The Ducati Panigale V4 R set has been hard to track down since it was released, with it regularly going out of stock as soon as it appears on LEGO.com. I guess that indicates that there are a lot of people out their interested in this one. Well if you are still on the fence I am here to answer the very simple question – should you buy it?
Maybe. If you are a Technic fan then I think this is going to be a great addition to your collection. If you aren’t particularly enthused by the theme then this one probably won’t win you over. Perhaps you are a motorcycle enthusiast who has come across this post while googling about the set, if that is you then you’re probably going to like this too.
Firstly, I am going to be honest and say that I don’t particularly care for Technic. No it’s not because it’s too complicated for me. I just find Technic needlessly fiddly. But I promise to be objective with this one.
The few Technic builds that I have done recently all sort of follow the same process – using about 500 pins you build the internals of the model, then you slap some panels on it and call it day. That’s the process here with the Ducati too. The internals feature an engine with pistons that you can see move when you turn the rear wheel. That engine is connected to a 2-speed gear-box, which is apparently a first for LEGO Technic motorcycles. There is also suspension built in to the model for extra realism.
Opening the box the first thing that struck me was the size of the wheels. In my head the model was a lot smaller than in actually is in real life. Seeing the wheels really hit home that this was going to be more complex than I had expected.
Adding to the complexity of the build is that this set does not have numbered bags. I’d suggest having some sort of trays handy because otherwise you’ve got a lot of pins that are going to be rolling around all over the place.
While I don’t love Technic I do appreciate those moments during a build where you add a gear and get to see how it interacts with the other gears. Things happen when you turn the other thing. It’s neat.
There are a few stickers that you’ll need to apply to get the full Ducati livery on your model. A few of the stickers are oddly shaped but nothing too hard to apply, they usually conform to the shape of a specific panel. I know a lot of people have had issues with sticker sheets being messed up in this set and I can confirm that my sticker sheet was a bit scrunched. I just left it under a heavy book for a couple of hours and it was fine.
The final part of the build is a stand that will help you keep your model upright when you want to display it. Which you are going to want to do all the time. It’s visually very striking.
There are some things that I don’t like about this model. Firstly the seat feels a little unfinished, with the Technic beams and blue pins visible. I don’t know how else you’d do this part of the model but it sticks out a bit in my opinion.
The other thing that I don’t love is the front windshield. It’s made of thin film plastic, stuck on two swords to barely hold it in place. It just feels a bit flimsy compared to the solidness of LEGO. A custom piece being created just for this might have been a bit unrealistic though, and probably would have pushed up the price.
I think the RRP of $89.99 for this one is fair. You get a build experience that is complicated but it’s still something that isn’t going to take you weeks to build. I know that “buy Dad Technic for Father’s Day” thing is a bit of a cliche but if you do have a dad who likes motorcycles I think he’d like this one. This is also one that I think most Technic fans will enjoy.
Where to get it?
At the time of publication the best price I can find for this set is $71 from Target, but it does seem that stock is fairly limited. Kmart has this set listed for a regular price of $79 which is slightly below RRP. Amazon also match Kmart pricing but don’t currently have the set available.
If you can get this at one of Myer’s glitchy “buy one, get one half” price sales – the ones where you get 25% off everything in your cart – the discount is going to be better than Kmart pricing.
This set was provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions expressed are my own.