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Should Ducati Introduce a Street-Legal V4 Superbike?

Part of Ducati’s DNA is v-twin sport bikes, including v-twin superbikes. Arguably, through product differentiation, Ducati has at least one market advantage when competing for consumer sport bike dollars.

Several press outlets are stating Ducati has confirmed a production V4 superbike is imminent based on technology developed in MotoGP (where Ducati does race a V4 prototype). I don’t read the quotes from Ducati reps at the recent MotoGP team launch quite the same way (i.e., I think a production V4 is being considered, and nothing more), and I suspect Ducati is concerned about the topic discussed in the first paragraph above.

Should Ducati develop a production V4 superbike, racing homologation would require it to be 1000cc … squarely competing with other four-cylinder superbikes, including the existing V4 produced by Aprilia. Agruably, doing so could damage Ducati’s brand, and I am sure this is one issue being considered by Ducati management before introducing a V4 to the public. As a side note, the current v-twin superbike raced in WSB (which is allowed 1200cc of displacement) is more than competitive … Chaz Davies won more races than anyone else last year on one.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments’ section below. You can also take a look at this video produced by Ducati in conjunction with the 2017 MotoGP launch:


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99 Comments

  1. slipjoint says:

    My only experience with Ducatis has been helping their owners get them home while broken down on the side of the road. It’s pretty rare to see any bike broken down on the road anymore, but where I live Ducati is leading the pack, I have loaded 2 different monsters onto my trailer in the last couple of years. Four cylinders would increase the chance of them being able to limp home I imagine.

    • mickey says:

      LOL wasn’t my son on his 696 Monster was it? His has taken a few trailer rides home. He calls it his 50 mile bike, he won’t ride it more than 50 miles round trip from his home (25 out/25 back). Loves the bike when it’s running, but doesn’t trust it a bit.

  2. Marc says:

    Ducati don’t need to adopt more cylinders, with more surface and friction area ratios that increase engine losses per cycle, requiring more engine cycles to make the same torque, they need to reduce losses and inject more power into each cycle. Like F1 do with Turbulent Jet ignition, they need better combustion, The superbikes are consuming air and fuel at a rate to produce over 1,000 hp yet around 200 makes it to the rear wheel. This is what they need to improve

    • Scott says:

      Yeah, there’s really no excuse for them not to be getting 1000 hp out of a 1200cc twin…

      • Dave says:

        And we thought Ducati valve-adjustments were too frequent and too expensive right now..

        F1 is a terrible benchmark for performance, if only because they are some of the shortest lived, most expensive engines in use. Is that air/fuel ratio based in reality? At that burn rate, I can’t see 4.5 gallons of fuel lasting for a 30 minute race.

  3. Dave says:

    I think you missed an article where it stated the V4 would replace the Panigale R, leaving even other Superbike to carry on the L-twin

  4. David says:

    I for one am very excited about a V4 Ducati superbike. I currently own a 1299S, love the bike will never sell it since it was a gift form my wife. However the sound of a V4 and the connection of a bike to MOTOGP would be epic for a street bike.

  5. DaveA says:

    Absolutely they should build a V4 superbike. Concerns over legacy are overblown for three reasons. First, if you drew a Venn Diagram where you had all potential Ducati customers v. potential customers who would devalue their opinion of Ducati for building a non-V-twin bike, the intersection would be vanishingly tiny.

    Second, we live in an age of reduced importance of legacy. Nobody under the age of 45 could care less about Ducati’s history of twin cylinder motorcycles having to inform the present and future of those motorcycles.

    Third, at this point there is a significant, not-to-be-ignored legacy of Ducati racing V4 bikes in MotoGP, and 100% of Ducati fans love that the bike is fast and competitive, while 0% lament that it’s not a twin. The V4 superbike concept does a wonderful job fleshing out Ducati’s performance legacy by putting real MotoGP technology into the realm of obtanium.

    I say these things with the given that we’re obviously not talking about throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. If the question were ‘should Ducati change all production motorcycles to air cooled flat-four pushrod motors’ or whatever. I didn’t say that it would be impossible to damage the brand, just that building a V4 won’t do it.

