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Thread: Test rode the Panigal V4S

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert Akumu's Avatar
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    Test rode the Panigal V4S

    Heat doesn't even begin to describe it. 82 degree day, low wind, boring demo ride that let you open it up a little bit, but it didn't matter. Heat at slow speeds. Heat at medium speeds. Heat at high speeds.

    I'm one of the few that knows how to ride a race rep. (Most of the guys go around with their wrists locked, holding themselves up and are snapping their hands out at every stop light/sign/5 miles.) I support myself with my core, easy on the wrists. To do this you want to grip the tank with your knees, of course. I friggin' couldn't! It was too damned hot! For sure I'm tall at 6 foot 6, and the tips of my knees were on the frame (even hotter), so I scooted back some to be fully on the tank. It helped some, but still, anything below 40mph and the heat was WAFTING off of that thing front and rear. It made the heat from my Tuono V4 1100 in traffic feel like a damned light breeze. 90 degree V-4s don't need to be this hot! I used to own a VFR800. I know!

    Another thing, it sounds like shit with the stock exhaust. Laden, unladen, whatever. Shit. Even on a boring demo ride I got it up to 8-9 grand and it was JUST THEN beginning to sound good. Up until then it was the worst sounding V4 I've ever heard, beating out the VFR1200 by a margin. I know they went out of their way to make it sound like a V-twin, for the sake of crying Ducatisti everywhere, but SURELY that thing sounds worlds better with a proper can on it. (The internet searches proved me right on this, but even with the best sounding exhaust it's still the worst sounding V4 I've ever heard. Which isn't a complete insult. The worst sounding V4 is still better than the best sounding parallel twin, single, inline 3, inline 4 and cruiser v-twin, stock or not.)

    Power was nothing to write home about, since I couldn't get it into the meat of the powerband. (I was in Sport mode. 2TC, 1ABS) The Tuono V4 would smoke this fucking thing up until 120 or so. There's not a remote doubt in my mind. I'm sure it's quite awesome up above 100mph, though.

    Enough moaning about it. The 'PROs' of the bike?

    • The switchgear was solid. Everything was laid out, and easily accessible. I did need to be shown how to start it, but other than that it was all good.
    • The handling was just...amazing.
    • The suspension was great.
    • It was every bit as firm as my Tuono V4 1100 (RR model, so Sach's suspension) but it handled the bumps/ripples a bit better. Supple, yet firm.
    • Flickability was awesome.
    • It looks absolutely gorgeous. Probably the best looking bike I've seen in quite some time.
    • For some reason, the seat wasn't bad at all, even though it looked like it should have been.
    • Ergos were good, when I could sit the way I wanted and not be burning the shit out of my legs. (Again, you HAVE to know how to ride these things.) Wind protection sucked, but was better than the Tuono, but all wind protection sucks for these types of bikes, with my tall ass.



    All in all I don't like race replicas, but I do understand their purpose. (Or what would be their purpose in my life. Track days.) I think I'd much rather have a 'Streetfighter V4S' or whatever they'll call their naked version of this bike. Surely they're coming out with a naked version. They're gonna let the SDR, TV4, S1KR and MT-10 have all the fun? In this booming segment? I doubt that. Their competition is welcome. It forces everyone to push that much harder. (Not like there's a hell of a lot left you can put on a super naked these days.)

    Thanks for reading my shit. Have any questions, just ask. (Though, I'm sure there's people on this forum that own one of these bikes...)

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert DaveNZ's Avatar
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    Cheers Akumu, good write up, I've got two mates with 1299Ss, neither of them are interested in the V4 Duc. Nice but no thanks.
    "Be yourself, because everybody else is taken "..............................In the shed...... Multistrada 1200, Termi full system with matching ECU, and ohlins SCU. KTM 1290 GT. Torque monster. Remus link and muffler, KTM 790 fun machine.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum prov-nov YellowandBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akumu View Post
    Heat doesn't even begin to describe it. 82 degree day, low wind, boring demo ride that let you open it up a little bit, but it didn't matter. Heat at slow speeds. Heat at medium speeds. Heat at high speeds.

    I'm one of the few that knows how to ride a race rep. (Most of the guys go around with their wrists locked, holding themselves up and are snapping their hands out at every stop light/sign/5 miles.) I support myself with my core, easy on the wrists. To do this you want to grip the tank with your knees, of course. I friggin' couldn't! It was too damned hot! For sure I'm tall at 6 foot 6, and the tips of my knees were on the frame (even hotter), so I scooted back some to be fully on the tank. It helped some, but still, anything below 40mph and the heat was WAFTING off of that thing front and rear. It made the heat from my Tuono V4 1100 in traffic feel like a damned light breeze. 90 degree V-4s don't need to be this hot! I used to own a VFR800. I know!

