Ducati says the e-Scrambler is “urban ready” with an aluminium frame and high-end components.
It features a 250-Watt Shimano Steps E7000 motor with 504Wh battery, Pirelli Cycl-e GT tyres, Sram NX 11-speed gearbox and Sram 4-piston brakes.
Their press release says:
The low centre of gravity and the geometry of the frame allow the e-Scrambler to offer the same riding sensations as a traditional bike, making it in fact the ideal companion for the city or to enjoy the country roads. The supplied telescopic seat post also increases comfort, allowing the rider to get on and off the saddle easily and guaranteeing safe support during stops.
There is also a set of accessories including luggage racks, mudguards, stand and signal lights.
Ducati’s move into e-bikes is designed to plug into the booming market in Europe where sales have boomed from about 500,000 to almost 3m in the past decade.
BMW, Harley-Davidson and other motorcycle and car manufacturers now have e-bikes available in Europe and the USA.
Ducati Australia is yet to import the MIG-RR and has not yet commented on bringing in the new e-Scrambler.
However, the market for electric bicycles is growing rapidly, so it may not be a long wait.
More importantly, how long do we have to wait for an electric Ducati motorcycle?
In 2017, VW Group Chairman Matthias Mueller and Ducati Western Europe manager Edouard Lotthe said the company would have an electric motorcycle and scooter by 2020.
Well, that didn’t happen!
In 2017, Ducati licensed the Milano Scuola Politecnica di Design (Design Polytechnic School) to produce the Ducati Zero futuristic design concept.
And in 2015, an electric pedal-assisted moped was made under licence and painted in the Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro colours.
Ebikes or pedal-assisted electric bicycles are growing out of control in many countries, creating danger for other road users, robbing motorcyclists of parking and giving all riders a bad name.
There are now calls in Australia and around the world for regulation or registration for these vehicles.
In China it is so bad, more than 10 major cities have restricted or banned them, despite the bikes providing cheap and easy transport.
Many see them as a green transport alternative that free up the city and provide cheap transportation with some health benefits.
However, some Chinese authorities claim ebikes are dominating bike lanes, endangering bicycle, motorcycle and scooter riders as well as other motorists. They are also riding on footpaths and paying little attention to road rules.
Chinese bikes destined for Europe (Image: Electrek)
Many other countries are now finding similar problems with the burgeoning growth of ebikes and the EU has complained about China dumping bikes in Europe.
There is a fear that they will grow even faster in the post-pandemic world where people eschew public transport because of the dangers of infection.
He points to the All Kids Bike program in the US which is striving to get every child to learn to ride a bicycle in kindergarten PE class.
“If every boy and girl, regardless of family wealth, religion or race learns how to ride, ridership will grow very fast in just a few years,” says Robert, a former Indian Motorcycle executive and now a senior motorcycle industry consultant.
“Dirt bikes will start selling, family riding will increase, riding parks will be created and we will be in a growth curve again.
“The pure joy of your ‘knees in the breeze’ will draw more people into cycling and ultimately motorcycling.”
Kids not riding
In 1969, 50% of US kids rode bikes to school, but now it’s 13%.
We agree with Robert and believe Australia should follow the All Kids Bike program of teaching children to ride to safeguard the future of motorcycling.
However, Robert points out that teaching kids to ride is a long-term solution that does not address the “stale inventory” sitting in warehouses.
“Thus managers are forced to focus short-term which leaves us where we are today,” he says.
Robert believes that, without a generation of youth who can ride on two wheels, the next global financial crisis could crush the motorcycle leisure industry.
Recruit new riders
Robert says these kids will see this photo as a great day decades from now. (Image: Facebook)
In the shorter term, he says it is up to riders to encourage others to ride.
“The future of motorcycling will not come from our relatively small industry trying to get the 97% of us who are not enthusiasts to learn to ride, but from getting the 3% of us who do ride to actively recruit new riders to get us to 4%,” he says.
“That 1/3 increase on market would make many currently fraught sales directors downright giddy.
“We are working in a time when three generations are fighting through their own definitions of fun on a motorcycle.
“As boomer management finally leaves, will the GenX manager realise how poorly current 40/50-year-olds were marketed to?