    • Superlight says:

      Ducati doesn’t need to build a V4 superbike since the V-twin Pani is quite competitive in WSBK. When they do it remains to be seen just how much motoGP technology makes the transition. I suspect not much, since racing and production engines tend to be very different beasts. And there is already the Aprilia RSV4 as direct competition.

  6. paquo says:

    if they can sell a cruiser they can sell a v4

  7. Mike Johnson says:

    Oval pistons for twins if that is the way to go like the old Honda racer. Harley could do the same- Massive displacement with oval pistons.
    Surface area of a round 4 inch piston 12.6 sq. inches. Area of 2 side X side 4 inch pistions “ovaled” = 28.6 sq. inches as in a V-4

    Area of two siamesed (oval pistons_ based on 2.3 inch round bores = 12.52 sq inches- run 8 valves, 6 or 4

    Very narrow v angle possible

    • Mike Johnson says:

      Okay, let us say we want a 75 cubic inch (1229 cc) oval piston V-twin with 8 valves , two plugs, two rods per piston and we want good mid range. We run a 3.5 inch stroke on an oval piston based on an easy 3.5 inch round piston so 3.5 inches across the minor axis of the oval and 5.55 across the long axis. Crankcases are wider on twins than the cylinders so we only need an inch on either side and with super small ports and valves we can make the head more compact especially with the latest Honda single cam designs.

      Crankcase cylinder height will also be very low

  8. PatrickD says:

    Surely a 650cc version of a sports bike would be a good move. The technology base of Suzuki and Kawasaki bikes in that sector is quite low, and the supertwin racing class is booming, albeit featuring lack lustre machines.
    A 150kg 100 bhp supertwin should be well within Ducati’s capability.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “and the supertwin racing class is booming,”

      It’s booming because of the lackluster machines, not despite them. People want economical, fun racing and they always have. Adding a legal $12-15k bike and all of the complexity that brings will kill it fast.

      Ducati and Triumph are succeeding by going where the bigger brands aren’t. I expect they’ll keep doing that.

    • Scott says:

      Not many people would pay the kind of money Ducati would ask for a 150kg, 100hp middleweight twin sport bike. The old Supermono was a VERY cool bike, but how many of those did they sell, and how many do you see being ridden today?

      • Superlight says:

        Ducati only made a few Supermonos and they were race-only machines, so you weren’t likely to see them running.

  9. JVB says:

    V4 = Superbike
    V2 = SuperSport/Monster/Multi/Scrambler
    Once Ducati chose to go to the short stroke Pani line, the character of the bikes changed as well. The appeal of the twin for street use is clearly in the midrange performance. I have 3 Ducatis with the 900 aircooled engine, and they are a good street bike engine. The last 1100 version was very good, and made more power below 6K than the Pani. If I wanted to have a bike that I had to spin 9K+, then there are plenty 4 cylinder bikes out there. Many folks today cannot spend 20K+ for a toy, which bikes are in the USA, so the twins are very rewarding from a cost and character perspective. Make the superbike a beast that is there to win races and dominate. Ducati hasn’t won an SBK championship since they moved away from the 1198. I’m sure Ducati races to WIN championships; not PARTICIPATE.

  10. William Parker says:

    Hell yeah! ..been saying that for years. MOTOGP is THE show now and that’s what they run, so hope they do it. And ditch the ridiculous monocoque frame thingy and put a proper frame on the damn thing…

  11. Neil says:

    I’d like it without the expensive electronics that put it out of reach of normal working people. Just throw the motor in a frame with some wheels on it.

    • Superlight says:

      Ain’t gonna happen.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I’d like it without the expensive electronics that put it out of reach of normal working people.”

      tell ya what, we’ll split the difference. we’ll INCLUDE the fancy electrics but then make it so you can shut them off, it’s the best we can do.

  12. The Spaceman says:

    I think Ducati’s DNA has less to do with the V-Twin engine architecture and is really about offering their customers the most exciting, state of the art performance motorcycles available. I doubt many people bought 916s because they had a V-Twin engine, they bought them because they were perceived as the most exotic, badass bike available to ordinary people. If Duc can recreate that perception with a V-4 people will line up to buy them without a second thought about “losing” a V-Twin.

    • Superlight says:

      You’re minimizing the importance of a motorcycle engine in your comments. V-twins are as key to Ducati’s heritage as they are to Harley-Davidson. Does that mean Ducati could never do a V4? Of course not, but there is marketing risk here.

