Ducati to Abandon the Signature Trellis Frame? Ducati News Sa lá atá inniu

27 feabhra 2015 | údar: | Comments Off on Ducati to Abandon the Signature Trellis Frame? Ducati News Sa lá atá inniu
Ducati Terminator Concept

Ducati News Sa lá atá inniu

Ducati to Abandon the Signature Trellis Frame?

Motorcycle News is reporting that Ducati factory insiders have told them that the new stressed airbox chassis design seen on the factory Desmosedici GP9 MotoGP racer could be rolled out to future production machines casting aside the signature trellis frame that is one of the hallmarks of the Ducati brand.

The debut of the 2009 Ducati Desmosedici racer with a new carbon fiber monocoque chassis may point the way for the future direction of Ducati Sportbikes such as the 1198. The major change to the Ducati GP9 MotoGP racer has been the adoption of a carbon fiber monocoque design where the engine acts as the major structural component of the motorcycle rather than a traditional steel trellis or aluminum beam frame. As Ducati itself puts it:

The basic idea is to abandon the classic concept of the chassis as the element that connects all other elements, in favour of a design in which the engine is the central element to which the main frame, rear sub-frame and rear suspension system are individually connected.

Although not new (the Cagiva C590 500cc GP racer of 1990 sported a carbon fiber frame, this essentially aped the normally aluminum beams of its Japanese competitors) the GP9 reintroduces a material that while common place in formula 1 cars is rare in motorcycles beyond fairing panels. The new Ducati concept is not unlike that of John Britten’s V1000/V1100 home grown racers in featuring a monocoque approach in carbon fiber.

On the GP9 the main frame is formed to connect the engine to the steering head. The main frame now also incorporates the air-box in one single construction. This monocoque construction allows the air-box to function efficiently within the main frame.

With Ducati also showing an aluminum version of the same concept during testing many are wondering if this approach could be moved to production which would result in Ducati moving on from a branding element the company is famous for – the steel trellis frame. Motorcyle News reports that factory insiders are indeed suggesting this saying that:

…what this really means is that once the cast aluminium chassis has been proven to work then the logical step is for road bikes to carry this sort of technology rather than the steel trellis used at the moment..

Ducati Terminator Concept

One of the disadvantages of the steel trellis approach is the limited volume for a large airbox which in turn limits the fuel tank capacity (on most group rides it is the Ducati riders who need to stop first!). Technical expert and commentator Neil Spalding, who has seen the news frames up close agrees there are compelling reasons to believe this may be what Ducati is planning:

Using a cast alloy chassis like this on a road bike has a long list of advantages for Ducati. It’s a win on all levels. Not only do you get around the old Ducati bugbear of airboxes that are too small and restrict power, but the fuel tanks can then be much bigger, answering another Ducati problem….AND you can make the whole bike smaller.

Any change would be expected to be based on the concept of improving performance, although of course being able to link Ducati road machines to a MotoGP racer (as Yamaha can uniquely do at the moment) would be very attractive from a marketing perspective since it is hard to argue that the all V-twin road machines have much in common with the V4 MotoGP racer apart from the name on the tank.

Of course Ducati has already shown a willingness to move their concept along since the new Ducati Monster 696/1100 models feature only a partial trellis with a bolt on aluminum sub frame similar to many other motorcycles. Perhaps Ducati will ultimately choose to utilize the new concept for its most sporting models whilst maintaining at least a partial trellis chassis for its more traditional range.

What do you think? Would a monocoque chassis on a street Ducati be heresy or simply progress? Have your say in the comments.

Ducati Terminator Concept
Ducati Terminator Concept
Ducati Terminator Concept

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