Out of the experience gained
in MotoGP, where the 4-cylinder Desmosedici unleashes incomparable performance,
comes a new 90° V4 engine designed to power the Ducati supersport models of
tomorrow. In transferring the technology of its most cutting-edge power unit
from racetrack to road, Ducati offers customers performance levels honed by
years of MotoGP experience.
Called the Desmosedici
Stradale, this engine is set to become yet another Ducati milestone: it will be
the first time ever that the Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer has equipped
a standard production bike with a 4-cylinder engine.
The official unveiling took place in Misano
during the San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP, the thirteenth round of the 2017
MotoGP championship. A perfectly natural setting for the presentation, as
MotoGP is the proving ground from which the new engine has drawn experience,
technology and grit.
“It's with undiluted pride that we unveil this
technological gem. It represents the start of a new chapter for our company,
underlining our vitality and an unshakeable commitment to investment in new
products", stated Claudio Domenicali, Ducati's CEO, during the
presentation of the Desmosedici Stradale. "This engine also highlights the
close collaboration between Ducati Corse and the factory bike development team,
proving just how instrumental racing can be in developing the technology that
is later applied on production bikes. In November, at EICMA, we'll be
showcasing the new Panigale V4, an all-new motorcycle powered by this
extraordinary engine,” he added.
While the Desmosedici Stradale
engine is undoubtedly suited to the track, it has also been designed to respond
to the needs of the road rider. For example, to maximise mid-range torque -
essential for a satisfying road experience - and ensure punchy torque and power
at lower revs, the engine has a slightly larger displacement than its MotoGP
counterpart (1103 cm³, to be precise). Power output from the Euro 4 compliant
engine configuration exceeds 210 hp at 13,000 rpm while maximum torque exceeds
120 Nm from 8,750 to 12,250 rpm.
An R version with a
displacement of less than 1000 cc - which revs higher and is intended more for
track use - is currently at the advanced development stage. This will provide
the foundation for the homologated version that competes in the Superbike
championship, where this engine will be used starting in 2019 (one year on from
the launch of the respective road version, as per the Ducati tradition).
As on the Ducati bikes used in racing, the
crankshaft is of the counter-rotating type. This reduces the overall gyroscopic
effect and makes the bike faster and more agile when changing direction.
The crank pins, offset at 70° as on the
Desmosedici GP, involve a Twin Pulse firing sequence that generates
easy-to-handle power delivery and optimises out-of-the-corner traction (“Big
Bang” effect). This firing sequence also gives the Desmosedici Stradale a
unique signature sound.
A 90° V4 configuration makes
the engine extremely compact, allowing centralisation of mass and smoothing
incorporation on the vehicle. The Desmosedici Stradale has, in fact, been
inserted on the motorcycle with the front cylinders banked 42° back from the horizontal,
just like the Ducati engines employed in MotoGP. This, of course, optimises
weight distribution, allows the adoption of larger radiators and brings the
swingarm pivot point forwards.
Its architecture also evens up
first order forces naturally without the added weight and power loss that a
balancing countershaft would involve.
As in MotoGP, the engine was
designed with an 81 mm cylinder bore. This measurement reflects the maximum
limit allowed by MotoGP rules; it’s also the highest in the 4-cylinder supersport
segment. Using the same bore as the Desmosedici GP engine means both power
units share nearly identical in-engine fluid dynamics (i.e. on valves, intake
ducts and throttle bodies, right where the power is produced).
Needless to say, the new engine
is designed around the Desmodromic system, a key characteristic that helps make
Ducati prototypes the fastest in MotoGP. On this high-revving engine the
“Desmo” system achieves a degree of sophistication, lightness and compactness
never before seen on a Ducati.
Variable-height air intake
horns constitute another first for a Ducati factory bike, optimising cylinder
intake across the rev range and giving significant advantages in terms of power
delivery and handling. Completing the fuelling system are the oval throttle
bodies, each equipped with two injectors: one above the butterfly and one below
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