What is the Top Speed of the Ducati Superleggera V4?

What is the Top Speed of the Ducati Superleggera V4

The Ducati Superleggera V4 is one of the most exclusive and high-performing superbikes ever produced. With a limited run of just 500 units and a price tag over $100,000, it represents the pinnacle of Ducati engineering.

But how fast can this exotic Italian machine really go? What factors affect its top speed potential? And how does it compare to the competition?

Highlights of the Ducati Superleggera V4

highlights of the ducati superleggera v4

The Superleggera V4 is the ultimate track-focused street-legal machine from Ducati. It’s designed from the ground up for maximum performance and minimum weight.

Some highlights include:

  • 224 hp Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine
  • Adjustable Öhlins suspension
  • Brembo brake calipers and carbon wheels
  • Carbon fiber frame, subframe, and bodywork
  • Striking GP19 race livery styling
  • Just 152kg (335lbs) dry weight in full race configuration

With the optional racing kit equipped, the Superleggera V4 boasts an unbelievable power-to-weight ratio of 1.54hp per kg.

Top Speed

The published top speed figure for the Ducati Superleggera V4 is 186 mph (300 km/h). However, this is an electronically limited top speed.

Based on the potential of the 998cc V4 powerplant and overall performance, experts estimate the bike could reach over 200 mph with the limiter disengaged.

For reference, the related Panigale V4 R shares the same engine and has hit top speeds nearing this benchmark.

So while the capped 186 mph factory claim seems modest, the Superleggera V4 likely has plenty of headroom left in it.


In road trim, the lightweight Ducati can rocket from 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds.

Its peak power output of 224hp arrives at 15,250 rpm, with maximum torque of 85 lb-ft hitting shortly below at 11,750 rpm.

Equipped with the full racing kit, that peak horsepower figure climbs even higher to 234hp at 15,500 rpm.

So this V4 powerplant isn’t just powerful—it’s frenetic, hurtling through the rev range at warp speed enroute to its 14,500 rpm redline.


Engine998cc Desmosedici Stradale V4
Bore x Stroke81mm x 48.4mm
Compression Ratio14:1
Max Power234hp (174kW) at 15,500 rpm
Max Torque87.7 lb-ft at 11,750 rpm
Dry Weight335.5 lbs (152.2kg)
Seat Height32.9 inches (835mm)
Fuel Capacity4.23 gallons (16 liters)

Additional Specs: Carbon fiber frame/swinging arm, billet fork bottoms, 5-spoke carbon fiber wheels, titanium exhaust by Akrapovic.

What Determines the Top Speed?

what determines the top speed

Many factors influence just how fast a motorcycle can propel itself:


At just 335.5 lbs fully fueled in race trim, the Superleggera V4 has a major advantage here. Less mass to accelerate and change direction equals greater speed potential.


The GP16-derived bodywork and wings help the bike cut through the air and stay planted across its entire speed range. Less drag and better stability allows more of the engine’s grunt to translate into forward velocity.

Gear Ratios

With a close ratio 6-speed transmission, the Ducati V4 is geared for acceleration over all-out top speed runs. Still, its top gear ratio could likely push past 200 mph or more.


The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber offers ample grip and stability even at street-illegal speeds. They help translate the engine’s power to the tarmac when the bike is upright.

Power Curve

The rev-happy V4 produces abundant power across its operating range. And with the electronics dialed in, the rider can fully exploit this anywhere on the tachometer.

How Does it Compare?

So where does the Ducati Superleggera V4 stand up against its top-tier production bike rivals?

The Kawasaki Ninja H2R track weapon boasts 310hp and a reported top speed of over 240 mph. But it’s also over 100 lbs heavier than the Ducati, and not street legal.

BMW’s M1000RR is more comparable as it tips the scales at just 423 lbs wet. It’s electronically limited to 195 mph from the factory. So despite nearly 50 more horsepower, the BMW likely can’t match the potential top end of a derestricted Ducati.

The lightweight Honda CBR1000RR-R SP is the closest match at 445 lbs wet and just 2 hp shy of the Ducati. But with less power and a focus on acceleration, its top speed probably falls a bit short as well.

How to Make it Faster?

how to make it faster

For those looking to maximize the top speed even further, here are some modifications to consider:

Derestrict Top Speed Limiter

Simply raising or removing the 186 mph limit in the ECU will reveal the full potential. Requires tweaking ECU parameters.

