On November 4 Ducati are set to reveal their all-new Multistrada. The new – fourth generation – model stands to be a big change to the existing, as the Desmo vee-twin motor will be replaced by a super-powerful 170hp V4! That 170hp is a big number for sure, but Ducati assure us the new motor is primarily designed to meet our ‘adventouring’ (their word) needs. So while it will no doubt provide a fair few thrills, be assured reliability and durability, not to mention civility, are all aspects that have been squarely addressed.
THE V4 GRANTURISMO
Ducati moved to V4 tech when they entered MotoGP, that configuration motor then entered their production superbike range, can now be found in their street bikes and will on November 4 be brought into their touring-adventure segment. And it’s clear from their video and press briefing notes, this V4 has been developed with off-road performance as much in mind as on-road.
Ducati has spelled out plenty of the advantages for moving to a V4 motor. The biggest advantage is probably the compact size of the V4. Compared to their vee-twin it saves 95mm in height and 85mm in length while only being 20mm wider. At 66.7kg it’s just over a kilo lighter than the Testastretta vee-twin (of the 1260 Multistrada) as well. So you can see Ducati will be achieving better mass centralization, probably a lower centre of mass/gravity and will have greater freedom to adjust the chassis and steering geometry to achieve the best handling.
The motor also scores some dramatic gains in durability. While Ducati’s Desmodromic valve actuation system has been the cornerstone of their motors for decades, for this engine Ducati has swapped to a conventional spring valve return system and in so doing has set a record 60,000km maintenance interval on valve clearance checks. Equally, gone are the timing belts we’ve always known Ducati for, replaced by ‘silent’ chains. Meanwhile oil filter changes come every 15,000km (or two years) and air filter every 30,000km. There’s also a cool (literally) feature in that at idle the engine shuts down the firing on the rear cylinders to reduce the heat generated (which is of course is directly under where the rider sits).
The motor abounds with tech. The crank is counter-rotating, so resists the bike’s urge to wheelie under hard acceleration. The firing order replicates that of a twin, kind of – Ducat call it ‘twin pulse’ as it’s firing the two left hand cylinders together and then the right hand cylinders together. It’s a dry sump motor by the way, which again should help in getting the weight low without compromising ground clearance.
With claimed max power of 170hp at 10,500rpm and max torque of 125Nm at 8750rpm we can expect a range of riding modes so as to make this bike manageable in the dirt. And here again Ducati has made references to dirt riding with the selection of a low first gear ratio to help maintain good control off-road.
Ducati aren’t the first to bring a V4 to the adventure market – Honda has the VFR800X and VFR1200X, the latter producing about 125hp – but we can see this going to be the most dynamic yet. Yes, we’re keenly awaiting the 4th of November…
Ducati V4 Granturismo main technical data
- 1158 cm³ 4-cylinder 90° V engine
- Bore x stroke 83 x 53,5 mm
- Compression ratio 14:1
- Maximum power 125 kW (170 CV) at 10,500 rpm
- Maximum torque 125 Nm (12,7 Kgm) at 8,750 rpm
- Euro 5 homologation
- Distribution part chain, part gear – timing with dual overhead camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder
- Counter-rotating crankshaft with crank pins offset at 70°
- Wet multiplate anti-patter servo clutch
- Semi-dry sump lubrication with three oil pumps: 1 delivery and 2 return
- Fuelling with four oval throttle bodies (46 mm diameter equivalent)
- 6-speed gearbox with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down System
- 60,000 km maintenance valves interval