On June 30, 2022, Ducati officially presented its new 2023 MotoE bike, the V21L, at a very small and exclusive event in Modena. Only a handful of European media members were invited to Casa Maria Luigia (which is chef Massimo Bottura’s B&B) for the event—but now they get to tell the rest of us all about it.
From what we can tell by looking at the photos, the V21L presented earlier this morning looks very much like the V21L prototype that Ducati has been testing. The livery is, of course, a bit different and more refined. Some of the carbon fiber is covered, while some is left exposed to show off its glorious and unique grain, as a fairly inimitable visual texture our eyes can feast upon.
The red line graphics against matte black/dark gray successfully evoke a feeling of electricity in your mind—a sure sign of successful visual communication. Ducati’s V21L design looks, first and foremost, like a Ducati—and the immediate visual cues don’t scream “electric motorbike” in the way that we’re used to from other entries in the genre. Still, even someone who didn’t know what the V21L was before looking at it might suspect its nature just by seeing those graphics.
What other details have emerged about Ducati’s MotoE bike? This first-gen version apparently weighs a stonking 225 kilograms—or just a hair over 496 pounds. Much of that weight comes from the 110 kg (approximately 242.5 pound) battery, which is an 18 kWh unit specially designed to fit this bike and connect directly to the swingarm.
What about power? Peak is a claimed 110 kW, or approximately 150 horsepower, along with 103 pound-feet of torque. It’s able to complete the required seven laps of a GP track that Dorna wants for its MotoE races, and the top speed it’s reached so far is reportedly 171 mph at Mugello.
Other key components include an Öhlins NPX 25/30 pressurized fork with 43mm upside-down tubes, which is derived from the Superleggera V4. There’s also an Öhlins TTX36 fully adjustable rear shock, as well as an adjustable Öhlins steering damper. Specially-designed Brembo brakes that optimize cooling are also an integral part of this design.
Ducati is particularly proud of its cooling system, which it says involves a double circuit of liquid cooling to address the cooling needs of both the battery pack and the motor and inverter. As a result, Ducati says there’s no need to wait before charging once the bike comes in hot from the track. It can be plugged directly in to charge, and reach 80 percent of a full charge in just 45 minutes.
Also, what Ducati is learning for the MotoE project is headed toward future production bike development. Ducati R&D director Vincenzo De Silvio made that very clear in his statement on this project:
“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,” he began.
“At this moment, the most important challenges in this field remain those related to the size, weight, autonomy of the batteries and the availability of the charging networks. Ducati’s experience in the FIM MotoE™ World Cup will be a fundamental support for product R&D, together with the physiological evolution of technology and chemistry. Helping the company’s internal expertise to grow is already essential today to be ready when the time comes to put the first street electric Ducati into production.”