Ducati releases details of Panigale's Superquadro engine

Here it is, in all its mechanical glory.
Here it is, in all its mechanical glory.

Ducati has finally given us the full details on the Superquadro engine powering their 1199 Panigale superbike, and they are impressive.

First off, the motor gives riders a whole lot of what they want; Ducati says the L-twin engine puts out 195 horsepower at 10,750 rpm. At 9,000 rpm, the bike is putting out 98.1 lb-ft. of torque.

All this power is delivered through a redesigned six-speed transmission (with shell main bearings) and a wet slipper clutch, instead of Ducati’s usual noisy dry clutch.

Big pistons moving very quickly reduce stress on the engine, Ducati's engineers claim.

Not only did the engineers make sure riders got a lot of features they did want, they also made sure they didn’t get stuff they didn’t want. Like weight, for instance.

To make riders even happier, the boys at Bologna say they designed the motor to cut weight wherever possible. Not only is the motor itself designed to function as a stressed member of the bike’s chassis, eliminating the need for a conventional frame.

Not satisfied with those weight savings, the designers went into minutia, even redesigning the exhaust cams to include a centrifugal flyweight that provides decompression at engine speeds below tickover. This let the designers get away with a smaller starter and battery, saving over 7 lbs, by their estimation.

Here's a shot of the Superquadro's cam drive. Ducati abandoned their traditional belt drive for a gear-and-chain combination.

Another complaint many Ducati fanboys have had for years is the bike’s maintenance schedule. Ducati has managed to stretch this bike’s maintenance schedule all the way to 24,000 kms for major services. That’s twice the current schedule.

This could also possibly be part of the reason why Ducati ditched their traditional belt drive for the Superquadro’s Desmo cams, and went for a gear-and-chain drive combination instead.

Want more technical details? Well, the Superquadro engine features a bore and stroke of 112 mm x 60.8 mm. The bore and stroke ratio is 1:84:1. That, folks, is what they call Massively Oversquare. The combination of a fast-spinning big piston reduces stress, the engineers claim.

The throttle bodies have been enlarged and combined with a ride-by-wire system and twin injectors to ensure smooth power delivery. As well, while the cylinders retain their 90-degree proportions to each other, they’ve both been moved back six degrees on the crankcase, so designers could move the engine forward 32 mm, which supposedly improves weight distribution.

The cylinder head is directly attached to the crankcase, thanks to nikasil-coated aluminum wet liners.

Want more? Check out Ducati’s YouTube video on the bike.


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