Ducati's Superquadro Mono: A Single-Cylinder revolution unleashed
The Superquadro Mono is a testament to Ducati's commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance in the single-cylinder category.
In the world of motorcycling, history is often a source of inspiration and innovation. Ducati, the renowned Italian motorcycle manufacturer, has exemplified this by making a remarkable return to the world of single-cylinder road bikes with their Superquadro Mono. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Supermono 550 of three decades ago, this new engine is poised to set new standards in the category.
The Superquadro Mono is a testament to Ducati's commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance in the single-cylinder category. At its heart is a 659cc displacement engine equipped with a Desmodromic system – a technology synonymous with Ducati's racing heritage. This system not only enhances engine performance but also sets the Superquadro Mono apart from its competitors.
The name "Superquadro" is derived from the ratio between bore and stroke, a characteristic that allows for exceptional engine speeds typical of racing bikes. With a bore of 116 mm and a stroke of 62.4 mm, this ratio stands at an extreme 1.86, underlining the engine's racing DNA.
One of the key highlights of this engine is its ability to utilize sizeable valves. Borrowed from Ducati's MotoGP bikes, this valve system overcomes the limitations of traditional valve springs, enabling remarkable valve lift laws. The result is impressive - the Superquadro Mono achieves a peak power of 77.5 HP at 9750 rpm and an impressive 10,250 RPM redline. In a racing configuration with a Termignoni exhaust, this single-cylinder engine can even reach 85 HP at 9500 RPM, making it a true powerhouse in its category.
Ducati has gone to great lengths to enhance the engine's internal components. The piston features a "box in box" design, borrowed from the Panigale V4 R, which enhances rigidity and reduces friction. The piston pin is coated with Diamond Like Carbon (DLC), increasing its durability. The engine boasts a high compression ratio of 13.1:1, further optimizing power delivery.
Incorporating the Desmodromic system, the engine's rocker arms have a DLC coating to reduce friction and improve fatigue resistance. The distribution of the engine is managed by a mixed "silent" gear/chain system, ensuring precise and efficient performance. Fuel delivery is through a single oval-section throttle body with a 62 mm equivalent diameter, controlled by a ride-by-wire system offering three Power Modes (High, Medium, Low) to tailor the engine's response to various riding situations.
The engine's design goes beyond just performance. The die-cast crankcases integrate an aluminum water jacket around the cylinder barrel, reducing weight and improving cooling. This also allows the cylinder head to be directly attached to the crankcase, creating a more compact yet structurally rigid engine. To further reduce weight while maintaining mechanical strength, magnesium alloy is used for the clutch, alternator, and head covers.
The Superquadro Mono's engine balance is achieved through two balancing countershafts, ensuring smooth, high-speed operation while maintaining vibration levels comparable to a 90-degree V-twin.
Efficient lubrication is vital for any high-performance engine. Ducati relies on two lobe pumps, one for delivering oil to the engine and another for recovery. This design effectively reduces friction losses. A valve in the blow-by circuit helps maintain the crankshaft compartment under a vacuum, reducing resistance and ensuring effective oil recovery in all engine operating conditions.
The transmission features a 6-speed gearbox with racing ratios derived from the Panigale V4 experience. The clutch is in an oil bath with progressive interlocking hydraulic control, offering reduced lever load and intuitive braking behavior. For even greater convenience, the gearbox can be equipped with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down, which relies on a magnetic hall effect sensor for enhanced accuracy and reliability.
Ducati's Superquadro Mono is a triumph of engineering and performance, paying homage to the legendary Supermono 550 while setting new standards in the single-cylinder category. With its cutting-edge technology, precision engineering, and a commitment to excellence, Ducati continues to captivate the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. The Superquadro Mono is not just a motorcycle; it's a celebration of Ducati's legacy and an invitation to experience the thrill of high-performance riding.