Motorcycle engines come in a host of different configurations. There’s the V-twin, inline-4, parallel twin, V4, V6 and the triple and by some miracle of modern engineering they all seem to work well on a regular basis. The one that has eluded us though has been the much coveted V8. Sure, there have been those who have shoehorned a small block Chevy between the rails of a Harley, but for the most part the V8 motorcycle is something of a myth. Enter Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein, the German man who has a flare for Italian motorcycles.
Somewhere along the line Dieter got the crazy idea that he wanted to build a V8 engine out of an original V-twin 900ss air-cooled Ducati. Looking at the video you can see that the engine design is quite ingenious in the fact that it actually uses a connecting rod arrangement that utilizes the original crankshaft from the Ducs original 2-cylinder mill – crazy right? With a 56mm cylinder bore and 44mm stroke the total displacement comes out to an impressive 868cc, all of which fits in the Ducati’s original frame – talk about thinking outside the box!
The engine has yet to be fired, but is said to generate about 80 hp, about the same as the Ducati’s original 900ss V-twin set-up. Progressive thinking like this is one reason that I love being tied to automobiles and motorcycles as you simply never know what kind of new advancements are going to surface. Way to go Dieter… way to go.