16 July 2020

LEGO® Technic review: 42107 Ducati Panigale V4 R

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Victor Pruvost returns today with a fascinating look at the latest LEGO® Technic motorbike, which contains new elements that may be useful even in non-Technic builds.


Today we take a look at the latest motorbike from the LEGO® Technic line: 42107 Ducati Panigale V4 R. It comes with 646 pieces (the highest part count yet for a Technic bike), including some elements that might be interesting even for System builders.

The tyres


When opening the box, you find most of the parts in non-numbered bags, as well as loose rims and tyres. So let’s have a look at them first!


First of all, it’s worth pointing out they’re different: the rear tyre is wider than the front one. It might seem obvious for a motorbike to have a wider rear tyre, but previous bikes such as sets 8051 and 42036 did have the same narrow tyre (Motorcycle Tyre Ø94.2 – Element ID 6261718 | Design ID 88516) on the front and rear wheels. The wide rear tyre (Called Tyre Narrow, dia. 94.3, NO. 1 by TLG - 6294605 | 67140) has been created specifically for this set, and is the third tyre designed for the rim 52051 after parts 11957 (above, top left) and 88516 (top right).


We can also compare it to the rear tyre of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy (read our review), although this one is slightly different since it’s made to fit two rims side to side. (Above, from left to right: 88516, 67140, and 46335.)


However, if we want a more accurate comparison, we have to go 15 years in the past, and take a look at the set 8420 Street Bike. This one also had a wider rear tyre, which pattern, diameter and width are really close to those of the Ducati. For some reason, the tyres were glued to the rims, and the wheels were unique to this set. Let’s hope it won’t be the case for the new tyre 67140!

The Street Bike also had unique brake disks, and so does the Ducati.


There’s two Technic, Brake Disc 6 x 6 (6285654 | 65416) in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray. Their intricate design matches the ones on the real bike quite well, with the hexagon and triangles in the centre and the holes on the outer portion of the disk.


Its diameter of six modules makes it easier to integrate into System builds, and I think its pattern could work well for sci-fi vehicles.


The thickness of the disk is slightly less than a half-plate, and I realised that you could attach roller skates or lever bases on its edge.

The Shock absorbers

Many bikes in the past used 9,5L shock absorbers (18404), which featured a visible spring. Again, the Ducati brings new elements to serve that function: a pair of Shock Absorber 11L (6302623 | 65151) are used to provide front suspension.


They’re really beautiful parts, with a Warm Gold/ Pearl Gold body, a Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray rod and a Medium Stone Grey tip.


These shock absorbers are 11 modules long when uncompressed, and nine modules long while compressed, meaning it has a travel distance of two modules. The rods can only slide in the bodies; there’s a groove in the bodies to prevent the rotation of the rods.


The gold cap can be removed, and we can get access to the spring hidden inside the body. It’s much smaller than that of the previous shock absorber! Without the spring, the dark grey rod can slide freely; it even has some play.

The bubble

We’ve seen specific windscreens created for sets like 1989 Batmobile (read our review) or 75275 A-wing Starfighter. This time, instead of creating a dedicated moulded element, LEGO used a soft translucent plastic sheet to create the bubble.


Four holes punched in the sheet are used to attach it to the rest of the model. The designer used a clever technique to achieve that: he used a pair of katanas (6208752 | 21459)!

Colour issues


The model contains eight Technic, Axle and Pin Connector Hubs with 1 Axle in Bright Red/ Red (6167939 | 22961). However, they’re noticeably darker than the other parts, halfway between Bright Red and Dark Red.


Technic Axle Pins 3L with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and 1L Axle (6209519 | 11214) are darker than other parts too but it’s not as noticeable as the Axle and Pin Connectors. Most of them aren’t really visible anyway so it’s on the rear of the bike that it’s the most visible. I suspect this is due to the plastic used to make these parts as it seems to be softer than the beams and panels. I’ve seen other people mention this issue, so if you encounter it too, make sure to tell LEGO Customer Service, because they do want to know.

The completed model



The bike looks great with its red fairing – even without the stickers on – thanks to the use of 32 panels all over the model. The side panels can be easily removed to get a better look at the engine inside. The model features a two-speed gearbox that makes the engine rotate at two different speeds when you push the bike, so it’s nice to be able to see the pistons move.


I particularly like the front, which looks really aggressive. It’s a bit of a shame the front mudguard is missing, though.


As you can see from the pictures below, the stickers don’t bring a lot to the model; they mostly help define the silhouette when the model is viewed from the side.




Conclusion

When we interviewed him back in May, LEGO Technic Senior Designer Aurélien Rouffiange told us  that they “decided to develop 'shaping' elements” for this year’s models, and the Ducati Panigale V4-R is a good example of that. Many new parts were specifically developed for this model and they make it look great. In addition to that, it is the very first LEGO Technic motorcycle to feature a gearbox. It has the looks, it has the functions: it’s the best Technic bike ever made, and sets the bar quite high for future models.




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6 comments:

  1. Good review!

    The discoloration of those red parts reminds me of the similar discoloration on several red Technic parts from around 1999 (specifically, I recognize it from some of the gears in the Throwbots set Torch/Fire Slizer. Like this, I believe it was a material issue since it primarily affected certain parts but not others. Bricklink used to categorize those discolored red parts as "Rust", though I'm not sure whether that's still the case.

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    1. The red/rust issue has been an issue since the dawn of time :P Pretty much every part listed as Rust on BL was intended to be Red but the softer plastic darkens the colour; the earliest example I can think of are the old wind up motor keys from the early 80s (part bb0047)

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    2. It's true that the issue isn't new. I had the Racers set 8354 Exo Force Bike, from 2003, when I was a kid, and I clearly remember the "Slizer foot" 32175 was darker than the other parts and also made from a different material.

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  2. Part 22961 is the same part with colour issues in the Sian, where it's a slightly different shade of lime compared to all the other parts. Perhaps the plastic for that part is slightly different for structural reasons, and that makes it more difficult to colour match?

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  3. I have bought myself this set and I really like it. I think it's even better than the 2017 set BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorbike. To compare them, the BMW was easier to build for me but it doesn't feature a gearbox. While the Ducati comes with a 2-speed gearbox.

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  4. Im not usually a fan of technic lego, I was hugely disappointed with the Land Rover, poor quality mouldings and pointless hard to experience gearing system. This set visually grabbed me and after a satisfying 5+ hour build produces a great looking display model. No major quality issues though a Chinese technic set avoids these entirely. Not keen on stickers but these were flat in the box and applied easily. Great instruction book but no model information. Terrible plastic wind shield...i'll remodel from a shirt collar support when i next get a new shirt! Really Lego your obsession with leaving us things to tweak or fix is off putting! Adult modellers expect perfection! 8.5/10...

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