Dreams Matter

Superleggera V4

Produced in a limited edition of only 500 numbered units and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, the Superleggera V4 is the most exclusive Ducati ever produced.

Dreams matter

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. 

We share our further step towards engineering excellence with you, Ducati enthusiasts around the world.

Every product we craft is a declaration of our lust for perfection. But none is comparable to Superleggera. In this project, we modeled the most advanced carbon fibre into futuristic aerodynamic-driven shapes. Here we realized our dreams as engineers, manufacturers and passionate riders.

The new Superleggera V4 is, first and foremost, a true statement. It is where we draw the line between trying and doing. It is our foremost pioneristic creature.

And I am very proud to present to you our greatest masterpiece of engineering, technology and design by giving you the story of its deepest secrets and its most refined details.

A story of style, sophistication, performance and trust.

Dedicated to all dreamers.

Claudio Domenicali.
Ducati Motor Holding CEO.

Superleggera V4

  • Red - SLV4
Wheelbase 1.480 mm (58,3 in)
Seat Height 835 mm (32.9 in)
998 cc
165 kW (224 hp) @ 15,250 rpm - 174 kW (234 hp) @ 15.500 rpm with full racing exhaust i
116 Nm (85.6 lb-ft) @ 11,750 rpm - 119 Nm (87.7 lb-ft) @ 11.750 rpm with full racing exhaust i
Carbon fiber "Front Frame"
Dry weight
159 kg (350 lb) - 152.2 kg (335.5 lb) with racing kit
Safety equipment
Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration
Valve clearance adjustment (km)
24,000 km
Full Tech Specs

Evolutionary Technology

The Aerodynamics

Interview with

Edoardo Lenoci,

Ducati Aerodynamic Development Manager.

At Ducati we started doing research and development in motorcycle aerodynamics before anyone else in the world. We were the first ones to introduce aerodynamic innovations in the world’s top motorcycle competition. This is a fact.

The development of aerodynamic methodologies is inevitably linked to Ducati Corse and therefore to the design of unique racing prototypes. A context where every thousandth of a second can make the difference and where the bar for excellence is very high. From season to season the projects change and evolve, but some milestones remain.

We talked about it with Edoardo Lenoci, Ducati Aerodynamic Development Manager.

“The GP16 aerodynamic design was undoubtedly our most powerful and effective project. The evolution of the MotoGP rules did not allowed us to continue the development in that direction, and today all the legal layouts for aerodynamic appendages are based on closed C-shapes which are globally less efficient than previous ones.

We had been looking for a way to continue the development interrupted in 2017. Breathing new life into our best aerodynamic project”.

Ducati has always had the best performing engines in the racing world, it’s nothing new. But when you’re dealing with such power jewels, getting the power to the ground properly is all. And here aerodynamics does an important job.

“The vertical load that the GP16 wings configuration can generate on the Superleggera V4 is sensational. If we take our Panigale V4 as a starting point, the aero package upgrade of the V42020 increases the downforce by 30%, while the Superleggera V4 project reaches 50%. These are very significant numbers and the impact on riding style is immediate”.

True innovation does not complicate: it simplifies. The work done with the application of this aeropackage on the Superleggera V4 makes the bike easier to ride. It fully values all the power of the vehicle, not making the full intervention of electronic systems necessary to reduce the power supplied. The vertical load on the front makes the acceleration less complex to handle. The throttle can be opened earlier and the bike remains glued to the ground.

“It’s often thought that a particularly advanced motorcycle requires a huge amount of electronics aid, but that’s not the case. By working on different dynamic and aerodynamic features there is less of a need to develop the bike’s electronics. Wing surfaces act intelligently by developing stability as speed increases, for example reducing the need for anti-wheelie systems. And this aspect is very evident when exiting corners and in full acceleration, where, by limiting the intervention of electronics, engine torque is less reduced”.

For example, we found during the tests at Mugello that at the end of the last corner, thanks to aerodynamics alone, we managed to gain an 8 m lead on the straight. 8 m are many.

It is part of the Ducati DNA to always look for new ways and find side solutions that are innovative and unexpected. This unpredictability of innovation is an important part of our character, of our identity, which while continuing to evolve remains unmistakably Ducati.

“Working on this project, bringing the GP16 aerodynamic package to this bike, was really important. Not only for the incredible performance that was added, but also because of the cultural change it represents. By carrying aerodynamics to two-wheeled production vehicles, Ducati began a cultural change in which the research effort in MotoGP contaminates the development of production bikes. A transfer of knowledge that from a limited prototyping environment benefits a large number of enthusiasts, allowing them to experience sensations previously reserved only for professional riders. It’s a big change. And it helps us to have this revolution accepted as part of the motorcycling culture”.

