Ducati Bipantah engine

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Ducati Bipantah
Overview
Manufacturer Ducati
Production prototype only
Combustion chamber
Configuration 90° V4 petrol engine
Displacement 994 cc (60.7 cu in)
Cylinder bore 78.0 mm (3.07 in)
Piston stroke 52.0 mm (2.05 in)
Cylinder block alloy Cast aluminium alloy
Cylinder head alloy Cast aluminium alloy
Valvetrain Desmodromic valve, 2-valves per cyl.
Combustion
Fuel system 4 Dell'Orto 40mm carburettors
Fuel type Petrol/Gasoline
Oil system wet sump
Cooling system Air-Oil cooling
Output
Power output from 105 PS (77.2 kW; 103.6 bhp) @ 9,500 rpm to 132 PS (97 kW; 130 bhp) @ 11,000 rpm (according to engine tuning)
Dimensions
Dry weight 98 kg
Chronology
Predecessor Ducati Apollo
Successor Ducati Desmosedici

Ducati Bipantah is an internal combustion engine made by the Italian motocycle manufacturer Ducati in 1981. It was designed by Pierluigi Mengoli under the supervision of Fabio Taglioni. It has four cylinders and it is ideally formed by coupling two Ducati Pantah V2 engines. It remained a prototype although it had good results during dyno-tests. The project came to a halt in late 1982 when then-owners VM Motori decided not to build the bike the motor was intended.[1]

History[edit]

Ducati technical director Fabio Taglioni desired to launch a whole new family of Ducati motorbikes to provide the manufacturer a solid position on markets, with reasonable production figures. At the beginning of the eighties world motorcycle sales were decreasing and public was losing interest on Ducati V-twins models, so Taglioni thought that a new brand new project would be the best choice, but it had to be different from Japanese models:[1] first he conceived a 90° V-4, a wooden-metal model of which was realized in 1980,[2] then he ordered to build another 90° V-4 engine, but with a "L" layout,[3] which prototype was built in 1981, one year earlier than the launch of the very innovative 750cc V-4 Honda VF.
BMW motorcycle division managers took the same technical/commercial direction with their new in-line four cylinder engine for K100. They wanted to produce higher range bikes, while the Japanese manufacturers were moving toward smaller 750 cc engines.[1] VM Motori, which owned Ducati since 1978, had different plans: instead of investing money for a new range of bikes. They wanted to turn the Borgo Panigale factory into an engine supplier for other motorcycle manufacturers. In late 1982, the project was pulled.[1]
The Ducati plant diesel VM engines were produced and Pantah engines were provided to Cagiva for their bigger bikes. The high cost of retooling the factory for a new engine and new bike could lead to low sales; this scared the VM Motori managers and the Castiglioni brothers at Cagiva.[1] The Castiglioni's bought Ducati in May 1985. Then the new owners decided to start new projects in order to compete with Japanese firms. After extensive technical discussions, they preferred Desmoquattro over Bipantah, because the first could be easily installed on the existing bikes.[4]

Technical overview[edit]

The name of the Bipantah engine is taken from the coupling side by side of two 500cc L-twin Ducati Pantah engines, sharing the same crankshaft and with a SOHC on each cylinder bank, to form a 1000cc 90° V-four.[1]

This project embedded all Taglioni's technical ideas, evolved from his dissertation written in 1948 that concerned a 250 cc 90° V4 engine. Bipantah was the most "oversquare" engine he designed (78mm bore x 52mm stroke = 994cc displacement), in order to reduce overall length and height for a better accommodation inside the frame. In spite of this it was only 100 mm wider than a "single" Pantah.[1] Rear cylinders were bolted almost vertically to the crankcase, with front ones were almost horizontal. This arrangement was necessary as they were tilted 20° backwards to provide room for front wheel to move during compression under braking. Taglioni preferred air cooling for thermodinamic, weight and size reasons so they were widely finned.[1]

Other engine features were desmodromic valves, timing belts, two valves per cylinder (Taglioni did not love multi-valve), two-segment pistons (to reduce friction), a bearing type single-piece crankshaft with coupled connecting rods and four 40mm Dell'Orto carburettors installed on long inlet manifolds between the cylinder banks.[1]

Designer dyno-tested[clarification needed] the engine and claimed that Bipantah produced 105 PS (77.2 kW; 103.6 bhp) @ 9,500 rpm on the wheel with a significative thrust from 3,000 rpm in road legal camshaft/muffler configuration, while it produced 132 PS (97 kW; 130 bhp) @ 11,000 rpm (with thrust from 6,000 rpm) in racing configuration, with an expected power of 150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp) if electronic fuel injection would have replaced carburettors.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bipantah! - Ducati's other V-four". www.motorcyclistonline.com. April 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ Phil Aynsley (June 2007). "Phil Aynsley Photography > Bikes > Ducati > Other Models > 1980 1000 Bi-Pantah". www.philaphoto.com. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Phil Aynsley (June 2007). "Phil Aynsley Photography > Bikes > Ducati > Other Models > 1982 1000 BiPantah". www.philaphoto.com. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Claudio Falanga (January 1998). "NEL NOME DEL QUATTRO VALVOLE" [In the name of the Four Valves]. Mondo Ducati (in Italian) (nr.5). Retrieved August 28, 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

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