Ducati's motorcycles have come to be known for their drop-dead gorgeous looks, their inimitable italian engineering and styling, and of course, their large L-twin engines. The well-known Italian motorcycle though made big news when they announced their move to do away with the large V-twin and L-Twin engines, and add two more cylinders.
"But no, this is Ducati, and they cannot go for the plain-jane inline-four engines seen on most sports bikes!", cried the voice of enthusiasts, and Ducati was certainly listening. Ducati proudly announced that their four-cylinder engine would be a V4 and not any ordinary V4 at that. They claimed it would be a unique V4 with a unique firing order, making it sound fiercer, while producing more power.
Now, Ducati has announced the date we enthusiasts have all been waiting for. The new V4 engine we have all been waiting for with baited breath is slated to be unveiled on September 7. Ducati is calling the engine, ‘Desmosedici Stradale', Desmosedici refers to the desmodromic valve system which is unique to Ducati and also the previous V4 engined Ducati Desmosedici and Desmosedici RR. Stradale in italian refers to road.
All this makes it obvious that the new engine is meant for road-going motorcycles. The new engine is set to be unveiled before the Misano MotoGP race, at the Misano circuit in italy, and this is an exciting time indeed for bikers.
The new V4 engine will replace the V-twin and L-twin engines used in various Ducati motorcycles, but it will first power a superbike, derived from the track. This development is an offspring of Ducati's efforts in motorcycle racing, as superbike racing requires the usage of a motorcycle homologated for road use. So, the Road-going motorcycle would be developed from Ducati's strides in the world of motorsport.
Ducati's race team requires more power than the current two-cylinder engine configuration can give. The current engines have been pushed to the ragged edge in terms of power output, and it is really difficult to push them more than that. In road-going bike configuration, the current 1198cc engine produces around 193bhp, and in race configuration it goes up to 215bhp.
The only way Ducati can produce more power while maintaining reliability is, by adding more cylinders, more cylinders also help balance out the vibrations, therefore making it possible to increase rpm limit as well. Increased displacement, with high levels of compression also pays off in increasing power output.
With the new V4 engine, we can expect 205-215bhp on their road-going motorcycles, and more than 235bhp on their race motorcycles. It is to be noted that the MotoGP bikes raced by Ducati are also powered by V4 engines, and Ducati would would want the same configuration in their world superbike racing bikes as well.
The move by Ducati to introduce V4 engines in their motorcycles is definitely a welcome move. This would be beneficial to the riders, as the bikes would have better performance and a throatier sound. It would be beneficial for Ducati too, as their racing efforts in MotoGP and Superbike championships can be combined in the engine development area, and this would contribute to advancements in the road-going superbike area.