has been talk for a
long time about Ducati releasing a road going version of their
fire breathing, tarmac ripping rider breaking Desmosedici
MotoGP bike. And of course some of the press leapt on it saying
it was nonsense, some claimed to have seen prototypes and
some just bided their time. You, the readers, have had a few
comments on it was well. But now it can be told. Because we
received confirmation from Ducati that it's true.
They are releasing a road going version
of their MotoGP bike. It will be awesome (and I use the word
without hesitation because I am awe struck) and you will be
able to buy one. If you've got the money, that is.
This is what they say (from a Ducati
“The philosophy of the Ducati Desmosedici project,”
declared Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse Director General,
“is best expressed as total integration between engine,
chassis and rider. This basic concept has been our philosophy
from the very moment that we decided to tackle this new challenge.
The bike represents an important evolution over the Ducati
Superbike and is the result of new design techniques that
have allowed us to integrate ‘virtual’ modelling
and analysis with our considerable racing experience. This
has speeded up design and development time and enabled us
to immediately obtain surprising results. Ducati is fully
committed to this project, which has allowed us to grow quickly
and transfer new technology to our streetbike product range,
which as a result has become increasingly reliable, thrilling
At first, Ducati’s MotoGP technicians (a group of passionate
engineers with an average age of 28) had considered the possibility
of creating a MotoGP ‘super-twin’, a latest-generation
V-Twin prototype, taking advantage of the regulations that
give twin-cylinder machines a considerable weight reduction
over four, five or six-cylinder bikes. However, detailed analysis,
including numerous computer simulations, indicated that a
twin-cylinder engine would just not have been able to produce
the required amount of power (more than 230 HP), without excessively
increasing the number of revs. A Twin would have had to rev
at over 17,000 rpm, but this would require a very short stroke
and a very large bore, as a result producing possible combustion
Ducati therefore opted for a brand-new V4 engine, which continued
the traditional layout of its 90° L-Twin engines, together
with desmodromic valve control. This marriage of tradition
and innovation proved to be the path to follow. The engine
was called Desmosedici because its 16 valves were controlled
by the desmo valve train system, a key factor in Ducati’s
numerous successes on the track.
tried and tested V-90° layout offers a number of advantages
that have contributed to Ducati’s success on the track
and allowed the Desmosedici project to achieve major results.
The layout of the cylinders guarantees perfect primary engine
balance, an important characteristic for an engine that is
required to rev up to 17,000 rpm with minimum vibration, thus
improving mechanical efficiency and reliability.
The desmodromic system, designed for Ducati by the legendary
engineer Fabio Taglioni, uses rockers both to close and open
the valves, and this allows the engine to function with extraordinary
precision at all rpm.
For the first tests, Ducati Corse produced two versions of
the Desmosedici engine, one with a regular firing order, and
the other with paired cylinders firing simultaneously (Twin
pulse). It soon became clear that the latter version put the
engine components through excessive strain, so it was decided
to use the first configuration. Subsequently, starting from
the 2004 Dutch TT at Assen, thanks to the evolution of the
engine, the irregular firing Twin pulse version was used which
gave better driveability.
Ducati has also always aimed at excellence in performance
through courageous and innovative choices, such as the chassis
of its bikes. While other manufacturers race with different
versions of an aluminium box frame, the Desmosedici has a
tubular steel trellis structure, similar to the one used with
great success in World Superbike.
During the May 2004 WDW (World Ducati Week, the massive rally
held every two years that attracts Ducatisti from all over
the world), the much-awaited announcement was made that Ducati
would develop a Desmosedici Racing Replica!
A road version of the all-Italian MotoGP bike from Bologna
would soon be available and on sale throughout the world.
For this new project, Ducati decided to transfer the Desmosedici
RR the developments and advancements of the Desmosedici over
the past two years in order to offer the general public the
closest thing possible to the GP6.
The dream of a true GP replica has finally come true and
the Desmosedici RR will be the first-ever road-going motorcycle
to offer such a stunning wealth of performance and technology
that comes directly from Ducati’s experience in MotoGP.
The RR derives from the Ducati Corse Grand Prix racing Desmosedici
GP6, the same bike with which Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau
are competing with in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
The Mugello launch is the perfect occasion to reveal the shape
and the technical characteristics with which the bike will
go to market, confirming the high technological features of
this exclusive and esoteric machine.
