After three decades since the legendary Supermono 550, Ducati reintroduces a road use single-cylinder engine: the Superquadro Mono. The engine has a displacement of 659cc, equipped with a Desmodromic system, setting an entirely new performance standard within its category.
Derived from the Panigale 1299 engine, the 1,285cc Superquadro Mono inherits components such as the 116-millimeter diameter piston, the shape of the combustion chamber, the 46.8-millimeter diameter titanium inlet valves, the 38.2-millimeter steel exhaust valves and the Desmodromic system.
The name Superquadro is derived from its extraordinary bore-to-stroke ratio, allowing it to reach racing-engine-like rotation speeds. On the Superquadro Mono, this ratio is set to 1.86, representing the pinnacle of the category, achieved through a 62.4-millimeter stroke and a record 116-millimeter bore. The 116-millimeter bore enables the use of large diameter valves to benefit performance, made possible through the Desmodromic system. This system, also used on Ducati’s MotoGP bikes, allows the limits imposed by the valve springs to be overcome, enabling extreme levels of valve lift. The Desmodromic system contributes significantly to performance and the ability of reaching high engine-revolution speeds.
The Superquadro Mono delivers a maximum power of 77.5 horsepower at 9,750 rpm and is capable of reaching 10,250 rpm,* a figure never achieved before by a road-production single cylinder. The engine produces 46 pound-feet of torque at 8,000 rpm, produced in a linear, accessible power delivery. In racing configuration with the Termignoni exhaust fitted, this single-cylinder engine achieves an incredible maximum power value of 85 horsepower at 9,500 rpm.
Technical Solutions and Refined Materials for Performance and Lightness
The 116-millimeter bore piston is an absolute record for a production single cylinder. Of racing origin, it is characterized by a “box in box” layout like the pistons of the Panigale V4 R, i.e., with a double-truss base to combine rigidity and resistance by reducing the thrust surfaces with the aim of containing friction. The piston pin is equipped with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) surface coating, similar to that used for the piston skirt of the Panigale V4 R. The compression ratio is 13.1:1.
As on the Desmosedici MotoGP engine, the rocker arms of the Desmodromic system also boast DLC surface coating to reduce friction and increase wear resistance. Distribution is controlled through a mixed “silent” gear/chain system.
Fuel delivery is entrusted to a single oval-section throttle body with an equivalent diameter of 62 millimeters, with an under-throttle injector controlled by a ride-by-wire system, offering three different power modes (High, Medium, Low) to adapt the engine’s delivery to various riding situations.
The die-cast engine crankcases integrate the water jacket around the cylinder barrel, made as it is on the 1299 Superleggera in aluminum rather than steel for weight reduction and improved cooling due to the thinness of the walls. This solution also allows the head to be fixed directly to the crankcase for a more compact engine and high rigidity. The clutch, alternator and head covers are cast magnesium alloy to reduce the weight while guaranteeing high mechanical resistance.
The asymmetrical crankshaft, mounted on differentiated main bearings, balances the weight. Engine balancing is guaranteed by the presence of two balancing countershafts, one front and one rear, mounted on ball bearings inside the crankcase and controlled by gears. The countershafts also control the water and oil pumps, resulting in smooth operation even at high speeds, with vibration levels akin to a 90-degree V-twin.
The layout of the two countershafts, placed on the side of the crankshaft, allows the first-order inertia forces to be completely balanced without introducing further unwanted forces or moments.
The Superquadro Mono relies on two lobe pumps, one for delivery ensuring efficient engine lubrication and the other for recovery, located in the connecting rod compartment. This recovery pump takes the oil from the side compartments of the alternator and clutch covers in order to reduce the friction losses of the lubricant with the moving parts. This pump, together with a valve placed in the blow-by circuit, brings the crankshaft compartment under depression, as in racing engines, reducing the resistance of moving parts and ensuring effective recovery of the lubricating oil under all engine usage conditions.
The transmission relies on a six-speed gearbox with racing ratios derived from the experience gained with the Panigale V4. The first gear is strategically long to maximize acceleration in slow corners. The wet clutch system with progressive interlocking hydraulic control provides reduced lever effort and is designed to offer intuitive behavior on release, delivering precise engine braking control to facilitate power-sliding during corner entry.
The gearbox can be equipped with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down. In this application, the DQS relies on a magnetic hall effect sensor and not the traditional load cell to improve accuracy and reliability.
Tune in to the fifth episode of the Ducati World Premiere Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7 a.m. PST to discover the new model that will equip the Superquadro Mono.
* In first gear only; the limiter is set at 10,000 rpm.
Main Technical Specifications of the Superquadro Mono
- 659cc vertical single-cylinder engine
- Bore-by-stroke: 116-by-62.4 millimeters
- Compression ratio: 13.1:1
- Maximum power: 77.5 horsepower (57 kilowatts) at 9,750 rpm and 85 horsepower at 9,500 rpm with Termignoni racing exhaust
- Maximum torque: 46 pound-feet (63 newton meters) at 8,050 rpm and 49 pound-feet with Termignoni racing exhaust
- Aluminum cylinder barrel
- Mixed chain-gear Desmodromic valve system with double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder: 46.8-millimeters titanium inlet valves and 38.2-millimeter exhaust valves
- Asymmetrical crankshaft mounted on differentiated diameter main bearings
- Double balancing countershaft with control function of the water and oil pumps
- Multi-disc oil-bath clutch, servo-driven and with anti-hopping function
- Semi-dry sump lubrication with delivery pump and recovery pump
- Fuel feed via oval section throttle body with an equivalent diameter of 62 millimeters
- Six-speed gearbox with the possibility of fitting the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down
- Oil change set at 9,000 miles
- Check and eventual adjustment of valve clearance set at 18,000 miles