It’s here! It’s finally here! Ducati has been teasing us with the info of its new V4 engine for months now, and it’s finally here. I’m not quite sure why I’m shocked, maybe because it’s utterly breathtaking.
We have known about Ducati’s venture into V4 production for some time now, but like any new design, we didn’t know what to expect. Well, apparently we should have expected an engine that basically copies the one used in MotoGP. The Desmosedici Stradale and the Desmosedici GP have so many things in common it makes me wonder if this will be the greatest superbike of all time. Let’s dig into the gritty details of Ducati’s newest engine.
The first thing to note is that the engine still uses Ducati’s patented Desmodromic system, which is basically a system that removes valve springs from the engine assembly. The camshaft instead pushes and pulls the valves open and closed, eliminating the possibility of a spring failure. While modern valve spring failure is the least of your worries, thanks to technology, Ducati has stuck with their tried and true system regardless. If someone builds a MotoGP bike that is faster in a straight line, then maybe they will re-think their design. Until then I’d say it’s working just fine.
On top of the Desmo valve system, Ducati also incorporated several features that were exclusive to MotoGP. The most substantial is the counter-rotating crankshaft. Utilizing this tech, the crank actually spins the opposite direction of the wheels. The Gyroscopic effects are profound, resulting in better mid corner stability and far better wheelie control. Then you have the unique firing order. With 70-degrees of offset between combustions, the Stradale will deliver power in a predictable manner, making it easier to ride harder. It’s a similar concept to what Yamaha adopted in their R1 but now designed for the V4. Lastly, the street going Stradale engine features the same bore size as the Desmosedici GP(81mm), allowing Ducati’s engineers to use the same data they have spent ages getting through their race program.
With that much-shared DNA the Desmosedici Stradale is likely to be a damn good engine, and a lot less of a gamble as originally thought. The interesting thing is that there will be two versions of this particular mill. First is the version we see here, a 1100cc road going power plant good for 210hp. With testing, Ducati will release a 1000cc race version of the same engine, likely more powerful, designed with only racing in mind. Unfortunately, we will still have to wait another year before we see that bike leave the R&D department.
The Desmosedici Stradale could be a serious game changer in an ever evolving superbike world. It’s also a massive departure for Ducati, leaving their famed V-twins firmly behind them. While it saddens me to see the end of an era, I have to admit, the one we are ushering in sounds mighty fine. Just listen to the bench test of the Desmosedici Stradale and see for yourself.