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Ducati Unveils Stunning Superleggera V4

You’ve probably heard of a “halo” product, well, here is one from Ducati. The Superleggera V4. With a price expected to be in the neighborhood of $100,000, this is a street-legal motorcycle with virtually no compromises … in terms of weight, horsepower and componentry.

Although the details are in the press release that follows, highlights include a carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber wheels, 230 horsepower, and the finest suspension and brakes currently available for production machinery. Have a look at the photos, and here is the press release from Ducati:

  • The Superleggera V4 is the most powerful and technologically advanced production Ducati ever built and will be produced as a limited edition of just 500 individually numbered motorcycles
  • The only street-legal motorcycle in the world with a carbon fibre chassis, swingarm and wheels
  • Biplane wings and extreme aerodynamics
  • A power/weight ratio of 1.54 hp/kg in racing kit configuration, a record value for a street-legal bike
  • Deliveries start in June 2020 at the rate of 5 bikes per day
  • Purchasers of the Superleggera V4 will also be offered a track test on the factory Panigale V4 R competing in the Superbike World Championship and, for the first time ever, a unique opportunity to test the Desmosedici GP20

Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), 6 February 2020 – With the Superleggera V4, Ducati fulfils the dream of pushing back the limits of engineering, attention to detail and motorcycle design, with a project that represents the Bolognese company’s greatest masterpiece in terms of engineering, performance and design.

After an exclusive preview for its most passionate and loyal clients, Ducati now officially unveils its new Superleggera V4, the most powerful and technologically advanced motorcycle ever made by the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, produced in a limited edition of just 500 individually numbered bikes.

The Superleggera V4 is the world’s only street-legal motorcycle with the entire load-bearing structure of the chassis (frame, subframe, swingarm and wheels) made from composite material, achieving a 6.7 kg reduction in weight thanks to these components.

To ensure the highest quality and safety standards, these components are 100% tested using the most sophisticated techniques borrowed from the aerospace industry, such as thermography, ultrasound inspections and tomography.

The chassis dimensions have been modified for optimised track use by increasing the length of the swingarm.

The overall result is unparalleled deceleration power, faster leaning down into corners and sharper lines riding out of bends.

The level of performance achieved is extremely high: Alessandro Valia, an official Ducati tester, took the bike, fitted with the racing kit and slick tires, around the Mugello circuit in 1:52:45, less than two seconds from the lap time of the Panigale V4 R SBK, winner of the 2019 Italian Motorspeed Championship (CIV) with Michele Pirro.

Many components are made of carbon fibre, moulded into advanced aerodynamic shapes. These include the fairing, which ensures a level of aerodynamic efficiency that matches and exceeds that of current MotoGP bikes. Thanks to the ‘biplane’ aerofoils inspired by the 2016 Ducati MotoGP, with the highest performance in this field, it can guarantee a downforce of 50 kg at 270 kph, 20 kg more than that created by the aerofoils on the Panigale V4 MY20 and V4 R. This downforce improves acceleration, by countering the tendency to wheel-up, and increases braking stability.

The carbon fibre fairings also sport an eye-catching Desmosedici GP19-inspired livery that juxtaposes the red of the GP19 with a naked carbon that emphasises shapes, materials and technical details.

Beneath the carbon skin lies the Desmosedici Stradale R engine, lighter and more powerful than ever. The 998 cm3 90° V4 that powers the Superleggera V4 weighs, in fact, 2.8 kg less than the 1,103 cm3 V4. Thanks to a type-approved Akrapovič exhaust, it delivers no less than 224 CV in road-legal configuration (EU homologation figures). That figure rises to 234 CV when fitted with the titanium Akrapovič exhaust for track use, which is included in the Racing Kit supplied with the bike.
The racing nature of the engine is enhanced by the use of the dry clutch and the individual manual adjustment of the Desmodromic timing system

Only on the Superleggera V4, a special engine calibration for the racing exhaust gives riders access to a “RaceGP” display. Intended exclusively for track use, and designed with valuable input from Andrea Dovizioso, it is a direct offshoot of the instrument panel on the Desmosedici GP20.

Thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre, titanium and magnesium components and others machined from solid aluminium, the Superleggera V4 has a dry weight of just 159 kg (16 kg less than the Panigale V4), resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 1.41 hp/kg: a record-breaking figure for a road-legal sports bike. Mounting the supplied Racing kit and switching the bike to its track configuration boosts power to 234 hp, dropping the weight to 152.2 kg and raising the power-to-weight ratio to 1.54 hp/kg.

The electronic controls have also been developed to enhance the racing nature of this motorcycle. Their operational parameters are associated by default with three reprogrammed Riding Modes (named Race A, Race B and Sport ). There are also – for the very first time – five additional Riding Modes that can be personalised with the rider’s preferred settings. Riders can monitor lap times via the upgraded Lap Timer, which can record finish line and split times coordinates for five favourite circuits. These can be recalled at the start of each track day without having to repeat the set-up procedure. The default system settings feature the finish line/split time details of: Laguna Seca, Mugello, Jerez, Sepang and Losail.

This is topped by a latest-generation electronics package including EVO 2 strategies for the DTC and DQS up/down.

Other standard items include a lighter Öhlins suspension system, with a pressurised fork and lighter machined aluminium fork bottoms, a titanium shock absorber spring and GP-derived valves that improve the damping of road bumps during the initial compression stage.

The braking system is the best in the Brembo production range, with an MCS calliper featuring a remotely adjusted lever gap and Stylema® R callipers, exclusive to the Superleggera V4, to provide greater front-brake stroke consistency in long track runs.

Meticulous attention to detail is also obvious in the radiator cap machined from solid aluminium and the dedicated ignition key with an aluminium insert showing the bike number.

The exclusiveness of the materials and technical solutions is reflected in the limited number of bikes: just 500, all individually numbered and provided with a certificate of authenticity. The bike ID number (XXX/500), which matches the VIN, is displayed on the frame, fork yoke and ignition key.

The start of deliveries is planned for June 2020 in Europe and, given the extreme complexity of the production of so many components, the rate is limited to only 5 bikes/day. However, all the bikes will be produced within 2020.

Superleggera customers only have the chance to purchase an exclusive Superleggera V4 premium leather suit with integrated air-bag and a carbon fibre helmet, both emblazoned with the bike’s colours and graphics. Produced by Dainese, the leathers combine lightness and strength with the safety of the D-air® system. Likewise, the meticulously crafted Arai helmet – which features aeronautical-grade carbon fibre – offers unsurpassed protection and comfort.

The package that Ducati has prepared for enthusiasts who purchase a Superleggera V4 also includes access to the “SBK Experience”, allowing owners to ride the Panigale V4 R, which competes in the SBK World Championship, on a test track at Mugello. Even more amazingly, 30 Superleggera V4 owners will have an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the “MotoGP Experience” and live the dream of every racing enthusiast. For the very first time, they will be able to ride a circuit on the Desmosedici GP20 used by Dovizioso and Petrucci, with the close support of the Ducati Corse technicians.

These special events and opportunities are as unique as this new Ducati model. The Superleggera V4 is extreme, designed and developed to achieve maximum on-track performance and ensure all the reliability and rider-friendliness of a road-legal sport bike.

With the Superleggera V4, Ducati pushes back the limits even further. The technical expertise and knowledge developed and continuously evolved in MotoGP is made available to enthusiasts of engineering and performance on two wheels.

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. Guttersloth says:

    Cheaps as chips. I’ll have two. One for displaying on Instaface and the other to ride to Starbucks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to head out and exploit some poor people.

  2. modsquad says:

    Someone finally built a Britten.

