After much speculations, guesses, and leaks, Ducati has officially unveiled their new 4-cylinder engine called the Desmosedici Stradale. Having a V4 cylinder layout, the engine has been derived based on the learning garnered by the Italian automaker from their MotoGP Desmosedici motorcycles. The meaning of ‘Stradale’, an Italian word, is ‘Street’ which signifies the road-focused approach undertaken by Ducati while making the Desmosedici Stradale engine. This new engine will be powering the future performance motorcycles that would be made by Ducati.
Interestingly, this is the first time that Ducati has ever used a V4 engine on their motorcycle. The engine was unveiled at the Misano racetrack amidst the San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP, the thirteenth round of the 2017 MotoGP championship.
“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 to production bikes. In November, at EICMA, we'll be showcasing the new Panigale V4, an all-new motorcycle powered by this extraordinary engine”.
Here's the sound of the Ducati Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine.
The Desmosedici Stradale engine has been tweaked for better road usability. This includes the likes of retuning the engine for stronger mid-range torque delivery. 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 155 kW (210 hp) at 13,000 rpm while maximum torque exceeds 120 Nm (12.2 Kgm) 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.
As on the Ducati bikes used in racing, the crankshaft on this is of the counter-rotating type. This reduces the overall gyroscopic effect and makes the bike faster and 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 allows the engine to be compact in size which, in turn, allows centralization of mass. 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 optimises weight distribution, allows the adoption of larger radiators and brings the swingarm pivot point forwards.
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 it.
This package of cutting-edge technical solutions - absolutely unique within the Supersport segment - makes the Desmosedici Stradale an engine like no other in the motorcycle world.
What remains to be seen is what does the new Panigale V4 bring to the table upon its unveiling at EICMA 2017.