When it is prophesized that the future of automobiles is going to be electric, how can motorsports not be a part of it? The Italian manufacturer Ducati took the lead and finally unveiled a prototype of its MotoE superbike for the most prestigious electric motorcycle racing series. The first electric motorcycle prototype is code-named “V21L”. The bike is built with joint work of the Ducati Corse team and the Ducati R&D engineers, led by Roberto Canè, Ducati eMobility Director. The Ducati’s MotoE ambitious project is one of the significant steps in revolutionizing the electric era. Moreover, Ducati will be the sole supplier of bikes on the track during each race weekend.
Ducati began testing the bike on the Misano circuit back in December 2021. “Ever since we took the Ducati MotoE prototype to the track for the first time, development work on the project has never stopped, not even for a moment. The hard work of the whole team is paying off for the efforts made through continuous progress, which is giving us great satisfaction. In just four months, our prototype has already tackled the curves of some of the main Italian circuits, providing positive responses. There is still a lot of work to do, but the direction is certainly the right one”, says Roberto Canè, Ducati eMobility Director.
Ducati MotoE V21L: Chassis
The Ducati MotoE has a total weight of 225 kg, which is 12 kg less than the minimum requirements imposed by Dorna and FIM for a bike capable of completing the race. Ducati has used carbon fibre extensively while carving its bodywork, and when you are utilizing one of the most exquisite and expensive elements to build a groundbreaking product, what’s the point in hiding it away? While some of the carbon fibre bits are covered, Ducati has left most of it exposed for our eyes to feast upon the grainy texture. Even the red graphics superimposed on the matte black/dark gray livery somehow manages to evoke some connection to electricity.
Ducati has used a carbon fibre case for the battery pack. Also, the rear subframe, which integrates the tail and the rider seat, is made of carbon fibre. Front Frame weighs 3.7 kilograms, whereas the rear is composed of an aluminium swingarm weighing 4.8 kilograms.
Ducati MotoE V21L : Battery and Powertrain
The battery pack weighs 110 kg and offers a capacity of 18 kWh with a 20-kW charging socket integrated into the tail. Inside there are 1,152 cylindrical cells of the “21700” type. The battery pack is specifically designed to fit inside the bike’s frame and puts down some respectable performance figures. With the total power of 150hp and torque of 140Nm, the V21L becomes a proper zinger as it reportedly calmed 171 mph at Mugello, which translates to around 275kmph. The motor weighs just 21kg and has a maximum rotation speed of 18000 rpm. Based on a voltage of 800V, the battery can be charged to 80percent within 45 minutes. Everything here is freaking fast!
Ducati MotoE V21L: Braking and Suspension
The Brembo caliper takes care of the braking at the front with a steel double disc with a diameter of 338.5 mm . Two GP4RR M4 32/36 calipers with a PR19/18 radial master cylinder operate on this double-disc. At the rear, the Brembo P34 caliper operates a 220 mm diameter with a PS13 master cylinder.
On the front, the bike gets Öhlins NPX 25/30 pressurized fork with 43 mm diameter upside-down tubes. Whereas at the rear, it features an Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber.
Ducati MotoE V21L : Official Statements
“We agreed with determination to develop the most performing electric racing bike that current technology makes possible and to use this project as a laboratory in which to build our future. The result we have achieved is surprising.” says Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motors.
Vincenzo De Silvio, Ducati R&D Director, says, “For Ducati, having the opportunity to become suppliers of the FIM MotoE™ World Cup is not only a technologically exciting venture, but also the best way to interpret the challenges of the new millennium. Racing competition represents the ideal terrain on which to develop innovative technologies that will then transfer to production motorcycles.”
Michele Pirro, Ducati’s chief test rider says, “Testing the MotoE prototype on track was really exciting because it marks the start of an important chapter of Ducati history. The bike is lightweight and already well-balanced. And as well as this, the ergonomics and the connection when you first open the throttle are really very similar to those of a MotoGP bike.”