Ducati's US$70,000 Desmosedici RR MotoGP replica for the road
By Mike Hanlon
June 2, 2006
June 3, 2006 Ducati became the first manufacturer to release a roadgoing version of a MotoGP race machine yesterday, when it showed the prototype version of the Desmosedici RR which will go on sale as an extremely limited edition next year – only 400 machines a year will be built and the price will be around US$70,000. Ducati chose the magical atmosphere of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello to launch the RR production prototype and it was a fitting venue at which to show the first-ever road-going MotoGP motorcycle. You can put your name on the list to own one here and it should be noted that if you own a Ducati 999R, you get priority. Unlike the V-twin bikes which have made the Ducati name famous, the Desmosedici RR uses an L-four layout. That’s the replica and the original racer together. Full details and extensive photo gallery inside.
The Mugello launch is the perfect occasion to reveal the shape and the technical characteristics with which the bike will go to market, confirming the high technological features of this exclusive and esoteric machine.
The body design and the aerodynamics faithfully reflect the Desmosedici GP6. The colour scheme, the fittings, the materials used in its construction as well as the technical features of the powerful four-cylinder desmodromic engine built by the Borgo Panigale factory engineers, leave no doubts whatsoever: the Desmosedici RR is the ultimate expression of the most extreme MotoGP racing machine today.
The project is currently in the industrialization phase and, as previously announced, it will be a limited edition motorcycle, with approximately 400 bikes being produced a year. The RR is scheduled to arrive in the market in July 2007, while from June 2nd 2006 it will be possible to reserve the bike through the official Ducati dealer network, with Ducati 999R owners receiving priority.
This is the new frontier of Ducati technological evolution, a dream come true, demonstrating once again the courage and the passion of Ducati, as well as the ability to transfer the experience of the racing world to a machine that is destined for road use.
Federico Minoli – Chairman and Managing Director of Ducati Motor Holding - and Claudio Domenicali – Product Director of Ducati Motor and Managing Director of Ducati Corse – together with Ducati Corse riders Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau and Vittoriano Guareschi were at Mugello to unveil Ducati’s latest jewel of technology.
“This is an important moment for us, another dream come true. Producing the Desmosedici RR means offering the ultimate expression of Ducati technology, while remaining faithful to the tradition of every one of our road and racing bikes,” declared Federico Minoli. “It is a challenge that we wanted to accept and although relatively few bikes will be made, the RR will be a true object of desire for all Ducatisti. It will be the ultimate Ducati experience, one that best exemplifies the passion and the ingenuity for which we are famous. Meanwhile the twin-cylinder remains and will continue to remain Ducati’s traditional engine, having equipped all of our production models in the past and equipping them in the future.”
“The Desmosedici RR is a true Grand Prix replica,” commented Claudio Domenicali. “The technological level of this bike is extraordinarily high and for the first time ever all the authentic performance and technology of the ultimate MotoGP racing machine have been transferred to a road-going motorcycle. Over 200 hp of power for a bike that features exclusive components and quality materials, destined to become the new point of reference for production motorcycles. There couldn’t have been a better place than Mugello for the unveiling of this new bike and who better to take the wraps off it than Loris, Sete and Vittoriano, because this bike is also their bike and all of their experience has gone into developing this road-going motorcycle.”
The Ducati Desmosedici RR features advanced technology and aerodynamics that are derived from the GP6 currently being raced in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
The engine of the Desmosedici RR accurately reflects that of the MotoGP bike: Ducati’s traditional desmodromic distribution, guaranteeing precise valve control up to the highest revs, is perfectly matched to the 989 cc four-cylinder ‘L’ layout, with four titanium valves per cylinder, in asymmetrical Twin Pulse configuration, producing a masterwork of precision engineering.
The double overhead cams are gear driven, a sophisticated and reliable solution that enables precise valve timing in all conditions. This authentic copy of the Grand Prix engine is completed by a six-speed transmission, which retains its ‘racing’ characteristic by being cassette type, and a hydraulically actuated dry multi-plate slipper clutch. The aim of producing a light but robust engine has led not only to an unrivalled quality component design but also the use of exclusive racing-derived materials: sand-cast, aluminium crankcase and cylinder heads, titanium connecting rods and valves, sand-cast magnesium engine covers.
Four 50 mm Magneti Marelli throttle bodies are present, with 12-hole ‘microjet’ injectors. For sophisticated management of the powerful four-cylinder engine a Magneti Marelli 5SM ECU and high-speed CAN line electronics have been used.
