We didn’t have the slightest doubt that, once it had passed the severe tests it was subjected to by Michele Pirro and Alex De Angelis, Claudio Domenicali would personally try out the latest creation from the Ducati racing department: the MotoE bike. He always does and is also a decent rider!
Here are his first impressions.
“A few weeks ago I had the extraordinary opportunity to ride the Ducati MotoE on the track and I immediately realized that I was living in a historic moment – said the Ducati CEO - The world is going through a complex period and environmental sustainability is an element that all individuals and all companies must consider a priority if we want to preserve the delicate balance of the planet. As Ducati, we have grasped this need and we went in search of a challenge that would allow us to contribute to the common goal of reducing CO₂ emissions and at the same time to keep faith with our DNA linked to racing. 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. As soon as I sat on the bike I realized the quality of the work done by the team and when I returned to the garage I felt a deep sense of pride for what we were once again able to achieve”.
The mix of expertise, passion and work of the Ducati MotoE team has led to the birth of an electric motorcycle with unique technical solutions. Starting with the battery pack, the most binding and characterizing element in terms of masses and dimensions, which on the Ducati MotoE is characterized by a shape specifically designed to follow the natural course of the middle area of the bike. The battery pack weighs approximately 110 kg and offers a capacity of around 18 kWh with a 20-kW charging socket integrated into the tail. Inside there are 1,152 cylindrical cells of the “21700” type.
The inverter, with a low weight of 5 kg, is a unit derived from a high-performance model used in motor racing for electric vehicles, while the motor (21 kg weight and a maximum rotation speed of 18,000 rpm) was developed by a partner following the technical specifications provided by Ducati. The entire system is based on a voltage of 800 V (with a fully charged battery pack) to maximize the output of the electric powertrain and, as a result, performance and range.
One of the most advanced technical solutions tested on the Ducati MotoE concerns the cooling system. The prototype components are in fact cooled by a particularly sophisticated and efficient liquid system with a double circuit designed to meet the different thermal needs of the battery pack and the motor/inverter unit. This guarantees extreme regularity of temperatures with important benefits in terms of consistency of performance but also in charging times. In fact, it is not necessary to wait for the battery pack to cool to start the process: the Ducati MotoE can be charged at the same time as it enters the garage, and it takes about 45 minutes to recharge it up to 80% of its range.
The carbon case of the battery pack also acts as a stressed part of the chassis, like what happens for the Ducati Panigale V4 engine, with an aluminium monocoque Front Frame for the front area weighing 3.7 kg. The rear is composed of an aluminium swingarm weighing 4.8 kg with a geometry like that of the Ducati Desmosedici racing in MotoGP. The rear subframe, which integrates the tail and the rider seat, is made of carbon fibre.
The suspension area features an Öhlins NPX 25/30 pressurized fork with 43 mm diameter upside-down tubes at the front, derived from the component in use on the Superleggera V4, while a fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber is present at the rear. The steering damper is an adjustable Öhlins unit.
The braking system is supplied by Brembo and is sized for the specific requirements of the Ducati MotoE. At the front it is composed of a double steel disc 338.5 mm in diameter with a thickness currently in the selection phase between measurements of 6.8 and 7.4 mm, which has fins on the internal diameter with the aim of increasing the thermal exchange surface area and improve the cooling of the disc in conditions of extreme use on the track. Two GP4RR M4 32/36 calipers with PR19 x 18 radial master cylinder operate on this double disc. At the rear, the P34 caliper acts on a single disc unit 220 mm in diameter and 5 mm thick with a PS13 master cylinder. Teams can purchase an optional rear brake control positioned on the left handlebar, which the rider can use as an alternative to the pedal one.