If it seems like the 2023 MotoE championship is just around the corner, that’s because it is. It’s January 17, 2023, as I write this, and fans of the series will be pleased to note that production of Ducati’s V21L prototype electric bikes began in earnest in December, 2022. In total, the team from Bologna will craft just 23 of these machines. 18 will line up on the grid, and five more will be available as spares, to be used if needed. All of these bikes should be ready to ride by mid-February, 2023.
Back in June, 2022, we had our first serious look at the V21L prototype, including specs. Peak power is a claimed 110 kilowatts, or the equivalent of approximately 150 horsepower. Claimed torque is 103 pound-feet. What about the weight? As you’d probably expect from an electric bike of its class in 2023, the weight is certainly not inconsiderable, tipping the scales at 225 kilograms (or just over 496 pounds). Just about half that weight is all battery, incidentally—the 18 kilowatt-hour, swingarm-connected unit weighs 242.5 pounds on its own.
As you’d expect on a Ducati race bike, it gets some choice componentry to optimize both handling and braking. An Öhlins NPX 25/30 upside-down front fork is paired with an Öhlins TTX36 fully-adjustable rear shock and steering damper, and the V21L also gets special Brembo brakes that are specifically optimized to promote cooling.
Gallery: Ducati MotoE V21L Prototype
“The start of production of the Ducati MotoE is a historic moment for our company, which with this project is thoroughly studying the technologies of the future for the world of motorcycling,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali offered in a statement.
“It is an important area of experimentation, in which we are investing to build know-how, so that we will be ready when battery technology should allow the creation of an exciting electric road bike with the weight, performance and range that enthusiasts expect from a Ducati. We are therefore embarking on this new adventure with the aim of developing the people and skills within the company to shape what the character of a future Ducati electric road bike might be,” he continued.
“The MotoE project represents a decisive step for Ducati to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions on the product side, alongside research into synthetic fuels (efuel) that can reduce the total CO2 emissions of internal combustion engines to zero. Environmental sustainability is something that all individuals and all companies must consider a priority if the delicate balance of the planet is to be preserved. Ducati is committed to this also at industrial level, and the construction of the new Finitura e Delibera Estetica area classified as Nearly Zero Energy Building is just the latest example,” Domenicali concluded.
MotoGP testing is just around the corner, and is scheduled to take place from March 6 through 8, 2023 at Jerez. A second round of testing for the entire paddock will take place a month later, from April 3 through 5, in Barcelona. The 2023 MotoE World Championship will see its first race in anger on Saturday, May 13, 2023, as a supporting event at the French Grand Prix.