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Ducati Superquadro: Beyond the Press Release

Claudio Domenicali and Diego Sgorbati answer journalists' questions on a live Facebook chat.

MD brought you pictures and the press release from Ducati on Monday, but on October 10th, Vincenzo De Silvio, Diego Sgorbati, Claudio Domenicali, Marco Sairu and others hosted a chat discussion on Facebook, inviting dozens of journalists to ask their questions about the exciting new superbike motor, the Superquadro, which will power the new Ducati superbike homologation, the Panigale 1199, that will be unveiled next month.   So here is a little more perspective and information on what is inarguably the most kick-ass production Ducati motor in a generation, a motor that shares just 20 parts out of 400 with the old superbike mill and is the first all-new mass-produced Ducati motor since the Pantah of 1980. We’ve included a rough transcript of the Facebook chat at the end of this article. Bonus points for translating the Italian!

There’s always a lot of hype in moto-industry press releases, with clichés like “game-changing,” “revolutionary” and “world class” used like Kleenex. But the press release Ducati sent our way  seems closer to reality than hyperbole. “No compromises,” “beyond the barriers of engineering” and “near-impossible design brief” seem like breathless marketing-ese, until you realize what the engineers in Borgo Panigale were asked to do. Not only did the new motor have to act as a stressed member (which means a much more rigid and usually heavier structure) it also had to be more user friendly, help make the entire motorcycle lighter and more compact, put out close to 200 horsepower and go roughly 15,000 miles between major services. And of course, it had to be sufficiently reliable and inexpensive to put into a daily-ridden streetbike.

Incredibly, they did it—and then some. They started with selecting a bore and stroke ratio, one that was so massively oversquare (112mm X 60.8mm, or a bore/stroke ratio of 1.84:1; the 1198 is 1.56:1) they named the motor Superquadro, over-square in Italian. That means a higher (11,500 rpm, 1000 rpm higher than the 1198) redline, bigger valves, and of course, more power. Much more power.

The increased motor speeds and stresses meant some serious design problems. To tackle that,  intake valves are now titanium, rocker arms and other parts get a “polymeric-like-carbon (PLC)” finish developed for the aerospace industry, and the 112mm-diameter pistons are double ribbed, not for pleasure, but to ensure durability at high rpm. And most significantly for Ducati fans, we are at last freed from decades of replacing cheesy rubber belts (please don’t get all sentimental about them—they must be replaced after five years or 15,000 miles of use and never seemed like a very good means of spinning cams) with sturdy, reliable bush-type chains, assisted by gears meshed to the cams. There are also automatic tensioners to further enhance reliability. And yes, valve-check interval is now 15,000 miles—and should be cheaper to do than the current 1198.

Vacural-cast crankcases maximize weight savings, strength and provide consistent wall thickness. The cylinders’ water jackets are incorporated, allowing the head to be bolted right onto the vertically split cases. Shell bearings—like those used on the Desmosedici racebikes—hold the crankshaft to improve oiling at high speeds, assisted by a MotoGP-style vacuum oil pump, which reduces atmospheric resistance in the crankcase.

The transmission is also improved. The gears are larger and stronger, and the dry clutch will join the cam belts in the unemployment line, replaced by a quieter, easier-to-use oil-bath slipper clutch.

There are plenty of other nice touches. A tiny oil cooler (that small black box on the right side of the engine) eliminates external oil lines. A secondary air system reduces HC and CO levels (they must watch “Mythbusters” at the Ducati factory) and a clever cam design partly opens the inlet valve (reducing compression) to help the starter motor spin the engine. That means a smaller starter, a smaller battery and a weight savings of 7.3 pounds, just from that trick alone.

The press release was detailed, but I still had questions. How much smaller and lighter is this engine? Ducati won’t release numbers until the Milan show, but did confirm it is more compact, except for height, which is a little greater because of the deep oil sump, which enhances oil delivery under hard braking.

We know it will be powerful, with 195 hp and 98.1 ft.-lbs of torque, but will it be reliable and easy to use? Sure, said ing. De Silvio—“On bench we perform a durability test which simulate the real world use of the engine, and a track simulation test (usually referred to as “Monza cycle”, you can guess why!). On vehicle we perform reliability tests on high speed ring, track tests and finally durability tests on open roads.”

