. This helps to keep the front wheel grounded, thus improving acceleration, and also increase stability under braking.


These advanced aerodynamics are clearly working, with Ducati tester Alessandro Valia – aboard a race-specced V4R Superleggera – reportedly lapping Mugello in 1m 52.45s, less than two seconds off Michele Pirro’s 2019 Italian Motorspeed Championship-winning Panigale V4 R SBK pace.

Under the Desmosedici GP19-inspired livery-clad fairing sits Ducati’s Desmosedici Stradale R engine, lighter and more powerful than ever, with a weight saving of 2.8kg over the 1,103cc unit of the V4S. As ever, it benefits from Ducati’s dry clutch and Desmodromic timing system, the latter now manually adjusted by an expert.


Complementing the engine is Ducati’s latest-generation electronics package including EVO 2 strategies for the traction control and quickshifter.

Electronics are everything in modern machines, and once again the V4R breaks new ground in that respect, with three pre-set riding modes: Race A, Race B and Sport – and five extra modes, which can be personalised to the rider's preferred settings. Upgrades to the V4’s lap timer allows riders to record finish line and split times coordinates for five favourite circuits, which are set as default to Laguna Seca, Mugello, Jerez, Sepang and Losail.

Another Desmosedici GP20-derived tool is the ‘RaceGP’ display, which allows engine calibration for the racing exhaust and was reportedly designed with input from Andrea Dovizioso. The bike is also compatible with Ducati’s Multimedia System, facilitating phone calls and music playback.


While benefitting from the V4R’s already top-notch equipment, the Superleggera features a number of additional elements, including a lighter Öhlins suspension system comprising a pressurised fork and machined aluminium fork bottoms, a titanium shock absorber spring and GP-derived valves that improve the damping during initial compression. Range-topping Brembos also feature, with an MCS calliper featuring a remotely adjusted lever gap and Stylema R callipers.

Deliveries are due to begin in June 2020 and continue to the end of the year, with only five bikes built per day due to their sheer complexity.

With Superleggera ownership comes an exclusive package of matching leathers (at a cost), race experiences and, for 30 lucky buyers, the chance to ride a circuit on the Desmosedici GP20 as campaigned by Dovizioso and Petrucci. Better yet, servicing is no more frequent than the standard V4R, with a light service at 7,500 miles and a Desmo valve clearances service at double that.

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