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Old May 7th 2019, 10:19 AM   #1
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V4R vs V4 ride comparison

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 -3 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!
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Last edited by roadracerx; May 12th 2019 at 07:52 AM.
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Old May 7th 2019, 10:26 AM   #2
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Interesting read, please continue.
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Old May 7th 2019, 11:48 AM   #3
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I Ride: 2017 Suzuki GSXR-1000 : 2019 Ducati V4R
Great post and thank you for sharing! I would be interested in your recommendations for my V4R and would be willing to compensate you for it.

I plan on taking my V4R to Chuckwalla on the 19th with Trackdaz.
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Old May 7th 2019, 12:17 PM   #4
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@shigeru, happy to help. I replied to your PM.
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Old May 7th 2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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Awesome comparison, thanks for taking the time.
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Old May 7th 2019, 05:36 PM   #6
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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..
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Old May 7th 2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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Awesome post, i always tell people if you're planning on just street riding, torque wins
the day.

Forget peak hp numbers between two bikes you're thinking of, give me a useable torque range anyday of the week.

Was the reason i chose a 1299 over an s1000rr etc. Just the way it pulls like a train from the bottom is intoxicating.


Mr roadracerx, what did you think was the better roadbike between the aprillia an say the v4 and v4r?
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Old May 7th 2019, 11:26 PM   #8
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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.. Iím 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..
I may have asked you before.. Out of all those bikes... Which was/is your favourite that you still have a soft spot for?
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Old May 8th 2019, 04:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 007 View Post
I may have asked you before.. Out of all those bikes... Which was/is your favourite that you still have a soft spot for?
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.
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Old May 8th 2019, 04:36 AM   #10
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Great post and insights. Thanks !
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