Install Full Racing Exhaust

Adds 10hp over stock. Titanium systems from Akrapovic, SC Project, or Termignoni work well.

Tune ECU

Custom mapping to optimize powerband for top end speed runs.

Reduce Weight

Strip unnecessary components to shed every possible ounce.

Extend Gearing

Installing 1-2 extra teeth on rear sprocket better optimizes transmission for max speed.

The Good and the Bad


  • Otherworldly power-to-weight ratio
  • Stunning exotic superbike styling
  • Extreme performance and handling
  • Ultra-premium components and build quality
  • Limited production run adds exclusivity


  • Astronomical price tag
  • Uncomfortable ergonomics for street use
  • Requires expert riding skills
  • Not suitable for inexperienced riders
  • Costly and complex to service

Alternatives to Consider

Those looking for comparable exotic Italian superbikes without the collector-level pricing may want to check out the:

Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory: 217hp, 390 lb wet weight. Luxe components but easier to ride.

MV Agusta F4 RC: 205hp, 375 lbs wet. Equally exotic styling and top shelf parts.

Ducati Panigale V4S: 216hp, 437 lb wet weight. Baby brother to the Superleggera V4.

Availability and Pricing

As a limited edition model, only 500 units of the Superleggera V4 were produced by Ducati. Many examples were pre-sold, but unused bikes still pop up at dealers from time to time.

Base MSRP was $100,000 USD when new for models. Given the exclusivity, low miles examples today command prices from $120,000 to $150,000 or more.

What Owners Say

what owners say

With only a few hundred in existence, firsthand owner feedback on the Superleggera V4 is limited. Early reviews however have been glowing:

“On the road it delivers such exhilarating, free-revving and predictable supersport performance that you soon forget about the price.” – Visordown

“It exudes excellence and is a bike without flaws.” – motorcyclenews

Some note that ergonomics are extreme for regular road use. And the carbon wheels/bodywork require delicate care. But most agree the experience outweighs any downsides:

“Occasional riders might find it uncomfortable but I didn’t want to get off it.” – Owner review

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast can a de-restricted Superleggera V4 really go?

Expert estimates based on the power output put an unlimited top speed over 210 mph or more.

What is the main limitation on top speed?

Ultimately the bike’s aerodynamics and gear ratios limit terminal velocity. Engine power is abundant.

How long can it sustain top speed runs?

Hard acceleration and prolonged top speed efforts will overheat the engine after just a few minutes.

Is the Superleggera V4 street legal?

Yes, it is fully street legal in most regions. But it’s intended more for track and closed course use.

What tires come stock on the Superleggera V4?

The stock tires are the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP models, in a 120/70ZR17 front and a larger 200/60ZR17 rear size. They provide ample grip for ultra high speed stability, while also heating up quickly for maximum traction on track days.

How often do the valve clearances need adjustment?

Valve clearance checks and adjustment (if needed) should be performed every 24,000 km (15,000 miles). This interval is reduced compared to conventional street bikes due to the race-bred desmodromic valvetrain.

What type of carbon fiber is used in the Superleggera V4 construction?

Various grades of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) are used throughout. Aerospace-grade pre-preg carbon is used for critical structural components while cheaper types handle non-critical panels/bodywork. This balances cost, durability, and ultra lightweight construction.

Can I add saddlebags or touring accessories to it?

No – the Superleggera V4 is intended solely as a high performance track/race bike. Any luggage or accessories that compromise that focus should be avoided both for legal and practical reasons. This machine is built for speed, not long distance comfort or storage.

Final Thoughts

The Ducati Superleggera V4 represents the pinnacle of sportbike engineering today. With up to 234 horsepower propelling a featherweight 152 kilogram machine, performance touches otherworldly levels.

While the factory-claimed 186 mph top speed seems rather modest, experts agree this figure is likely electronically restricted. Removing limitations can help the Desmosedici Stradale V4 reveal its true potential—estimated conservatively at over 210 mph.

So does the Superleggera V4 deliver liter-bike leadership bragging rights in the top speed department? An unlocked version likely leads the pack. And with a bit of additional fettling, there’s room left to elevate it even higher into the realms normally only achieved by all-out hyperbikes.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *