Ducati unveils new V4 engine: PH2

We have all known it is coming, but Ducati has now chosen to reveal its brand new V4 motor in front of its hometown support at the Misano MotoGP round. And you have to say it's a head turner. But just how close is the Desmosedici Stradale to the MotoGP-replica Desmosedici RR that was unveiled ten years ago? Or more interestingly for that matter, the current MotoGP machine?

Obviously all three motors are V4s. That much is plain to see. They also all have the same 90-degree V-angle and also run a desmodromic valve system (the clue is in the name). So let's get a little bit more detailed...

The RR had a bore and stroke of 86 x 42.56mm, giving it a capacity of 989cc, which was the MotoGP legal limit back in the old 990 days. The new Desmosedici Stradale, however, is a whole different kettle of fish...

Heavily based around the current MotoGP bike's motor, the Desmosedici Stradale will come in two forms - a road one (or more accurately it is assumed a pair with an S model and a stock version) sharing a 1,103cc capacity in 2018 and an R version with a WSB-regulation requirement 1,000cc displacement in 2019. Both will have the same 81mm bore as the MotoGP bike (which is smaller than the RR) with the capacity boost achieved through an increased stroke of 53.5mm. Amazingly, Ducati also claim the whole motor weighs just 64.5kg, only 2kg heavier than the Panigale's V-twin!

To make the Desmosedici Stradale feel like a twin, its V4 will have a 70-degree crank pin offset and a 'twin pulse' 0-90-290-380 firing order and Ducati says it will produce over 210hp at 13,000rpm and 88.5lb ft of torque at 12,250rpm. Which should be more than enough... The valves are steel, not titanium, and are 34mm on the intake and 27.5mm exhaust; the cams are turned via a cam chain, not gears as on the original RR. However on the front cylinder the chain only runs to the front intake cam which turns the exhaust cam via a gear, where on the rear cylinder this system is reversed with the chain-driven exhaust cam turning the intake through a gear.

Interestingly, the Desmosedici Stradale also has a counter-rotating crank, like the MV Agusta F3 models and most MotoGP bikes, and like the Ducati MotoGP bike the whole engine has been tipped back 42 degrees; this makes it more compact in the chassis, allowing for larger radiators and a huge 12.8-litre airbox. And speaking of the chassis...

Although Ducati hasn't announced anything about the new bike's chassis, it did confirm the motor is a structural element with connections to the main frame on the upper cases and the block acting as a connection for the damper and swing-arm.

Add to this ride-by-wire, a full electronics package, slipper clutch, variable length intakes, magnesium cases and probably a few chassis surprises that Ducati is yet to announce and the new V4 certainly adds up to something very special indeed. And, believe it or not, one that Ducati claims has desmo service intervals of 15,000 miles!

We just can't wait to see the final bike...

Two-wheeled PHers are already discussing the new Ducati V4 - join the chat here.



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