    The worst sounding V4 is still better than the best sounding parallel twin, single, inline 3, inline 4 and cruiser v-twin, stock or not.)
    Heat on the fully faired 4-valve Ducatis is what kept me from buying one...until I found my Streetfighter. I test rode a 959 Panigale, and 1299 Panigale….on a slow group format test ride, and the small bike was tolerable. It produced a steady heat that seemed to stabilize at a certain level. One good look at the V4, and it looked like it will definately be an issue. Even so, I opted not to test ride a V4 Panigale yet, because my test ride to purchase ratio is at a financially dangerous level. A guy in my riding group had a new Panigale, and just spent a small fortune installing thermal insulation wherever practical, with little success. I actually prefer doing test rides where I can really test the real world practicality (comfort, low speed fueling) of any machine. Usually fueling can be fixed (ie Tuono, Griso). Most modern bikes are not lacking in WOW factor when it comes to producing insane amounts of power.
    I do take issue with your statement on sound, especially of triples. Maybe I'm just sentimental because my first bike was a Triumph Trident, but in my opinion, the 3 most awesome sounding bikes ever are the Aprilia V4's, Triumph triples, and Ducati twins. as I recall, Honda had a few different crank configurations...180 degree, 360 degree...and I can't remember which one it was, but it sounded just ghastly.
    (After a quick Google search....it came back to me....a kid in town had a Magna with loud open pipes...those had the 360 crank). The 180 crank Honda sounds okay, I guess, but NOTHING like the Aprilia.)
    Last edited by YellowandBlack; 06-17-2018 at 07:22 PM.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert craigo298er's Avatar
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    I'm interested to see what they do with a naked/streetfighter with it; the Panigale doesn't do it for me. That being said, I still think Duc's are overrated by the general population, and therefore I don't particularly like them.

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert DaveNZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigo298er View Post
    I'm interested to see what they do with a naked/streetfighter with it; the Panigale doesn't do it for me. That being said, I still think Duc's are overrated by the general population, and therefore I don't particularly like them.
    The 1198 Multistrada's Craigo are bloody great bikes, especially for everyday use, Street fighters are awesome, 999 was a great bike, HypaMotard etc, they have a great range, but are pricy.
    "Be yourself, because everybody else is taken "..............................In the shed...... Multistrada 1200, Termi full system with matching ECU, and ohlins SCU. KTM 1290 GT. Torque monster. Remus link and muffler, KTM 790 fun machine.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert ChrisE's Avatar
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    I'm waiting for the V4 Streetfighter version before i make my next bike purchase.

    I'll probably sell my V4 Tuono, Ducati 1098 and pass my 1299S on to my Son.

    Well that's my Son's plan.

    He's a little optimistic....

    Just curious Akuma, what were you wearing during your test ride? I've found leathers are almost a must to provide some comfort against the heat on my 1098 and 1299.
    Currently in my garage
    --------------------------
    '15 Ducati Panigale 1299S
    '15 Ducati Multistrada S (White)
    '12 Aprilia Tuono APRC (Yellow)
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    My Sons bikes
    '07 Ducati 1098S
    '08 KTM 250 XCW
    '05 Honda 650XR

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert vfr1200's Avatar
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    nice review
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  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert TL2Bass's Avatar
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    Just took a quick canyon blast on a V4S and a few thoughts spring to mind. 1. Holy Faaack, that thing is fast! Pulls like a black hole. 2. Holy Faaack, that thing is HOT. I'll never need condoms again and can cross a vasectomy off the list. And I was in full leathers. 3. Holy Faaack, that thing is quick! Zero to "holy mother!" in a blink of an eye. 4. Holy Faaack, that thing transitions with ease! Like Sugar Ray Leonard going right/left/right to your face before you've even left the stool. 5. Holy Faaack, what the hell is going on with this suspension?! Stiff and unruly, like riding springs made by Louisville Slugger. 6. Holy Faaack, I sincerely hope Aprilia is paying attention (undoubtedly) and brings something to contend with that engine in the next gen V4 from Noale!