Engineering Esthetics

The design

Interview with

Andrea Ferraresi,

Ducati Head of Design.

Ducati is the only motorcycle brand that has ever won two times the Red Dot Award and the prestigious Compasso d’Oro. We are design maniacs and designing a Ducati is not like drawing any other bike. There are essential characters that belong only to us. Projects like Monster, 916, Diavel and Panigale each represent a milestone in the history of design for their category.

The Ducati design philosophy is built by subtraction, recognizing the purest style in the in-depth research of essential shapes. Even the aesthetics of color is built with respect for the nature of the elements. And in the Superleggera V4 it is possible to distinguish with the Ducati Red the original color of the precious materials that compose it: the different types of carbon, titanium, aluminum.

We talked about it with Andrea Ferraresi, Ducati Head of Design.

“While the design of Ducati superbikes has always been extremely tech-driven, the Superleggera V4 project is a stylistic masterpiece.

The work of the design team focused primarily on making the shapes and materials speak for themselves. We worked to create an interplay of lines and depth between the Ducati red and visible carbon. The Superleggera V4 is a project for which it was critical to bring out the beauty of technique. Our work has therefore been focused on letting the beauty of functional efficiency speak for itself”.

The Superleggera V4 project is the most advanced bike that Ducati has ever put into production. Each screw, each component, is weighed and controlled to allow the best weight / power ratio. And the aesthetic details are no exception, for which the usual stylistic licenses cannot obviously be taken.

“If the task of an industrial designer is to bring out the beauty of technology, with the Superleggera V4 the task is elevated to the nth power. While on less extreme bikes we can afford some aesthetic discounts of engineering rigour, here we can’t. Not one. With the Superleggera V4 project there’s no room for 5 extra grams for adhesive and 200 grams for the special paint job. There’s not a single detail, not even an aesthetic one, that can alter performance. For all intents and purposes it was developed as a racing motorcycle.

And in this sense it is a very challenging project to work on because the designer must be very careful when making any changes, acting very discreetly yet decisively, being attentive to every detail so that the Ducati signature is unequivocally evident”.

It is customary for Ducati to dress its most exclusive designs with a livery inspired by the MotoGP of the year in which the design begins. And on the Superleggera V4 there was no exception. The visible carbon alternates with solid white and red lines that aim to enhance the noble fairing material.

“The choice not to colour the wings was strongly desired, and the graphics were designed to incorporate them into the line of the motorcycle, dissolving the physical dimension into a visual dimension. This is particularly noticeable when you have the chance to move around the bike, whose proportions change and are enriched with interesting vanishing points as you get closer”.

Aerodynamics is the most important evolutionary element of this Superleggera V4 on which it was important to measure the intervention as a designer. It was a visual starting point on which to elaborate all the aesthetic details of the bike.

“The maniacal attention to detail was certainly the greatest effort in terms of design because this bike was born to race, and every visible millimetre must convey the powerful aesthetic vibration of the most exclusive racing motorcycle on the planet”.

Lightweight Power

The engine

Interview with

Enrico Poluzzi,

Ducati Engine Design Manager.

The engine design is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive features of Ducati. A field in which the desmodromic timing system has become a signature feature. Developing the engine for project Superleggera V4 means making the most sophisticated Ducati engine ever made. Piece by piece, working on every single component to make it as light as possible. Finding space for innovation in every detail.

 We talked about it with Enrico Poluzzi, Ducati Engine Design Manager.

“Starting work on the Superleggera V4 was really exciting: we were free to think about unconventional solutions and to let our creativity run wild. It’s a much bigger playing field; my team was blessed with the opportunity of designing without any pressure in terms of costs or experimental levels and to have access to materials, processes, technologies that we normally use only in competitions.

It’s also an extremely engaging moment for everyone, because each working group knows which components have technical margins and technological alternatives and therefore put its specific know-how in the line. It’s a project where the mandate is to do impossible things”.

Enthusiasm is followed by the expertise of technical engineering development. Much like every other aspect of project Superleggera V4, engine development left no room for chance. A complete analysis of each micro engine component is carried out to understand the evolutionary opportunities, test new materials and new geometries. The idea is to open to futuristic research in order to make something unprecedented.

“When the project started we went over the engine’s list of components and 600 part numbers. We analysed all the components and then decided which to focus on. For some a search for experimental solutions began, while for others we knew that there was room for improvement because we already knew the current limits and margins for further development.

Priority is given to components made of higher density materials to evaluate replacement with lighter materials. We changed all the bolts for the bases and heads from steel to titanium. The same was also done for smaller bolts, like the ones on the camshaft supports. Small components yet very numerous. ”

The choice of materials is the first step, but a meticulous work on the geometries is also required, which develops in two different directions: the first to check that new materials do not present application difficulties, the second to improve and lighten the existing components.

