In anticipation of the release of Ducati’s next generation Superbike, the Italian motorcycle brand has released some technical details and photos on the engine that will power its 2012 Ducati
1199 Panigale. Dubbed the “Superquadro,” this new powerplant will continue to be a liquid-cooled four-stroke V-Twin pumping out 1199cc of muscle.
The cylinders will retain its signature 90-degree cant using Ducati’s proprietary Desmodromic (cam/rocker-arm style) valve control system. Bore has increased 6mm to 112mm, while stroke has been decreased 7.1mm to 60.8mm. This allows the more oversquare engine to spin at higher rpm than before though Ducati didn’t provide any details aside from its claim that peak power is made at 10,750 rpm. (Redline is 10,500 rpm on the 1198-generation).
The engine continues to use four-valve cylinder heads with the intake valves growing by almost 8% and exhaust valves are nearly 10% larger. Due to the larger size and higher operating rpm the intake valves are now fabricated from titanium as opposed to steel. We assume the exhaust valves are still stamped from steel. Ducati’s original drive-belt timing system has finally been replaced by a new chain/gear-drive arrangement said to be more precise and reliable. Another plus is that it will lower routine maintenance costs.
The engine has been designed to work in unison with the new carbon-fiber chassis as a fully stressed member. Its mounting position has changed and has been rotated six-degrees backward. This allowed engineers to position it 32mm further forward for better overall balance. Reduced engine weight was also a primary design goal and just over seven pounds was reduced just by redesigning the starter motor/battery system. Other weight savings include the use of magnesium in many of the engine casings.
For the first-time ever, this new engine will employ dual-stage fuel-injection with a pair of injectors powering each cylinder fed from larger 67.5mm throttle bodies (nearly 5% bigger than the 1198). Furthermore the throttle will be actuated electronically via a ride-by-wire system with push-button power mode selection.
The redesigned transmission still makes use of six forward gears and features larger diameter gears to compensate for the engine’s higher power output. Smartly, Ducati has finally jettisoned its finicky and difficult to use dry clutch for a more conventional wet-style clutch with slipper functionality to mitigate the effects of engine back torque during deceleration.
Ducati claims that the new engine produces 195 horsepower at 10,750 rpm and 98.1 lb-ft of torque at 9000 rpm as measured from the crankshaft which would give it the title to having the most powerful production Twin-cylinder sportbike engine. More information to come. Expect a first ride review circa March ’12.