Ducati will reveal the Desmosedici Stradale engine that will power its top-of-the-range superbike in 2018 tomorrow.
The firm is holding an unveiling event at 12.00pm local time at the Misano circuit, where MotoGP pass holders in the paddock will be able to see the new engine for the first time. The bike that it’s set to be used in won’t be there, though.
Spy shots of the upcoming superbike show that it carries over a similar style to the Panigale. One picture even appears to show it wearing ‘Panigale V4’ badges on the sides. It makes sense that Ducati may opt to retain the old name on its all-new superbike. It provides a connection to the past and means the bike sits comfortably next to the V-twin Panigale 959 in the 2018 range. Ducati hasn’t applied for any new trademarks, so there’s no obvious alternative name for the new bike at the moment.
The Desmosedici Stradale engine
The engine itself carries the Desmosedici Stradale name. ‘Desmosedici’ refers to its sixteen (‘sedici’) desmodromically-operated valves. It uses cam-operated rockers to close the valves instead of relying on conventional valve springs. The system eliminates valve float at high revs and reduces the frictional losses associated with conventional valve springs. The picture accompanying Ducati’s invitation to the launch clearly shows those desmodromic valve-closing rocker arms.
Ducati will probably reveal the completed bike at the EICMA show in Milan this November. It uses a partial aluminium chassis, with the engine providing the structure where the swingarm attaches. The four exhausts combine into a single, large, belly-mounted silencer, as on the original Panigale. The styling is also similar to the Panigale, with headlights set into the upper edges of air intakes in the nose, a very short tail and relatively smooth flanks with a slit-like air outlet. However, the upper side panels on the new bike meld into the fuel tank, while the frontal air intakes are larger than the existing Panigale’s. A single sided swingarm is, of course, standard.
As with the V-twin Panigale and its predecessors, the Desmosedici Stradale powered bike will be offered in several versions. An ‘R’ model designed to suit WSB regulations will be sold, of course, with a 1000cc capacity. However, there are rumours that the standard and ‘S’ road-going machines will have a larger, 1200cc engine. That arrangement mimics the current Panigale range, where the R has a rave-legal 1198cc engine and the other versions use a larger 1285cc twin.