Ducati Desmoquattro Engine - Eight-Valve Evolution - History Lesson

Twenty Years Of Desmoquattros

In the early '80s it would have been difficult to imagine that, just a decade later, Ducati would beat Honda and Yamaha to win the World Superbike Championship. Because by '83, the Italian manufacturer's future looked bleak: Worldwide sales were declining, its twins were neither desirable nor technically chic, and fewer than 3000 bikes trickled out of its Bologna factory.

But in '85, with the marque literally days from being scrapped, Cagiva owners Gianfranco and Claudio Castiglioni made a deal to acquire Ducati. With legendary technical guru Fabio Taglioni-Dr. T to his admirers-retiring, the Castiglionis moved youthful understudy Massimo Bordi into his spot, which was to become a watershed moment in Ducati's history.

With energy and flair, the Castiglionis transformed Ducati's model range and image, commissioning Bordi to design a mold-breaking new engine that would set new benchmarks for the company. While retaining the trademark 90-degree V-twin format, Bordi's Desmoquattro was the first Ducati engine with electronic fuel-injection, water-cooling and four-valve desmo-dromic cylinder heads, making it the forerunner of the 1098's Testastretta Evoluzione engine.