Will the motor be used in other applications like the Streetfighter or Multistrada? Again, nope. And will the camchain be used on air-cooled models? “This is not in our plans and it is not needed on the air-cooled engines,” wrote ing. Sgorbati. And why won’t this bike be used in World Superbike until 2013?  Domenicali tells us that it takes time to develop a SBK racer, and the 1198R is no slouch (Carlos Checa proved that).

Will there be a middleweight version? Sgorbati told us, “It’s too early to speak about versions of the engine—let’s enjoy the 1199 Superquadro now.” Will do, Diego! Make sure we get invited to the press launch!

Gear and chain-driven cams are a new development for Ducati's Superbikes.

For those of you with extreme curiosity, or patience, here is the Facebook transcript of the conversation between journalists and the Ducati reps about this new Superquadro powerhouse:

Andrea Perfetti

Buonasera, ci potete fornire alcuni dati sul nuovo motore?

1. L’angolo di incrocio delle valvole.
2. Il rapporto di compressione.
3. Che tipo di riporto è il PLC?
Sarebbe inoltre interessante sapere se, con il nuovo motore, avete anche sviluppato un nuovo tipo di cambio (doppia frizione?).
Grazie

Marco Sairu

Hi Andrea, compression ratio is 12,5:1. The PLC coating is “Polimeric Like Carboon”, which is not far from a DLC coating. We use it on the rockers because of its friction reduction properties. The overlap value is 45 degrees, underlining the sporty soul of the engine.

Marco Sairu

No development on dual clutches.

Varad More

We already know that the 1199 makes staggering 195 horsepower and considering the amount of efforts on reducing the weight has gone into making it, it will also be considerably lighter to match the performance of current machines. A very fast – very light bike means it will also demand good stability for which I believe the engine has been moved forward to incorporate a longer swingarm without really increasing the wheelbase in order to keep the handling nimble. How much did the 1199 time around Mugello in the tests compared to the 1098//1198?

Claudio Domenicali

Varad, compliments for engineering competence … we will not release lap times, but the 1199 is definitely a quick thing.

Gabe Ets-Hokin

What can you tell us about reliability testing? Was the Desmoquadro bench-tested over 100,000 simulated miles? How does it stand up compared to the other liquid-cooled designs?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Gabe, the engine have to fulfill various tests. On bench we perform a durability test which simulate the real world use of the engine, and a track simulation test (usually referred to as “Monza cycle”, you can guess why!). On vehicle we perform reliability tests on high speed ring, track tests and finally durability tests on open roads. The standard the engine have to fulfill in each test are Ducati known how.

Rupert Paul

The power output and rpm quoted suggests that Ducati know something about combustion in large cylinder bores which other manufacturers don’t. Would you care to comment?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Rupert, at the very beginning of the project we made many simulations on how the combustion could be in this new engine, and in the end we found the right combustion chamber shape to make the engine work properly while keeping a very high compression ratio

Rupert Paul

Thank you, Vincenzo. But you know how to make these engines rev more than the other big twins. How is this possible?

Dimitris Diatsidis

Since I cannot see the answer to my first question, here again my 2nd: The philosophy of this oversquare engine, is possible to be used in an 749 engine, in order to participate again in the Supersport category?

Diego Sgorbati

Of course it is possible but it is not in our plans.

Jim Gianatsis

Claudio – Why is the R homologation model introduction alway delayed for 1 year, is it a production lead time for parts, development time needed after the regular model, or just a normal marketing strategy at Ducati?

Claudio Domenicali

Jim, the 1098R was introduced one year later, but this is not always been the case. The 996R and 998R were introduced before the standard model. It is very much dependent on the model development and also racing needs

Jim Gianatsis

Gracie Ducati! I’m off to work on my story now for FastDates.com Pit Lane News. Congratulations on the new Superquadro engine and we look forward to the new 1199 premier at EICMA next month!

Diego Sgorbati

Thx Jim!

Lorenzo Gargiulo

Next year we will see the Panigale racing in the STK while 1098 R will race in SBK, and this is very strange. Do you think there will be some changes in SBK regulations in the next future, to let the bikes more similar to the stocks as it happens in other national championships?

Claudio Domenicali

Lorenzo, the decision to race the Panigale in SSTK and not in SBK has a lot do with the more extensive development needed for the more sofisticated SBK version and the still high level of competitiveness of the 1198 in SBK. The SBK regulati…See More

Varad More

One very basic query, the bike caught testing at Mugello appeared to be a single-seater. Is the 1199 going to be a single-seater like the RSV4?

Sean Smith

Varad More: The RSV4 actually has passenger accommodations. It’s just a bit high for most people.

Varad More

Aah. Didn’t know that. I’ts a bit too high and bit too small as well!

Rupert Paul

What is the valve clearance adjustment interval, and oil change interval? Also, what is the advantage of chain and gears, rather than simply chain or simply gears? I am sorry to ask three questions very fast; I have been unable to join the group until now.

Diego Sgorbati

Chain and gear is in our opinion the best solution for this specific engine in order to manage the loads on the chain generated by the valve train.

Diego Sgorbati

Oil change is every 7,500 miles or every 12 months

Rupert Paul

You mention that the engine allows a more forward weight distribution. How close is the centre of gravity (x and y axis) to the bike’s competitors?

Diego Sgorbati

The questions concerning the vehicle will be answered at the press conference at EICMA in Milan (Nov. 7th) together with the reveal of the 1199 Panigale.

Gabe Ets-Hokin

And my final question: if I theorized an 848 (or maybe 849cc) version of this motor would make over 150 horsepower, would I sound like a total idiot?

Diego Sgorbati

The rate between power and capacity is not linear but in any case I think it’s too early to speak about versions of the engine. Let’s enjoy the 1199 Superquadro now.

Gabe Ets-Hokin

But I’m American! I can’t enjoy what’s happening in the present.

Ralf Steinert

Has Ernesto Marinelli been involved in the engine development at a certain stage?

Claudio Domenicali

Ralf, Ernesto as Head of Ducati SBK effort has been involved in the project from the very beginning.

Rishad Cooper

Hello again. Is there any significant change in terms of overall dimensions; is this new engine much more compact … or larger?

Marco Sairu

Dear Rishad, in terms of overall dimensions we have a more compact engine. Only in terms of height is a bit larger because we have a deeper oil sump in order to enhance the oil delivery on hard brakes.

Rishad Cooper

Thank you for your reply Marco.

Lorenzo Gargiulo

This engine seem to open a new era for the Ducati powerplants. Do you think this new engine layout will be adopted also for 2V aircooled, and in how many years?

Diego Sgorbati

No this is not in our plans and it is not needed on the air cooled engines.

Ken Tam

What is the compression compared to the 1098?

Marco Sairu

Hi Ken, in the new engine the compression ratio is 12,5:1.

Diego D’Andrea

in genere si dice “innovazione nella tradizione”. Qui, fermo restando l’irrinunciabile marchio di fabbrica desmodronico, sembra vi siate spinti ben oltre, sostituendo in parte “tradizione” con “rivoluzione”: al di là del SuperQuadro, si tratta di una rivoluzione generale destinata a dettare nuove linee guida anche per gli altri motori Ducati?

Claudio Domenicali

Diego, il nuovo Superquadro rimane un motore molto sportivo, per cui non necessariamente gli altri motori in gamma seguiranno le sue linee guida

Sean Smith

The auto-decompressor seems like an elegantly simple solution to the problem of starting a 1200cc v-twin. How did Ducati decide to use it?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Sean, Ducati decided to use it mainly to have compact and lighter starter motor/battery (weight obsession!)

Jim Gianatsis

Vincenzo- Have you look at using the new lithium batteries? This also reduces weight by a big 6-7 lbs / 3 kilos.

Mark Morrison

I also have a question about the power delivery of the engine for the street. Naturally the power curve has been shifted higher up the rev range compared with the 1198. At what point in the rev range does the 1199 begin to surpass the output of the 1198?

Marco Sairu

Dear Mark, the surpass is at about 8250rpm.

Marco Lasala

Da Ducatista mi domando: la frizione a secco sulla 1199 Panigale non c’è, il telaio a traliccio nemmeno, su quali punti di forza punterà la nuova SBK Ducati?
Leggo sul web i nostalgici della serie 916, come linea, come purezza e durezza nella guida: la 1199 Panigale punterà su cosa?

Diego Sgorbati

Every Ducati is an exclusive combination unmistakable italian design, unique technical features and superior performance. If a product matches this requirements everybody will immediately recognize it as a Ducati. It’s not a matter of body, it’s a matter of soul.

Jim Gianatsis

Claudio – We hear that Troy Bayliss would like to return to World Superbike to race the new 1199. Could there be a possibility that Troy might race the 1199 in 2012 European Superstock, before it is eligible for WSB class in 2013? This would be a great premier for the new bike without Troy stepping on the toes of Carlos Checa and his title in the WSB class on the current 1198 bike.

Claudio Domenicali

Jim, Troy is actually part of our test team in order to get the best out of the 1199 Panigale. It is not scheduled for him to race in 2012, but with Troy never say never …

Jim Gianatsis

We know that Troy loves Ducati and wants to race, so we will keep our hopes up for a return. He is your best spokesman on and off the track. Ciao!

Tor Sagen

Regarding Fluid dynamics and efficiency of the Superquadro; Did you utilize any external consultancy to achieve your goals in this area? It just say MotoGP derived in the PR and I know that Ferarri was involved in certain areas during the Testastretta development. Grazie.

Diego Sgorbati

The development of the fluid dynamics was made internally.

Tor Sagen

Thank you. Is it fair to say that this is one of the major achievements made possible in 2011 compared to say 10 years ago? To minimize any power losses internally?

Gabe Ets-Hokin

I’d like to start by congratulating Ducati for producing such an amazing motor.  Seriously, you must not have gotten much sleep over there in the last few years!

I’d also like to ask if it’s accurate to report this is the first truly all-new mass- production motor Ducati has designed since the Pantah?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Gabe, it is, if you do not consider D16RR, which was produced only in 1500 units.

Gabe Ets-Hokin

If I can’t afford it, it’s not mass-produced!

Ralf Steinert

A (very) general question: What was the biggest challenge while developing this exceptional engine? Or: Which was the most difficult problem you had to solve?

Marco Sairu

Hi Ralf, starting from the piston bore dimension, many parts and many studies were involving the component under a new point of view. This is tough while considering specific power and weight targets.

Eric Michel

Major services have been extended to 24,000 km on the new engine. How long were there on the old one?

Diego Sgorbati

Major desmo service was every 12.000 km on the 1198 Testastretta Evoluzione

Jim Gianatsis

Ducati dominated the2012 World Superbike Championship using the FIM 52mm restricted Testastretta engine. Since the new Superquadro has even more performance and may possibly be restricted even more by the FIM… have you considered, is there a possibility the 1199 could also be built and homologated as a 1000cc engine so it could run unrestricted in World Superbike?

This 1000cc Superquadro would also add another successful Ducati sport / superbike model between the 848 and the 1199….

Claudio Domenicali

Dear Jim, the 2011 World Superbike currently require a 50 mm restrictor. The rules is self adapting, because it change the weight and restrictor size depending on results, therefore we should not be penalized from the beginning.

Jim Gianatsis

Claudio, Thank you!

David Swarts

Can you please provide the valve timing:

Intake Valve Timing:
Open BTDC: ? degrees
Closed ABDC: ? degrees
Duration: ? degrees

Exhaust Valve Timing:
Open BBDC: ? degrees
Closed ATDC: ? degrees
Duration: ? degrees

Valve Timing Measurement Point: ?

David Swarts

Does the 1199 engine require a significant difference in airbox or exhaust system capacity or technology to make power while meeting noise restrictions?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear David, the exhaust system has been designed in order to have the optimal tuning of the engine, considering the higher revs we have in comparison to the current 1198 engine, but it has been optimized to be complaint with the regulations

Guido Sintoni

‎(Spero di riuscire a postare)  Il motore ha funzione marcatamente portante. Sempre che abbia senso parlare di rigidità torsionale del telaio, è possibile avere questo valore?

Marco Sairu

Dear Guido, Sorry but we cannot give the torsional stiffness of the frame. Anyway, many vehicle details will be released on EICMA on Nov. 7th.

Federico Maffioli

Il fatto di aver introdotto per la prima volta la distribuzione a catena è segno di un ipotetico nuovo corso più vicino agli schemi giapponesi?

di una maggiore affidabilità …

che poi è caratteistica peculiare…

Diego Sgorbati

It gives the possibility to precisely control timing and sharp cam profiles at very high rpm.

Sean Smith

Thanks for that one.

Guido Sintoni

Chi fornisce l’elettronica?

Diego Sgorbati

ma devi costruire un motore anche tu?

Varad More

Hello everyone and congratulations to Ducati for the new motorcycle.
My question is, are there different riding modes to choose from as found on most of the modern-day superbikes?

Marco Sairu

About riding modes you will receive deeper details on Eicma show in Milan (Nov. 7th)

Varad More

Alrighty. Thanks Marco.

Mark Morrison

Apologies if this is a silly question. Can you comment on what is the black finned box on the side of the engine in this photo?

Jim Gianatsis

Wow, that saves weight compared to a remote mounted oil cooler with lines, and reduces possible damage.

Mark Morrison

Yes Jim, a nice and elegant touch!

Jim Gianatsis

Can you show / provide us a hi-resolution dyno chart for print, 1198S v 1199S?

Jose Benavente

Which are the main objectives of the engine project? Performance? Production/Maintenance economy? Both?

Vincenzo De Silvio

All of the above!

Diego D’Andrea

Valori di potenza e coppia eccezionali spesso sembrano strizzare l’occhio più a logiche di marketing che a reali esigenze progettuali. In questo caso, però, per tempi di realizzo e contenuti tecnologici, si direbbe che dietro al nuovo motore si celi una reale voglia di dar vita qualcosa di unico ed emozionale: se doveste spiegare ad un appassionato quale obiettivo vi ha guidati durante la progettazione e cosa gli promettete che potrà “gustare” grazie al nuovo Superquadro, cosa gli direste?

Claudio Domenicali

Diego, potenza e coppia servono per andare forte in pista …

Sean Smith

How much power should the superquadro produce in racing trim?

Guido Sintoni

Chi fornisce la frizione asservita? Adler o FCC?

Jose Benavente

Seeing from the point of view of the project designers, Which are the main differences between this new engine and the 1198’s engine?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Jose, the two engines share only 20 parts out of about 500, so it is very difficult to compare them…

Diego D’Andrea

il Superquadro si propone come un propulsore potentissimo ma “pulito” – quanto ha influito questo sulle ulteriori possibilità di sviluppo? Ci si sarebbe potuti spingere anche oltre?

Claudio Domenicali

Caro Diego, avere considerato anche le emissioni e la guidabilità non ha limitato le possibilità di sviluppo, e non credo ci si sarebbe potuti spingere oltre

Marco Lasala

Sul web si parla tanto della Ducati 1199 Panigale; ci sono diverse foto che la ritraggono in veste “definitiva”!
All’Eicma c’è da aspettarsi qualche colpo di scena da parte della Ducati oppure tutto oramai è stato svelato ?

Press Ducati

Marco, thank you for the question, we think you should wait for EICMA 10th-13th of November.

Michele Lele Lallai

Questo motore è stato sviluppato unicamente per il telaio monoscocca o potrà essere inserito senza particolari modifiche anche all’interno di un più tradizionale telaio perimetrale?

Diego Sgorbati

The engine has been designed to work in conjunction with a monocoque frame. In theory, it is possible to use it with a standard frame but would lose the most of its design benefits.

Tor Sagen

How much weight do you save by using Titanium rather than steel in what you refer to as “R” parts in the PR and is this just a side benefit to achieve the strength at high rpm??

Vincenzo De Silvio

Dear Tor, the titanium valves have been chosen in order to reach the required reliabilty at very high rpm, since Titanium has and higher strength to weight ratio than steel. The weight reduction in this case is needed for functional reasons

Lorenzo Gargiulo

Hi everybody. I woul like to ask one question. From the pictures we’ve seen is not completely clear if the crankcase is “tunnel” type, or if is built in two halves. So, if it is a tunnel type, do you have a flange on the right side to mount the crankshaft and gearbox?

Diego Sgorbati

Ciao Lorenzo, no cassette gearbox in order to maximize stiffness and reduce weight.

Jim Gianatsis

What future engine options/development is being looked at for the upcoming 1199R model Superquadro powered Superbike that is being delayed for the 2013 model year and entry into the World Superbike class? Or is this just the normal marketing strategy at Ducati, to always wait a year for the “R” model, as you have done in past years with the previous generation 996/8R, 999R, 1098/1198R Superbikes?

David Swarts

How many spark plugs and what type are used per cylinder?

Diego Sgorbati

1 per cylinder, of appropriate grade and “standard” type.

Ken Tam

What is the peak RPM?

11,500

Ken Tam

grazi

Sean Smith

Is that a soft or hard cut and if soft, when does it start to cut in?

Magnus Kotte Granqvist

Some rumors claimed that you would go the same way as Aprilia and make a V4-engine ala Desmosedici. Did you have those reflections in the beginning of the project or was it evident that it would be a V-Twin?