“Many components were optimised by thinning the thicknesses and introducing lightening originally not present. With the same approach, starter gears and camshafts have been machined with additional lightening holes on the lobes and longitudinally by decreasing the cross-section over the entire length of the shaft.

42% of the components were redesigned to gain, in some cases, only a few dozen grams. When added to one another, though, the gain was quite sizeable and amounted to an overall reduction of 2.8 kg in comparison with our Panigale V4 S engine.

A component for which we managed to achieve a remarkable weight reduction is the oil pump assembly; we drastically simplified the assembly design and reduced the number of recovery pumps from 3 to 2. Thanks to the completely new design of inner pump ducts we managed to keep the assembly function unchanged, that is, the new pumps drain the oil from the same areas and with the same efficacy as the old system.”

The development work of this engine adds unique features also to the driving feel. Both for the lightening in the changes of direction, but above all for the increase of the reactivity that is generated by intervening on the inertia of the flywheel components. Ducati engineering skills are 100% exploited in every step, to create an engine that has its own specific character.

“Compared to the basic V4 all the flywheel parts were lightened, mainly using titanium con-rods (and therefore also lightening the crankshaft counterweights). The elements that make the largest contribution to the engine rotating masses inertia were all lightened: this means that the engine can increase and decrease RPMs more quickly. So the engine is designed to react instantly to the rider’s demands.

It was hard and painstaking work, in that the starting components in the standard engine already feature high optimisation levels. Therefore we had to focus on details, add holes, decrease thickness values to reduce weight but – needless to say – not to the detriment of reliability: Superleggera V4 engine components are approved by applying the same standards used for the components of every other engine, without any preferential treatment.”

 Each engine component has been brought to the limit. The complexity of the processes is much higher. As a consequence, all checks and simulations must show to be up to this, to add a craft approach while ensuring industrial reliability. Enrico’s team submits the project to FEM hours and structural simulation. For the Superleggera V4 engine, Ducati performs an extremization process similar to what is done by Ducati Corse for racing engines, but with safety coefficients adequate to a type-approval product.

“It’s a racing engine, but it has to have a lifetime guarantee. And this requires some extra attention. For example, titanium is a noble material but it generates more friction on sliding surfaces. This must be considered in the screws, since a certain axial load must be guaranteed to the tightening. That’s why we’ve used a special coating to eliminate this issue entirely”.

Being tasked with accomplishing excellence allows Ducati to grow individually and as part of a group; indeed, the discarded ideas push the whole team to looking for new, experimental technology innovations. It

is a search towards new performance boundaries that lays the foundations for the future, generating a truly exclusive engine-hearted-creature.

“Taking part in the development of the Superleggera V4 engine is truly a unique experience. It’s a job that fills the whole team with pride, but also generates enthusiasm and energy thanks to the creative freedom that was granted. It has become an experience of research and development that has a global impact on the team’s knowledge. We’re encouraged for new solutions even out of the box. This allows us to be daring and see the project as an expression of our skills and ourselves. It’s a great sense of accomplishment”.

The Special Features

State of the art components for the perfect bike and the highest performance.

Speed emotion

The performance

Ducati Superleggera V4 is the best that contemporary motorcycle engineering can express. It is the dream that comes true. The result of the most innovative research on materials dynamics and engineering. A search that reaches its fulfillment when the bike is brought to the track and tested by the pilot who can finally feel the most intense emotions.

We talked about it with Alessandro Valia, Ducati Official Test Rider.

“It’s a very powerful emotion. An endless wonder. First of all, the pride in being part of such an important project. And then the sense of dedication and meticulous attention in trying to transform technical and mechanical excellence into performance never seen before in a production motorcycle”.

The collaboration of Ducati designers with Alessandro Valia, official Ducati pilot and tester, translates into extraordinary sensations. The work of dynamics and re-design of the components creates a balance of chassis never realized before. The extremely high complexity of the technological equipment is geared towards simplifying riding.

“The first ride was amazing. First of all for the braking, coming out of the pits at Mugello I arrived at the first corner and I realised that I didn’t have to brake that much. Then you can clearly feel that the bike tends to follow lines autonomously. It’s a very rare feature that gives you great peace of mind and allows you to forget about the technical aspects, fully focusing on your riding style.

The work on the chassis has yielded extraordinary results. It’s incredibly fluid when you change direction”.

Agility is also enhanced by total stability. Thanks to the work done on aerodynamics, the vertical load given by the wing appendixes glues the bike to the ground, allowing a less incisive intervention of the traction control on the delivery.

