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How long until an all-electric Ducati?

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Can you say “electric motorcycle” in Italian?

Moto Elettrica!

At least that’s what google tells me. Why does it matter? Because Ducati is planning to build an electric motorcycle between now and 2030. Molto Bene!

At the Frankfurt Auto show, Matthias Mueller, VW Group Chairman, stated that every Group brand would have a electric vehicle by 2030, and that included the Italian two-wheeler known as Ducati. Now that 2030 deadline seems an awfully long way away, but this was a general deadline for all the group brands. It is possible Ducati could release one sooner.

Rumor has it, that back in 2015, Claudio Domenicali, the CEO of Ducati, was in Thailad and rode a Hypermotard that was converted to electric using the inners of a ZERO FX. Perhaps, if true, this event put e-bikes on his to-do list.

In a September interview with Motorcycle.com, Domenicali stated

“Yes, I think electric propulsion will be very interesting for the future, uh, even if we still consider today to be too early for how the technology of the battery is, and so when you put that on a motorcycle you have to compromise very much the weight currently if you want to achieve a reasonable range. So it will come but it needs some more time.”

Translation: Battery technology, especially weight vs range, isn’t where Ducati wants it to be. YET.

As we’ve seen from auto manufacturers like Tesla and motorbike manufacturer ZERO, battery technology is rapidly improving all the time. VW’s own Audi R8 e-tron is great example of how the company wants to push the performance envelope with electric power.

What for will the production bike take? We’ve no idea, although we love the concept produced by Bart Heijt and Fernando Pastre Fertonani for their Milan ScuolaPolitecnica di Design post-graduate project featured here.

While we’ve seen a few Ducatisti switch their petrol powered bikes to batteries, we look forward to seeing a real factory electric bike, dressed in red. Bellissimo!

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Harley-Davidson release two new, old Sportsters

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New Harley Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special come with new graphics, chrome and high bars.

There are a lot of new motorcycles coming out of the Harley-Davidson stable – at least one hundred by 2027 in fact, so we can expect a frequent flow of model revisions and changes to be revealed over the coming months and years.

The two new bikes announced today by Harley aren’t hugely new or exciting – but the new graphics are pretty sweet and ape-hanger bars are always worth clinging onto.

‘Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders’ -Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design.

The Harley Sportster was introduced in 1957 and has now hit somewhere in the region of 30 varying production models. Along that time owners have got pretty used to stripping their bikes down and customising/re-inventing them. It’s this fact that Harley say they’ve used as inspiration for their two, new machines.

The Forty-Eight Special comes with a tiny 10 litre tank, new, steamroller front-end and 8 inch high Tallboy handlebars. Compared to the regular Forty-Eight, there’s also a lot more chrome.

The Iron 1200 features a ‘fast-back’ café seat, mini-ape black handlebars and a glossy black fly screen. It’s also got more range with a 15 litre tank and fancy colour paint/graphics. There’s also a lot less chrome and a lot more black.

So that’s two more of the 100 bikes out of the way.  And a new electric just around the corner

 

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Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle will be a ‘Revelation’ (according to trademark filings)

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Harley-Davidson trademark casts revelatory eye into future of their electric motorcycle plans.

If you were to have said a year or so ago that arguably the world’s most famous motorcycle brand would be frequently linked with falling sales and financial woe then most people would have said that you were barking mad.

However, with recent stories of millennial woe and mounting board concern the immediate future of the famours Bar and Shield brand is far from certain.

With a commitment to releasing 100 new motorcycles over the next ten years however, the folks at Harley-Davidson motorcycles do at least seem to have a plan to tackle their problem, and – along with Indian Motorcycle – they are preparing to take that battle to uncharted territory.

Last month the news broke that Harley were looking to get their electric motorcycle out and onto the streets by the end of 2019 and now it would seem that we know a little more about what form that new electric technology might take. Or the name of it at least.

According to a recent trademark application filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office then name that Harley Davidson will use to refer to their new electric drive-train technology will be ‘Revelation’.

The interpretation by our (genuine) friends over at Asphalt & Rubber is that this will not be the name of the final motorcycle however, but rather the name used to refer to the technology/motor itself.

We’re not sure if the final name of the electrified Harley will be that of the Livewire moniker attributed to its pre-production/concept that was produced as a test vehicle back in 2014, but the choice of ‘Revelation’ for the motor technology is an interesting one to say the least.

The company already uses similar sounding names for it’s Evolution’ and ‘Revolution X’ V-Twin engines, so ‘Revelation’ isn’t too far of a stretch for the imagination, but it’s certainly an interesting one…

The Book of Revelation in Christian faith is effectively an apocalyptic prophecy.

The notion that it will be the old, warhorse Harley-Davidson to be the first major manufacturer on course to release a production electric motorcycle could well be considered an event of almost biblical proportions.

Source: USPTO via Asphalt & Rubber

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