Ducati leveraged decades of racing expertise to develop the most powerful and highest-revving single-cylinder engine in its history. Available in two states of tune, the Superquadro Mono stands out as the famed Italian brand’s first road-going single-cylinder engine in over 30 years.
In a way, Ducati returned to its roots: launched in 1950, its first model blurred the line separating motorcycles and mopeds with a 48-cubic-centimeter air-cooled single-cylinder engine. Fast-forward to 2023 and the Superquadro Mono puts a completely different spin on the concept of a single-cylinder engine. It’s related to the unit that powers the Panigale 1299 and it has a displacement of 659cc. It features titanium intake valves, steel exhaust valves, and the innovative Desmodromic system that Ducati developed for racing in the 1950s.
The end result is an output of 77.5 horsepower at 9,750 rpm and 46 pound-feet of torque at 8,000 rpm. The engine has a redline of 10,250 rpm, though Ducati notes that the limiter is set to 10,000 rpm in first gear. If that’s not enough, enthusiasts can increase horsepower and torque to 85 and 49, respectively, by ordering an optional Termignoni exhaust system. Odds are this part improves the exhaust note, too.
You’re on the wrong track if you’re picturing the single-cylinder engine that powered your old two-stroke dirt bike. Ducati coated key parts like the piston pin and the Desmodromic system’s rocker arms with Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) surface coating to reduce friction, and it installed a pair of balancing countershafts to even out vibrations. It notes that vibration levels are on par with those of a 90-degree V-Twin.
Riders will have three power modes called High, Medium, and Low, respectively, to choose from, and the engine will be connected to a six-speed transmission with what Ducati refers to as “racing ratios.” It notably made first gear long to maximize acceleration in slow corners.
Ducati will unveil the model that will inaugurate the Superquadro Mono engine on November 2, 2023.