Grafting Your Ducati: The ’92 900 SS V8

What is it with Italians and V8 motorcycles? First they go and make the Moto Guzzi V8 in the Fifties and then here they come again, this time with a Ducati. Well this time only the motorcycle is Italian. The builder is from Germany. His name is Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein.

An amazing build-in-progress based on a ’92 Ducati 900 SS impresses the motorcycle DIY community for quite some time now. The idea of the whole project is to build a V8 engine based on the original Ducati’s crankcase and by using the original Ducati’s two cylinder crankshaft. How do you put eight pistons on a two-piston crankshaft? Easy, if you ask Dieter.

The secret to Dieter’s project is a patent of his that allows connecting four pistons into one mechanism and then connecting the whole piston moving mechanism onto the crankshaft. This way it is possible to engage the pistons in a normal V8 manner while keeping the small two-cylinder engine casing. Quite ingenious!

Because, as Confucius would say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but animations are even more valuable, here is an animation of the engine’s internal arrangement provided by the designer.

The engine capacity remains in the 900 area and is 868cc. It also uses two valves per cylinder but the downside to this project is that because of the new engine configuration it lost its desmo valve train. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

More on this incredible Ducati-Elenore V8 project at

Oh! And I lied about Confucius.


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