Best Sportbike of 2020

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By Troy Siahaan

Best Sportbike of 2020: Ducati Superleggera V4

The Ducati Superleggera V4 borders on obscene. With up to 235 horses on tap with the race exhaust and pushing something hovering at around 400 pounds, the sheer amount of thrust bends your perception of…well, everything. And yet, despite the absurd amount of power mixed with its carbon-fiber and titanium-infused diet, the Ducati Superleggera V4 still handles and circulates around a racetrack as well, if not better, than anything else I’ve ridden. And if the stopwatch ultimately proves me wrong someday, certainly nothing I’ve ridden to date can match the utter exhilaration the Superleggera V4 provides.

If you didn’t already know, Supperleggera means Super Light in Italian. Ducati takes this namesake to heart whenever it builds a Superleggera model. In the V4’s case, you’ll find carbon fiber everywhere, including the wheels, frame, and even a swingarm. And where carbon wasn’t a suitable material, titanium is used instead. Interestingly enough, as far as the 999cc V4 engine is concerned, Ducati says 42% of its components were redesigned to make it lighter – 6.2 lbs lighter than the standard V4R engine, to be exact. Increasing power was seemingly a byproduct, not the main goal. Then again, nobody’s complaining about the standard V4R being slow.

All that power is harnessed by one of the best electronic suites in the business today, with Ducati Traction Control coming leaps and bounds compared to the first version I sampled on the 2008 1098R. Back then you could clearly tell when the system was intervening. Now its operation is so smooth it’s nearly imperceptible.

But the big talking point, aside from everything else mentioned above, are the wings branching out from either side. Love’em or hate’em, the biplane wings offer a legitimate improvement in downforce compared to the single plane wings on …read more

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