Road & Track does not traditionally cover motorcycles, but sometimes, what's happening in the bike world is too interesting not to celebrate. And so it is the case with Ducati's newest engine, the Superquadro Mono, a 656-cc single-cylinder that can make up to 85 horsepower. That's more power per cylinder than the Aston Martin Valkyrie's 1000-hp 6.5-liter V-12.
The Superquadro Mono is derived from Ducati's 1299cc V-2 Panigale engine, sharing the same design of piston, cylinder, and combustion chamber. That piston is a work of art, with an enormous 4.57-inch bore—which Cycle World points out is larger than that of a Chevy Big Block's—and a tiny 2.46-inch stroke. The bore-to-stroke ratio of 1.86 is greater than the Valkyrie V-12's 1.5, and far greater than the new Lamborghini Revuelto's 1.24. Surely, this must be the most oversquare engine in history.
As a consequence of this extreme bore-to-stroke ratio, the Superquadro Mono revs to 10,250 rpm. Keeping vibrations at a minimum are two gear-driven balancing shafts that turn at the same speed as the crankshaft. Ducati says that the vibrations are similar to that of the Panigale twin.
In the great Ducati tradition, the Superquadro Mono uses a Desmodromic valvetrain, which eschews valve springs for a cam and poppet to close the valves. Intake valves are made from titanium and shared with the Panigale 1299 while the steel exhaust valves come straight off Ducati's MotoGP Superbike. The throttle body is oval-shaped, while the crankshaft uses an asymmetric design to keep weight down.
In its standard form, the Superquadro Mono makes 77.5 hp at 9750 rpm and 46.4 lb-ft of torque at 8000 rpm. To get the full 85 horsepower, you'll need an optional racing exhaust, which also bumps torque up by 2.9 lb-ft. Despite its high-revving nature, the Superquadro Mono offers a wide torque band, with 70 percent of the maximum available from 3000 rpm, and at least 80 percent between 4500 and 10,250 rpm. The gearbox is similar to that of a V-4 Panigale's, with a tall first gear designed for low-speed cornering on track.
Ducati promises long service intervals, too, with 9000 miles between oil changes, and 18,000 miles between valve clearance checks. The engine will hit the road in an upcoming new model.
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