The Italian brand could be the first major manufacturer to bring MotoGP technology to street models, in the form of seamless shift transmission.
The next-generation Ducati Panigale V4 may feature seamless shift transmission, a feature which has been available on MotoGP machines for over a decade. Ducati has been working on a seamless shift transmission for sometime now, and the first reports that this technology will make it to a production model are emerging, and it will be Ducati’s flagship sportbike, the Panigale V4. The seamless shift transmission works like a dual clutch transmission, but makes do with a single clutch, and is a mechanical system, which will now make its way to road-oriented sportbikes.
The first company to introduce the technology of shifting gears on a motorcycle without a clutch lever was Honda with its dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The DCT works well, as we’ve experienced in the Honda Africa Twin, but it’s a relatively heavy set-up with semi-automatic operation, more suited for touring and adventure bikes, rather than high-performance machines. This is what the seamless shift transmission tries to address. Ducati’s system works somewhat like Honda’s DCT, but replaces the twin clutches with a new system of lockable roller bearings, which offer quicker gear shifts, that will negate any time, and power losses while the gears are being shifted.
The next generation Panigale V4, due sometime in 2022, could be the first street bike to feature seamless shift transmission. With the addition of the MotoGP-derived gearbox, Ducati aims to enhance track riding experience, because the seamless shift can engage two gears briefly and simultaneously; a boon because it will help the rider avoid engine power losses when the clutch is pulled in. Everything is managed by the electronics in a very short time, allowing very quick gear shifts, without loss of grip and torque discharges on the rear wheel.