The Ducati Panigale launch is just around the corner at the EICMA later this year in Novenmber and today Ducati has introduced the engine that goes in it. The Ducati Superquadro.

The innovative Superquadro engine, so called because of its massively over-square bore and stroke ratio, has increased power to an absolute production twin-cylinder milestone of 195hp and torque to 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) with user-friendly Riding Modes that deliver that power appropriate to the rider’s style and environment.

Its construction has enabled a radical reduction in overall vehicle weight and, further identifying Ducati’s constant pursuit of performance perfection, major services have been extended to 24,000km (15,000 miles).n calculating the optimum configuration to achieve the next big step forward in power output for the L-twin engine, Ducati and Ducati Corse engineers increased engine speed and enhanced breathability with the incredible bore and stroke of 112mm x 60.8mm. The intense study of power and ridability resulted in an output of 195hp @ 10,750rpm and 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) @ 9,000rpm.

The new bore and stroke ratio of 1.84:1 effectively increases rpm with the ultra-short stroke of the crankshaft and increases the cylinder area to enable increased valves diameters. Inlet valves have increased from 43.5 to 46.8mm and exhaust valves from 34.5 to 38.2mm.

The large inlet valves operating at higher rpm, intensify the inertial forces that has been controlled by using titanium instead of steel, a solution only previously used on full “R” models. The new valves are actuated by racing-derived rocker arms, ‘super-finished’ for reduced friction and fatigue and then coated in polymeric-like carbon (PLC), a process originally developed for the aerospace industry.

The race-derived Superquadro pistons have a distinctive double-ribbed undercrown to achieve high strength and reduced friction by using minimal piston wall surface area. Using technology developed by Ducati Corse, the design enables reliable operation of the 112mm diameter pistons when performing at high rpm.

The improved volumetric efficiency of the increased inlet valve diameters is further capitalised on by increasing the oval throttle body dimensions from an equivalent diameter of 63.9 to a massive and high-flowing 67.5mm. The Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies feed air across twin injectors per cylinder, one positioned below the butterfly for enhanced flexibility and one above for outright power.

The challenge for the Superquadro’s Design Engineers was to program performance-optimised fuel mapping for a smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, without compromising emissions. With the high engine speeds at which the Superquadro operates combined with such large valves, it would be impossible for the valve’s rocker-arm to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe using normal valve closure springs.

The Desmo system actuates valve closure mechanically with the same method and accuracy as it opens, enabling steep cam profiles, radical cam timings, large valves and high operating speeds. This system is used on every single Ducati motorcycle and constantly proven on Ducati Corse’s World Superbikes and Desmosedici MotoGP bikes.

The conventional bush-type chain runs from the crankshaft to the cylinder head where a single sprocket positioned between inlet and exhaust camshafts, is attached back-to-back to a gear wheel mounted on its own short, dedicated shaft. The attached gear meshes directly with gears on the ends of both the inlet and exhaust camshafts, which are also designed with +/- position adjustment for ultra-precise cam-timing. The cam chain, therefore, provides highly efficient point-to-point drive route and, tensioned automatically, provides continuous reliability and further reducing the cost of routine maintenance.

On the end of each exhaust cam drive gear is a centrifugal flyweight which retracts at speeds below tick-over to rotate a “protrusion” from the concentric section of the cam, thus creating just enough inlet valve lift to act as a de-compressor. This ingenious device enables the Superquadro engine to be started easily without using a larger battery and starter motor, which has reduced overall vehicle weight by approximately 3.3kg (7.3lb). When the engine starts and the camshafts begin to rotate at tick-over speed, the centrifugal flyweight flicks out, retracting the “protrusion” back into the cam and allowing complete valve closure for full compression. This innovative feature further underlines the lengths to which designers and engineers have worked together in the single-minded pursuit of weight-saving.


  • 195 hp
  • 4.41 in (112 mm) bore diameter
  • Full and indipendent RbW system
  • 2.66 in (67.5mm) equivalent diameter oval throttle body
  • Twin injectors for each throttle body
  • Feeding and delivery gerotor oil pumps for vacuum effect
  • Crankshaft on shell bearing for enhanced stiffness

Weight reduction

  • Nikasil coated alluminium wet liners
  • Decompressor device on both cylinder heads
  • Inlet titanium valves
  • Magnesium sump cover, head covers and clutch covers
  • Plastic gears (tecno polimeri) for oil and water drive

Power Delivery

  • Integrated design for engine & vehicle: the new Superquadro engine is a fully stressed member of the chassis
  • Racing oriented pistons: double ribbed and RR58 alloy
  • Secondary Air System
  • New chain drive timing system
  • Slipper and self-servo wet clutch
  • New gearbox: increased dimension between shaft centers for increased strength
Here is a look at some photographs Ducati has released of the engine: