The new engines of the SS family are the most
important new feature for 2003. The two engine displacements of 2002, (750 and
900), have been replaced with three new displacements, 620cc, 800cc and 1000cc.
Extending the engine displacements to three sizes is intended to give a bigger
offer to a wider customer base.
The 620 Sport uses the same engine introduced in
2002 on the Monster 620. The electronic fuel-injected Desmo two-valve engine
delivers great low-end power and limited fuel consumption. Furthermore, the
simplicity of the air-cooled Desmo two-valve engine means lower maintenance
costs for the customer.
The same advantages of the 620, in terms of
low-end power delivery and simple construction are featured on the 802 cc engine
of the 800 Sport and Supersport 800 models. The 800cc engine which replaces the
2002 750 cc engine, features increased power by more than 10 HP. Furthermore, it
features a 6-speed gearbox as opposed to the 5 speed gearbox of the 2002
Supersport 750 to fully maximize the new engines sport potential.
Both the 620 and 800 engines feature a new all
aluminum clutch basket and plates, for a lighter bike and reduced inertia.
The top-of-the-range Supersport 1000 DS is
equipped with the new dual spark 1000 cc engine. The 1000 DS engine features a
steeper included valve angle plus valves with a larger diameter and smaller
valve stems. The valve timing has also been modified. verses the 2002 Supersport
900, These changes have led to an increase of both horsepower and torque, now
85.5 HP at 7750 rpm, an increase of 5.5 HP; and 9 kgm of torque at 5750 rpm, an
increase of 1 kgm.
The cylinders have a larger bore and an increased
the number of redesigned optimally shaped cooling fins. The new cooling fins
dissipate more effectively and work in concert with the increased horsepower. In
addition, the exhaust port has been shortened by 40%, further lowering engine
The camshafts now ride in plain bearings verses
the former ball bearings. The advantage is lower weight, fewer moving parts and
To handle to increased torque and improve
reliability, the transmission has also been improved with the use of a double
ball bearing on the sprocket side output shaft (countershaft). Furthermore, a
new more powerful starter motor is used to match the increased engine
The 1000 DS engine features a new all aluminum
clutch basket and plates. This reduces weight and noise, and increases
acceleration due to the reduction of inertia of the new lightweight clutch. In
addition, the Supersport 1000 DS uses a high performance dry clutch, verses the
wet clutch of the 620 and 800 engines.
All models in the SS range feature engines with
electronic fuel-injection, which guarantees smoother power delivery no matter
Also, all the engines of the SS range utilize
exhaust system catalytic converters to comply with the forecasted new Euro 2
environmental standards (excluding the 800 and 1000 USA models).
All of the models in the SS family feature the
signature Ducati Trellis frame made of mitered and welded high-strength 450ALS
steel tubing. The benefit of the Ducati Trellis frame is lightweight, rigidity
Suspension and other components in the SS range
are selected in line with the characteristics and use of each model, and are
able to satisfy even the most demanding customer.
The 620 Sport and 800 Sport models feature a
Marzocchi 43 mm upside down front forks and a fully adjustable Boge rear shock.
Both the 620 and 800 Sport are equipped with three spoke wheels.
The Supersport 800 features a fully adjustable
Showa fork, an improvement over the 2002 750 Super Sport which was
non-adjustable. The rear shock is a fully adjustable Boge, with advanced
position-sensitive damping which delivers better vehicle response over small
irregular road surfaces. The wheels are 5-spoke vs. the 3 spoke wheels of the
2002 750 Supersport. The swing arm is all aluminum, (first introduced on the 900
SS in 2002), as opposed to the steel swing arm featured on the Sport models.
The top-of-the-line Supersport 1000 DS features a
new lighter fully adjustable Showa 43 mm upside down fork. It is 600 gr. lighter
than the fork of the 800 cc model and the 2002 900 SS. The benefit is the
reduction of critical unsprung weight, thus improving suspension response to
bumps and small road irregularities. The rear features a fully adjustable Öhlins
shock, which is also height adjustable, so that the bike can be tailored to the
individual rider style and preferences. The picture is completed by an aluminum
swing arm and 5-spoke wheels.
Additional weight reduction has been accomplished
on the Supersport 1000 with new exhaust manifolds (a 350 gr. reduction) and new
footpeg brackets and related guards (a 200 gr. reduction).
The braking system of the entire SS range
features 320 mm semi-floating twin discs (even on the entry-level 620 Sport, Vs
the single disc of the 750 Sport MY 02), with 4-piston fixed calipers in the
front, while the rear is equipped with a 245 mm single disk. Rear brake control
and modulation have been improved with new caliper, which has a larger diameter
piston (34 mm vs. 32 mm of the previous MY).
RUNNING GEAR AND OTHER EQUIPMENT
The entire Ducati SS range for MY 2003 has been
updated and modernized this year, with special attention to reducing weight.
All models feature new instrument panels. They
are completely electronic with two analogue dials and two digital displays. The
variety of digital displays includes odometer and the trip meter, oil
temperature and time, plus additional information. In addition, the color of the
instruments has changed, now with a white background (vs. the black of MY 02)
and orange lighting. The new instrument panel also includes an immobilizer
anti-theft system. As part of the weight savings program, the new instrument
panel weight has been reduced by 700 gr. verses the previous Model Year.
The engine start-up safety devices have also been
modified. All 2003 models can now be started and warmed-up with the side-stand
Another change vs. last year is a new headlight,
which is 800 gr. lighter thanks to the use of a new polycarbonate lens instead
of the glass lens. The reflecting surface of the headlight has also been
completely redesigned improving lighting intensity.
The lower weight of the instrument panel and
headlight has also allowed a weight reduction of the front subframe, now 300 gr.
lighter than the previous models.
All model of SS in the range feature a new
electronic CPU, the Marelli 5.9 (the same one used on the Superbike and ST4s
models). The new CPU can manage considerably more information faster, thus
improving engine performance.
New throttle bodies with Pico fuel-injectors has
further reduced the weight of the bike by another 300 gr.
Technically, the "1000 DS" is an all-new 90(
L-Twin power plant. The design starts with a completely new cylinder head,
big-bore short-stroke design and further innovations that extend to the very
heart of the motor, the crankshaft.
The design goal was clear. Increase total power,
boost mid-range power, simplify mechanicals, lower engine temperatures, raise
reliability, lower emissions and lighten weight. These solutions would tap the
minds of our very best engineers, utilize all of our racing experience and
express the peak of Ducati "know-how."
The Ducati air cooled engine
The 90( Desmo L-Twin, two valve, air-cooled
engine is a very well-known and widely used power plant in the Ducati family of
motorcycles. Although the Desmoquattro and Testastretta L-Twin liquid cooled
engine powers all of our Superbike family and selected models within the Monster
and Sport Touring families, the air-cooled L-Twin remains as equally important
to our philosophy of motorcycling.
An air-cooled engine has significant design and
application advantages in many motorcycles. The most obvious is the relative
simplicity and lighter weight of an air-cooled motorcycle verses its liquid
cooled counterpart. There are no radiators, water pumps, hoses, venting tubes,
reservoirs, or the need to compromise the placement of ancillary components
displaced by the liquid cooling system.
The straightforward, no-nonsense approach is in
itself an attraction for many. Maintenance on an air-cooled engine is also
simplified and therefore the long-term cost of ownership is lower. Of course, to
many the beauty of air-cooled engine, with its traditional cooling fins and
purposeful look, is as an important factor as any. "It makes my bike look like a
The 90( L-Twin philosophy
With the most experience and success with Twin
cylinder performance engines than any other manufacturer in the modern era,
Ducati has brought the design to a high art form. The Ducati commitment to the
L-Twin design is based on our conviction that its configuration is the soundest
engineering approach to powering a motorcycle. Compact, efficient and powerful,
the twin cylinder motor has endured as the common-sense means to powering a
motorcycle since the first bikes appeared almost 100 years ago.
Confirmation of the twins continuing validity is
the fact that the winning motorcycle in every race this year in the World
SuperBike Championship has been powered by a twin cylinder engine, no matter who
the manufacturer. A point of fact not lost on our worthy competitors, as more
and more attempt to switch the twin cylinder design.
As others try to "catch-up," Ducati continues to
lead the way. Desmodromic valve actuation, fuel injection, computer engine
management and now the new "1000 DS" engine just keep pushing Ducati farther
ahead of the pack.
A technical review
Starting with the cylinder heads, ignition is now
accomplished with twin spark plugs and the conventional method of supporting the
camshafts with ball bearings has been replaced with oil pressurized plain
bearings. The twin spark design, due to its "double flame front" offers more
complete combustion, increased power especially in the mid-range and greater
fuel economy. The advantages of plain bearing camshafts to the Desmodromic motor
are many including a reduction in the number of moving parts, which increases
reliability and reduces weight. In fact, the result is an amazing reduction of
more than 1.5 kg/3 lbs. per cylinder. Additionally, the new approach reduces
heat and aids in heat dispersion.
A substantial reduction in valve angle degrees
between the intake and exhaust has created a more "compact" head. The more
compact design has many advantages. It allows a more optimal shape to the
combustion chamber resulting in more complete fuel combustion, higher
compression and more power. The new more efficient combustion chamber allows the
use of quite "lean" fuel/air mixture without damaging high temperatures and
significantly reduced HC emissions. The new configuration also places the
camshafts in a more direct relationship to the valves, lowering friction and
stress to valve components and consequently increasing reliability. Although
more compact, the new head gives more "room" for the valves. With the combined
benefits of the new cylinder heads, Ducati engineers can now be more "radical"
in valve size and cam design compared to the previous air-cooled engines. Intake
and exhaust valves are now increased to 45mm vs. 43mm and 40mm vs. 38mm
respectively. The new valves are lighter, due to the 7mm stems (the same as our
Superbike engines), even though the working diameter of the valves has
increased. Further improvements include new valve seats made of beryllium
bronze, an advanced material previously used only on racing engines. The new
valve seats have improved heat dispersion and low wear characteristics, thus
valve clearance is maintained more accurately over time. The bigger valves are
also matched to more extreme camshafts. Additionally, the cylinder head is now
sealed to the cylinder via a special metal gasket. The gasket improves sealing,
increases heat transfer, eliminates o-ring seals and simplifies assembly.
Complimenting the new valve layout are larger
intake and exhaust ports. Additionally, the exhaust port length has been
shortened by an incredible 40%, further aiding in the reduction of engine
temperatures by exiting exhaust gases from the cylinder head more quickly.
The manufacturing process of the cylinder head is
also new. It is now "gravity chilled" with the combustion chamber facing down.
As a result, the first aluminium poured forms the combustion chamber and cools
quickly, ensuring better molecular structure (smaller aluminium grains) to the
Cylinder and pistons
Another design criteria was to allow the engine
make power over a wider range. In addition to the new cylinder head,
contributing significantly to power output is not just a bigger bore, but also
longer piston stroke. To ensure broad mid-range power, the crankshaft, cylinder
bore and piston have been modified to achieve a 94mm bore with a 71.5mm piston
stroke, vs. the former 92mm x 68mm of the 900cc engine. The pistons now feature
nitrided steel rings with a high sealing ability that essentially eliminates oil
consumption. The cylinder barrel is now thicker making it more rigid and more
resistant to deformities while tightening down the cylinder resulting in
improved piston and ring to cylinder sealing. Two extensions (fins) have been
added to the lower cylinder to support the piston better at BDC (bottom dead
Lower engine temperatures and reliability have
been further advanced with a new shape, placement and a greater number of
cooling fins. The new shape, essentially an exaggerated pyramid, has a greater
mass (greater heat sink qualities) at the source of heat (combustion chamber and
cylinder liner) to conduct heat away from source more quickly. The fins then
grow gradually thinner (lighter) as they extend away from the heat source while
maintaining the same surface area (the ability to transfer heat to the
Crankshaft and Connecting rods
The 94mm pistons are linked to the crankshaft
with new connecting rods, made from a new material composition, 30NiCrMo4, which
has exceptional flow characteristics during forging. This allows Ducati
engineers to design a more optimal shape to the connecting rod cross section
because of the consistent and flaw-free characteristics of the new material
during the forging process. In cross section, the new rod is thinner
side-to-side, but wider fore to aft, a more advanced I-beam, which is stronger
and lighter for increased reliability and performance. Additionally the rods
have been mechanically and chemically surface stress relieved resulting in a
smoother and imperfection free surface for higher reliability and strength.
A new forged crankshaft was also called for. It
is of a new shape, with its mass more centralized, and oil delivery ports are
positioned in a new way, through less structurally critical areas. The result is
a crankshaft that is more rigid and has less flex, adding to lower vibration and
The timing belt gears now have 20 teeth verses
the former 18 teeth for improved belt routing. Also new timing belt tension
rollers have built-in bearings with improved grease seals. Crankshaft/camshaft
timing and gear mounting have also been improved and simplified, ensuring rapid
and accurate assembly.
The lubrication system has also been updated. The
1000 DS now runs significantly higher oil pressure and volume, achieved with the
use of a new oil pump and oil channels. The higher oil pressure is required by
the plain bearing camshaft, but also aids significantly in engine cooling and
Clutch and Transmission
The clutch basket, drive plates and driven plates
have also been improved and updated. Both the basket and plates are now made of
all aluminium, of a special alloy. The service life of the new lighter clutch is
much greater, due to the more balanced wear factor of aluminium alloy to the
friction pates and the clutch is also quieter due to improved tolerances and the
lower resonance value of aluminium vs. steel.
