NE PLUS ULTRA
MAXIM Australia|December 2021
Riding the most powerful, fastest and most technologically advanced production Ducati ever...
DUNCAN QUINN

I was suffering mild panic attacks, with euphoria and trepidation thrown in. And that was before I’d even swung a leg over. It wasn’t COVID-19. It was two wheels with a power-to-weight ratio more than twice that of a Bugatti Chiron. Weighing in at 159 kg, not far north of where I tip the scale after a good 12-hour lunch at Balthazar, with 224 horsepower on tap from its highly tweaked V4 motor. The beast was the Ducati Superleggera V4. An Exocet missile of a superbike built to annihilate everything in its class, with that Bolognese panache and character unique to Ducati — the most powerful, fastest, and most technologically advanced production bike they’ve ever produced.

I’d been chasing this most recent holy grail of superbikes for some time. A global pandemic had quashed plans for a roundtrip test run from Newport Beach to Monterey, CA, as the lone example in the U.S. was shipped back to Italy for the duration. And so I waited. And plotted. Eventually I had to get to Europe to renew a passport. Which seemed the perfect opportunity to test the beast in its natural habitat. Borgo Panigale, Bologna, Italy.

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