      • Dave says:

        The 916 was so compelling, and sold so well that both Honda and Suzuki responded with 1000cc v-twins (Superhawk/RC51 and TL1000s/r). Sure, the bike looked awesome, but once you heard that engine roar, a screechy I-4 wasn’t going to do anymore. Clearly nobody cared that it was slower and much more expensive.

        • Superlight says:

          Dave, you’re making my point above – an engine defines the motorcycle.

          • Dave says:

            I was replying to Spaceman, it lined up under your post.

            To his point, if Ducati is going to do this, it is because they believe that can trade on the MotoGP heritage of the format. V-4’s are equally unique and awesome.

            While it’s not a v-4, anybody who’s heard or ridden a Yamaha cross-plane R1 would agree that there’s something special about it that a normal I-4 doesn’t have. A V-4 will have that, too.

          • mickey says:

            I agree Dave, been riding liter class I4s since 1977 and the first time I rode an crossplane R-1 I was blown away. 5 years ago I would have been first in line to buy the new FZ10. Now at a soon to be 67 I am no longer interested. Love the bike, but it would be wasted on me at this point. IT would have been wasted on me 5 years ago too, but I was more gullible then lol.

  13. Jason Landman says:

    If they need to do it in the future to stay competitive in wsbk that’s fine but they should leave all the monsters, hypermotards and multis as twins.

  14. Stuki Moi says:

    They’ll have to, in order to stay relevant. Ever shorter stroke, ever more compact, multis are already rendering the twins somewhere between irrelevant and just annoying. Aprilia bumped the Tuono mill to 1100, and can build a 1500 lighter and more compact than Ducati and KTM can build a twin of same displacement. Heck, the rear head on the 1300 KTM is already fellating the rider, while the crank is dragging along the pavement. On a bike with an inseam designed for Shaq.

    More power requires a top end biased powerband. Which makes sense for a multi. Not for a twin, where all it does is make the engine either unrideable down low where twins are nice, or so dependent on rbw trickeries that there is virtually no discernible relation left whatsoever, between what the right wrist on one side, and the throttle plates on the other, are doing.

    Ducati’s air cooled liter+ twins were kickass street engines, with a personality completely different from the then prevalent I4 screamers. But gigantic twins will never be the most efficient way of producing 200+HP top ends in a rideable bike. So Ducati will either have to suck it up and burn money BMW style to get in on the 4cyl action, or be forever relegated to curiosity status as far as the gofastest bikes are concerned.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “the rear head on the 1300 KTM is already fellating the rider”

      Norm frantically does a Google search on his phone for the location of his nearest KTM dealer.

      damn these opposable thumbs…!!!

    • Mike Johnson says:

      Very well written set of observations. As you point out V-2s especially the 90 degree designs have excellent advantages in certain street applications but are not a *miracle design* by any means that can be made larger and larger.

  15. JJ says:

    For the Street, the V4 would be great only if they can shift the horsepower lower the RPM range and thus reduce the maintenance intervals/costs. 15k service on a 4 valve twin is already ridiculous. Now multiply that by 2? No thanks.

    • Superlight says:

      Don’t hold you breath on that request – Ducati will be going for big power with a V4, most likely at the expense of a strong mid-range. We’ll see.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “reduce the maintenance intervals/costs”

      CRAZY TALK…!!!

      re: “15k service on a 4 valve twin is already ridiculous.”

      not for those possessing the intellect to BUDGET for the eventuality.

      like you said the service happens at 15k, yes…? right then this means you’ve just admitted to having prior knowledge of the maintenance requirement. this then begs the question, whether you bought the bike used (or worse) picked it up new with ZERO on the clock, what were you doing with your money in the 3-4 years it takes the average Ducati owner to rack up those kind of miles…?

      think about it, if in 36-48 months you can’t set aside the scratch to service the bike you bought, does the problem rest with the kit and the company who manufactures it…? or is the problem with the “nut that connects the seat to the handlebars”…?

      • JJ says:

        Wow. Not sure what I said that ruffles the feathers…Never once did I say I couldn’t afford, didn’t plan, or was surprised by the maintenance cost.

        If you are well advised about motorcycle maintenance, you should know that when comparing service costs across the brands, Ducati is more expensive. That is a competitive disadvantage and is the reason many people by other brands.

        Now, back to my original post: If Ducati designed a new engine that puts our similar usable power, in a lower rpm range, and could extend maintenance intervals or reduce cost, that competitive disadvantage disappears. Then Ducati becomes more affordable for a larger market.

        And, the 15k service is an annual event for those of us that ride more than we type.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Never once did I say I couldn’t afford, didn’t plan, or was surprised by the maintenance cost.”

          well you don’t have to, as I can spot the “free lunch”, Wal-Mart mentality from a mile off. the behavior’s conspicuous.

          re: “the 15k service is an annual event for those of us that ride more than we type.”

          breaking news…!!! then Ducati is not your brand, but it’s your lucky day, living here in the 21st Century you have CHOICE. i gaurantee, you will have just as much fun putting in those miles on say…? a Hyosung.

  16. jimmihaffa says:

    I think Ducati would be more inclined to release a street-legal version of their MotoGP bike should JL win a championship. I suspect they would build just enough to qualify as a mass production bike (200 units??) and sell them for $150k-200k a copy (JL’s signature included).

  17. PN says:

    Nah. Apart from the original VMax, I don’t like them. I never got off on Honda’s Interceptors either.

  18. Ricardo says:

    Ducati already offered a V4 in the form of the Desmosedici, at a price of $70k and limited production so not available for all of us regular mortals…
    I would like to have one Ducati V4 at the price of the Panigale, it would be a success.

    • Superlight says:

      Possible but not likely, as a V4 has many more parts than a twin and will be more expensive to produce.

  19. Superlight says:

    Ducati management is going to do what they think is best for the brand and racing success; however, I’ve not seen a cogent reply to the question: why make this move? They are very competitive in WSBK already and “own” the performance V-twin market.
    Sure, they could replace the Panigales with V4 superbikes, but then the twins models would not be able to relate to the potential racing success of the fours.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Their MotoGP bike is a V4, and they just paid Jorge Lorenzo a squillion dollars to pilot it. So they have some marketing behind the V4 already. As a low production, specialty machine for halo effect, why not? For their standard street bikes, I don’t see much value in it for them unless it offers a material improvement over the current bikes.

    • Tom R says:

      Yes, they are very competitive in WSBK….with a 200cc displacement advantage. Perhaps a competitive V4 engine at 1000cc would erase the asterisk next to the Ducati name in the minds of many race fans.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “I was in there yesterday afternoon, but I’m pretty sure I left no evidence of it. ”

        And a two cylinder disadvantage. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, none worthy of an asterisk.

        If Ducati chooses to make a V-4, it will be because they believe they can attract more customers with it. If Aprilia and Honda’s recent success with the configuration is any indication, I think it dies on the vine. People also dislike the valve inspection/adjustment bill on their twins badly enough. Can’t imagine doubling the cylinder count will help that. Could they abandon Desmo?…

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Perhaps a competitive V4 engine at 1000cc would erase the asterisk next to the Ducati name in the minds of many race fans”

        not so much, as this would require all those “lay persons” to pay attention. cause if they HAD been paying attention, the asterisk would never be there for they would know both Lavilla AND Bayliss had ALREADY beaten everybody with a twin and the grid technically even up at 1000cc. thus, it’s important we recognize the only force more powerful in the world than a 90 degree V4 Desmo is…

        (wait for it)

        GROUP THINK.

      • Superlight says:

        I’m really tired of explaining this. Engines make horsepower through RPMs and, due to their shorter stroke, fours can rev higher than an equivalent twin, so can make more power. That’s why a displacement advantage is given to twins. It makes both engine types equivalent, as WSBK racing has shown. If all engines have to be 1000cc you have guaranteed that all entrants will be fours. So much for any machine variety.

  20. Neal says:

    If they want to keep pushing the performance of their superbikes Ducati will need to introduce some new engineering concepts. There has to be a limit to how long they can keep making bigger and bigger twins for more power, eventually it stops being a proper sportbike and becomes a Hayabusa. It’s either V4 or forced induction and I think a V4 is more in line with the Ducati brand because its likely to be lighter and the 90 degree configuration already is a challenge to package in a chassis without extra hardware.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “There has to be a limit to how long they can keep making bigger and bigger twins for more power”

      yup there is. the limit is based on an assumption that the production I4’s and V4’s capped at 1 Liter of displacement they are competing against will somehow magically continue to GROW in (useable) power despite themselves having a cap of 1 Liter.

      hint: they will not.

    • Superlight says:

      Neal, just when one might have thought Ducati was at their limit last year in WSBK and down on power vs the Kawasakis, Akrapovic designed a new Panigale exhaust system which erased the power deficit. Innovation never stops and there is still plenty of life in the pld girl.

  21. todd says:

    Adding a four did not hurt BMW. On the contrary…

  22. Wendy says:

    I love my V-4 VFR. The engine is tremendous and flexible, V-4 Ducati would be riced int he Apollo program range, though. I can’t see Ducati bringing one to market at less than $30,000. Give me a Modus, instead.

  23. hh says:

    V4! Of course…create, invigorate, and it doesn’t have to be every bike in the line up. Do it!

  24. peter h says:

    A V4 desmo would assure that all in the service dept. will have a healthy pension. I’m all for it.

  25. Fibbs says:

    where do i register? I want one now.

    Aprilia has just lost me as a customer.

  26. azi says:

    Ducati had a V4 in its past history in the form of the 1964 Apollo, so I don’t think it would conflict with its engineering heritage.

  27. Jabe says:

    I love my Ducati just the way it is. Personally not interested in a V4, but that’s just me. Maybe they should make a limited run (enough to legalize it for racing) and test the waters. I sure would miss hearing that twin on the track though…Oh what am I saying? It’s almost impossible to watch WSBK on tv anyway.

  28. Falcodoug says:

    One of the dumbest video ‘s I have seen.

  29. Gary says:

    Ducati is performance, a V-4 is very likely performance, so yes, I would be OK with that. What says that Ducati always has to be a V-Twin, too many of those already in my opinion. Does Harley always have to be slow and air cooled, no, not anymore. I think that variety would be best for any brand.

    • Superlight says:

      Your Harley comment is interesting. What would the Faithful say about Harley abandoning their 45-degree twin for a V-four?

      • Scotty says:

        Depends how faithful they really are! Maybe they have totally bought into the brand rather than the bike. Ducati have a bit of that themselves…

      • Scott says:

        Did anyone imply that Ducati would “abandon” the L-twin for a V-four?

        • Superlight says:

          They could over time. If they release a V4 superbike family it most likely means the end of the Panigale line.

          • Scott says:

            If – and I do mean IF – they were to decide to make their top-of-the-line superbike a V-four and no longer make an equivalent with an L-twin, there would probably be a small backlash from the Ducatisti. Which would probably be over as soon as they rode the new beast.

            However… I’ll say it right now, the L-twin is- and always will be – Ducati’s heart and soul, and they will always have a comprehensive line of twins to sell. Including (probably) a superbike.

  30. Mbrem says:

    Never mind a V4 as the twin is where their bread is buttered. Make more common sense bikes like the scrambler.and maybe a real touring bike with a longer stroke less buzzy twin

  31. MotoMaster39 says:

    They should make a special edition, homoligation special model. Make just enough so that a race version can be used in WSB.

    If it starts winning, and or people start asking Ducati dealerships left and right to buy one when they’re already sold out, ramp up production.

  32. DucDynasty says:

    No.

  33. marloweluke says:

    A V-4 is an awesome engine configuration, but the road going Panigali at almost 1,300 cc is already stupid fast. The V-4 could potentially be even more potent. Very much overkill but that is of course not a reason to not build it. I won’t be needing one.

  34. carl says:

    Unless they can put the engine in a cruiser frame and make it sound like a harley its pointless!

  35. SteveM says:

    Ducati’s are already so over priced that developing a V4 street bike makes no commercial sense. Total waste of time in my opinion.

    • Tom R says:

      Agreed. The best they could hope for with such an expensive product is a “Halo Effect” for the brand.

  36. Provologna says:

    From my limited reading, Ducati’s V-twin SB appears to have traded a lot of low end and mid range in order to equal or approximate the top end of its 4-cylinder Japanese competitors.