“This bike has an impressive acceleration. But the most disarming characteristic is that you feel absolutely at ease, in full control of the bike. Thanks to the aerodynamics package you can open the throttle all the way, especially coming out of corners, without worrying about the bike doing a wheelie.

The impact of the wings was particularly evident to me when we tried it at Portimao, a track that has continuous variations in slope at full speed. But especially on the climb before the straight, where all bikes naturally tend to go into a wheelie, this one stays firmly on the ground, totally stable and with a solid grip. A stability that allows you to keep the throttle open just when it’s most important”.

The vertical load helps to improve the feeling of security, a feeling that helps the driver to be repeatable, to express the maximum according to the ‘Performance Redefined’ approach, totally Ducati.

“When you ride a GP or SBK the first impact is the surprise of feeling how easy it is to ride it. The exact same feeling I have with the new Superleggera V4. We have built a motorcycle that is both extreme and intuitive. For those who want to experience the feeling of pushing the envelope with every acceleration and every corner.

What really amazes me is the feeling of safety conveyed by the bike. Despite the impressive power-to-weight ratio it remains agile and intuitive. It’s truly a bike designed to empower riders to express their best. During testing I rode a lap on this bike at Mugello in 1:52:45. That’s just 2 seconds less than Pirro’s Panigale that won the CIV SBK. And Superleggera V4 is completely street legal: I was able to honk goodbye to some mechanics of the GP teams at Mugello that day after having recorded that time. You can imagine the looks on their faces”.

More than fifteen track sessions dedicated to the development of this bike have been organized. At each session different mappings were tested, to refine the calibration of dynamics and engine to the point that it was practically impossible to improve it.

“We paid a lot of attention to engine management. We worked to find the best relationship between the throttle grip and the power delivery. We wanted to define the unique character of this bike. And we definitely succeeded.

Riding it is a dream. Unequalled agility. Power full of character. All you can feel is the pure emotion of speed”.


Wear the dream


Dream gear

In Superleggera V4 excellence, engineering and dream merge to achieve a goal as ambitious as its target performance standard. In order to offer riders just the right combination of comfort and safety and achieve the ultimate performance levels that only this bike can offer, Ducati is offering dedicated apparel in which technology and innovation reach the highest levels of excellence.

Superleggera V4 suit

Manufactured by Dainese, this one-piece suit is available in standard sizes. Owners of Superleggera V4 can order it custom-made using the configurator. The Superleggera V4 suit is ideal to experience the extreme emotions this bike has to offer in full comfort and with the utmost control and safety. It is made of durable, supple kangaroo leather and features large ventilated areas, precious titanium protectors and integrated |D |air® airbag technology.

Sporting a sleek look thanks to the exclusive design created by Aldo Drudi and inspired by the livery of the Superleggera V4, this suit has been designed to help you to give your best on the track thanks to the advanced integrated electronic system that allows you to collect data on your performance.

High-performance materials

Ducati chose valuable kangaroo leather to strike the ideal balance between mechanical strength and lightweight. Less than a centimeter thick and lightweight, this sophisticated material lends the suit outstanding ergonomics and breathability, coupled with excellent tear and abrasion resistance.

Sturdy S1 fabric inserts and biaxial elastic and microelastic inserts increase the strength of the suit and enhance rider feel and comfort.

Protection and safety

This is not only a perfect technical garment meant to enhance maximum performance, but a real concentrate of technology designed to ensure total safety. The Superleggera V4 suit incorporates the |D |air® racing airbag system that covers shoulders, neck, collarbone and upper chest. It activates electronically, without needing to be physically connected to the bike, in case of rolling skidding and highside at a speed exceeding 50 Km/h.

To enhance safety, the suit is equipped with premium integrated protections such as dedicated titanium inserts on elbows, shoulders and knees and interchangeable elbow sliders, perfect for sliding in curves with full control.

Superleggera V4 helmet

Born for the racetrack, the Ducati Corse Carbon 2 Superleggera V4 helmet is the most exclusive protective gear you will ever wear on the racetrack. The outer shell is made of aviation carbon fiber hardened with a special resin that offers great durability and lightweight. The exclusive decoration dedicated to the Superleggera V4 is completely handmade by expert Japanese craftsmen, and custom graphics can be added.

Safe technology

The Ducati Corse Carbon 2 Superleggera V4 helmet is one of the most exclusive helmets ever made. It uses the same technology as the GP-6 RC helmet developed for use in Formula 1. It consists of a lightweight carbon fiber outer shell, consisting of as many as eleven layers painstakingly applied through careful manual work. An aerospace-derived technology translates into an accessory that combines lightweight and safety: just the right formula to achieve the purest performance on a dream bike.

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