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    Ducati V4s

    Written in direct revenge since some mumbling old twat did a review saying these things are too much for the road.


    Right. Let’s get this straight. The Ducati V4s is a Practical Sportsbike. It has to be, because it has heated grips, right? It’s also not a superbike. It’s a teleportation device. A fuck off insane 0 to Hertforshire in three seconds flat shape shifter. Barking doesn’t even cover it. Proper swivel eyed boil in the bag mentalist that lays waste to every tiny little bit of riding experience you have. Everything is possible – overtakes are so ludicrously swift that you can get past several vehicles in a way that was unthinkable a few years ago. Some might say that’s piling into danger too easy, I say it’s safer – declutch and change gear? No, I just twist and go – this accelerates harder in top gear than my 996 in second.

    I’ve chatted with Luke – we’ve talked enough shite about music, gone through the paperwork and he’s handed me the keys. A brief contractural talk about how to ride a bike and I get my leg over.

    It’s tall – my 996 is jacked up but the seat is higher on the V4s and the bars are wider, but closer to my body – more of an upright riding position, less of a low stretch. Still low, but not the monkey fucking a football crouch of mine.

    I fire it up – Loud. Very loud. Mine chimes in at 104db – this is louder. Clutch is smooth, thank fuck, since I’m fully expecting to make a fool of myself by stalling it. No worries – it’s a pussycat. I pull away clean and ride off at 30mph dead out of Abingdon. First roundabout, a tight little bastard with bumps and out the other side with no problems. Off to the bypass – round the nasty west Abingdon roundabout, last resurfaced in 1893 and it’s clear that all the sophisticated Ohlins suspension will still result in a spine jarring when hitting a surface that poor. It’s race track firm but with smooth progressive damping so isn’t phased or sent offline, but nonetheless it’s still not great. Cheers oxfordshore highways dept!



    I’ve chosen to go north of oxford to very familiar roads where I can directly compare & contrast on roads I know intimately well, familiar with every bump and contour – this might be described as a real world test? Unfortunately that means the A34 bypass first – a dozen miles of two lane blacktop dullness. Oooooh - the dash tells me I’m getting 86mpg at 59mph – that’s good to know while I’m snarled up in traffic….

    …but this is not the review you were looking for. Off onto the A44 towards Woodstock – a sweeping graceful left in forth, curve slightly round to the right then out of the next roundabout hard left in second – arrrrgh, fack, jaysus, wibble! It’s acceleration Jim, but not as we know it. The world has just retreated in fear behind me and I’ve panged over the horizon past five cars before I’ve even changed to third, triple figures already showing.

    And repeat at the next roundabout. Hard on the brakes, which are single finger usage to the point of violent and then flicflac through and hack through the gears again – each gear is clawed at and spat out rapido and I’m already doing serious jail time if caught.

    Then there’s the traffic lights next to Kidlington (oh, sorry – London Oxford, I shit you not) Airport. A fireblade draws alongside and very pointedly doesn’t look at me at all. I never expect other riders to be best mates but usually a nod or mini wave happens. Nope, he’;s staring straight ahead ignoring me much it looks insecure. Lights change and hes off, revs aplenty and front wheel slightly off the ground – credit due he’s launched well. I draw alongside in second then sling it into the red as hard as I can and he’s annihilated, just a speck in the mirrors within a few seconds. Gone. Yup, that’s 122bhp superbike in the past where it belongs. This is the future, and I’m inclined to enjoy it to the max, the gentle bypass curve turned into a serious bend as I’m leant over a fair amount at an indicated 147mph. Woodstock roundabout and I do two laps, knee down about three times as I lean over more at my leisure – I’m very very sure of this bike already and cherry picking my way round the road idiosyncrasies.

    A burble through Woodstock, catching the fireblade again sicne he’s gone past as I was circulating. Out the other side then a turn off onto the road to Charlbury. This is my happy hunting ground – I slam past three vehicles and approach a right hander a good 30mph faster than ever before. Slight body language of shifting weight and countersteering and I’m out before my mind has actually caught up to the fact that I’ve hacked through this bend at over a hundred wheras before I’d have been cautious at 70. A little more cautious through the esses – the road surface is rather like spaghetti bolognaise that someone’s covered in tarmac – bumpy, slippery, generally crap. The V4s handles it just fine but it’s narsty and I’m careful.

    Tow long straights – I’m caught daydreaming on the first, doing a casual 80 whilst thinking about engine mapping (I’m in sports, thinking about race1). The fireblade comes past close & fast. Perhaps I’ve offended his sensibilities earlier or he’s scalp hunting? He’s past three cars going into a blind bend - a desperate move that I’d never do – he’s lucky not to be paste, but he’s gained a hundred yards. Into the valley with a negative camber right and the microsecond I get a clear view and the rear scrabbles and thrums as I’m past the same cars, down and up the valley and I’m on him again as we pass my parents old house.