The body design and the aerodynamics faithfully reflect the
Desmosedici GP6. The colour scheme, the fittings, the materials
used in its construction as well as the technical features
of the powerful four-cylinder desmodromic engine built by
the Borgo Panigale factory engineers, leave no doubts whatsoever:
the Desmosedici RR is the ultimate expression of the most
extreme MotoGP racing machine today.
The project is currently in the industrialization phase and,
as previously announced, it will be a limited edition motorcycle,
with approximately 400 bikes being produced a year. The RR
is scheduled to arrive in the market in July 2007, while from
June 2nd 2006 it will be possible to reserve the bike through
the official Ducati dealer network, with Ducati 999R owners
is the new frontier of Ducati technological evolution, a dream
come true, demonstrating once again the courage and the passion
of Ducati, as well as the ability to transfer the experience
of the racing world to a machine that is destined for road
Federico Minoli – Chairman and Managing Director of
Ducati Motor Holding - and Claudio Domenicali – Product
Director of Ducati Motor and Managing Director of Ducati Corse
– together with Ducati Corse riders Loris Capirossi,
Sete Gibernau and Vittoriano Guareschi were at Mugello to
unveil Ducati’s latest jewel of technology.
“This is an important moment for us, another dream
come true. Producing the Desmosedici RR means offering the
ultimate expression of Ducati technology, while remaining
faithful to the tradition of every one of our road and racing
bikes,” declared Federico Minoli. “It is a challenge
that we wanted to accept and although relatively few bikes
will be made, the RR will be a true object of desire for all
Ducatisti. It will be the ultimate Ducati experience, one
that best exemplifies the passion and the ingenuity for which
we are famous. Meanwhile the twin-cylinder remains and will
continue to remain Ducati’s traditional engine, having
equipped all of our production models in the past and equipping
them in the future.”
“The Desmosedici RR is a true Grand Prix replica,”
commented Claudio Domenicali. “The technological level
of this bike is extraordinarily high and for the first time
ever all the authentic performance and technology of the ultimate
MotoGP racing machine have been transferred to a road-going
motorcycle. Over 200 hp of power for a bike that features
exclusive components and quality materials, destined to become
the new point of reference for production motorcycles. There
couldn’t have been a better place than Mugello for the
unveiling of this new bike and who better to take the wraps
off it than Loris, Sete and Vittoriano, because this bike
is also their bike and all of their experience has gone into
developing this road-going motorcycle.”
The Ducati Desmosedici RR features advanced technology and
aerodynamics that are derived from the GP6 currently being
raced in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
The engine of the Desmosedici RR accurately reflects that
of the MotoGP bike: Ducati’s traditional desmodromic
distribution, guaranteeing precise valve control up to the
highest revs, is perfectly matched to the 989 cc four-cylinder
‘L’ layout, with four titanium valves per cylinder,
in asymmetrical Twin Pulse configuration, producing a masterwork
of precision engineering.
The double overhead cams are gear driven, a sophisticated
and reliable solution that enables precise valve timing in
all conditions. This authentic copy of the Grand Prix engine
is completed by a six-speed transmission, which retains its
‘racing’ characteristic by being cassette type,
and a hydraulically actuated dry multi-plate slipper clutch.
The aim of producing a light but robust engine has led not
only to an unrivalled quality component design but also the
use of exclusive racing-derived materials: sand-cast, aluminium
crankcase and cylinder heads, titanium connecting rods and
valves, sand-cast magnesium engine covers.
Four 50 mm Magneti Marelli throttle bodies are present, with
12-hole ‘microjet’ injectors. For sophisticated
management of the powerful four-cylinder engine a Magneti
Marelli 5SM ECU and high-speed CAN line electronics have been
An all-time ‘first’ comes with the use of a ‘4
into 2 into 1’ exhaust, with “vertical exit”
silencer, hidden in the tail cover.
These are all benchmark performance features for a MotoGP
replica bike, which is capable of delivering more than 200
hp of power with the 102 dB racing silencer and dedicated
CPU race kit.
