Motorcycles are not quite in the groove when it comes to the electric revolution, compared to cars. The few who have managed to crack the code among all-electric motorcycles are newcomers like Zero Motorcycles and Italian electric motorcycle maker – Energica. Legacy automakers have not had a good experience in this transition. We have seen it first-hand with Harley-Davidson’s attempt with LiveWire.
But things are looking different for Ducati as they are taking a different route with its V21L all-electric MotoE prototype. This “silent” exotic Italian is still a track-only machine, and Ducati has been working on it for quite some time. This all-electric Ducati is also set to replace Energica Motor Company as the official MotoE supplier from 2023.
This motorcycle is a collaborative effort of Ducati Corsa and Ducati’s research and development. It packs an equal dose of cutting-edge technology and Italian speed and drama. This MotoE machine’s powertrain is more than half the total curb weight. The battery pack, being a hefty unit, has been used as a stressed member here to supposedly aid in its sporty riding dynamics.
Ducati is also quite vocal about its cooling system in the V21 electric motorcycle, which helps the components be at their prime, even after an intense session on the racetrack. While MotoE is all set to get red, hot, and Italian from 2023, we are more excited about the various hints that indicated Ducati’s interest in making road-going electric motorcycles.
The V21L MotoE prototype is an exciting prologue to Ducati’s all-electric motorcycling future. But for now, it will prove its mettle on the racetrack.
The 150 Hp Ducati V21L MotoE Prototype Packs A 242.5-Pound Battery
This Ducati’s hefty battery pack can be seen both as a pro and a con. It is good because the cluttered weight distribution, being low, makes up for a very nimble riding characteristic. But on the flip side, a more evenly distributed structure should make this electric motorcycle more predictable and easy to adapt to.
The answer to this lies in a fully-fledged road test, that has to wait. But Ducati’s exciting video of the silent race machine in action on a racetrack shows us that this all-electric Ducati is a flickable and quite aggressive machine.
The V21L MotoE Prototype’s motor pumps out 150 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. It is sent to the rear wheel via a chain drive. This electric Ducati has a claimed top speed of 171 mph. Its 18 kWh battery pack is impressive for a race machine, and might even be able to complete a complete MotoE race session without a recharge!
For reference, Energica Experia has the biggest battery pack at 22.5 kWh among electric motorcycles. This ADV motorcycle is capable of a maximum of 261 miles on a single charge.
Components On This Electric Superbike Are Shared With Other Ducatis
Ducati has gone all-out on the components of the V21L electric race bike. It packs an Ohlins suspension package with NPX 25/30 43mm upside-down forks up front and a TTX36 rear mono-shock unit. These front forks are also used on the Ducati Superleggera V4. The frame is a fine fusion of aluminum and carbon fibre. The front section is an aluminum monocoque that also utilizes the heavy battery pack as a stressed member.
The swingarm is also aluminum whereas the rear subframe is carved out of carbon fibre. The aluminum section weighs in at just 18.7 pounds with the swingarm being heavier than the front monocoque at 10.5 pounds.
The braking setup here is from Brembo with dual 338.5 mm steel discs up front and a single 220 mm disc at the rear. Ducati has also used an Ohlins steering damper to help the rider keep this “silent” Ducati under control.
Clever Cooling System Helps This Electric Ducati Take The Racetrack Heat
One thing that Ducati is quite proud of in their electric race bike is its cooling technology. Ducati’s research and development unit has worked its way to create an efficient liquid cooling system. It packs a double circuit which keeps the battery pack, the motor, and all other “hot” components under check.
With this intense cooling system, Ducati states that its race machine needn’t be cooled down before being plugged in, to juice up. So, technically, after an intense session at the track, you can just ride into the pit, and charge this bad boy up. Ducati states that 0-80% can be achieved in just 45 minutes.
Ducati V21L Racebike Has An Electrifying Visual Appeal
Ducatis are known for their visual drama, after all, it is Italian! And this chemistry is true for the all-electric Ducati V21L MotoE bike as well. Its sharp form factor is accented with a play of black, dark gray, and exposed carbon. But showingcasing its electrifying appeal is a distinctive graphic set in red that brings about a sinister appeal too.
This Ducati might even fool you into thinking that it’s not a silent one! And that’s because of the clever cowling setup that hides the battery pack. And unsurprisingly, the Ducati V21L is the most exotic-looking electric motorcycle out there right now.
The V21L MotoE Prototype Hints At An Exciting Future For Ducati
The Ducati V21L has ticked all the performance boxes to make its debut at the 2023 MotoE World Championship. The Energica Ego Corsa it replaces is more powerful. But the Ducati is about 48 pounds lighter which flips the coin right away.
While the racetrack appearance of this red-hot Ducati is something to look forward to, we are more interested in this Italian marque’s long-term plans. We feel that Ducati will be dropping a road-legal electric motorcycle based on the V21L prototype before their contract with MotoE ends in 2026. And by the looks, it is surely going to be a silent banger!