NEW Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 Review 2022

 

With no homologation-special Panigale V4 R in the 2022 range Ducati’s new Panigale V4 SP2 sits below only the uber-expensive Superleggera V4 in the company’s superbike line-up – combining exotic materials, paintwork inspired by Ducati Corse’s pre-season test livery and track-oriented electronics with the latest updates applied to the more mainstream models.

Ever since Ducati revived the ‘SP’ branding on the 2021 Panigale V4, bringing back a term that was familiar on earlier superbikes like the 851 and 916, it was clear that the door was open to evolve the machine with an SP2 version, although few would have predicted that it would appear just a year after the original’s launch.

The SP2’s early arrival is driven by the fact that the bike it’s based on, the normal Panigale V4, has been given subtle but significant improvements this year, creating a situation where the cheaper model was more powerful than the SP and featured more up-to-date styling.

Changes on that front include a reshaped fuel tank, as on the base 2022 Panigale V4 but finished in bare aluminium to contrast with the black and red ‘Winter Test’ graphics, plus a redesigned seat to improve ergonomics. The winglets – slimmer than before to reduce drag but with no loss in downforce – are carbon-fibre, as is the front mudguard and both wheels, saving 1.4kg in rotating, unsprung mass compared to even the forged alloys on the Panigale V4 S. These rims, identical to those on the original SP, reduce front inertia by 26% and rear by 46% compared to the forged aluminium S wheels.

Like the standard 2022 Panigale V4, the lower fairing is also redesigned, with additional cooling gills added.

 

For and against
  • ‘Winter Test’ graphics leave no doubt that the SP2 is something special
  • Carbon-fibre wheels make for genuine improvement over lower-spec models
  • SP2 name is dripping with heritage, so resale value is likely to be strong
  • Changes aren’t that significant compared to the previous Panigale V4 SP
  • Buyers of the first-generation bike might feel short-changed by updates coming so soon
  • Hefty price premium over the Panigale V4 and V4 S
New Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 | The Beauty of Speed

The MotoGP-derived 1,103 cm3 Desmosedici Stradale: an improved V4 with a counter-rotating crankshaft, robust torque from low revs, capable of expressing the pure racing spirit of the bike on the track.

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 2022 Review Price Spec_66

 

Power and torque

In line with the standard 2022 Panigale V4 and V4 S the new SP2 gets a 1.5hp boost for a maximum of 215.5hp at 13,000rpm, with max torque of 91.2lbft at 9500rpm, although as usual Ducati’s measurements are in the slightly smaller metric horses rather than our brawnier imperial ones. Using the more old-fashioned measurement, the 2022 bike makes 212.5hp, up from 211hp, although if your ability is high enough to spot that difference you should probably apply for a position riding a WSBK Panigale rather than a road-going one.

 

 

Engine, gearbox, and exhaust

The SP2’s engine is identical to the standard 2022 Panigale V4’s, complete with four riding modes – Street, Sport, Race A and Race B – but as on the previous SP it drives through an STM-EVO dry slipper clutch, designed to improve engine-braking behaviour, and reduce the chance of locking the rear wheel. You can even order different secondary clutch springs from the accessories catalogue to tailor the mechanical element of the engine braking characteristics.

The gearbox is from the stock Panigale, but the SP2’s final drive is through a lighter 520 chain, with specific sprockets to match.

Although there’s no change to the exhaust system there’s an optional titanium Akrapovič pipe, for track use only, with twin high-level silencers. It bumps the power up to 228hp (or 225 imperial horses), as well as slicing 5kg off the SP2’s weight to bring it to a remarkably low 168kg (dry). Wet, that should equate to 189kg.

 

 

Handling, suspension, and weight

As on the 2022 Panigale V4 S, the SP2 gets updated suspension with Öhlins NPX25/30 forks instead of the previous NIX-30, while the rear shock is still the ubiquitous TTX36. Both, as well as the Öhlins steering damper, are connected to the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic control system.

Despite the lashings of carbon fibre, the weight savings on the SP2 aren’t as great as you might imaging. That’s more reflective of how impressively light the Panigale V4 S is than a criticism of the SP2, though.

At 173kg dry, the SP2 weighs the same as the original SP and is just 1kg lighter than the V4 S. Wet, that means we can expect it to come in at 194kg (although many buyers of the track focused SP2 are sure to opt for the aforementioned Akrapovič exhaust to slice another 5kg off that total).

 

 

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (2022) Comfort and economy

The updated seat and tank profile of all 2022 Panigale V4 models means the new SP2’s ergonomics should be a step forward from the original version, and like its predecessor it also benefits from Rizoma billet alloy rearsets that can be fitted in a variety of positions to suit your size, preferences and how much cornering clearance you need.