An all-time ‘first’ comes with the use of a ‘4 into 2 into 1’ exhaust, with “vertical exit” silencer, hidden in the tail cover.
These are all benchmark performance features for a MotoGP replica bike, which is capable of delivering more than 200 hp of power with the 102 dB racing silencer and dedicated CPU race kit. Amazingly the Desmosedici RR with its catalytic oxygen sensor exhaust, homologated for road use, fully complies with Euro3 emissions regulations.
The engine clearly represents the beating heart of this fantastic motorcycle, but the technological advancements also extend to the chassis: a signature tubular trellis hybrid frame, refined components, and a superb carbon fibre body. This is a motorcycle that is destined for an expert rider, someone who is always looking for extreme sporting performance, as well as being an exclusive, esoteric, reliable product that is more than capable of track racing.
The colour scheme of the Desmosedici RR was the work of Alan Jenkins, the designer and one of the men behind the Desmosedici MotoGP, who was also responsible for the aerodynamics package which is aimed at achieving maximum speed and excellent handling. The bike is totally inspired by the racing machine, the Ducati Desmosedici GP6, from which it inherits all the aggressiveness of its lines. It is fitted with a new lightweight multifunction dashboard, developed in collaboration with Ducati Corse, the same one that will be fitted to next year’s racing machine, the Desmosedici GP7.
The bike’s development could not have been made possible without the significant collaboration of Vittoriano Guareschi, the official Ducati Corse tester, whose riding abilities and hundreds of hours of track time have made a fundamental contribution to the evolution of the project.
For the first time the Ducati Desmosedici RR uses a new welded tubular steel trellis hybrid frame (ALS 450) with the frame geometry that is the same as that of the Desmosedici GP6. This construction guarantees an excellent stiffness to weight ratio, allowing superior manoevrability and riding precision. Attached to the red frame is the rear seat support in high temperature resin type carbon fibre. This material, normally used only on racing bikes, has the characteristic of being extremely lightweight but exceptionally rigid. The Desmosedici RR sports a new extra-long, cast, forged and pressed aluminium alloy swingarm. The geometry and the technology of this component derive directly from the MotoGP bike, and give the RR a high level of traction control, and excellent weight distribution as well as a superb stiffness to weight ratio.
In the suspension department the Ducati Desmosedici RR features the most advanced technical components. The rear suspension geometry and layout is the same as that of the GP6, with the rear shock attached above the swingarm and to a rocker, which is hinged to the crankcase.
The front suspension features 43 mm upside-down Öhlins FG353 pressurized forks (PFF), with TiN coated sliders. The forks, which come directly from competition use, as well as being pressurized thus ensuring excellent track performance, are fully adjustable in preload, rebound and compression.
The rear shock is also Öhlins and has rebound, low/high speed compression adjustment and hydraulic preload adjustment.
For the first time ever, this Ducati production motorcycle features Marchesini forged and machined magnesium alloy wheels, with 7 spoke design as on the GP6. This helps to reduce unsprung weight and inertia, all the while improving handling and suspension response.
With the aim of producing the ultimate track performance, Ducati in collaboration with Bridgestone is developing special tyres for the Desmosedici RR. The tread pattern, construction and profile are being specially developed and produced by the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
The numerous racing components of this high-performance machine also include its Brembo brakes. Up front the Desmosedici RR features a new pair of radial ‘monoblock’ callipers with four 34 mm pistons: monoblock technology, until now only used for racing callipers, allows calliper stiffness to be increased, thus improving braking response; the front brake system is completed by a radial master cylinder, with hinged lever and remote ‘quick’ adjuster. The pair of front brake discs are the same as those used on the GP6 in its wet weather race set-up: two semi-floating 320 mm x 6 mm discs, with machined flange. The Brembo rear brakes are made up of a 240 mm fixed disc and a floating calliper with two 34 mm pistons.
The Desmosedici RR will be available with a special race kit that includes a 102 dB racing exhaust, a dedicated CPU, bike cover, paddock stand.
For this exclusive Ducati, a new dedicated service plan is included. Each Ducati Desmosedici RR owner can benefit with a three-year warranty and three years of scheduled maintenance, free of charge.
Two versions of the RR will be available: 1) the Desmosedici RR - painted in ‘Rosso GP’, with a white number plate on the tail section; 2) the Desmosedici RR ‘Team Version’ - painted in ‘Rosso GP’, and as with the factory Corse bikes, has a broad white stripe on the fairing.
A team sponsor decal kit will be provided with each bike.