Purists may be sceptical about Ducati’s first-ever battery-powered motorcycle, but if the latest details and pictures of the ‘V21L’ prototype are anything to go by, this ride looks like a serious bit of kit. Ducati’s R&D teams have developed the electric racer with the help of pro riders such as Michele Pirro, Alex De Angelis and Chaz Davies to compete as the sole racer in the 2023 FIM MotoE World Cup, in which 18 V21Ls will battle for victory with some of the world’s greatest riders.
The elephant in the room is the bike’s jaw-dropping looks – the stealthy racing-inspired black and red livery, the bare carbon fibre body panels, and the overall aggressive design have been designed in-house by Centro Stile Ducati, and it’s safe to say the folks over in Bologna have done a stellar job in this department.
Performance-wise, the V21L uses a 110kg 18kWh battery pack and a lightweight motor to send 148bhp to the bike’s chubby rear tyre. Ducati claims that the V21L can reach speeds in excess of 275kmh (171mph) on the Italian Mugello circuit.
You’ll find an Öhlins NPX suspension fork derived from the Superleggera V4 up front, while a TTX36 adjustable shock absorber from the Swedish company makes an appearance at the bike’s rear end. A double-disc steel braking system supplied by Brembo provides much-needed stopping power, while all this state-of-the-art racing equipment and battery tech mean the machine tips the scales at 225kg - reasonably light for an electric motorcycle.
Speaking of the V21L, top dog at Ducati Claudio Domenicali said, “A few weeks ago I had the extraordinary opportunity to ride the Ducati MotoE on the track and I immediately realised that I was living in a historic moment.” Domenicali went on to say that the Ducati has leaned heavily on its racing DNA “to develop the most performing electric racing bike that current technology makes possible”.
We can’t wait to see this battery-powered racer in action at next year’s FIM MotoE World Cup, and who knows, we might even see a street-legal version in the near future.