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2012 Ducati 1199 Scoop Pics
2011 hasn’t been a distinguishing season for Ducati on the race tracks. Sure Carlos Checa has taken a couple of sporadic wins in World Superbikes on the works-supported 1198s but singularly telling has been Valentino Rossi going not just winless to date on the MotoGP circuit but also being way off the pace. Now this is something that isn’t all down to engine power, or the lack of but the fact that the Ducati makes more than enough power to compete against the best of the Yamahas and Hondas but it just can’t put down all that power down on to terra firma without being a nuisance for its riders.
Ducati knew that it was trying to get the chassis stiffness it needed for its riders to get the best out of the Desmosedici by trying to bring in F1-style technologies wherein its carbon-fibre frame cum airbox design semi-monocoque was a novel approach. However as has been proved in over a century plus of motorcycle design, there have been few big steps in the way the designers and engineers have got to joining the motorcycle’s front to its rear but Ducati is doing something it shunned all along – be inspired by the Japanese!
Ducati has always been known for its vee-twin engines in the superbike class, housed in a trellis frame and now to try and resurrect its competition fortunes – so very vital for sales for this small low volume bike maker, Ducati has decided to go ahead with a completely new range of road and race machines which will feature an all new design of frame – designated internally at Ducati as ‘Xtreme’ which clearly is inspired by the fabricated all-aluminium alloy frame designed by Kawasaki for its ZX-12R in the year 2000!
Ducati says that it has patented an aluminium alloy semi-monocoque chassis frame which joins the forks and engine via a stressed airbox (just like the Desmosedici’s carbon-fibre detail) instead of the normal twin beam chassis rails on many Japanese superbikes and MotoGP machines. Obviously Rossi and Jeremy Burgess having been less than delighted with the lack of results from the Ducati have been piling on the pressure to get Ducati to make a complete redesign of the bike and this is Ducati’s response.