Up Close: Ducati GP15 Wing
Please click on the above image to view it larger.
We’ve seen winglets on the Ducati before, but not quite like these. Intended to generate downforce on the front tire as if this were a Formula 1 car, the Ducati GP15 winglet is contoured as if designed in a wind tunnel. Perhaps it was!
Seen from above, you can appreciate how much it curves down rather than being flat as I recall the previous version being.
Each winglet extends beyond the front of the fairing, and that flat bit on the side extends farther on the bottom than it does on the top.
As other factories are looking for more power (Suzuki in particular), Ducati has so much bursting out of its Desmoseidici that a bit of extra drag on the straight bit is no worry, if these winglets push the front down on the twisty bits.
UPDATE: An astute observer pointed out to me yesterday that in order to keep the winglets legal, Ducati added some extensions to the fairing around the hand grip area. This extends the width of the fairing so that the winglets do not extend beyond the fairing and thus violate the rules. It’s a great example of how at times the regulations only go so far toward restricting what a manufacturer can and can’t do.
We want these winglets on the bike. But they’re too wide and extend beyond the fairing, not allowed. Then just rivet some extensions onto the fair to make it wider. Rivet, rivet, rivet: problem solved.
But as I look at these riveted-on sections, I’m wondering if they may not become permanent, molded-on changes to the fairing. They look like they might increase aerodynamic efficiency when it comes to airflow over the handle bar areas on each side of the bike. Instead of riders hands, brake and clutch levers, and handlebar grips catching air at high speed, these smoothly curved extensions might allow air to pass over more efficiently. I wonder if we will see this change adopted in a more permanent fashion on the Ducati, and perhaps on other bikes to do not use this style of winglet. Time will tell…
Photograph: ©2015 by Scott Jones / PHOTO.GP – All Rights Reserved