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Old May 8th 2019, 05:41 AM   #11
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Thanks for your review. Well done.
I do enjoy different power outputs between street and track bikes. Just like with the V4 and the V4R, the 1299 and PaniR can be described the same way in the way they put down the power. I found the 1299 torque came in too strong at too low an rpm. The R definitely worked better for me on the track. Sounds like Ducati did it right again.
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Old May 8th 2019, 07:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by roadracerx View Post
Hey guys, I'm not on here very often but I thought I would share my experience for those who are interested in knowing the differences between Ducati's latest superbike.

A little background on me to qualify my experience...I have been racing since 2001 with CCS, WERA and AFM in the unlimited, open, superstock and superbike classes. I have won several novice/amateur championships and one at the expert level and I have raced at tracks like Barber, VIR, Mid-Ohio, Chuckwalla, Sonoma, Laguna Seca, etc. I currently race a Kawasaki ZX-10RR as an expert in the Superstock, Superbike and Open classes against some of the best racers in the country here in California and I ride a lot of different bikes from motocross, supermoto, flat track, etc.

So I thought it would be useful for those interested to get a real understanding of the differences between V4R and my V4 in Santiago Canyon, here in SoCal...now on to the point of my post....the 40k question!

I currently own a 2018 base V4 which I purchased last year and built a custom Ohlins fork and shock for that bike. I installed a full Akrapovic, had the dealer install the correct mapping, Ducati's billet racing rearsets and I put a set of the wheels from the R that I had sitting around. I do a lot of setups for people so I thoroughly understand chassis geometry and I set this bike up for use in the canyons for 185 lbs rider.

I had a customer stop over for a setup of his new V4R which literally has all the same stuff (same rearsets and exhaust, etc). The compression side of the front fork, which is basically a FKR (pressurized) is different and a really nice touch from Ducati as that technology has excellent feel without blowing through the stroke (I have been using this on many of my race bikes for the past few years). The rebound side of the fork is the same and both bikes have a manually adjustable TTX with similar valving specs.

I set V4R up for the same weight and left the swingarm in the -4 position (as delivered). The rear shock has a 105 N/m spring versus the V4 having a 95 N/m (I believe this is due to the anti-sag properties the adjustable swingarm pivot offers on the V4R) because it really has less torques and about the same horsepower. The fork springs are the same on both bikes (10 N/m) BUT one typically runs .5 N/m lighter with pressurized forks so I believe Ducati is accounting for the down force generated by the wings, which can be as much as 66 lbs at 168 mph!

So what we have here is a real comparison of two bikes with the only differences being wings on the R, dry vs wet clutch, adjustable swingarm pivot set at -4 mm versus the non-adjustable position of the V4 at 0 mm (relative to the V4R) and the difference in displacement.

The first and most obvious change is the feel of the dry clutch. I raced a 1098 for years and it was a REAL pain in the ass to keep that clutch working optimally. Frequent replacement of the basket, plates and getting a decent start off the line took finesse. The clutch plates had to be removed after EVERY race to be checked and prepared for the next race - not really worth it and you can feel the "grabby" nature of the dry clutch on the V4R. That is not to say it doesn't work perfectly as a dry clutch but just that it cannot be slipped very much and has a on/off or wooden kinf of feel kinda like the stock brake pads on a R1 (if you know you know).

The second thing I noticed was the lack of low-end grunt. Leaving from a stop the V4R doesn't have the grunt off the line or the mid-range pull of the V4 and this is not really a surprise. What is a surprise is how long that motor continues to build power and the power is smooth and linear and I could see how a little less torque could benefit a rider at lean on track. It seems to rev forever and I am not sure how a motor this peaky can be enjoyed around town or in the canyons but it is a really cool experience when you get the rev up! By comparison I recently rode the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory and THAT bike has almost too much grunt off closed throttle in around town riding but the Aprilia RSV4 has always had the best throttle to rear tire connection in the business and both the V4 and V4R are much better than the last generation but still not as good as the Aprilia.

I thought to myself after riding each bike 2 times back to back on the same canyon roads, that the V4R is no better than the V4 and in fact I liked the torque of my V4 better but the V4R DID handle better! It was a small difference but for me that difference is significant!

The V4R has better front end support under braking into a corner and once leaned over going towards the apex the bike had a more confidence-inspiring chassis. I could feel the flex of the newer frame on the V4R communicate to me in a way that surprised me. It turned VERY well.

I did the setup on BOTH bikes and I rode both of them back-to-back and I am now considering buying a V4R. The only other bike I have ridden that turned this well is the 2016 Aprilia RSV4 RF. Ducati provides some guiidance on setup and some changes in shock length IF the full Akrapovic is installed. I followed this guidance and chassis stability was excellent, turn in was awesome and Ducati has really knocked it out of the park with this bike!
Great report. Would you please guide me as to where to get the Ducati guidance on set up and shock length. I installed the Akra on my V4R but did not change shock length. What benefits does changing the shock length provide.
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Old May 8th 2019, 08:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by scotman623 View Post
I have the new V4R in Race trim only and Raced a very well Built 2017 Aprilia RF last season . I find that the DUCATI is the better bike so far Racing the same tracks I raced CCS last season on the RF, Not brand loyal, this is my 31 brand new bike and I have owned every Japan made model and most Europe built bikes.. I find the V4R does just about everything perfect on track and have had no issues with the dry clutch being grabby, have you tried this bike in launch control yet? This is the easiest bike I have ever launched off the line for Race purpose..I have ridden a well setup V4 with K tech suspension and also enjoyed riding that too on track.. I’m not going to comment on HP or Torque because any of us club racers will never use either of these bikes to the limit let alone a street rider.. I enjoyed reading your thoughts but for me the V4R is just a better bike than my 17 RF for my Racing purpose. I only Race or ride tracks so I have no comment on canyon riding.. Best of luck Racing this year my friend, Go chase those podiums..
Thanks for the input and your thoughts on racing the new V4R. I had the first one on order but after the dozen or so warranty/recall issues on my V4 I thought I would wait a minute and let the dust settle :-)

