Limited edition Ducati Panigale V2 celebrates Troy Bayliss’s first WSB title in 2001
There are a few riders who are inextricably linked with one brand. It’s weird to think of Joey Dunlop *not* on a Honda. Same with Mick Doohan. And while Valentino Rossi has ridden Aprilias, Hondas and Ducatis in his GP career it’s probably his time on Yamaha that most people think of.
For Troy Bayliss, it’s definitely Ducati. The Australian racer started out in the UK riding for GSE Ducati in British Superbike, famously winning the 1999 title against Chris Walker. From then, he moved to AMA for a short while, before moving up to the world stage in 2000. He took his first WSBK title the following year on a factory 996R F01, again, after a titanic battle, this time with Colin Edwards.
2001 is, of course twenty years ago now (which is frankly terrifying to us oldsters here). So Ducati’s brought out the celebration stardust, and sprinkled it over a posh new limied-edition Panigale V2, to echo Bayliss’s title-winning 996R machine. Like any proper race bike, it wears fancy Öhlins suspension front and rear – NX30 forks and a TTX36 rear shock – and has a gorgeous deep red paint scheme with Troy’s old race number on it – #21.
The engine is the 955cc Superquadro V-twin, which has a similar output to Troy’s WSBK racebike.
The Panigale V2 makes 155bhp: around 20bhp more than the standard 996 R was making back in 2001, and you’d have to have had the very best tuner (and bottomless pockets for new crankcases) to match that figure, even on a full WSBK race bike.
There’s a smattering of carbon fibre, a luxury embroidered single-seat unit and a light weight lithium battery, helping cut the weight by 3kg. But it’s not a crazy over-the-top exotic special, rather a really nicely done, celebration machine with wide appeal. The price backs that up – just £17,995 is a positive bargain for a one-off special factory Ducati, and we can see a lot of these bikes being sold (we’ve not seen a number that it will be limited to).
Fancy one? Of course you do. They’re heading for dealers in October, so plenty of time to sort out a nice bank loan. More info as ever: www.ducati.com