2021 was a very interesting year for Ducati. It all started with the statement of Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, that the future of the company is electric, but by March 2021, Francesca Milicia, VP of Ducati’s global sales and board member, said the electric Ducati racer was not viable.
Ducati Folded Technology
Consider the fact that “electric motorcycles do not guarantee the pleasure, range, weight etc that Ducati riders expect.” However, as soon as December began, Ducati gave the world a sneak peek at its first electric racing model, the V21L. However, its technology was carefully folded.
“We exist in a world of motorcycling that stands on the brink of combustion and electric,” says Daniel Kemnitz, a passionate motorcyclist and transportation designer behind the Ducati Ghost e-bike concept.
“This has caused a lot of controversy among riders, where some people are open-minded for an electrified future, while others are less willing to take their love for granted because they’ve grown to know it.” Ghost, says Kemnitz, is designed as a bridge between two worlds.
“My Ducati concept, for clarification, is a hybrid motorcycle, not only in terms of engine but also in use,” he adds. The bike has been adapted to suit the modern environment, where one can follow the emission / noise reduction zones in urban centres, but is still capable of backroads and long-distance travel.
Designer: Daniel Kemnitz
The Ducati concept, for the same reason, aims to nail beauty to appeal to a wide range of riders. It has equal parts nimble and powerful design and adopts curves while rejecting the idea that powerful automobiles should always look sharp.
This unique aesthetic with design details that perfectly fit the Ducati motorbike family means there is something for everyone in Ghost’s design – whether you’re looking for a drop-dead gorgeous bike for in-city travel or the Beast gives you long-range inter-city performance.
Other exceptional details include the bike’s front suspension, which sits between the headlights and the swingarm. The headlights sit in a 4-way split design that looks ghostly, and move your eye to the rear wheel and you are treated to a unique closed hub design with Ducati branding on it.
Ducati Ghost Hybrid Engine
Equipped with the Ducati Ghost Hybrid Engine, featuring a single-drive with a slipper-clutch that can be paired / decoupled with an electric drive, “so you can combine a petrol engine with an electric motor, or you can use it as a generator for batteries.
The use of a high-performance lightweight electric motor allowed the Kemnitz to use a smaller but more revving horizontal twin-cylinder engine to complement high power output.
“Usually the weakness of such engines is that they do not have any torque at low / mid-range iterations, but the electric motor helps,” says Kemnitz. Additionally, due to the smaller engine size, it is easier to optimise fuel efficiency, using modern cam-less power valves to achieve a healthy balance between performance and efficiency at the same time.
This hybrid system allows for tighter packaging and unit size, saving weight in the process and allowing Ghost to have a narrower frame. Thanks to the presence of a battery pack close to the ground, the Ducati Ghost can be avoided with a small fuel tank, which allows the Kemnitz to shape the tank into the rider’s seat, improving rigidity and overall construction.
Ducati Ghost Batteries
The ultimate advantage of having a distributed hybrid-style power system is that you always have Plan B ready. In the case of the Ducati Ghost, batteries are not a central power distribution system, allowing them to act as a kind of ‘reserve tank’ for extra power. To that end,
Ghost comes with detachable batteries that can be switched between rides at Ducati dealerships for easy and quick recharge. “It serves as a touch point between Ducati and its customers, providing more communication options for both,” says Kemnitz.
Source YD / Ducati