Interview with Stefano Fantoni, Engine Director

Power is a rule

Performance is vital for both Ducati and Ducatisti. It is the element that defines the character and potential of the bike. It is the driving force that has always oriented Ducati towards its well-known supersport profile.

Immediately after the start of the V4 Granturismo project, Ducati engineers thought that only by giving new meanings to the word power would this V4 become the ideal engine for the travel enduro world.

We talked about this with Stefano Fantoni, Ducati Engine Director

Torque and power curves aimed at favouring smoothness and usability in all riding conditions, while preserving Ducati's sporty and exciting identity: this is why the engine design began with the technical choice of the V4 layout:

"Right from the start, we wanted it to be a four-cylinder, but we knew that it would have become a V4 with a completely new profile in terms of performance - although it borrowed a lot of features from the Desmosedici Stradale.

We wanted to have a fractioned engine, especially to get the maximum in terms of smoothness and regularity of torque at all revs." 

The result? 170 hp of maximum power, which is an extremely high value for a travel enduro engine, and an even more impressive figure once you have experienced the feeling of power delivery: it has been completely redefined to be smooth, soft and progressive, but vigorous and exciting when you need it. Among the many innovations that have enabled us to win this design challenge is the transition from the desmodromic to a spring-loaded timing system.

"The use of Desmo is central for us, especially in supersport bikes where the engine runs at very high revs, and where to get maximum performance from the engine it is necessary to raise the valves a lot by giving the system strong accelerations.

With the springs we could design a lighter system. In addition, it was possible to achieve a maintenance level that has much longer intervals and is also less expensive, in terms of labour, and therefore costs, as well as of downtime for the customer."

Enough to make them not only longer, but also the longest in the industry. 

The meticulous work in the design and development stage, combined with long and rigorous testing, culminated in the incredible result of 60,000 km for the main maintenance interval, which includes valve clearance check, as well as 15,000 km or 2 years for the oil service.

"To prove the reliability of V4 Granturismo's timing system, we stressed the system at all engine speeds for hundreds of hours non-stop, thus accumulating millions of cycles on springs, valves and rocker arms. At the same time, we checked the dynamic behaviour of the valve train by measuring the current lift laws by means of laser Doppler vibrometers to ensure that there were no system resonances throughout the engine's range of use. While the engines were accumulating hours of durability in our test benches, we had our testers travel for months on the roads of Italy for more than 120,000 km, thus doubling the approval standard."

With the V4 Granturismo project, Ducati has chosen to test its technical potential and know-how to meet the challenge of innovation and look to the future of versatile, robust and multi-purpose engines. This is pursued, without distancing, however, from one of the most important elements of the Ducati riding experience: its sound.

"A key element of the finishing work has been the sound. We wanted it to be compliant with regulations and fully satisfactory for rider and passenger comfort, but we also wanted it to be deeply Ducati. That is why we adopted the Twin Pulse firing order system: the 90° arrangement of the banks, combined with the one of the crank pins staggered by 70°, generates a sequence of close bursts which is very similar to the twin-cylinder one.

The subsequent sound quality work carried out on the engine components made it possible to obtain an exciting sound with a typical Ducati tone. The mechanical sound emissions, which insist on high frequencies, have been reduced to give more space to low sounds, which improve the rider and passenger comfort even on long journeys. We were able to create exactly the mix we wanted of Ducati performance, smoothness and sound, in perfect harmony with the family feeling."

Continue to Explore

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