Claudio Domenicali

Hi Kotte, we actually did not consider going a V4. We in Ducati still consider the twin the best option when you come to offer the °Ducati feeling° which is strongly based on lightweight and torque.

Diego D’Andrea

prevedete un utilizzo futuro del superquadro anche per altri modelli sportivi, come ad esempio la StreetFighter?

Diego Sgorbati

Dear Diego, the new Superquadro has been developed to offer the 1199 Panigale the best engine platform and as of today we do not have finalized the application on any other model.

Michele Lele Lallai

Il Superquadro avrà anche delle derivazioni turistiche o in generale più adatte all’utilizzo stradale come accaduto per il Testastretta, o è stato unicamente sviluppato per fornire le massime prestazione nel contesto della pista?

Diego Sgorbati

Dear Michele, the new Superquadro has been developed to offer the 1199 Panigale the best engine platform and as of today we do not have finalized the application on any other model.

Ralf Steinert

Are there any other parts DLC or PLC coated except the valves?

Vincenzo De Silvio

The piston pins are DLC coated.

Michele Lele Lallai

I 6° in meno nell’inclinazione della L daranno la possibilità di accorciare la moto e giocare di più con le regolazioni del cannotto, ma all’interno del complesso ciclistico il motore avrà anche una posizione più alta rispetto all’attuale?

Diego Sgorbati

The vehicle layout will be unveiled at EICMA.

Mark Morrison

Good evening, Can you comment about the riding modes that will be available that are alluded to on the Superquadro microsite?

Diego Sgorbati

The ride by wire allows the definition of riding modes that will be presented at EICMA with the reveal of the 1199 Panigale.

Mark Morrison

Grazie

Rishad Cooper

Good evening to all. At what engine speed does the rev limiter kick in?

Diego Sgorbati

‎11.500 rpm

Karel Táborský

Are you considering using the new Superquadro engine in other models in the near future as well or is it designed just for superbike range? Grazie

Claudio Domenicali

Hi Karel, the new Superquadro has been developed to offer the 1199 Panigale the best engine platform and as of today we do not have finalized the application on any other model.

Jim Gianatsis

Congratulations on the beautiful new Superquadro engine!
I like how you use large diameter, hollow, crankshaft and rod journals for more strength and surface area, but with reduced mass for less weight and increased engine response. Has this hollow journal design been used before, or is it unique to the new Superquadro?

How long did the new Superquadro engine take to develop take from starting with a list of objectives on the new engine, to the drawing board, to an actually running prototype on the engine dyno, to this final finished production engine?

Marco Sairu

Dear Jim, can you explain me better what you mean with “hollow journal”? Is it related to the shell bearings?

Jim Gianatsis

I see in the technical drawings there is a hollow center in the crankshaft and rod journals. Has this hollow journal design been used before, or is it unique to the new Superquadro?

Marco Sairu

Dear Jim, probably you have seen the renderings of the crankshaft from the generator side. There’s a hole, drilled one, but its threaded for the special nut needed for the flywheel tightening. Anyway, the crankshaft was designed by increasing some diameters, which led us to bigger diameter holes in order to reduce the masses and increase stiffness. This is not unique for us, but is larger than usual.

Jim Gianatsis

OK, Thanks.

Press Ducati III

Claudio Domenicali and Diego Sgorbati answering your questions…

Michele Lele Lallai

Dovendo svolgere una funzione portante sulla nuova 1199, carter e gruppi termici sono stati rinforzati rispetto ad un progetto standard per garantire una più rigida struttura del motore?

Press Ducati II

Michele Lele Lallai, your question has been already answered below!

Karel Táborský

Are you plannig to use this Supequadro engine for other models in near future? New Multistrada or Diavel with say 180 bhp would be nice :-)

Eric Michel

Hello, what is the difference, in terms of weight, between the Superquadro and the last 1098 engine ?

Vincenzo De Silvio

The comparison between the two engines is difficult because many features which are usually part of the vehicle have been integrated in the engine. So the right way of making the comparison is to consider the vehicle and the engine together. In this case the whole weight data will be released during EICMA 2011

Karel Táborský

Are you considering using seamless transmission for road going models? Grazie

Diego Sgorbati

No, at the moment the seamless transmission is only intended for competition use.

Ralf Steinert

Good evening everybody. Are these centrifugal flyweights on the end of exhaust cams mounted to improve smoothness or are they essential for proper valve function?

