Ducati likely to move away from desmo valves on most bikes

    Ducati is believed to be working towards increasing its service intervals.

    Published On Mar 31, 2023 12:34:00 PM

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    Ducati service intervals will get much longer.
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    Think Ducati engines and desmo valves are the immediate connect. For the uninitiated, this is a different valve control system where instead of conventional valve springs, the valvetrain is controlled via two cams and two actuators that individually open and close a valve. This system has big benefits in creating high rpm power, but the downside is the dreaded "desmo" service. 

    1. Mid-level Ducati motors likely to drop the desmo valves
    2. Desmo valves expected to remain only on the highest performance engines
    3. Work on this shift is believed to be already in progress 

    What is a Desmo service, and why is it feared? 

    The desmo service is essentially a big service where valve clearances are inspected and things like timing belts, air filters and spark plugs are changed. This service needs to be done between 24,000km and 30,000km depending on the bike and it can cost a serious amount of money.

    Ducati is aware of the desmo service’s infamous reputation and has begun working towards moving away from this system. It started off in 2020 with the new V4 Granturismo engine in the Multistrada V4 that is now also in the Diavel V4. Essentially, this new age V4 engine has gone back to valve springs and it also replaces the timing belts with a far more durable timing chain. The result is a massive 60,000km interval between valve checks. With this new engine, Ducati has essentially gone from having some of the shortest valve service intervals in the industry to the longest.

    So far, this benefit is only to be found in the V4 Granturismo engine that is found in very expensive, Rs 20 lakh-plus motorcycles. However, Ducati is likely to bring this change to smaller, more affordable models in its lineup soon. Bikes like the Monster are top candidates to be next in-line for spring-returned valves.

    Since the Monster shares its 937cc L-twin engine with many other bikes like the SuperSport, Multistrada V2, DesertX and Hypermotard, you can expect the same for these bikes as well. This engine has been around since 2016 and it is an evolved version of the 821 motor which debuted a decade back. With that in mind, it might be that we see a brand new motor with valve springs that replaces it. 

    As for the new-gen Scrambler, it already debuted late last year and it still has a desmo-valved engine. So it might be a while before we see that change on Ducati’s most affordable offering, if at all. 

    However, the Ducati desmo system is still the best out there for outright, high rpm power, so it will likely be retained on the top-of-the-line performance bikes. This will almost certainly include the Panigale and Streetfighter families, in both twin- and four-cylinder layouts. As for the rest of Ducati’s line-up, the valvetrain revision is expected to happen over the next two years. 

    Is the move away from desmo valves (and a subsequent big drop in ownership costs) enough to make you consider a Ducati to be your next big bike? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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