  3. Thad Stelly says:

    Shows poor judgement for enjoying a street ride as well as reflecting one’s inadequate ego. Only ride it on the track… ha

  4. Dirty Bob says:

    I’ve said it before: Street Legal! Where in this world can one ride it outside a track? Anyone!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t get mad, get Etrade!

  6. Tank says:

    I can’t afford one, but I love that it exists. A work of art, kind of like Starry Night (only a lot cheaper).

  7. PatrickD says:

    I think that using half this engine, be it a v-twin or a parallel twin (like Aprilia have done with the rs660) would be more interesting sportsbike.
    The practicalities aside, there are companies making supercars and this is in the same bracket.
    The sort of people who buy these are people that I dislike intensely, but there’s a large amount of envy rolled up in that limited opinion. I fully aware of that.
    Ah, let the baby have his bottle!!

  8. Barry Crum says:

    For $100k I could buy a C8 Vette and a YZFR1M

    • Motoman says:

      But you wouldn’t have this Ducati. And you wouldn’t have ridden their WSBK bike at Mugello and have had a chance to ride their GP20 MotoGP bike.

    • Dave says:

      The target audience for this bike has no interest in those “poverty mobiles”.

      I’m gonna keep my VFR & pay for my kid’s college.

  9. Tom R says:

    Sorry droolers, but this exercise in ultra halo vehicles is not legitimate. A $100K price tag? Hey, it may as well be a million. Almost nobody can afford it, and whoever can will probably never actually ride it.

  10. Harry says:

    In all honesty, being a very practical person, what is the need for such a bike? I’ve been riding a long time, owned 2001 SV650S, 2003 YZF600R, 2007 GSXR600, 2014 Ninja300(under powered), 2018 Ninja 400, 2018 Versys 650. Three bikes in the 1980s. Looked at a liter bike and said why? I’ve had two speeding tickets on my 600s. Liter bike would put me in jail. No thank you. This Ducati has a top speed of three times posted limit in Idaho! Love my Ninja 400, corners like a dream.

  11. TimC says:

    If wings are going to make it onto “street” bikes they could at least make them look less batmobile/tacked on.

  12. Rapier says:

    Looks better than the Desmosedici GP20 but the long clear windscreen makes it look like a sport touring bike when you focus on it.

  13. Grover says:

    I tend to buy very practical bikes so this particular bike is not something I can relate to at the moment. However, the few times in my life that I have stepped out of the box and bought something really impractical, I found that the extra money spent on some seemingly intangible benefit it offered actually turned out to be something that put a smile on my face way more than I would have guessed. The extra money it cost me was soon forgotten and the pleasure received outweighed the extra that it did cost. This bike is going to give 50 lucky riders a lot of very special moments.

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      As thoughtfully written, as any serious decision to purchase an adventure beyond the practical. Agreed.

  14. beasty says:

    I wonder what it would cost to insure that thing.

  15. graham says:

    A true example of modern motorcycle art !

  16. carl says:

    Another bike for the starbuck crowd.

  17. Chris says:

    Only Jeffery Epstein could come up with a girl with a small enough butt to fit the little spot behind the saddle. The bike is legal, but the girl wouldn’t be, LOL.

    • todd says:

      To be fair, my middle school daughter thinks the passenger seat on my 690 Duke is too high and the pegs too close. She always makes me take the BMW instead. I don’t think manufacturers intend on people actually sitting on the back of their bikes.

      • Chris says:

        It was intended as a joke, actually. And to see if it would pass muster with the editorial board (Dirck). You’re right about passenger seats, both from the standpoint of the manufacturers and with many drivers. There’s ample room on my ZX14r, but nobody rides passenger. I always say, the only one crazier than the motorcycle driver is the passenger hanging on the back.

        • Grover says:

          My Bandit 1200S had decent passenger accommodations but I couldn’t get my sweet wife to ride on the back of it. I made the mistake of pouring on the coal the first time she was on the back and that was it for her! She still rides with me as long as the bike has a backrest, saddlebags, windshield, floor boards etc.

  18. Shoeman says:

    The 1199cc Superleggera v-twin was the ultimate, so I bought it. Two years later, the 1299cc Superleggera v-twin became the new ultimate, so I bought it. Now the 2020 998cc Superleggera V4 is the ultimate, and Ive already placed my order. But…what to do about the 2022 1100cc Superleggera with 250HP that will make this bike seem slow? Then of course, the 2024 next-gen Superleggera will be incredibly tempting too. Thank goodness my wife and I don’t upgrade each other! The bikes are affordable, divorce attorneys not so much. Enjoy the ride(s)! Enjoy your life!

    • mickey says:

      Bet Ducati/your local Ducati dealer loves you! lol

    • VLJ says:

      What difference does it make how fast any of these super-exotics are? Are you doing quarter-mile runs for pink slips with them? Club racing them? Renting out Bruntingthorpe and doing top-speed runs?

      The thing is just going to sit in your garage, only to be taken out on rare occasions to toodle around at a tiny fraction of its capabilities. Unless you’re actually going to roadrace it in a national-level series, which you aren’t, its sheer speed is completely irrelevant.

      It’s a pretty toy, nothing more. No worries.

  19. Fabio Brady says:

    This is for the rich.. Just buy a Cbr1000rr and add a turbo ..See ya

    • Motoman says:

      Yeah, and then it’ll be just as good as this Duc…..

      • Grover says:

        Most riders can’t ride a 15 year old CBR600RR to its limit, how are they going to enjoy this monster? Best to buy this Duc and make a coffee table out of it. Wouldn’t want to scratch our “investment “ now, would we?

  20. Joe says:

    Nice…..I wonder how much trade in they will give me for my 1998 KLR

  21. Bill N says:

    I can think of another halo project that should have been a limited edition.

  22. Rendell says:

    Honestly, I would have as much or more fun on the R1M or the ZX-10RR. I am not into leaving my motorcycle at the dealership for expensive maintenance or warranty approval. I have had all the brands of sportbikes (except BMW) and I will take a Japanese sportbike any day over the Italian models. Just my experience.

  23. Jon says:

    Guys, i’m pretty sure you can see a seam at the rear of the tank.

  24. BOB says:

    Just a word of caution to those who might buy one of these beautiful bikes: Be careful not to drop it!

  25. Ricardo says:

    Beautiful bike. Would love to have the spare money to own one. I would ride it and not keep it in an office…

  26. Wendy says:

    Right into the living room, never turn a wheel in anger, perfect for the Jeff Bezos in your life.

  27. My2cents says:

    If I stare any longer I should likely burst into flames. Ducati rules 2020.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they can apply their engineering genius to making street bike foot pegs & exhaust systems that don’t crowd the rider’s feet. Just a thought…

  29. Dino says:

    Halo bike, indeed! win the lottery, and it can be yours! Wings for the street, ridiculous power to weight, and on.. Perfect antidote to the burgeoning Electric market!
    Not sure I would be commuting on this, but sure would be fun to take for a spin! Crash it, and you will be seeing those Halos…

  30. Jim says:

    Hmm, tempting.

  31. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Another relative perspective for the fun of it. WOW This is really over the top and I LOVE it. The 230 hp tickled me because a Cessna 182RG has 235 hp from 540 ci and tops out at 215 mph on a very good day. I have a funny feeling the Duc will come close to that speed for getting down to the 7-11 on a Saturday night. Obviously one should have both the bike and the airplane for true happiness. Please ! ! !
    Way to go Ducati. Well done.

    • Wrongway Corrigan says:

      Obvious apples and oranges comparison.

      An IO-540 makes all its power down low, with a max of 2500 RPM, while carrying four people.

  32. todd says:

    But will it make a decent commuter?

  33. mickey says:

    Good night, who can take advantage of that on the street? Very cool though.

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