Every now and then, Ducati decides they are not doing enough in terms of engineering excellence, and to remedy that they come up with an engine that becomes set such a staggering benchmark in mechanical engineering that it becomes a milestone in history. Just like in 1954, when Dr. Fabio Taglioni developed a desmodromic valve-train that was so linear and usable that the technology was a bolt and fit on regular production motorcycles. This made Ducati the world specialist in the feat of engineering that is desmo-engines. As an encore to that back in 1987, Ducati developed their signature desmodromic actuation for four-valve induction. Allowing bikes the desmo technology to take its next step into the future long ahead of its time. Over the last few years, this technology has evolved even further ultimately resulting in the Panigale’s performance superiority and their Desmosedici GP17 MotoGP bike which revs all the way to a stratospheric 20,000 rpm.
Ducati is at it again, with another well-timed engineering feat. Ducati’s current CEO Dr.Claudio Domenicali turn to leave his mark in history with a V-4 engine, that he announced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the World Superbike round last July, handing the torch from the 90deg V-twin to a radically new 1103 cc 90-degree V4 engine that not only will change the way the power is delivered but be groundbreaking in terms of its size and weight.
The new engine that sounds like a bat out of hell, this new V-4 features the same 81mm bore derived from the MotoGP engine, while the stroke grows from 48.5mm on the race bike to an impressive 53.5mm to obtain its 1.1litre plus displacement. Now, this choice might be indicative of Ducati’s intent to ditch WSBK for a full-time role in MotoGP.
What Ducati has done with the V-4 is two position two crank pins set at a 70-degree angle to obtain a perfectly balanced V-4 which was earlier thought to be impossible, without the help of power-depleting balance shafts. Something on the line of the balancing theory that Honda uses on the Africa Twins, 999cc parallel twin. Allowing the engine to slip past the 13000 rpm mark with ease.
What all this engineering amounts to is a 210 hp peak power which kicks in at a massive 13,000 rpm and a 119 Nm that works across an 8,750 to 12,250 rpm. What that means for a rider is that you get an impressively flexible torque curve that makes everyday usage easy, but has teeth and will bite if you poke it. Most of all, the Ducati V-4 Desmosedici Stradale engine will act as a stressed member of the frame, although we will have to wait for EICMA this November.