Ducati, the renowned motorcycle manufacturer, has recently introduced an astounding innovation in the form of the Superquadro Mono, a single-cylinder engine that stands as the most potent of its kind globally. This groundbreaking creation is a testament to Ducati’s expertise in crafting high-performance machines, and what sets it apart is the unconventional approach employed to achieve its remarkable power and performance.
The Superquadro Mono is equipped with a record-breaking quad-valve 659cc engine, capable of delivering an incredible 77.5 horsepower at 9,750 rpm when paired with a standard exhaust. With the addition of a racing exhaust, this engine’s output reaches a staggering 85 horsepower. Such levels of power from a single-cylinder engine demonstrate the exceptional engineering capabilities of Ducati.
What truly makes the Superquadro Mono extraordinary is its innovative design and technology. It boasts a remarkable maximum engine speed of 10,250 rpm, making it the highest-revving single-cylinder engine currently in production. Derived from a larger twin-cylinder 1299cc Panigale engine, it shares crucial components such as the piston, valves, and combustion chamber design, contributing significantly to its remarkable performance.
Two key design elements enable the high engine revs. First, it utilizes an extreme bore-to-stroke ratio, featuring a 116mm piston diameter and a 62.4mm crankshaft stroke, which is approximately 2.5 inches. Second, the Superquadro Mono employs a “desmodromic” valvetrain, a unique and fascinating technology. Unlike most manufacturers that have moved away from this system, Ducati is one of the last major companies still using it.
The desmodromic system not only opens the engine’s valves but also actively closes them. This addresses a historical issue with high-revving engines known as valve float, where valve springs couldn’t close the valves quickly enough at high RPMs, limiting engine performance.
In practice, Ducati retains a few springs, but their sole purpose is to keep the valves closed when the engine is not running, reducing wear in the system. This innovation represents a significant improvement in the desmodromic technology, which traditionally required more frequent maintenance. With the Superquadro Mono, Ducati claims that oil changes are only necessary every 9,000 miles, and valve clearance checks are required every 18,000 miles.
To ensure smooth operation at such high engine speeds, the Superquadro Mono incorporates two balance shafts, effectively mitigating vibrations. Furthermore, the engine features various lightweight components made of magnesium, including the alternator, clutch, and head covers. The intake valves, measuring an impressive 46.8mm in size, are constructed from titanium, further enhancing the engine’s performance capabilities.
In an era where the automotive industry is progressively transitioning towards electric propulsion, the Superquadro Mono serves as a compelling reminder of the thrill and engineering excellence that internal combustion engines can offer when pushed to their limits. While automakers are increasingly reluctant to invest in new high-revving, naturally aspirated engines, particularly for cars, the motorcycle industry continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with traditional engines. \
Ducati’s Superquadro Mono is a shining example of this dedication to innovation, highlighting the incredible potential and excitement that internal combustion engines can still deliver. It stands as a testament to the enduring fascination with pure Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) machines that have been taken to their peak performance capabilities.