    All in all, my short test ride was quite eye opening. That motor is the star of the show, by a country mile. Perhaps I wasn't going fast enough, but that suspension was brutally stiff and everything and anything in the road would upset it. Granted, my buddy has 35lbs on me and the bike is set up to his weight, but still... I've ridden plenty of bikes and this was like riding an early Cannondale aluminum hardtail. I was riding in a highly illegal manner and the suspension was just punishing. I'd love to dig into the menus next time and find something that was more fitting for fast mountain roads as I clearly wasn't pushing hard enough for the settings to be of value.

    I'll have another go on the V4 in the next week or so and will try to formulate a more succinct and informative opinion. But Heyzoohs... this thing on a track would be thrilling!
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    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    Ny favorite V4 soundtrack come from Honda’s 360 degree cranks in the NC30 and RC30. I actually really like the Ducati V4 sound though, very unique and similar in some ways to the NC30 Honda but without the perfectly composed symphony of sound. Here is my NC30 on the dyno cranking out all 54bhp it does on every freaking run lol

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  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert TL2Bass's Avatar
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    So, apparently the bike was in Sport mode, which tweaks the electric spanners towards "tight" - thus the jarring and flighty suspension action while dicing through the mountain roads. I'll have to check out Street mode next, for a more enjoyable canyon hustle. I can't imagine Race mode being used anywhere in public except for places freshly floored by Lumber Liquidators. Don't get me wrong, the bike was a thrill to ride... but a handful to control compared to the ultra plush and planted Tuono V4. The Duc would flit and buck over every surface irregularity and although I always felt confident at speed, I longed for a more compliant cornering feel that less compression damping would provide.

    But damn... that engine is the real deal. The tone was OK... but I still prefer the Ape's voice by a long shot. Oh, and the clutch was super grabby... I stalled it once as I was leaving. I can't remember the last time I've done that, regardless of how unfamiliar the bike. The low speed fueling was excellent as were the brakes. I wish my Tuono's system felt like that. The dash is kinda 'meh' to me. I prefer the current Aprilia's display better. The bike is a sexy mutha in the flesh, though. Far better than in pics to me.

    The MO (Motorcycle Online - aka.. Motorcycle.com) guys will take a V4 press bike as well as an RF up to Thunderhill for a head to head comparo. Although I'm not on the gig, I might stow away in the van so I can join the fun.
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  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert DaveNZ's Avatar
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    Imagine in a few years time Ducati V4s with a few years of fine tuning, how good a bike it will become, the RSV4 has had 9 years of evolution, so to compare a first year model is always going to be tough. Ive ridden quite a few 1299Ss and 1199Ss, the Suspension out of the box was harsh, both my mates have had softer valving fitted, and one got a softer rear spring on his 1199. But with minor tweaks they now have compliant SUS for the road and then a small compromise on the track. Its going to be exciting to see how the V4 Duc develops over time. i hope ducati continues with its twins also tho.
    "Be yourself, because everybody else is taken "..............................In the shed...... Multistrada 1200, Termi full system with matching ECU, and ohlins SCU. KTM 1290 GT. Torque monster. Remus link and muffler, KTM 790 fun machine.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert TL2Bass's Avatar
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    To say that Ducati nailed that motor would be an understatement. It's definitely raised the bar for how an engine should perform if your objective is to get there fast. Fit and finish is superb and typical of a high dollar Italian machine. Once they work out all the teething pains, this platform should do extremely well for them. I can't wait to see what Aprilia and BMW have up their sleeves to counter this massive uppercut that Ducati just landed to the superbike world. I'm tempted zero percent to dump my Ape, but man, if/when they drop that motor into a naked bike, them's be fightin' words!
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  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert TL2Bass's Avatar
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    Ok... so I had another go today on the bike and all I can say is WOW. This bike has zero business being on the streets. It's just so completely overkill it's not even funny - like taking the space shuttle to hit Starbucks. That motor just fvckin' rips and the thing flicks into a corner like nothing else I've ever ridden. The faster you ride her, the happier she is. Got the suspension sorted and it is truly a joy to ride. Ducati has taken a very large step forward with this bike. The slide control is pretty incredible and quite a step forward over the Yamaha system. Anybody who considers themselves a thrill seeker owes it to themselves to ride this thing in a fast setting at least once in their lives. I'm not talking about around the block on an escorted demo in the city, I'm talking about ripping through a mountain or on a track where you can hit triple digits consistently. It makes the Aprilia, dare I say, seem tame. Fck.
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  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert TL2Bass's Avatar
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  15. #15
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    Yo Bass , you got to chill . Your making me want one of these soooo bad . Wife is going to kill me .

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