Just in case you have been living under a rock, or been the victim of a massive coma, Ducati is set to debut a new superbike with a V4 engine. The news is a pretty big deal in Ducati circles – the Italian brand finally abandoning the v-twin format for its superbike offering.
Although…this isn’t the first Ducati superbike with a V4 engine, nor is Ducati unfamiliar with making four-cylinder machines.
Since 2003, Ducati has been using a V4 engine to power its MotoGP program, starting first with a “twin pulse” engine design, which operated essentially by having two v-twin engines mated together, and firing in near-unison.
Ducati Corse now uses a “big bang” firing for its MotoGP program. The separation between the engine pulses helps to translate the power from the engine, through the tire, and down to the pavement.
The engine design has also become a GP favorite, with Honda switching from a “screamer” format to a “big bang” format for the 2017, and KTM Racing basing its new MotoGP program around a “big bang” V4 engine design as well.
All of this work on the racing side of Ducati’s Bologna factory ultimately lead to the production of a street model, the Ducati Desmosedici RR. Not a race bike with lights, like we have seen with the Honda RC213V-S, the Desmosedici RR was an all new design that shared very few parts with its racing counterpart.
A limited edition machine, the Ducati Desmosedici RR was bred as an exclusive street bike, with obvious inspirations coming from the MotoGP machine, including its “twin pulse” firing order.
What does this all have to do with the here and now though? Ducati is about to repeat the process, albeit with a superbike that is more fit for mass production.