Ducati has a new limited-production track-ready race replica bike paying homage to the great three-time World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss. The Panigale V2 Bayliss 1st Championship 20th Anniversary harkens back to the Australian wonder’s first championship in 2001 riding the iconic 996 R. While this bike isn’t based on Ducati’s fastest motorcycle, the balls-out Panigale V4, it is more in line with the original 996, as it is powered by a more traditional two-cylinder engine.
I’m a little torn about this bike, because one half of me says it’s a totally cool way for seasoned riders to get on track, and its 155 horsepower V-twin is plenty for most riders. With special Öhlins dampers and a monoposto design, the V2 Bayliss is lighter and tighter than its more pedestrian counterpart. The other half of me feels like this is a cynical cash grab meant to influence collectors to pick up a slightly improved street bike with a livery globbed on. It’s a really cool bike that seems like it is priced fairly and would be a great ride at the track, but maybe Bayliss deserved a more fitting tribute to go with his legendary status.
The special edition bike features a livery aping Troy’s 2001 race bike, including a #21, the red/green/white paint, and a Shell logo. Troy’s autograph is reproduced on the tank of the bike, and the billet aluminum triple clamp is etched with the name of the bike and its unique serialized number. There are three performance-oriented improvements to the bike to make it a Bayliss, including special Öhlins dampers, removal of the passenger seat and pegs, and a lightweight lithium ion 12v battery. All told, the bike is around seven pounds lighter in Bayliss form than the standard Pani V2. There are also sportier grips, a carbon-and-titanium silencer cover, and a red-stitched seat.
The V2 is powered by a 955cc “Superquadro” twin producing 155 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque. Fittingly, even as the the entry-level model in the Panigale family of sport bikes, the V2 produces about 19 horsepower more than Bayliss’ own 996 R race bike did twenty years ago. Given the right rider and the right track, it’s possible this street-legal bike would be faster than the top-of-the-line race bike was twenty years prior. Isn’t progressive engineering amazing?
So how much is a set of Öhlins and special paint going to cost you? Well, it isn’t cheap. The standard V2 starts at $16,495, and the Bayliss edition will show up in dealer showrooms this October for $21,000. I’m pretty sure you can get a good set of race dampers and a nice Termi exhaust for less than $4,505, and still have money left over for a nice professional wrap. Sure, it isn’t going to have an individually numbered triple clamp, but that isn’t going to make you faster. Ah man, who am I kidding? This thing is cool as shit.