Project By: Ascanio Rodorigo ([email protected] )
With its curiously stripped-down appearance, the Vyrus 4v is one of the most distinctive bikes on the planet. Given that the exotic Italian machine weights a claimed 157kg (346.1 lbs.) dry and is powered by the 150 bhp four-valve V-twin engine from Ducati’s 999R flagship, there also not much doubt that it’s also one of the fastest.
This Looks Familiar
The strange, insect-like shape of the Vyrus might be vaguely familiar, even if its name is not. Two years ago Bimota unveiled a V-twin, The Tesi 2D that looked very like this. It was powered by Ducati’s 992cc aircooled Monster engine, and had a chassis based on that of the Tesi 1 D, the revolutionary hub-center-steered machine whose failure bankrupted Bimota a decade ago.
This bike is similar, but different in two key respects. Firstly, its being sold under the name Vyrus – the firm that built both this bike and the Tesi 2 D (though few of those were sold). Vyrus run by racer/engineer Ascanio Rodorigo, is a Rimini-based outfit whose total staff of just five makes even Bimota seem huge.
Secondly, Ducati’s 999R lump is much more sophisticated, and nearly twice as powerful as the Tesi 2D’s humble air-cooled unit Vyrus buy motors directly from Ducati, and pause only to unbolt the protruding standard water pump (which is replaced by an electric pump) before bolting the 999cc V-twin into the minimalist aluminum frame
Does It Feel As Extreme As It Looks?
Nothing quite prepares you for the sensation of riding the Vyrus. The view from the fairly tall but slim single seat is of a short perspex screen above a rectangular, high-tech instrument panel featuring a bar techo and a host of fast-moving digital numbers. A piece of tape was stuck over this prototype’s row of warning lights, which were otherwise too bright – production bikes will have a more elegant Solution
The unusually slender aluminum top yoke has just a bolt-head sticking up on either side, rather than a telescopic fork-top poking through it. The clip-on bars are wide and quite low, giving a conventional sports bike-riding position. If you glance down to your right you can see a red steering rod.
0n the left a large carbon air duct stretches forward past the headlight; the front shock sits in front of your shin.
The highly-strung Vyrus sounds angry even at a standstill as its high compression Desmo motor snarls through those carbon cans. When I pull away, that sound is joined by a sharp screech as the Ducati’s dry clutch struggles with the 999R’s tall first gear. But once into its stride the Vyrus is very fast and responsive.
What’s It Like To Ride?
Ducati’s hopped-up 999R motor is wonderfully flexible, so I don’t have to pay attention to the tacho That leaves more time to concentrate on the chassis, which performs well. In hairpin bends I’m conscious of the handlebars actually turning, because the Tesi-style steering linkage doesn’t give a direct 1: 1 ratio between bar and front wheel movement. It isn’t a problem, just strange and something I’m sure you’d get used to before long.
More distracting, on the twisty roads around Rimini, is the Vyrus’s tendency to tip into slow bends abruptly. That’s not a characteristic of previous Tesi-type bikes I’ve ridden, and could almost certainly be sorted with a little fine-tuning. for which there’s plenty of scope. Tile steering angle can be adjusted between 18-24� trail between 80mm and 105mm.
A less steep geometry would probably give a more confident feel for road use, without losing the bike’s quick-steering ability.
At higher speeds the cornering feel is more linear and the handling is superb, notably in the way that the reasonably soft front suspension carries on working if you brake hard into bumpy bends, keeping the bike very stable. The Vyrus’s exceptional suspension control under pressure also allows maximum use of its non-radial four-caliper Brembo system, which is more than adequate for such a feather-light bike.
The air shock at the rear also does a good job, keeping the bike taut and stable when accelerating hard out of turns. I have to hold those clip-ons tight when I hit the occasional straight stretch and the Vyrus growls for-ward with fierce and seemingly never-ending charge.
Occasional wheelies are irresistible, and inevitable given its weight and a wheelbase of just 1375mm. Less impressive is having to stop to reposition the carbon front mudguard, which shifts when I land the front wheel too heavily on one occasion.
This prototype’s Marelli-based injection system still requires finetuning, though, because although the Vyrus responds crisply at high revs, lower down the range it isn’t quite as sweet as I recall the standard 999R being.
The bike responds with a slight but definite snatch as I dial in a touch of throttle mid-turn. Its injection system has been modified by the Vyrus team, who also designed the titanium exhaust system whose downpipes are different diameters, to suit their lengths. The Bimota Tesi 2D that I rode a couple of years ago had an excellent throttle response, and I don’t doubt that Rodorigo will get this four-valver working just as well.
When Can I Get One And What Will It Cost?
When I arrive at Misano for the prototype’s scheduled evening shakedown Rodorigo was there to refine the prototype’s set-up so it could be used on the production machines. Assembly of the first batch was well under way with a couple of bikes already built. The small number of Vyrus 4v machines that will be produced this year will cost about �38,000 ($70,000 USD).
At that price he’s very aware that every detail has to be absolutely right.
As well I as an outstanding engineer Rodorigo is an accomplished racer and development rider, so the Vyrus 4v won’t just be one of the world’s most imaginative, neatly engineered, fastest, strangest looking and most expensive street bikes. It will also be one of the best.
Originanlly printed in Motor Cycle News – June 14, 2006
Vyrus Divisione Motori at 64th International Motorcycle Exhibition (November 2006)
The 985 C3 4V is the Top of Vyrus production. The natural evolution of desire to project and build motorcycles of a very high technological concept and quality standards out of common.
Impossible to sum up all details that compound this machine. The lay out of Ergal Omega is billet frame work, double swing harms are made out from 7020 Peralluman Auto tempring alloy. The 999R Ducati Testastretta engine, with 4 valves per cylinder, gives 150hp and thanks to special mapping results is exceptionally smart and progressive, already powerful from 2500 rpm.
The exhaust system has been engineered with an advanced software simulating waves like in Formula 1 technologies, performing by 2 different tubes of different measures.
The water cooling system, absolutely in preview, is controlled by a special electronic pump managed by The Electronic Control Unit that insures a total optimization of temperature and a considerable loos of weight. Very effective in cooling temperature are 2 special radiator V placed under the engine, working by extraction of heat.
The front frame is a monocoque carbon fibre jewel, works as data logger support, headlight bracket, Air-Box volume, fuel tank holder, steering axle bearing holder, a beauty of engineering, absolutely a News in motorcycle production series.
Everything’s reveals incredible easy drive sensations, easy control going into curves, and changing direction movements.
The bike gives safety at the maximum bending and impressive velocity, always in safe condition and stability of front end; limits is only of driver’s. Agility and lightness showed in changing of direction are better than any other proved.
Click Here for Vyrus brochure.
The more quick and exclusive bike in world.
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