The Speed of Ducati’s New Superquadro Mono Engine Might Not Be Perceptible
Ducati, renowned for their high-performance engines equipped with fancy valvetrains, has recently introduced a new and equally impressive high-performance engine with a fancy valvetrain. What sets this engine apart is that it is a single cylinder taken from a twin-cylinder Panigale, making it the most powerful single-cylinder engine available, according to Ducati. However, I believe that the raw horsepower numbers are not as important as the overall experience for the rider.
The latest Ducati Superquadro Mono engine delivers 85 horsepower, surpassing the previous leader, Husqvarna, by 10 horsepower. However, it is widely accepted among tuners that peak numbers do not accurately represent the engine’s performance. What truly matters is the power and torque distributed throughout the rev range. Interestingly, Ducati provides us with more detailed information than just the peak figures.
According to Ducati’s website, the Superquadro Mono engine can rev up to 10,250 rpm, a level never before achieved in a road-going single-cylinder engine. It generates a maximum power of 77.5 hp at 9,750 rpm, setting a benchmark for the segment, while the torque reaches 46.4 lb-ft at 8,000 rpm. Notably, 70% of the torque is available at just 3,000 rpm, and between 4,500 and 10,250 rpm, the torque never drops below 80%. Installing the racing exhaust specifically designed for this new engine can further increase power by 7 hp and torque by 2.9 lb-ft. In terms of maintenance, the oil change is required every 9,000 miles, and the valve clearance check every 18,000 miles, making it a reliable option in its category.
Using the data provided, we can deduce some characteristics of the engine. For instance, at 3,000 rpm, it generates 32.48 lb-ft of torque, which increases to 46.4 lb-ft at 8,000 rpm. As for horsepower, it delivers 77.5 hp at 9,750 rpm. By understanding the relationship between horsepower, torque, and rpm, we can extrapolate the rest of the values for specific rpm points.
By plotting these values on a graph and smoothing out the lines, we obtain a representation akin to a dyno chart. However, it is essential to acknowledge that this chart is based on formulas and limited data, and may not precisely match the results from an actual dyno test. Nonetheless, it serves as a helpful visual when comparing these figures to those of other competitors.
Comparing the Ducati engine to the previous fastest single-cylinder engine, the KTM 690 Enduro R (and Husqvarna 701 bikes), reveals some similarities. Both engines exhibit similar torque curves, indicating comparable performance. Taking into account the drivetrain losses, the Ducati engine is likely to be less powerful across most of the rev range.
While the Ducati Superquadro Mono engine is by far the most powerful single-cylinder engine in terms of peak horsepower, it may not feel significantly faster than the Husqvarna 701 or KTM 690 throughout the majority of its rev range. Peak numbers may be exciting, but it is unrealistic to consistently ride at peak horsepower for an entire track lap. Therefore, when considering variable rev ranges, what truly matters is the torque and power available throughout the range. In this regard, the Ducati engine seems to perform on par with other high-powered single-cylinder engines.