    On the race track this likely matters little (hence Ducati’s stellar performance in WSBK Dirck mentioned above). The higher the street mileage, the worse is the above describe trade-off.

  37. Oz says:

    Ducati offered a street legal V4 989cc super bike in 2008 – the Ducati Desmosedici RR.

    • Superlight says:

      Yeah, for only $65,000. That might tend to limit sales a little.

      • Dave says:

        They offered 1,500 copies. Every one was sold before they fired up the assembly line.

        • mickey says:

          And probably 1499 of them never saw a mile put on their odometers on the road. Limited edition models sold to execs and collectors.

          • Dave says:

            *1,500* limited edition bikes (that’s a lot), and I bet they’re overjoyed with that. How many brands in any consumer segment can claim that they sold an entire run of brand new product, straight into the hands of colllectors? That’s incredibly formidable brand power.

          • mickey says:

            I think Indian sold a limited run of Jack Daniels and Indian Cheifs out in one day but there was only 150 of them.

            I think Horex has had two limited edition runs a Silver and a Black

            I think Norton presold a bunch of them that they are still trying to deliver

            I think Yamaha had one special run of YZF-R1’s that sold out so fast they ran a second run, plus an anniversary run of special editions

            didn’t Brough Superior have a special limited edition run as well?

            How many of the Honda 213V or whatever for $185,000 did they sell?

          • Scott says:

            “…And probably 1499 of them never saw a mile put on their odometers on the road…”

            Well, if that’s true, then I know the one guy who does ride his. In fact, he rides the hell out of it, including track days. And I believe he’s close to 60 years old.

            And there’s also Jay Leno. So that’s 2/1500. Could there be more? I’m guessing so.

            Point being, just because some guy has money, it doesn’t mean that he can’t be a true enthusiast and rider…

          • mickey says:

            Scott, I am not saying that if Ducati built a V4 that no one would buy them or ride them, quite the contrary, a normal run of bikes would be warmly accepted. But I think the highly specialized, very expensive limited edition runs are mostly scooped up by execs and collectors and not ridden. Nothing wrong with that. it insure pristine examples for us to look at 25,50,100 years down the road. Some obviously are ridden by true enthusiasts that want to actually use the best of the best rather than just look at them in a living room or barn. I know guys of both types.

    • Slob says:

      I read about an English trader who has a desmoseidici as his daily ride. Even tours Europe on it regularly. Apparently it heats up so badly in traffic that it starts leaking coolant and OIL! 🙂

  38. Bigshankhank says:

    I think Ducati should invest more heavily in the cruiser market, something air-cooled with a name evocative of middle America like the Great Lakes, or maybe name it after a flyover state. Diavel means nothing to the American cruiser rider.

    • MGNorge says:

      In my mind anything cruiser, from a foreign brand will immediately hit a wall, no not that one, a wall of resistance! Immediately it’s some sort of copy, wanna be which tends to become a has-been in short order. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it’s just that that bunch puts up the deflector screens pretty darn fast. Naming something with the intent to try linking it to a geographic spot in the US is seen as an insult to people and do not sell well because of it.
      I’m afraid as a group the cruiser crowd is rather closed minded.

    • Scott says:

      Yeah! They could call it the “Indiana”… THAT would be a sure-fire hit!

      • HM says:

        Bingo! Scott too has memory that is longer than most!Surely no ‘spring chicken’ either! I don’t recall ever seeing a Ducati ‘Indiana’ in person.Though my brother told me about seeing one near a US Marine base back in the 1990s.I only recall seeing the ads in Cycle/Cycle World!
        My guess is that those didn’t sell too well?Probably sounded odd,went too fast,and cornered relatively well in spite of themselves?

      • Bigshankhank says:

        I’ve always wanted one for kitsch value only. They pop up on craigslist from time to time. No reason why most of the mods popular with the SS900 crowd (940 big bore, FCR flatsides, lighter flywheel) wouldn’t work on them as well. Like I need another bike.

  39. Norm G. says:

    Q: Should Ducati Introduce a Street-Legal V4 Superbike?

    A: no.

    re: “doing so could damage Ducati’s brand”

    exactly.

    re: “the current v-twin superbike raced in WSB (which is allowed 1200cc of displacement) is more than competitive”

    precisely.