[Ducati]

DUCATI’S INCREDIBLE ‘SUPERQUADRO MONO’ ENGINE

2 weeks ago | Words: Matt Holmes | Photos: Ducati Media House

Ducati has been breaking their large-capacity twin tradition in a big way over the past few months, unveiling both 450cc and a 659cc single-cylinder engines. Up first though is their ground-breaking ‘Superquadro Mono’ powerplant: a fire-breathing 659cc single that pumps out 77.5hp and redlines at an amazing 10,250rpm! We doubt your old XT500 ever spun up that quick!

Ducati’s prowess with singles dates back to the beginnings of the brand itself and their first wins on the track (think the legendary ‘Supermono 550’ single from 30 years ago). Come 2024, the Superquadro Mono is born from the twin-cylinder unit that powers the 1299 Panigale, with this new single utilising the same 116mm diameter piston, combustion chamber, titanium intake and steel exhaust valves, alongside their trademarked Desmodromic system.

So, just how do you spin up a big thumper to ten grand? Using an extremely short stroke of 62.4mm, is how! The Superquadro Mono has a bore-to-stroke ratio of 1.86, easily the most extreme value ever seen on a road-oriented single-cylinder engine. The massive 116mm bore allows for the use of large-diameter valves, which would not be possible without the Desmodromic system. This system, which Ducati also uses in their MotoGP bikes, allows the limiting nature of valve springs to be overcome, enabling extreme valve lifts under stress. And in this way, the Desmo system enables very high rotational speeds.

Torque-wise, it maxes out at 6.4Kgm at 8000rpm, and is distributed in a linear and exploitable curve – all while respecting the limits of Euro 5 homologation. In racing configuration with a Termignoni exhaust, Ducati is claiming 85hp at 9500rpm. And they’re figures not to be sneezed at!

It’s not just about benchmark performance, though. The Superquadro Mono is also Ducati’s single cylinder with the longest maintenance intervals: 30,000km for checking and eventual valve clearance adjustment.

For now, this beast of a thumper donk has landed in Ducati’s new Hypermotard 698 Mono; a simple, lightweight (150kg!) and agile supermoto model that would challenge anyone’s ability to retain their licence. Of course, if you’re like us, you can already sniff an off-road direction for this Superquadro Mono engine. A big enduro single to take on the KTM/Husky/GASGAS 690/701/700? A mini DesertX or lightweight Multistrada? Bring ’em on. We’re betting Ducati will be unleashing some all-new dirt-worthy models powered by this high-performance, bulletproof single in the very near future…

SUPERQUADRO MONO – TECHNICAL DATA

  • 659cc vertical single-cylinder engine
  • Bore x stroke: 116.0mm x 62.4mm
  • ‘Box in Box’ piston layout (a la the Panigale V4 R) with DLC-coated piston pin
  • Compression ratio 13.1:1
  • Maximum power 57kW (77.5hp) at 9750rpm // 85hp at 9500rpm with Termignoni racing exhaust
  • Maximum torque 63Nm (6.4Kgm) at 8050 rpm // 6.8Kgm with Termignoni racing exhaust
  • Die-cast engine crankcases with integrated water jacket around the aluminium cylinder barrel
  • Euro 5+ homologation
  • Mixed chain-gear Desmodromic distribution with double overhead camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder, 46.8mm titanium intake valves, and 38.2mm 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 62mm
  • Six-speed gearbox with the possibility of fitting the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up and down
  • Oil change set at 15,000km
  • Check and eventual adjustment of valve clearance set at 30,000km

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