Ducati has unveiled its new V4 Desmosedici Stradale superbike engine.
Here are the most important details. The new engine is a 1103 cc 90-degree V4, departing from Ducati’s long tradition of L-twin (or V-twin) superbikes. It’s based off the company’s MotoGP engine, with the same 81 mm bore and counter-rotating crank. Ducati says this counter-rotating crank reduces the tendency to wheelie under acceleration, and cuts down on rear wheel hop under braking.
That crankshaft has a 70-degree offset; Ducati’s new engine closely mimics the firing order of a 90-degree L-twin with a 0-90-290-380 pattern.
Max power is 210 hp @ 13,000 rpm, and 88.5 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 12,250 rpm.
The Stradale engine has desmodromic valves and a wet clutch, with a servo that tightens the clutch plates under engine power, which supposedly improves clutch feel and gives some clutch assist and slipper functions. It breathes through oval 52 mm throttle bodies, with variable-length intake ducts. The ECU controls the ducts, lengthening or shortening them to match engine speed.
Ducati says the engine’s longer stroke (53.5 mm, longer than the MotoGP engine) makes it more suited for road usage.
Ducati managed to keep the engine’s weight down; despite going from a twin to a V4, the engine still only weighs 65 kg, which is only a 2.2 kg increase over the twin. Engine casings are die-cast aluminum, and the cylinders are die-cast aluminum with Nikasil liners. Engine covers are made of magnesium.
Using the MotoGP engine’s basic layout (cylinders rotated 42 degrees backwards from Ducati’s usual L-twin design) also allowed Ducati to keep everything compact, so engineers could move the swingarm further forward and include a bigger radiator.
The engine will serve as a stressed member of the new superbike’s chassis, with swingarm, airbox, headstock and other bits attached.
Valve inspection intervals for the street-going version of the engine are 15,000 km, with general servicing at 7,500 km.
The new superbike will be officially unveiled in November at the EICMA show; however, we will likely spot a few more spy photos before then. We’d also expect to see the World Superbike homologation special at that time (limited to 1000 cc, to fit into the regs), but the WSB team won’t be racing that bike until 2019.
Find more details on the engine at Ducati’s website.