    I crawl through Charlbury with the V4 engine resounding from the surrounding houses – a brief lull in the violence. I use that word deliberately. This thing, this alien , this beeste accelerates so hard that it tips into being physically unpleasant. Years ago we bought an Evo5 for a company car. A bit of titting around and it was pushing 375bhp. Within a week my boss had his neck in a brace from cornering like a bastard trying to find the limits. The car found his first. The V4s is likewise – a complete pussy around town, far more tractable smooth and well behaved than my 996, yet when you pull the trigger it’s armageddon, terminator 2, gbh and violent affray on angel dust. You need to hang oin, have your wits about you, think well ahead and hang on some more.

    So, that little bit of slo mo reflection over with, it’s time for the Charlbury TT – a writhing snake of a road with leaps twists and bumps galore – the archetypal rollercoaster with added dodgems. Love it on every bike I’ve ridden, it’s now time to blitz it. Up the hill, right, down the dip, up again, hard left, knee grasing the grass and down hard, sharp right, up and hard left on a negative camber. All on fast forward, all with the bike just coping despite the crap tarmac, gently coaxing that right hand some more. Blind left, gentle right and then three zoops in a row – minor jumps on the 996 are now proper airbourne and loving it. Into the killer blind corkscrew ( literally, there’s enough holes in the hedges) and beyond.

    A flying photoshoot at the top of the world then onwards

    Onto the A361 towards Chipping Norton, holding iin forth for a series of lightning overtakes several cars at a time, a civil cruise through Shipton and then bring me the horizon, hacking up hill and gunning for Chippy. Cruise again through town then crack on south again on the A44 – this was originally the A34,, main artery to Birmingham before the M40 was built and nowadays almost deserted – ideal for triple figure speeds whilst doing top gear roll ons and hard braking for the hell of it – honestly, yes, you can use this power on the roads, getting away with it in small doses of extremity. It’s just so fucking easy to get into trouble double quick yet it’s got all the handling, brakes and grip to secure your place in the world for a little while longer. You’re safer in this thing at 130 than any old bus from the 90’s at, er, 90. Seriously – people regard something like a ZX7 as a fine handling sublime sportsbike that they can rely on for thrills and fun, but that’s a raddled wobbly beached whale of rotten jelly by comparism. If anyone starts prattling on at you saying modern bikes are too much for the road then please point, laugh and hand them a Werthers. Deluded old twats. This is the here & now, the future and the epitome of bike riding – Just fucking insane each and every time you want with a huge safety margin of development that makes every ride surreal and invigorating.

    Back to oxford – that gentle bypass curve mentioned earlier is attacked again and then a turnoff to Kidlington is equally approached – a 140mph lefty overtaking an irrelevant and puny Maserati that doesn’t realise it’s been mugged till I’m a hundred yards past and attacking the next roundabout. Knee sliders are being abused today far more than I usually do on track – it’s just too easy & secure, and I’m relaxed, calm, happy – no tension at all from uncertainty of bike behaviour.

    Cross country to visit Naomi – It’s rude not to call in – she likes it but prefers the look and especially the rear seat of the 996 – the V4s would be practically (sorry) useless carrying passengers. Far too uncomfortable and you could never use that performance therefore pointless. A fine selfish mode of crack transport insanity then!

    Back to Abingdon, fuelling up, getting glared at by a couple of other sports bike riders – is this a developing theme? It’s not my fault they’ve chosen inadequate machines – they too could piledriver themselves into debt by getting a 25k toy. That’s an internal debate I’ll be having with myself for days to come. I stop for a photo frenzy then crack on knowing I’ve just stolen a couple of hours of heaven and it’s going to be hellish living without this now. I need more. Moar.
    Last edited by hawkati; 09-09-2021, 03:12 AM.

    #2
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      #3
      That Duc V4 lays waste to even the Aprilia RSV4 factory 1100s at the racetrack.

      Comment


        #4
        why pay excessive $$,$$$ for excessive power nobody can use on public roads ?? bragging rights ?
        "It's only getting worse."


        MY rides: '97 VFR750, '90 Red Hawk, '88 Blue/Black Hawk, '86 RWB VFR700 (3), '86 Yamaha Radian, '90 VTR250, '89 VTR250 (2), '73 CB125, '66 Yamaha YL-1

        Sold: '86 FJ1200, '92 ZX-7, '90 Radian, '73 CB750, '89 all-white Hawk, '88 blue Hawk, '86 FZ600, '86 Yam Fazer 700 , '89 VTR250, '87 VFR700F2, '86 VFR700F.