Vincenzo De Silvio

I think that you are referring to the decompressor system. The system keeps one exhaust valve open during engine start, in order to reduce the piston compression. That way we have been able to reduce the weight of the battery and of the starter motor. See the picture above

Ralf Steinert

Many thanks, Vincenzo.

Ken Tam

Why did you go away from the iconic dry clutch?

Jim Gianatsis

No, especially if they do not use it in MotoGP. I’ll bet the R model will be dry.

Lorenzo Gargiulo

Hi everybody. I would like to ask one question.
From the pictures we’ve seen is not completely clear if the crankcase is “tunnel” type, or if is built in two halves.  So, if it is a tunnel type, do you have a flange on the right side to mount the crankshaft and gearbox?

Vincenzo De Silvio

The crankcase is made in two halves

Grant Ray and Gabe Ets-Hokin were added by Press Ducati.

Sean Smith

The use of a chain with an idler gear to drive the cams and auto-decompressors on the exhaust cams reminds me of the KTM 450 SX-F motor. Anyone care to comment on that?

Andrea Perfetti

Buonasera, ci potete fornire alcuni dati sul nuovo motore? 1. L’angolo di incrocio delle valvole. 2. Il rapporto di compressione. 3. Che tipo di riporto è il PLC? Sarebbe inoltre interessante sapere se, con il nuovo motore, avete anche sviluppato un nuovo tipo di cambio (doppia frizione?). Grazie

Io sapevo che c’è anche un cambio tutto nuovo, interessate sapere che tipologia

Dimitris Diatsidis

The bore stroke ratio is close to a Formula 1 engine. Is this a fruit of the Ferrari – Ducati exchange of technology?

Vincenzo De Silvio

We usually transfer on the road bike the know how that Ducati Corse developed on the MotoGp project

Jim Gianatsis

Congratulations on the beautiful new Superquadro engine!
I like how you use large diameter, hollow, crankshaft and rod journals for more strength and surface area, but with reduced mass for less weight and increased engine response. Has this hollow journal design been used before, or is it unique to the new Superquadro?

Soup Butts

Can you give a rough timeline on the development of this engine?

Press Ducati

Hi Dean, a number of people have asked this question. Marco just posted a general answer above.

Sean Smith

Is this system new? What are its advantages and how was it decided that this would be on the Superquadro motor?

Michele Lele Lallai

Buonasera a tutti, ecco la mia prima domanda: dovendo svolgere una funzione portante sulla nuova 1199, carter e gruppi termici sono stati rinforzati rispetto ad un progetto standard per garantire una più rigida struttura del motore?

Vincenzo De Silvio

Hi, all the FE analysis of these components have been done considering the load coming from the vehicle. Moreover we decided to choose to have liners instead of usual cylinders in order to increase the stiffness of the all system

Marco Sairu

Many people asked info about the timing of the project. The first sketches were done on 2008, from blank canvas with a tight link with the vehicle design group

Manuel Fuchs

On picture “SQ_motor_45_white_20.JPG”:
The magnesium cover on the right side of the engine seems to host an enormous water pump, large enough to cool an AMG 6.3. Or maybe something else, something more? What exactly is under it?

Vincenzo De Silvio

The cover host the gear of the water pump, and behind it there is the pump. The pump itself is not that big, it is very similar to the D16RR one

Klavs Lyngfeldt

Dear all,

How many hp will this engine make in WSBK-trim?

Why did you choose chain/geardriven cams instead of all geardriven?

Did you concider a cassette gearbox for quick ratio changes on the racetrack like some of your competitors have (RSV4, ZX-10R)?

Will you produce this engine with a smaller displacement (like 849 cm3)?

Did you take the more and more strict noise regulations on racetracks into consideration when designing this engine? On many tracks even a totally standard 1198 is too noisy for trackday riding.

What service interval will the engive have if the bike is used for trackdays only?

Marco Sairu

About the gearbox, no cassette type. Also in this case we have done some studies about weight and stiffness of the crankcases and we got to a standard gearbox layout (but completely re-studied for the new torque & power values)

Marco Sairu

About service intervals on racetrack use, we are defining a list of operations dedicated to that use, which is in a more extreme enviroment

Michele Lele Lallai

I 6° in meno nell’inclinazione della L daranno la possibilità di accorciare la moto e giocare di più con le regolazioni del cannotto, ma all’interno del complesso ciclistico il motore avrà anche una posizione più alta rispetto all’attuale?

Press Ducati

Just one question from each person at a time, please.