Those pegs also promise to give better grip than the stock ones, as well as matching the billet top yoke that sets the SP2 aside from cheaper Panigales. That top yoke is etched with the bike’s sequential production number, even though Ducati hasn’t currently set a limit on how many will be made.

Given the fact that the engine is identical to the stock Panigale V4, the SP2’s economy is expected to be unchanged from that model, which is rated to achieve 37mpg.

 

Brakes

Like its predecessor, the SP2 uses Brembo Stylema R 4-piston radial front brake calipers gripping 330mm discs and backed up by Bosch cornering ABS Evo. A remote-adjustable Brembo MCS 19.21 master cylinder provides control over them.

At the back, there’s a 245mm disc with a 2-pot caliper, again with cornering ABS.

 

 

Rider aids, extra equipment, and accessories

Ducati has long been a leader in rider aids, and while the Panigale SP2’s setup is largely the same as the original SP it’s still right at the cutting edge of such tech.

You can expect to find riding modes, power modes, Bosch Cornering ABS Evo, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) Evo 3, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) Evo, Ducati Slide Control (DSC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC) Evo among the rider aids, as well as Ducati Power Launch (DPL) and Ducati Quick Shift (DPS) up/down Evo 2. All that is controlled via the same upgraded TFT display used on the standard 2022 Panigale, which adds a ‘Track Evo’ display mode to give better indication of how the rider aids are set up and working.

The SP2 also gets the GPS-based Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) as standard to help you improve your own performance on track, as well as an open cover for the dry clutch and covers for the licence plate bracket and mirror holes when those parts are removed for circuit use.

 

Rivals

With a price in the mid-£30,000s the SP2 sits above most superbikes – even the higher-spec models – but Ducati has a long history of finding buyers for this sort of machine so they’re sure to be in demand.

Since the SP2 is intended for track use, its rivals even extend to non-road-legal machines like Kawasaki’s £49,000 Ninja H2R, although buyers are likely to consider the high-end superbikes from the likes of Aprilia, Honda, and BMW as alternatives, too.

 

Here’s a high-level comparison chart:

Make/model

Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1100

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 30th Ann'y

Kawasaki H2R

BMW M1000RR

Engine

1099cc, 65-degree V4

999.9cc inline four

998cc supercharged inline four

999cc inline four

Power

217hp @13,000rpm

214.6hp @14,500rpm

306hp @14,000rpm

212hp @14,500rpm

Torque

92lbft @10,500rpm

83.3lbft @12,500rpm

121.7lbft @12,500rpm

83.3lbft @11,000rpm

Weight

202kg (wet)

201kg (wet)

216kg (wet)

192kg (wet)

Seat Height

845mm

830mm

830mm

832mm

Price

£23,000

£23,999

£49,000

£30,640

 

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 2022 Review Price Spec_52

 

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (2022) Verdict

We loved last year’s Panigale V4 SP and found those carbon wheels really do make a difference – so given the fact that the SP2 shares the improvements given to the 2022 Panigale V4 S, hopes are high for the new model.

Since the V4 S is now an easier machine to ride on track than its predecessor, the SP2 will surely be even more impressive. Watch this space to see our first riding impressions as soon as we can swing a leg over one.

 

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (2022) Technical Specification

New price

£TBA

Capacity

1103cc

Bore x Stroke

81 x 53.5mm

Engine layout

V4

Engine details

Water-cooled, DOHC

Power

158.5 kW/ 212.5bhp @ 13,000rpm

Torque

123.6 Nm / 91.2 ft lbs @ 9500rpm

Top speed

186mph

Transmission

6-speed, up/down quickshifter

Average fuel consumption

Claimed: 37mpg / 7.6l/100km

Tested: TBA mpg / TBA l/100km

Tank size

17 litres

Max range to empty

Claimed: 138 miles

Tested: TBA miles

Rider aids

Bosch Cornering ABS Evo, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) Evo 3, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) Evo, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) Evo, Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DPS) up/down Evo 2

Frame

Aluminium alloy front frame, structural engine

Front suspension

Öhlins NPX25/30

Front suspension adjustment

Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic compression and rebound adjustment

Rear suspension

Öhlins TTX36

Rear suspension adjustment

Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic compression and rebound adjustment

Front brake

2x330mm discs, Brembo Monobloc Stylema R 4-pot calipers, Bosch Cornering ABS

Rear brake

245mm disc, 2-pot caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS

Front wheel / tyre

5 split-spoke carbon wheel, 120/70 ZR17

Rear wheel / tyre

5 split-spoke carbon wheel, 200/60 ZR17

Wheelbase

1469mm

Seat height

850mm

Weight

194kg (wet)

Warranty

24 months unlimited mileage

MCIA Secured rating

Not yet included

Servicing

7500 miles/12 months

Website

www.ducati.com

 

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 2022 Review Price Spec_43

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.