Even the transmission output shaft (layshaft or
countershaft) has been improved with the use of a double row bearing on the
chain sprocket side for improved durability and strength. Furthermore, the
countershaft sprocket is now mounted on the splined counter shaft via a single
large nut, verses the former two screws.
The "mid-size" engines of the Desmodue family
The "mid-size" Ducati Desmodue engines have been
constantly EVOlving and improving since their first appearance some thirty years
ago. Today the 620 and 800 models take the next step with new engineering
solutions and improvements from top to bottom. Both new engines are
high-performance and ecological responsible, ready to face the challenges of the
The new 620 cc and 800 cc Desmodue engines
originate from the Pantah engine family. Both engines share the same cases, and
are referred to as "mid-size" to distinguish them from those of the larger 900
cc Desmodue and Desmoquattro units
The Desmodue 600 cc and 750 cc, have been
replaced by the newly designed 620 cc and 800 cc units, which retain certain
features of the previous Desmodue but with advanced innovations to the crank
gear, gearbox, primary transmission and cylinder head assemblies. The increased
displacement of the 600 cc to 620 cc was obtained by increasing the piston
stroke from 58 mm to 61.5 mm, while the 750 cc was increased to 800 cc by
increasing the piston stroke from 61.5 mm to 66 mm. The bore of the two engines
remains the same as before, 80 mm and 88 mm respectively
2) The innovations of the "mid-size" Desmodue
Significantly modified for optimum performance,
reliability, and ecological responsibility, they feature new electronic engine
control, new fuel injection, and new vibration damping systems to further
advance the Ducati "mid-size" engine system.
The new 620 and 800 engine cases, identical units
except for specific machining related to cylinder displacement, have been
modified and advanced significantly.
Among the modifications, noteworthy is the change
to the lubrication circuit that carries the oil from the left casing to the
clutch located in the right casing. A lubrication duct is now built into the
casting, and the previously used pipe has been eliminated.
The front sprocket of the secondary transmission
has a rubberized damper for significantly reduced noise from the drive chain.
The clutch housing and clutch plates are now made entirely of aluminum thereby
considerably reducing the assembly's weight and noise due to the lower resonance
factor of aluminium vs. steel. The primary transmission sprocket is now joined
to the clutch housing by means of a rubber cush drive, with cylindrical springs
(on the 800 cc unit only). The new crankshaft sprocket of the primary
transmission is very quiet, with a special system featuring double teeth with an
inserted flexible element to reduce the play in coupling with the clutch housing
gear (on the 800 cc unit only). The larger dimension crankshaft sprocket also
has a new fastening system, which is now an inset ring-nut. The engine cover of
the clutch and oil pump are also new.
The 800 cc engine now features a 6-speed gearbox,
while maintaining the original narrow dimensions of the 750 cc engine. The 620
retains its 5-speed gearbox. The six-speed gearbox features a new design with
redesigned the selector forks and the selector drum for easier shifting. The
drum of the five-speed gearbox was also redesigned for the 620 cc engine.
The connecting rods have been completely
redesigned. They are now created from a new material (30NiCrMo4), which has
exceptional flow characteristics during the forging process. This allows Ducati
engineers to develop a more optimal shape to the connecting rod due to the
consistent and flaw free material. The new rods are thinner side-to-side, but
wider fore to aft, a more advanced I-beam. Additionally the rods have been
chemically and mechanically stress relieved for increased reliability and
The cast pistons of the 800 cc engine are very
light with graphite-coated skirts and use new piston rings that has
significantly reduced blow-by. The ring grooves are anodized, thus
surface-hardened to resist the piston rings from sticking.
The camshafts now ride on one ball bearing on
each end, and no longer three bearings as on the previous units (two near the
belt roller, one on the opposite side). The Camshaft timing and lift have been
modified for increased performance plus the valve closure ramps of the cams now
lower the acceleration of the valve as it approaches the valve seat.
Both engines use the advanced IAW 59M Magnetti
Marelli engine control unit. All 620 models, and European versions of the 800
feature a catalytic converter as standard equipment.
Now the Supersports add new features to support
clean air standards with Catalytic exhaust systems. All models are engineered to
comply with the forecasted Euro 2 environmental standards (not for the 800 and
1000 USA versions).