Up To Speed: 2007 Ducati Desmosedici RR

Ducati pulled the wraps off its long-awaited Desmosedici RR roadster during the recent Mugello MotoGP weekend, revealing a stunning 205bhp V4 very closely based on the works machine that Loris Capirossi later rode to second place in the Italian GP and a share of the world championship lead.

The roadster that Ducati's motorcycle chief Claudio Domenicali calls "95 per cent MotoGP bike" costs $65,000, and will be delivered to its first customer in July 2007, following continued development work including testing by the team's rider Vittoriano Guareschi.

The Desmosedici RR's unique look is instantly evocative of the factory racebike, with small headlights either side of an oval air intake slot in the carbon-fibre fairing's nose, and will come in either red or red-and-white colours. The RR was styled by Alan Jenkins, the British former F1 racecar designer who also shaped the racebike. As with the factory V4, its four-into-two-into-one exhaust's silencer exits vertically from inside the self-supporting carbon-fibre tailpiece.

The RR's 989cc, 16-valve, 90-degree desmo V4 engine uses the short-stroke dimensions and big-bang firing order as the racebike, and also has features including sand-cast aluminium crankcases and magnesium covers, plus gear camshaft drive, titanium valves, six-speed cassette gearbox and hydraulic slipper clutch. But very few components are shared directly with the 250bhp-plus works motor, largely due to the roadster's need for greater longevity.

The roadster's Marelli injection system, incorporating 50mm throttle bodies and an ultra-sophisticated 5SM ECU, is very similar to the factory bike's. But the exhaust system is totally different, and described by Domenicali as the development team's biggest challenge. In standard form the RR passes Euro3 and produces 195bhp at 13,500rpm. That figure is boosted by approximately 10bhp with fitment of the larger-diameter, non-catalyst equipped system that is included with the bike.

Chassis layout closely follows that of the racebike, with the RR's tubular steel frame holding distinctive 43mm hlins gas-pressurised FG353 PFF forks and a similarly race-quality rear shock from the same firm. The front brake set-up of Brembo Monobloc four-piston calipers and 320mm steel discs follows that fitted to the works bike for wet races. Marchesini magnesium wheels are fitted with specially designed Bridgestone tyres. Carbon-fibre bodywork contributes to an estimated dry weight figure of 165kg.

Ducati plans to build roughly 400 units of the Desmosedici RR annually, and claims to have 300 orders already, despite the high price. But Domenicali has already ruled out the possibility of a cheaper, mass-produced V4. Instead Ducati is finalising development of next year's 1188cc V-twin super-sports model which, with twin headlights and single-sided swing-arm, will be visually reminiscent of the 916.

Technical Specifications

Engine Type
L-4 cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, Desmodromic, 4 valves per cylinder, gear driven camshafts

Displacement
989 cc

Power
More than 200 HP @ 13,500 rpm*

Torque
n/a

Fuel Injection
Four 50 mm Magneti Marelli throttle bodies, 12-hole "microjet"with injectors over throttle, manual idle control;

Exhaust
`4 into 2 into 1'vertical exit exhaust/silencer

Gearbox6-speed; Cassette type

Clutch
Dry multi-plate slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated

Vehicle Body
Full carbon fibre bodywork

Frame
Tubular steel trellis hybrid, carbon fibre seat support, aluminium swingarm

Front Suspension
Ohlins `FG353' PFF forks USD 43 mm pressurized, with preload, rebound and compression adjustment, TiN coated sliders

Front Wheel
Marchesini forged and machined magnesium alloy wheels, with 7 spoke design as GP6

Rear Suspension
Ohlins rear shock, with rebound, low/high speed compression adjustment, and hydraulic preload adjustment

Rear Wheel
Marchesini forged and machined magnesium alloy wheels, with 7 spoke design as GP6

Tires
Bridgestone

Front Brake
Two Brembo radial "monoblock" callipers with four 34 mm pistons; two semi-floating 320 mm x 6 mm discs, with machined flange: the same as GP6 wet race set-up

Rear Brake
240 mm fixed disc, floating calliper with two 34 mm pistons

Fuel tank
aluminium alloy

Dry Weight
n/a

Instruments
New lightweight Corse electronic multifunction dashboard with LCD `bar' graph tachometer, trip/odometer, anti-theft immobilizer, lap time measurement, oil pressure, fuel reserve, EOBD, clock, air temperature, rev counter.

Version Colours
Two versions - 1) Desmosedici RR: Rosso GP with a white number plate on the tail section; 2) Desmosedici RR "Team Version": Rosso GP with broad white fairing stripe.
A team sponsor decal kit will be provided with each bike.

Versions
Single-seat

*with racing exhaust (102 dB) - without catalytic converter