So for me the #1 feature a race bike should have is a smooth throttle and this is the reason I praise the Aprilia. I have been racing the ZX-10RR because it has this buttery smooth throttle and race/kit parts are very very easy to get from any dealer, the parts are cheap and people seem to like to run into me so, lol....

I too like all bikes and currently have 17 bikes in my garage from pretty much every manufacturer.

I am excited about the potential of the V4R and will likely have one in the next fortnight.

The Japanese bikes are easier to ride and cost less to repair than the European bikes. We LOVE the Euro bikes because they are sexy, but in my experience they require more maintenance, are less reliable (for racing) and I spend enough time in the garage maintaining my bikes so for racing I have gone the way of the Japanese (R1, ZX-10RR) but still track my Ducatis for fun. The 1098 and 1199R I raced BOTH blew up around 2,000 miles. The R1 I crashed around the same mileage but the bike was re-built and the motor was/is fine and the ZX-10RR currently has 3000 miles (all track) and will be re-built this season.

I typically run 3-4 races each day and I find it hard enough to get off track, get the bike on the stands, warmers on, check tire pressure, put in gas, stay hydrated, take notes and rest a bit before going out for the next race! Adding dry clutch maintenance to the list makes it harder (been there, done that) so I likely won't race my V4R UNLESS I get out on track and find that I am faster on it, not because of the top end, but rather because it allows me to carry more roll speed through the corner.
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Last edited by roadracerx; May 8th 2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old May 8th 2019, 10:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hex View Post
Great report. Would you please guide me as to where to get the Ducati guidance on set up and shock length. I installed the Akra on my V4R but did not change shock length. What benefits does changing the shock length provide.
Shock length should be 315 mm eye-to-eye using a shock stretcher.
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Old May 8th 2019, 01:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by roadracerx View Post
Shock length should be 315 mm eye-to-eye using a shock stretcher.
I had a 2016 ZX 10R and then bought the 17 ZX 10RR when it was released.. I raced both and they were very well setup, I personally never really got comfortable on either bike. I had KTeth suspension professionally installed on both bikes and never could get the bike to turn the way I liked, tried everything and it still wanted to run wide on the exit..I have many friends who Race them and love them, bikes all feel different to the way we like to ride.. My RF did everything perfect and I never had any problems with it..I also did well on all the R1íS I raced... Best wishes on your Racing season my friend!!! Go chase those podiums.
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Old May 8th 2019, 01:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by scotman623 View Post
I had a 2016 ZX 10R and then bought the 17 ZX 10RR when it was released.. I raced both and they were very well setup, I personally never really got comfortable on either bike. I had KTeth suspension professionally installed on both bikes and never could get the bike to turn the way I liked, tried everything and it still wanted to run wide on the exit..I have many friends who Race them and love them, bikes all feel different to the way we like to ride.. My RF did everything perfect and I never had any problems with it..I also did well on all the R1íS I raced... Best wishes on your Racing season my friend!!! Go chase those podiums.
Too bad you sold it, I got mine sorted from day one. If you get another one lmk, I can help :-)
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Old May 8th 2019, 06:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by scotman623 View Post
My favorite street bike I ever owned was the KTM 1290 Superduke, Race bikes itís really hard to say.. Iím really liking this new V4R, but also loved my RF and the 3 R1íS I had built...Iím not a big fan of I-4 motors, owned lots of them.

Ive ridden the 1290 superduke quite abit, not my own though... Wildest street bike for sure, love them. Absolute hooligans bike though. If you cant wheelie that bike, you cant wheelie anything lol. Feels impossible to ride normal, mad comfortable.


Oh nice!
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Old May 8th 2019, 07:21 PM   #18
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Great post! I wish we had you in Michigan, I'd have you help me set up my V4 suspension (base)
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Old May 10th 2019, 06:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by roadracerx View Post
Shock length should be 315 mm eye-to-eye using a shock stretcher.
Why does changing the exhaust necessitate changing the shock length, and how does this effect the bike's handling?

Last edited by Hex; May 10th 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old May 12th 2019, 07:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hex View Post
Why does changing the exhaust necessitate changing the shock length, and how does this effect the bike's handling?
All other things being equal the increased ride height at the rear will change many things including rake angle, trail, swingarm angle, et al. The bike will turn easier but that doesn't mean that raising the rear is always a good idea as you can go too high and then the rear end wants to come around.

This change in geometry has a positive affect on the handling of the bike, I tested it personally, give it a try!
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