Press Ducati

The lights are green!

Press Ducati

Ladies and gentlemen… start your engines….

Paul Carruthers and Sean Smith were added by Press Ducati.

Press Ducati

Welcome to the special tech round table dedicated to the Superquadro engine. First of all read the discussion rules carefully, than start posting your questions. Thank you!


19 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    The big question should be “Have you fixed the problem with the tanks expanding?”

  2. Kjazz says:

    I can almost hear Claudio Domenicali and Diego Sgorbati talking in that photo…..

    “….see, the software proves it! Our motors are 87% uglier than the competitors’ motors….”

    • MikeD says:

      HATER !…LOL. That lump right there is a thing of beauty.

    • Ruefus says:

      Yeah…….’cause you’ve made so many sportbike buying decisions based on the beauty of the engine’s externals. Oh, wait…..they put *fairings* over them?

      So, you’re criticizing the aesthetics of what you can’t even see? Newsflash…..most humans ain’t no prize without their clothes on, either.

      • Rick Rocket says:

        That’s why my 900SSCR is still in the stable! Why cover up a thing of beauty! Something about ANY V…..er, L-shaped engine that brings joy to my mechanical soul! Ducati once again shows why they are so highly regarded in the world of motorcycling.

    • Kjazz says:

      well….all I can add is, it’s a dang good thing that they work really well!!! ………cause they are ugly!!!! hahahaha

      Newsflash, yeah, actually I DO care what a motorcycle’s engine looks like. True, less if it’s totally wrapped. But sooner or later, the naked version comes out and there it is in all it’s glory. yuck. The last two bikes I bought (a Thruxton and a Speed Triple) I fell in love with the beauty of their motors right off. It’s not everybody’s cup o tea. I know that. But dang, Ducati, quick making air compressor motors. I dont hate Ducati, just their ugly motors.

  3. MikeD says:

    I see…someone made a fat boboo from the Lab to the Press Release…so it is like i thought before, the decompression mechanism is on the exhaust side(like it should).

    The pictures were right all the time. “LOST IN TRANSLATION”…lol.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “And yes, valve-check interval is now 15,000 miles—and should be cheaper to do than the current 1198.”

    and this would’ve been my other question. how is this possible if you have to theoretically split the bike in 3 pieces just to gain access to the valve covers…? or can this engine be serviced in the frame…? whatever you save in not renewing belts would certainly be exchanged for the 21st century costs of skilled labor.

  5. Denny says:

    I am impressed with Ducati’s openness. This certainly helps to forge sense of community with newspeople and eventualy with riders. All seem to be involved, it’s good work thruout.

  6. Norm G. says:

    here’s what MY question would’ve been…

    “dear sir’s, my question is a 3-parter. in all these published shots of the engine, i’ve noticed that (unlike the desmosedici) a provision for having the swingarm pivot directly in the cases is conspicuously absent. A: was this feature NOT part of the patent filing for the monocoque frame design…? B: did this omission come about as a result of set-up problems encountered/lessons learned in grand prix (the original monocoque design)…? and C: by having the swingarm originally pivot in the cases (without inserts) do you not deliberately give up the option of further dialing in the bike by adjusting pivot height like the japanese are able to do with their traditional twin spar chassis…?”

    (oracle voice) ohhh, this really would’ve baked their noodles… (/oracle voice)

    • Gabe says:

      That was a pretty good question!

    • hoyt says:

      good question, Norm. I’m wondering if a 90 degree L-twin could be built with the front cylinder vertical and the rear cylinder the more horizontal one? Could have a very long swing arm if it pivoted in a re-structured bottom-end while strattling the rear cylinder (or coming around one side if it is a single sided arm) Chain clearance & length would have to be worked out

      • Goose says:

        Don’t you think having the rear cylinder run through the transmission would be a problem?

        Just curious,

        Goose

        • hoyt says:

          who is saying the rear cylinder would “run through” the transmission ?

          pistons go up, go down, & turn gears leading to a crank shaft sprocket that the chain connects to the rear wheel.

          You do realize there was a lengthwise boxer engine before don’t you? Just curious

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “Gabe Ets-Hokin

    But I’m American! I can’t enjoy what’s happening in the present.”

    F.R.E. funniest response ever…!!! :) LOL

  8. brinskee says:

    Gabe: At least some (or all?) of the transcript should be read top to bottom. A question is asked, and then answered top to bottom.