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Old Mar 7th 2018, 08:52 PM   #1
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I Ride: 2018 Panigale V4S, 2016 1299s Panigale
~V4 Story time w/MotoX183~

Well, got 48mi on the bike so far with 39 of those miles tallied up @ COTA..

I won't bother regurgitating what you've already heard on the reviews the best I can. But, I can tell you that they were definitely pretty spot on.

Overall, the bike is a really solid package. At COTA, you can really stretch it's legs, unlike Valencia, and man does it have one hell of a stride! I'll just touch on the motor a bit.

ENGINE:

First, the bike is more or less 100% stock. I cleaned out whatever accessories they had in stock (windscreen, mirror block-offs, & carbon tank cover), but that was it. We've got the exhaust on order, but you Speciale guys are causing me problems, since Akra is committed to providing you guys with your exhausts upon delivery of the bike. Thus, I'm in line to get mine in the next month or so.

Now, as far as outright engine push, it's damn impressive. I was even taking it a bit easy since the motor is pretty fresh, so I was shifting a few (2-3K) early everywhere. I had a good friend out there on his tracked out 1299SL, and we lined up a few runs out of turn 11 and turn 20; We were dead nuts even looking at each other down the straights. Mind you, this is the bike WITHOUT the Akra yet and a few unnecessary pounds (headlights, taillights and my fat ass). My buddy clocks in on the scale at around mid 160's and I'm sitting at around 195 or so, for reference. Needless to say it's every bit as impressive on paper as it is on a big track.

Coming down from T11 to T12, I was blanking out the speedo @ 185 waaaay before my normal brake markers and it was still pulling. I rolled out just under 12.5k to avoid being too nasty on the engine straight away. For comparison, on my tracked out 1299s, I'm lucky to hit 180 or so before having to roll off AT the brake marker.

HANDLING:

Alright, with that out of the way, let's chat handling a bit. Coming from the 1299s to the V4s is a massive change. Other than some comparable ergos between them, they are really nothing alike on the track. The V4 is a bit less work in some ways, but requires changing up the riding style to compensate. The V4 turns in very well, but there is so much less engine braking that it takes a bit getting used to it. I found myself trail braking way more coming into the corners than I would on the 1299, due to the lack of engine braking. Once in the corner, I immediately noticed (well I noticed leaving the pits, but it rears it's head mid-corner) the same shitty throttle slack like on the 1299. Throttle spacers have been ordered.

The Ohlins suspension was really nice, even in dynamic mode and the interface is sooo much better. It was just at defaults initially, but was too soft for me. We played with it a little bit, but I just need some track time to sort it out. I'll probably stick with trying to dial in the dynamic setup, as I think there can be some real advantage to having tuned setups for Braking, Mid-corner and Acceleration/Exit. It felt very predictable and inspired confidence.

BRAKING:

The new Brembos (Stylema or w/e) up front seemed to hold up really well. Running a 30 min session with only a couple detours through pit lane, I never got a single bit of fade like I did on the stock front master and M50s. Granted, it was only about 70F out vs. the normal Texas summer heat of 100F+, so the jury may still be out on this for a bit. On the 1299, I had to change to the RCS17 front master, because the fade was awful.

SHIFTING:

The rear-sets still suck donkey balls, but they do have 1 saving grace feature.. You can swap to GP shift by moving ONE bolt on the shift lever!! If you tried to do this on the 1299 with stock rear-sets it was a huge pain in the dick. Now, the unsung hero of the whole bike and something I don't think really got the praise it deserves, was the QS. It is hands down, light years better than the 1299 setup. The upshifts were somewhat comparable, but OMG the downshifts were so quick and crisp! I know not all of you are track guys, but even in traffic this thing would probably work beautifully.

I would always watch the GP guys shifting down so fast under braking through the entire gearbox and wonder how they could do it. Well, I can say without any hesitation, this to me appears every bit as functional as the GP bikes on downshifts. It was crazy good.


CONCLUSION:

Alright, I'm not much of a journalist, so I apologize if this sounds shitty or doesn't flow together well. Hopefully some get some use out of it. I really like the bike so far and I'm looking forward to see it dialed up with all the bells and whistles.

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Last edited by MotoX183; Mar 7th 2018 at 09:44 PM.
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Old Mar 7th 2018, 09:01 PM   #2
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Awesome review. Thank you!

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Old Mar 7th 2018, 09:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nitrouz View Post
Awesome review. Thank you!

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Thanks, man. Congrats and enjoy your new ride!
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 03:56 AM   #4
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Your journalist skills are fine by me! It is also good to hear a real world riding review that confirms some of what the journalists said in Valencia. Congrats! Ride that bear!
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 04:55 AM   #5
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Great write up...I see you got the warmers on..
You run the stock tires? If so how are the new profile SC V3's??
Thanks...
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 05:00 AM   #6
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Awesome awesome review. Thank you for the taking the time to do that. Enjoy your new V4 in good health!!
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 05:10 AM   #7
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Yes !! Real word review, thank you. You've bumped the anxiety and excitement up a notch ugh ...Makes me wanna go pick up that S sitting lonely at the dealership lol
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 05:19 AM   #8
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Well composed! Congrats on you having a ball with it already
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 05:25 AM   #9
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Excellent review. The only other review I paid attention to was from Roadracing World. All the rest just want to sell advertising.

I just had to laugh at all the reviews Iíve read from people test riding on the street saying how good the frame etc were lol.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 05:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jpanigale View Post
Great write up...I see you got the warmers on..
You run the stock tires? If so how are the new profile SC V3's??
Thanks...
Nope, sorry. We immediately had slicks put on at the shop. It's got a pair of SC2's on under there.
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