IF most of us were honest, a 200bhp 1,000cc sports bike makes about as much sense as riding a trampoline made of snakes to work.
Their pictures look great stuck on your wall, but try living with one and you’ll struggle.
It’s only when you accept that you might not be man enough for the latest big bikes that you realise how many other great bikes there are to choose from.
This 2020 Ducati V2 Panigale is a bike to add to that list.
It has all of the kerb appeal of its V4 big brother, but thanks to the 955cc Superquadro twin motor, you have a fighting chance of enjoying yourself on a ride thanks to the slightly easier going nature.
There’s still 155bhp waiting to fire you up the road. Tweaks to the motor equal Euro 5-compliant emissions, but still with more power and torque than the old 959 Panigale.
The engine sits underneath a monocoque chassis, which also acts as the air box. This means the V2 is narrow everywhere. There’s a stack of worthwhile improvements over the outgoing 959 and not just in the performance department.
The move back to an underslung exhaust couldn’t have come at a better time as the outgoing version looked like it was designed by a blindfolded man on a horse. Gone is the Japanese-style single swingarm too, in favour of a single-sided thing of beauty.
That beauty goes further than skin deep too, thanks to electronic enhancements everywhere. Ducati calls the Evo 2 traction control system predictive. I don’t believe a system can be entirely predictive, but it is very good.
You still need to ride it, though. It’s an engaging machine that rewards the rider – the more you put in the more you get out. Our track ride at Jerez in southern Spain started dry and ended very wet.
Not once did the V2 offer up any nasty surprises, it really is a great track riding tool that will help you hone your fast bike-riding skills. Looking fast while riding a Ducati – I dare you to question that. In showrooms next month for £14,995.
- John is the editor at SuperBike and presents Bike World on YouTube.