49 photos and 3 videos of the Ducati GP12

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An awful lot is riding on this new Ducati Desmosedici GP12. Will it be capable of making Valentino Rossi a World Champion again? Will Nicky Hayden be competitive? Will Ducati’s unseemly trashing in the world’s most-watched motorcycle race series come to an end? And all that is riding on one thing — the aluminum frame. Officially released this morning, here’s every scrap of material on the great red hope.

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  • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

    I’m probably an uncouth neanderthal for immediately questioning the asymmetrical exhaust set up. Two cylinders routed in an under-seat centered high mount, and two run off the riders right side? I’m interested in how that evolved.

    • Sean Smith

      When the length of the header tubes is decided a computer model of exhaust gas pressure waves, you don’t always have a lot of options. Having the front cylinders breath out the side gets them the right length pipe and doesn’t make the bike any less aerodynamic. To get the rear cylinders to exit in the same place, they’d need a couple of loops under the tail a la 1199. Then they’d need to make room in the middle of the swingarm to route pipes through it. V4s just kind of lend themselves to this type of exhaust system (see RC211V).

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        The more you know…

        Thanks, Sean.

  • Thom

    Its beautiful as you’d expect any race bike from Ducati to be

    The real question is , in light of all the ” Ducati is For Sale” , will VW-Audi or AMG Mercedes buy it , will the current owners do an IPO instead , how will all this behind the scenes wrangling affect the MotoGP squad for 2012 ?

    There’s no way I’d think , that all this financial insecurity couldn’t affect Ducati Corse’s efforts this year , as well as the overall attitudes of its riders .

    So whats the skinny Wes and why aren’t you doing an article on this very subject as things progress/regress with Ducati ? Inquiring minds want to know

    FYI From the Financial pundits : at this point Audi is still contemplating its 4 ringed navel , AMG according to the German press says no way – whereas the Italian press says ‘ Most likely buyer ‘ and the current owners are once again threatening IPO

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Because it’s all conjecture and rumor. And there’s no financial insecurity at all, Ducati is in a very strong position, which is why they’re for sale.

      • Scott-jay

        Ducati sales: 40,000 bikes/year.
        Ducati debt: EURO750,000,000.
        Ducati simple debt burden next five years: EURO3,750/bike.
        Come Diavel!

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    It should be an interesting year for Ducati. If they cannot get the bike sorted this year, that would be bad, bad news. Fingers crossed.

  • BMW11GS

    I don’t know about others, but I am a little sorry to see the Carbon fiber frame go away. It seemed like the way forward and who knows, maybe it will yet be?

    However perhaps it is not yet a mature technology in the same vein as most of the non-telescoping fork arrangements that have never quite caught on.

    From Ducati’s standpoint, the switch back to aluminum makes a lot of sense if it allows them to win, even if it is not as technologically advanced as the dreamers in the engineering department wish it to be.

    • Gene

      From what I hear, with the tight MotoGP limitations on testing, they couldn’t get enough track time to make it work. The 500cc days of pounding out laps until you get it close enough are over.

      • Sean Smith

        The testing restrictions are pretty ridiculous, especially for the premier world championship for prototype bikes.

        • BMW11GS

          Yeah I agree but if the testing restrictions were lifted then you would probably see headlines reading, “escalating costs cause manufactures to drop their MotoGP arms.”

    • Mr.Paynter

      Erik Buell’d make it work!

      • aristurtle

        It was less about the manufacturer “getting it to work” and more about the rider getting used to the differences in handling.

    • runrun

      the inherent limitations of a telescopic fork mean that under big cornering/lean angles, there is such a thing as a frame that is too stiff. this apparently was the problem that rossi and hayden had with the c-f frame.

      • BMW11GS

        Because the lateral flex that would normally be absorbed/directed by the forks when one is mostly perpendicular to the ground are sent to the frame when one is cranked way over, right? I always wondered if the aluminum frames have inherent damping ability? Otherwise it seems that you would get an uncomfortable un-damped (rebound and compression)reaction.

  • runrun

    more or less, yes. when leaned over, bump forces are no longer being applied in a manner that the forks can handle by compressing, so they get transferred directly to the frame instead of being mainly absorbed by the fork.