Notes from the Ducati at Bike Shed Moto event (By Ricardo Rodriguez Long)
Southern California is an ideal place to enjoy motorcycles. A new meeting place for enthusiasts is the Bike Shed Moto restaurant in the art district of downtown Los Angeles.
Ducati has just won the FIM Moto GP World Championship and also the SBK Superbike World Championship. To celebrate the triumphs and present their new range of motorcycles, they held a special event at the Bike Shed. Hundreds of “DUC” fans came to enjoy a spectacular evening.
Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati in North America, was in charge of giving the full details of each new machine. The private talk I had with him allowed me to learn more about the excellent season they had and at the same time to know why sales continue to increase worldwide.
The 2023 range includes new versions of the Monster, Diavel, Multistrada, StreetFIghter, Scrambler, SuperLeggera, and the Panigale. The firm continues with the V-layout engines that have characterized it since the seventies.
The Diavel is already a very unique phenomenon. Designed for the American market, the silhouette and driving position make it a unique machine. With a 160 HP engine and nearly 100 pound-feet of torque, the bike is the most responsive in the Cruiser segment. Huge air intakes on the sides of the headlight and four giant exhausts on the right-hand side immediately communicate the intentions of this devil on two wheels.
The Multistrada has already become one of the best machines for those who like an adventure. The new one incorporates many safety technology and rider road assistance features.
Among the electronic changes, the “power mode” has been expanded. So you can program the engine, transmission, and brakes to take advantage of the type of road or current weather you are traveling on.
The V4 engine can cut ignition to two cylinders when idling. This deactivation improves consumption and lowers emissions.
The suspension has a leveling system that lowers the rear suspension of the motorcycle when it stops. Thus accommodating short riders. This “EasyLift” system compresses the suspension. The windshield is now taller and wider to reduce fatigue when riding for a long time.
The suspension has been re-calibrated and is of the semi-active type. It has more than 200 mm of travel. The shocks are Ohlins and allow for the most brutal abuse found on dirt and rocky roads.
The star of the night was the new Panigale V4 R. A very limited edition for those brave who dare to go out on the track and control 240 furious horses.
This machine is the version most similar to the racing motorcycles of the Italian brand. The heart is the 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine. This spins at 16,5000 rpm, and its sound has no equal.
The new version has new pistons, connecting rods, and a camshaft that are lighter to reduce inertia at such high revs. The dry clutch is also lighter and smaller in size. All of this requires a specific engine oil to minimize friction and temperature. All these revisions are the product of what was learned on the track.
The suspension and aerodynamic package have been improved. The Ohlins inverted fork and shock are fully adjustable. But to improve the hold at high speeds, magnesium wheels are used.
The night celebrated the championships and also the Ducati tifossi. A very colorful event with music that made hearts flutter even more. Hundreds of motorcycles in the parking lot displayed their colors, predominantly white and red. I consider Ducati the Ferrari of motorcycles, and from what I saw, they did not disappoint me. Jason Chinnock told me, “Look around you; these hearts can't be bought. Our product has to win on the track, but more important, is has to give everyone something unique and exclusive.” I don't think I should add anything else.