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          #5
          Originally Posted by squirrelman View Post
          why pay excessive $$,$$$ for excessive power nobody can use on public roads ?? bragging rights ?
          Well, Hawkati seems to have answered those questions in the (enjoyable) write up of his ride on the V4. He does seem to have used and benefited from the ‘excessive power’. As to the money - what’s excessive? If the ticket price is within one’s budget why not go for it? Life is short and you can’t take it with you.

          My main worry would be that after riding something like that everything else would seem incredibly crude and/or flabby and be thereafter spoiled. Its perhaps for the good that I’ve got other things to spend my little cash on. Im also nowhere good enough rider for anything like that and it might just use up the last of my nine lives.

          That said, unless the grim reaper has me at the top of the list, i do wonder if I might try a red Ducati twin one day, perhaps when I’ve finished with tweaking the Bros?

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            #6
            Anyone can twist the throttle all that way. So imo there is very rarely "excessive power"

            Sounds like fun.
            Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

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              #7
              Great write up.

              The only issue I have with newer bikes is that they make the Hawk feel dated. On the other hand, it makes me appreciate how much you have to work for speed on the Hawk. Of course, none of us are getting any younger and the thought of a V4 Ducati is awfully enticing (if I could afford one).
              ASMA #139

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                #8
                I love the writeup Hawkati! Are you a pro journo, or are you just impressively charismatic and therefore able to chat your way onto a borrowed Pani?

                I was inspired and just watching Panigale videos (which I do time to time) and I keep thinking about getting one - for myself looking at the the 1199/1299 as those are coming down in cost, but in for a penny in for a pound, so maybe a V4?

                My main worry is what a puss I would be riding the thing. Most of my bikes, I'd shed a tear if I crashed one, and they only cost $3-5k, I can't imagine the heartbreak if I crashed $27k! So I'd probably tiptoe around in the bottom 1/3 of that things capability. Not to mention I'd look like a total poser doing it!

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                  #9
                  great write up Hawkati, I am a bit jealous mainly because you are obviously younger and fitter than me to ride such an extreme bike. Distant memory for me.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    i just wish ducati would put the v4 in a sports touring model - I had a ST2 and still have a 650 pantah and a 1997 750, I love my vfr 750 but would love a v4 ducati but hte panigale styling and seating doesnt work for me. still love desmos (sigh)

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                      #11
                      Originally Posted by old_pirelli View Post
                      i just wish ducati would put the v4 in a sports touring model - I had a ST2 and still have a 650 pantah and a 1997 750, I love my vfr 750 but would love a v4 ducati but hte panigale styling and seating doesnt work for me. still love desmos (sigh)
                      What do you call the Multistrada?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally Posted by squirrelman View Post
                        why pay excessive $$,$$$ for excessive power nobody can use on public roads ?? bragging rights ?
                        oh dear...you imagine you can't use this power on public roads?
                        Trust me. You can.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally Posted by Talon View Post
                          Great write up.

                          The only issue I have with newer bikes is that they make the Hawk feel dated. On the other hand, it makes me appreciate how much you have to work for speed on the Hawk. Of course, none of us are getting any younger and the thought of a V4 Ducati is awfully enticing (if I could afford one).
                          They're such completely different things that they have equal attraction - I usually use a ducati 996 which has 117bhp (trading it soon) and boggo hawk with 51bhp - but I'll happily ride them both on track back to back - it's funnier that way and I sincerely enjoy the hawk's nature just as much.

                          Nope, I'm no journo but I regularly write up trips etc on this forum- https://pbmagforum.co.uk/forum/4-general/

                          The V4s isn't excessive. It's just right. It's a concern that I'll gleefully bounce the 996 off the rev limiter away from the lights yet I'll have forgotten what that was like only a moment later. That's what despatching does to you and I'm grateful I got out of that game without losing limbs and being able to rediscover the enjoyment of riding bikes again.
                          Trust me it's a very very funny bike y'all need to try at least once...

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                            #14
                            Originally Posted by hawkati View Post
                            .
                            Trust me it's a very very funny bike y'all need to try at least once...
                            Just let me know when and wear. I'll gladly try it.
                            Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

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                              #15
                              Just to add a little context, I took part in an 8 hour endurance race last weekend....
                              ....on mopeds. Yup, about 55mph max but absolutely balls out daftness trying to lose a tenth of a second a lap, and get one whole more mile per hour drafting and trying to overtake a whole world of other fuckwits.
                              41st out of 84 contestants. Funny as fuck!

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