“No wonder their Millennial kids are quite often not inclined to own or operate vehicles.
“Easy fix my friends – implore every rider to do what they can to add one new rider per year. Challenge, incentive and recognise those who do. Then do it again the next year.”
However, cyclists are not avoiding traffic fines altogether.
In the past two years, Queensland Police alone have booked more than 230 cyclists for speeding and 540 for running red lights.
The TMC also provided this list of traffic offences in Tasmania by cyclists:
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian
Cyclist ride without due care and attention
Cycle without reasonable consideration for other road users
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian
Cyclist not seated astride and facing forward
Cyclist riding with no hands on handlebars
Cyclist seated other than on seat
Cyclist fail to ride in bicycle lane
Cyclist cause traffic hazard (moving into path of driver/pedestrian
Ride bicycle with no warning device in working order
“While the majority of cyclists obey the law there is an element within the cycling fraternity that continually do not,” Paul says.
“They obstruct vehicles travelling on the road; while travelling in a group doing far less speed compared to other vehicles, they will not move into single file to allow vehicles to pass.
“Cyclists use the excuse that they are entitled to ride two abreast on the road, while failing to accept that they are unreasonably obstructing traffic, which is illegal.
“Despite it being legal for cyclists to travel two abreast and laws allowing other vehicle to cross double lines to pass when safe to do so, irresponsible and discourteous rider behaviour puts cyclists and other road users at risk.”
With identification numbers, more traffic offences could be issued, more than paying for the cost to implement the program, Paul says.
Petitions against cyclist rules
Last year, a Change.org petition was started by Drivers For Registration of Cyclists for cyclists to ride single file.
It has so far received more than 136,000 signatures.
This cyclist video from a Tasmanian rider shows how cyclists use numbers to defy the road rules, prompting more calls for an identification system for bicycles.
Suzuki rider Estelle Rose posted the video on her Facebook page.
“I’m riding to work this morning, obeying the road rules and such, but then I get to the roundabout to go into the industrial estate near Legana,” she says.
“I have the right of way so I can exit the roundabout, correct? No, not according to the mass group of cyclists that force me to stop in the middle of the roundabout to give way to them.
Angry react only, please and thank you.”
She then adds this later as an edit:
“Been advised that the lead rider yells “stopping” and they all start to slow down. Me, in my situation, saw ahead that not everyone was slowing down so I made the call to come to a complete stop. Saved myself from crashing into the ones that didn’t slow to stop and from causing unnecessary injuries.”
Marcus says there are going to be “more and more overlaps (in speed capability) between bicycles and powered two-wheelers and hybrids such as ebikes and electric scooters”.
Even Harley-Davidson has announced a range of electric mountain bikes (photo at the top of the page) and scooters in the next few years.
“We need to deal with the blurring boundaries between different vehicles,” Marcus says.
“So the real question is not about approving of bicycle ID, it is when will we treat all vehicles and road users consistently?
“This is now a real issue.”
Marcus says he often sees bicycles exceed the speed limit in Albert St, East Melbourne, and asks why they should escape traffic offence notices.
He also pointed out that his words in a 2002 VicRoads paper are even more relevant now with the blurring of vehicle categories between bicycles and ebikes.
Here is a slice of that text:
Vehicle identification is valuable for a range of official and personal purposes: registration, theft recovery and speed enforcement are the major ones. A range of alternatives to conventional rear number plates are considered, with special reference to bicycles and motorcycles. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Infrared Identification (IRID) barcodes and combinations of Geographical Positioning System (GPS)and GSM mobile telephone chips (GPS/GSM) approaches are considered and discussed. While it is still premature to move to automated remote identification systems, barcodes and short range RFID systems alone or in combination offer genuine advantages for vulnerable road users, especially for theft protection, and to the Police for identity verification. Trials of the latter hybrid methods in combination are suggested, and careful consideration of the trust and surveillance aspects of potentially continuous tracking system be undertaken, and the developments widely consulted overbefore progress can be made on the deployment of widespread automated remote identification. However short range RFID tags deployed to verify vehicle identity for theft and other purposes may prove to me an effective first step towards automated remote identification systems.