In the past several weeks, Ducati has been giving us little hints about its new V4 engine that would be used for the 2021 Multistrada V4. Yet, the biggest revelation about Ducati’s brand new engine is a deviation from a technology that they’ve been using for decades now. Ducati has decided to lose its famous Desmodromic valve actuation system which is what allows the new V4 engine for longer service intervals. To say the least, a tedious full-Desmo service would no longer be needed, insofar as the Multistrada V4 is concerned.
We already know that it’s a brand new engine tuned more for adventure touring that wasn’t just lifted off of its Panigale, or Streetfighter V4. Because of this, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer even decided to aptly give the engine its very own name, the Granturismo.
Ducati has been using its famous Desmodromic valve actuation system for most of its motorcycle engines since the 1960s. The system holds a number of advantages when compared to the conventional valve spring actuation that most engines use, especially in high-performance machines. Desmodromic valves don’t rely on springs to allow the flow of gas into the engine. Instead, the valves use two cams and two actuators with each of them allowing for positive opening and closing without using a return spring. As a result, the engine gets the ability to withstand a higher RPM than a conventionally operated valve-train resulting in better engine performance.
To achieve this with conventional engines, heavier springs would need to be used to get the same effect. However, this also causes some negative effects including cam drag and more wear on the engine’s internal components.
That being said, Ducati still decided that the Granturismo engine’s four valves per cylinder would be actuated by conventional valve springs in effect, doubling the service intervals over the outgoing Multistrada 1260 V-twin engine. The was of the engine’s development was to give it more longevity rather than outright performance. Yet despite the decision, they still managed to reduce its weight, dimensions, and still an overall technologically advanced V4 engine. That’s still a feat that only the best engineers from the house of Borgo, Panigale can deliver. We’ll still be looking forward to the official unveiling of the Ducati Multistrada V4 next month.