There are fast motorcycles, and then there's the Ducati Panigale V4 S. Can you say 214 hp, 91.5 pound-feet of torque, 386 pounds (claimed)? Even with the potentially neutering effects of Euro 4 emissions standards, the V4 S is really, really, really fast. Its top-end rush is gravity-bending, expletive-inducing, blow-your-tonsils-out-your-backside ferocious.

Even with Ducati’s wheelie control dialed up to 4, nothing can completely cope with the prodigious power and torque of this thing. With the throttle to the stop in third gear, spin it up past 10,000 rpm and the front wheel points skyward whether you want it to or not. Electronic intervention be damned. Physics calls its bluff. You’re doing triple-digit speeds with the front end in the air, thinking, “This thing is insane.”

Ducati Panigale V4 S
Ducati Panigale V4 S. Not pictured: stupid grin.Aidan O’Dowd

Yet, it makes a surprisingly easy-to-live-with daily rider and commuter bike.

The best everyday/commuter bikes are easy to use and confidence-inspiring. The V4 S is the most confidence-inspiring, happy-to-dawdle, eager-to-please fire-breathing repli-racer I’ve ever ridden. It handles whatever the world throws in its way. And I don’t mean “handle” in a Michael Corleone kind of way. It may look like it’ll put a decapitated horse head in your bed if you cross it, but the V4 S is accommodating, unflappable, and undemanding.

2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S
The V4 sounds like a Ducati GP18.Aidan O’Dowd

Its handling, brakes, and fueling are phenomenal, and the feedback given by the semi-active electronic suspension and chassis make the rider relax and feel in complete control. Approaching corners that typically make me a bit hesitant on the throttle, the V4 is nonplussed. Therefore, I’m nonplussed. I barrel through them as those saintly Öhlins springs convey front-end feel in a way I’ve never experienced. I think to myself, “So this is what a motorcycle is supposed to feel like.”

When a lot of people think "commuter bike," they picture a 25-year-old Suzuki GS500 with a dented tank and a loaded cargo net strapped to the top of it; something they don't mind running into the ground and that demands little of the rider. Utilitarian, yes, but with an older bike, or even a not-that-great new bike, handling, braking—all the important stuff, really—can be compromised.

No one is going to put bungee cords on a $28,000 motorcycle. Heck, the V4’s aluminum tank won’t even accommodate a magnetic tank bag. But for me, confidence on the road is more important than tie-down points and rubber-coated footpegs. And that’s where the V4 is nearly incomparable. Sure, panniers, heated grips, upright ergos, and suspension designed for surfaces rougher than CoTA would be the practical choice; I’m just not sure I’m ready to adopt “practical” as my everyday motto on two wheels. I mean if I’m going to ride to work, I might as well do it right.

2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S
That’s an angry-looking motorcycle.Aidan O’Dowd

Although the ergonomics are still committed, they’re pretty humane for the breed. For my body type, the V4 is the most comfortable race-replica sportbike I’ve ever ridden. Unlike the original Panigales, the seat doesn’t feel like you’re sitting on a Lego brick and the reach to the bars is hardly extreme. Not like the spine-lengthening torture racks of old.

And when you want to explore the highest levels of human achievement, just twist the grip.

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With all the electronic adjustablity at your fingertips, the V4 can quickly lose its friendly, willing-to-please side. Turn off TC, wheelie control, and engine-brake control, and change throttle response from Smooth to Dynamic, and things can get manic. Dynamic, I found, is Italian for “hang onto your butts.” Throttle inputs are translated to speed instantaneously. Not ideal on bumpy roads, but invigorating when you’re feeling a bit rowdy.

2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S
Comfortable for sunny days and for sub-300-mile days.Aidan O’Dowd

My friend Greg has a 2017 Ducati SuperSport S that he absolutely loves. I wanted to get his impression of the V4, and he was happy to take it out for a spin, though a bit tentative as I fired it up and the noise from the exhaust made a poster fall off my garage wall.

“Never mind that. Just don’t drop it in my steep, rutted, 500-foot gravel driveway.”

So off he went full of confidence.

He returned with a huge smile on his face.

“How did they do this?” he beamed. “It’s an absolutely perfect motorcycle. It’s a motorcycle that anyone can ride, and anyone can enjoy. I did not expect that at all. It’s so sweet.”

The V4 inspires hyperbole like no other machine.

It’s a joy to ride everyday because it makes every ride special.

2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S
At speed, it feels like those big intakes are sucking rabbits out of the hedges (to paraphrase Guy Martin).Aidan O’Dowd

Okay, so there’s no place to put the groceries or a laptop, Ducati Red always looks better shiny and polished than covered in dead bugs and road grime, and it costs more than a lot of cars. But whatever. I want every day to be a Panigale V4 S kind of day.

And yes, there are a lot of confidence-inspiring motorcycles out there; but none that feel quite like the Panigale V4 S—or at least feel this good at such speeds. If I can hold onto my license, it’ll be a miracle. Maybe I should stop riding it every day.