Amazingly the Desmosedici RR with its catalytic oxygen sensor
exhaust, homologated for road use, fully complies with Euro3
The engine clearly represents the beating heart of this fantastic
motorcycle, but the technological advancements also extend
to the chassis: a signature tubular trellis hybrid frame,
refined components, and a superb carbon fibre body. This is
a motorcycle that is destined for an expert rider, someone
who is always looking for extreme sporting performance, as
well as being an exclusive, esoteric, reliable product that
is more than capable of track racing.
The colour scheme of the Desmosedici RR was the work of Alan
Jenkins, the designer and one of the men behind the Desmosedici
MotoGP, who was also responsible for the aerodynamics package
which is aimed at achieving maximum speed and excellent handling.
The bike is totally inspired by the racing machine, the Ducati
Desmosedici GP6, from which it inherits all the aggressiveness
of its lines. It is fitted with a new lightweight multifunction
dashboard, developed in collaboration with Ducati Corse, the
same one that will be fitted to next year’s racing machine,
the Desmosedici GP7.
The bike’s development could not have been made possible
without the significant collaboration of Vittoriano Guareschi,
the official Ducati Corse tester, whose riding abilities and
hundreds of hours of track time have made a fundamental contribution
to the evolution of the project.
For the first time the Ducati Desmosedici RR uses a new welded
tubular steel trellis hybrid frame (ALS 450) with the frame
geometry that is the same as that of the Desmosedici GP6.
This construction guarantees an excellent stiffness to weight
ratio, allowing superior manoevrability and riding precision.
Attached to the red frame is the rear seat support in high
temperature resin type carbon fibre. This material, normally
used only on racing bikes, has the characteristic of being
extremely lightweight but exceptionally rigid.
Desmosedici RR sports a new extra-long, cast, forged and pressed
aluminium alloy swingarm. The geometry and the technology
of this component derive directly from the MotoGP bike, and
give the RR a high level of traction control, and excellent
weight distribution as well as a superb stiffness to weight
In the suspension department the Ducati Desmosedici RR features
the most advanced technical components.
The rear suspension geometry and layout is the same as that
of the GP6, with the rear shock attached above the swingarm
and to a rocker, which is hinged to the crankcase.
The front suspension features 43 mm upside-down Öhlins
FG353 pressurized forks (PFF), with TiN coated sliders. The
forks, which come directly from competition use, as well as
being pressurized thus ensuring excellent track performance,
are fully adjustable in preload, rebound and compression.
The rear shock is also Öhlins and has rebound, low/high
speed compression adjustment and hydraulic preload adjustment.
For the first time ever, this Ducati production motorcycle
features Marchesini forged and machined magnesium alloy wheels,
with 7 spoke design as on the GP6. This helps to reduce unsprung
weight and inertia, all the while improving handling and suspension
With the aim of producing the ultimate track performance,
Ducati in collaboration with Bridgestone is developing special
tyres for the Desmosedici RR. The tread pattern, construction
and profile are being specially developed and produced by
the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
The numerous racing components of this high-performance machine
also include its Brembo brakes. Up front the Desmosedici RR
features a new pair of radial ‘monoblock’ callipers
with four 34 mm pistons: monoblock technology, until now only
used for racing callipers, allows calliper stiffness to be
increased, thus improving braking response; the front brake
system is completed by a radial master cylinder, with hinged
lever and remote ‘quick’ adjuster. The pair of
front brake discs are the same as those used on the GP6 in
its wet weather race set-up: two semi-floating 320 mm x 6
mm discs, with machined flange. The Brembo rear brakes are
made up of a 240 mm fixed disc and a floating calliper with
two 34 mm pistons.
The Desmosedici RR will be available with a special race
kit that includes a 102 dB racing exhaust, a dedicated CPU,
bike cover, paddock stand.
For this exclusive Ducati, a new dedicated service plan is
included. Each Ducati Desmosedici RR owner can benefit with
a three-year warranty and three years of scheduled maintenance,
free of charge.
Two versions of the RR will be available: 1) the Desmosedici
RR - painted in ‘Rosso GP’, with a white number
plate on the tail section; 2) the Desmosedici RR ‘Team
Version’ - painted in ‘Rosso GP’, and as
with the factory Corse bikes, has a broad white stripe on
the fairing. A team sponsor decal kit will be provided with