Ducati has officially revealed their brand new V4 engine for road-going motorcycles. The new engine was revealed at the Misano World Circuit in Italy ahead of the MotoGP grand prix scheduled to take place there this weekend.
The engine is being called the Desmosedici Stradale, and is the first mass-produced four cylinder engine Ducati has ever made. The new 90° V4 engine is derived from experience Ducati gained in MotoGP where the four-cylinder Desmosedici motorcycle's performance is at the top of its class. The same technology will now power future Ducati supersport models.
90° V-shaped engines have been a trademark of sorts for Ducati, and hence it is no surprise that Ducati has stuck to the same 90°, but it is definitely an out of the blue move for them to have added two more cylinders.
The well-known Italian motorcycle though made big news earlier this year when they announced their move to do away with the large 90° V-twin engines which have been their trademark for several years now and bring in a V4 engine. They also claimed that the V4 engine would have a unique firing order, making it sound fiercer, while producing more power.
And it is true. The crank pins being offset by 70° like on the Desmosedici MotoGP bike, require a ‘Twin Pulse' firing order to generate power that is easy to handle and optimise traction when coming out of corners. This ‘Twin Pulse firing order makes the Desmosedici Stradale produce makes a unique and distinctive sound, which was proven by a video showing the new engine being tested on a racetrack.
The Desmosedici Stradale engine brings to Ducati's road-going motorcycles several technologies intended for use in MotoGP. The technologies include the Desmodromic valve system and the exclusive to MotoGP counter-rotating crankshaft.
Road-going bikes use crankshafts which rotate in the same direction as the wheels, but the counter-rotating crankshafts, in addition to being torquier, also generates opposing inertia which pushes the rear of the motorcycle down while decelerating and the front of the motorcycle while accelerating, mechanically resisting wheelies and wheelspins.
The Desmosedici Stradale also features variable height intake funnels, which optimise cylinder intake based on current rotation speeds resulting in increased power delivery. The fuel supply system hence has oval throttle bodies complete with two injectors - one below the throttle and the other above.
The 1,103cc 90° V4 engine has a maximum power output of 210bhp at 13,000rpm and a peak torque of over 120Nm produced between 8,750 - 12,250rpm. The 81mm bore is exactly the same as on the Desmosedici GP and is the maximum dimension allowed by MotoGP regulations. It is also the highest in the four-cylinder supersport segment.
The stroke of 53.5mm astonishingly, is longer than even the Desmosedici GP's engine, thereby resulting in higher engine capacity and in turn delivering a higher torque output.
An R variant of the engine with a displacement of less than 1000 cc and a higher rev-limit is currently at the advanced development stage. This engine will be used in the homologation motorcycle which competes in the World Superbike Championship. The new V4 engine will make its debut in the 2019 WSBK championship series, one year after its debut on the road-going bike.
Speaking at the launch, Claudio Domenicali - CEO of Ducati Motor Holding said, "We are proud to reveal this technological jewel that starts a new chapter in our company's history, demonstrating its vitality and high level of investment in the development of new products."
The next-gen Panigale will be the first motorcycle to be powered by the Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine. The all-new Ducati Panigale V4 will be revealed on 5th of November.
The V4 move by Ducati already seems like a brilliant idea, as their racing efforts in MotoGP and Superbike championships can be combined in the engine development area, and this in turn would contribute to advancements in the road-going superbike division.
Just the thought of having MotoGP tech to play with, on road-going motorcycles would make motorcycling enthusiasts jump with joy. Just imagine having 4-cylinders brimming with MotoGP-derived tech, in a ‘V' formation, revving away to 14,000rpm, and you're getting there.