Ducati electric GP bike begins testing

Photo: Ducati

The switchover from Energica to Ducati for MotoGP’s all-electric MotoE series happened suddenly, but Ducati obviously had this plan running for months as a skunk works project. We know this, because the company’s electric superbike (called the V21L) is already on-track testing.

Considering how much Ducati usually loves to tease its upcoming machines, we really haven’t seen much about the new electric motorbike since its announcement. This will likely change in coming weeks. For now, though, despite an official trackday appearance, we really don’t know a whole lot about the bike’s specs.

Ducati ran the machine at Misano, with factory test pilot Michele Pirro behind the handlebars. Of course, he had plenty of good things to say about the new machine: “Testing the MotoE prototype on the circuit was a great thrill, because it marks the beginning of an important chapter in Ducati history. The bike is light and already has a good balance. Furthermore, the throttle connection in the first opening phase and the ergonomics are very similar to those of a MotoGP bike. If it weren’t for the silence and for the fact that in this test, we decided to limit the power output to just 70% of performance, I could easily have imagined that I was riding my bike.

So, what’s Ducati really doing here? Is the sole purpose of this project to become an electric motorcycle supplier to MotoGP? Certainly not; the press release says the plan is for the electric racing team to work out answers to the challenges faced by electric motorcycles, so that technology can then be applied to street bikes: “The goal is to create, as soon as the technology allows it, a Ducati electric vehicle for road use that is sporty, light, exciting and able to satisfy all enthusiasts.

There you have it—expect an electric Ducati for the street, as a result of this project. It’s still likely a couple of years away, at least, so you’ve got time to start saving for that downpayment …

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