You may have seen our news announcement awhile back featuring the 42107 Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R motorcycle set. The set comes with 646 pieces and marks LEGO’s first license with Ducati Motor Holding. This is also the first motorcycle model in LEGO Technic history to include a gearbox. The 42107 LEGO Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R is rated for fans aged 10+ and will retail for $69.99 USD | 54.99 GBP | 99.99 CAD. The press release states the set has already been available since June 1st but LEGO.com cites it as “coming soon”. They call it a superbike but is the set really super? We’ve had a chance to review this set so read on to see what we think.
The box, instructions, and contents
The front of the box showcases the motorcycle handsomely against a racetrack setting. Besides a few stickers on the bike, the only indicator that this is a Ducati license is the rather small company logo in the lower left. This particular box does not feature a piece count, which is indicative of European packaging. The back highlights a few action features, stats of both the LEGO model and the real motorcycle as well as an exploded view of the model.
The contents of the box consists of six unnumbered bags, loose rims, tires, sticker sheet, a flexible windshield piece on a sprue and a 126 page instruction book.
As the bags were not numbered, I opened them all and started sorting. This offered an opportunity to call out a few pieces that interested me. The orange gear would later become instrumental in creating the gear shifter. Working actuators are always usefel for so many applications and this set has two molded in Pearl Gold. The disk brakes are rather interesting, in my opinion, and I can see them used as window details or greebling for mechs and spaceships. Macaroni bits, while not particularly rare, are always uselful. This set contains two in red and four in sort of a gun metal color. Notably the set does not include a Brick Seperator but this seems to be the norm for Technic sets.
The build experience
The instruction book goes straight into the build and does not feature information about the set designer or the history of the bike. The cover and the first page however does incourage you to scan the QRC code for online directions, which I did, and this proved helpful as my girlfriend and I worked together to save build time.
The first part of the instructions builds a squarish frame in which the entrire 4-cylinder engine and gear box sits inside of.
The next steps take care of the gearbox mechinism. It will soon be lost amongst bracketing and the engine assembly but before all that fills in, I shot a video showcasing how the shifter works. My engineering vocabulary is admittedly limited so I will try my best here but the orange gear features an offset lip that slides the gray assembly back and forth and thus engages the red gear only intermittantly. This will eventually be how the clutch will work. The red gear will engage the pistons in first and second gear but will not while in neutral.
The first photo demonstrates that the gearbox assembly is now hidden amonst the aforementioned brackets and four-cylinder engine assembly. A little firther along the instruction book once again incourages you to scan the QRC code. This takes you to a video that helps insure that your gears are moving and engaging accurately.
With a front tire in place and a rear disk brake in view, the model is beginning to look a lot like a motorcycle, albiet upside-down. The bike balances nicely on its gastank. The middle photo showcases a part needed to round out the gastank and marks the first time a sticker is used. Stickers continue to be applied as the red cowling is assembled through the next several steps. In the third photo the rear tire is now in place. By now a large chunk of the instruction book has featured the bike upside-down balanced on its tank.
With the kickstand assembly in place the bike can finally sit properly! A common motorcyclist’s proverb as they depart eachother’s the company is “keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up”. That now applies here.
Two red Samurai swords plug into the windshield cowling assembly handle first, then hold the curving windshield in place. I’ve built plenty of LEGO cars and when correct windshields were not available, I’ve used a similar technique as illustrated here with cut pieces of clear acetate. It is interesting to see LEGO do this with an official set.
The finished model
The windshileld cowling, seat and aft cowling end up being the final steps. Both front and rear suspension work nicely as well as steering. The pistons work smoothly as you roll the motorcycle along. The shifter can change from first gear, neutral, and second gear. It is a handsome model from any view and would look great in a display case.
Conclusion and recommendations
What excites me the most about this set are the disk brakes as I can imagine lots of other applications for them. However, as much of the set is molded in a common red this is one I would have likely passed up at the store. My girlfriend, who helped me build this, is a motorcycle rider and occasional LEGO buyer and she stated that she would pass this up as well. It may not be the fault of the set as her interest is with English cafe racer style bikes and thus the Italian superbike is just not on her radar. With that said, I shouldn’t discount that this would be a must-have for any Ducati fan. Inexpensive Technic sets tend to lack heft and can be rather disappointing while exclusive sets are quite nice but fall outside of many people’s budgets. This set has a bit of heft to it. So while this is one I may have passed up, at $69.99 the biggest takeaway is this feels like an almost-premium Technic set at a relatively affordable price.
The 42107 LEGO Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R will retail for $69.99 USD | 54.99 GBP | 99.99 CAD. The press release cites that the set is already available staring June 1st but LEGO.com still states that the set is “coming soon”.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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