Beam frame imminent for Rossi's Ducati?

Suter or FTR rumoured to be making new chassis for the Ducati Desmosedici

Posted: 22 August 2011
by Visordown News
The aluminium beam frame used by the Suter Moto2 bikes

MOTO2 specialists Suter and FTR have both been linked with a rumoured project to build an aluminium beam frame for Ducati's MotoGP machine.

While turning to an aluminium beam chassis would be a severe blow for Ducati, particularly since it's on the verge of launching its new production superbike with a monocoque design derived from the existing Desmosedici racer, the firm is starting to accept that the front end feedback problems that have plagued every rider to sit on the Desmosedici could be a result of the carbon fibre airbox/frame and stressed engine that it's currently relying on.

Now, according to French magazine Moto Revue, Fillipo Preziosi has already designed an aluminium beam frame and has farmed out the task of making it to either Suter or British firm FTR. Both companies are already developing their own alloy beam framed MotoGP machines; a 'claiming rules' BMW-powered bike for the Marc VDS squad from Suter and a Kawasaki-engined bike from FTR for the BQR team. FTR is also developing a chassis for the V4-powered Norton MotoGP bike, although the chances of such a machine appearing on the grid next year seem to have all but evaporated.

With years of experience in making such frames, either firm would have an advantage over Ducati's in-house engineers when it comes to getting it right first time: Ducati has zero aluminium beam-frame experience.

The hope is that by using an alloy beam chassis to take the stresses between the forks and swingarm, a controllable level of flex will be built in, providing riders with more feedback. Many speculate that the current monocoque design is simple too rigid; reducing front end feedback and grip and leading to the string of low-side crashes that Ducati riders have suffered since the design's introduction.

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ducati, rossi. desmosedici, chassis, change, suter, ftr

Discuss this story

I still can't see Ducati admitting defeat on the CF frame. Maybe next season, but I still think it's far too early to throw in the towel..

Posted: 22/08/2011 at 17:50

Lame! It's not a Ducati anymore,, both in philosophy and in manufacture. It will take them at least 2 years to develop this "new" bike, while Honda and Yamaha aren't going to wait for Ducati to catch up.. The only chance that Rossi has of winning a championship again is to leave Ducati,, and that's just not going to happen.

Posted: 22/08/2011 at 18:48

Lack of front end feedback would seem to me to be a fork problem.No matter how sophisticated the Tele fork is its an old and tired concept and needing a flexing frame to make them work shows a lack of inspiration in the thought processes of the designers.
No one seems to complain about back end feedback,perhaps that could be a place for inspiration!

Posted: 22/08/2011 at 20:33

This is the EXACT problem. "Its not a Ducati anymore"...what similarity does the Desmocidici actually have to the 1098 or the 1198? I'll tell you how much, a name on it. THATS all. It needs the ducatisti to get over themselves and just accept that this is prototype racing.

FFS this makes me cross.

Posted: 22/08/2011 at 20:38

It would have made more sense to revert to a traditional Ducati trellis frame, like the ones used so successfully in WSB.

Posted: 23/08/2011 at 13:49

In my opinion it is not the lack of flex referred to in the article that is the issue with a CF frame.

It is more the way a CF frame flexes or reacts that is the issue.

If you have ever ridden CF and aluminium framed bicycles you will know what I am talking about. They have a different feel. CF has a vague dead feel, where as aluminium feels more responsive and gives better feedback.

It is hard to put it into words, but much easier to feel.

Posted: 23/08/2011 at 14:05

For anyone that wants a butchers, this is a very good article:

and judging by the one below, I am going to be eating humble pie...but I'll believe it when I see it frankly

Posted: 23/08/2011 at 14:16

Yes, I'm of the opinion that the 90* 4 cylinder engine's vibrations probably dampens out/disguises the dellicate feeling/feedback the riders require to aproach the limit of the tyres acurately due to everything being connected to the engine. (Every 90 deg 4 cylinder engine I've been involved with has a certain unevanness/vibration due to iregular firing pulses compared to I mean the steering head/handlebars and the swing arm would be recieving/absorbing the engine vibrations which must surely effect what the riders feel! Also I've noticed there have been many front end crashes this season, not just the Dukes, so it makes me wonder about the tyres too. So yes I reckon they need a conventional frame!

Posted: 25/09/2011 at 02:16

Rossi has to have what he knows anything else doesn't work He is not a Stoner type rider.

Posted: 15/10/2011 at 19:45

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