Ducati Patent A Variable Jet Exhaust? Check Out The Drawings!
Ducati Are Designing A Cool Jet Exhaust – But It Doesn’t Do What You Think It Does
Updated August 18, 2018
It’s not April Fools Day…but with a title like that, it almost could be, right? Yes, this is the news that Ducati has filed a patent that appears to show a variable jet exhaust. It’s all systems go in the Ducati R&D department apparently. They’re obviously not content with the success of their new Superleggera – the worlds lightest production bike, and they’re obviously not satisfied after proving to the entire MotoGP paddock that aerodynamic winglets on the front are a big deal and not just a funky gimmick. Now, they’re going to impress us all with a new type of exhaust. I’d urge you to read the whole article before making any snap judgments…because this could mean a few things – on the condition that these images are legitimate, of course.
The “jet” part is a bit misleading though – they’re not swapping out a tried and tested Ducati engine in favor of a jet powered one, instead they’re working on an adjustable nozzle that sits on the end of the exhaust pipe…a nozzle that harnesses the exhaust gases and turns them into thrust. It’s similar to how supersonic jets work, but not to the same degree. The thrust isn’t going to push the bike to go faster, it’s actually there to keep the front wheel from lifting.
How would it do that? In basic terms, it would capitalize on the exhaust gases, and through clever angling of the exhaust, the pressurized exhaust gases would be aimed to keep the front wheel on the ground during hard acceleration. It would be like a sophisticated anti-wheelie system that adjusts itself accordingly, allowing for harder acceleration throughout your lap. If you think of Ducati’s efforts on their aerodynamic winglets, then you’ll know that keeping the front end down is one of their biggest priorities. However, the MotoGP have canned that idea, and the idea is that Ducati are working on a new way to achieve the same ends… Or some speculators say…
I’m no jet engine professional, so I don’t really know what the idea behind this is. However, I’m not prepared to take a few suggestions at face value…thankfully, some others have weighed in on the speculation, and their theory sounds much more plausible. According to the more sensible minded theorists, the variable nozzle on the exhaust isn’t there to alter or increase thrust. Instead, it’s purpose is to maintain rotational speed within a jet engine turbine at the proper rpm, preventing overspeeding and destroying the engine. In motorcycle engine terms, the idea is more likely designed to be a way for Ducati’s engineers to regulate (or rather, tune) the backpressure inside the exhaust throughout the rev range, ultimately improving performance.
It could be either of those two ideas. Or we could be way off base altogether. However, I have confidence that one of our readers will be able to understand the patent drawings better than I can. So, what can we see? The patent drawings show a series of electronically activated petals that sit inside of an exhaust pipe, adjusting the size of the hole for the escaping exhaust gases. But to what point and purpose remains to be seen.
In fact, these patents don’t even come with a proper source or seal of approval, so it could all be nonsense. Though, you have to ask yourself: “who spends their time drawing up fake patent sketches?” It sounds unlikely, but there’s got to be someone out there with too much time on their hands…