Ferrari has filed a patent for a two-cylinder motorcycle engine in a V-configuration — surprising, since various manufacturers have been building V-twins since the discovery of petroleum.
Does this mean the legendary sports car maker will be making fragile, hyper-expensive two-wheelers that look like frightened fish? Will the ranks of motorcyclists be joined by the idle rich in tasseled loafers and pink shirts?
Perhaps, and maybe it’s not a bad thing after all.
A motorcycle is a motorcycle, and if Ferrari and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, get around to building them, some of those machines will surely escape the carpeted garage and to be ridden. You know, like on roads. With dirt and stuff.
Car makers have a history of dabbling in the motorcycle game. Lotus has authorized a motorcycle development project in its name and Volkswagen/Audi/Lamborghini bought Ducati last year.
In fact, Volkswagen recently an unveiled its superlight XL Sport at the Paris Motor Show powered by one of Ducati’s scary-powerful engines.
And then there's Porsche, which helped Harley-Davidson sort out engineering challenges — air-flow dynamics and cooling, among others — with its V-Rod engine and contributed to development of the water-cooled Revolution engine.
There hasn’t been a Ferrari motorcycle as of yet, though there was a tribute bike build by David Kay Engineering in 1995 that was authorized by Piero Ferrari, son of founder Enzo.
We’ve taken a look at the patent application — there’s a link below — and it seems to hinge on a counter-balancing-shaft system that allows the V configuration to be set at any one of six angles from 28% to 154%.
Why anyone would want a motorcycle engine with an angle that obtuse is a mystery. For comparison, Harley-Davidson’s V-twins open to 45% and motors from Moto Guzzi and Ducati are set at 90%.