The Vee Two Ritorno

The Vee Two Ritorno Twin is a modern re-creation of the ultimate bevel-drive Ducati Desmo V-Twin engine, re-manufactured for sale using the original Ducati factory drawings.

Externally faithful reproduction of late ‘70’s/early ‘80’s Factory NCR race engine, as used by Mike Hailwood to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT on his legendary comeback victory.

Crankcases and other major castings are sandcast in high strength heat treated aluminium, with many covers cast in magnesium alloy.

Although externally historically accurate, all engine internals are manufactured using modern materials and up-to-date design.

The Vee Two Ritorno Twin engine retains the external appearance of the standard late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s production bevel-drive Ducati V-Twin engines, as required by TT Formula 1 eligibility regulations. However, it contains the modified internal specification of the factory-developed NCR Ducati competition models.  Its re-creation has been achieved using original factory drawings of the 1978 NCR Factory Ducati engine as raced by Mike Hailwood to victory in the Isle of Man TT that same year.

This engine was never put into production, but was a culmination of the data acquired in going racing successfully by Ducati factory engineers including Fabio Taglioni, Franco Farnè and Gianluigi Mengali, as well as Rino Caracchi and Giorgio Nepoti of NCR. This began with the 1-2 success of Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari in the 1972 Imola 200, through the factory-supported NCR Endurance team’s victory in the 1973 Barcelona 24 Hours, to the engines prototyped for Mike Hailwood to race in the 1978 Isle of Man Formula 1 TT.

The engine is easily identified by the external spin-on oil filter mounted mid-engine on the lower left hand crankcase.  It is the only bevel-drive Desmo V-twin to be prototyped with this feature, and was also fitted with a dry clutch. Although it was planned to put the engine into production, fewer than 10 examples of it were in fact produced, and production was never implemented owing to internal disputes and corporate uncertainty within Ducati at the time, which eventually led to Cagiva acquiring the company in 1985.

The internal format of the Vee Two Ritorno Twin incorporates current technology covering air-cooled engine design, and the latest in available weight saving materials. Such technology has not previously been applied to production bevel-drive Ducati engines, and includes:

New design of cylinder and cylinder head

Bath tub chamber design cylinder heads with steeper valve angle

One piece cylinders for improved rigidity and heat transfer with Nikasil coated bores for reduced friction

Tapered collets on desmodromic valve gear as on current Ducati Superbike race engines, permitting sustained high RPM

Improved top end cooling utilizing oil spray bars and spray nozzles, thus improving heat transfer and dissipation to permit a sustained higher power output

Dry clutch arrangement for lighter weight and to maintain lower oil temperatures

Plain bearing big end bearings, replacing roller bearings for added durability

High-strength lightweight reciprocating components such as conrods, pistons, valves etc

The crankshaft is designed with plain big end bearings, with a radically improved high pressure oil system designed by Vee Two, the centre of which is our Vee Two billet oil pump. This system includes pressure fed gearbox lubrication.

The cylinder heads are the largest improvement over the standard Ducati items, which have 80° included angles inlet and exhaust. The Vee Two Ritorno Twin has a narrowed 56° valve angle allowing an improved combustion chamber design and in turn optimised flow during valve overlap. With modern materials such as titanium for the valves, lowering reciprocating inertia, and up to date designs such as tapered collets on the valve stems which positively connect the valve to the Desmo rocker, the Vee Two Ritorno Twin’s cylinder heads incorporate cutting edge performance with authentic bevel drive looks.

These modern improvements allow us to fully exploit the vast improvements available from the use of desmodromic valve operation, namely ultra-square camshaft profiles without the problem of valve float.

The price is AU$38,000 which includes a complete digital ignition system, and a choice of carburettors and exhaust system options are available at extra cost.

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