But the Efesto hybrid kit is the first we have head of that will attach to an existing fuel-powered bike.
It consists of a 100hp electric motor, battery pack and chain drive, plus electronic controls that allow the rider to select the Ducati engine, the electric motor or a combination of the two, yielding 299hp and 300Nm of torque.
Luca unveiled the Efesto protoype at the recent EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.
On the prototype, the electric motor sits underneath the bike, but Luca says it does not compromise clearance or lean angles.
The inverter is hidden behind the radiator and the high-voltage battery pack is installed below the tail subframe. It looks a bit ugly, but it’s not as bad as some electric bikes we’ve seen.
The electric motor is connected via chain to the secondary shaft.
Riders can select the power mode via a control on the left switchblock.
Mode 1 is purely Ducati’s 205hp L-twin engine. Meanwhile, the battery is being recharged by taking some of the engine’s power and through regenerative braking.
The battery can only be recharged via these methods using Efesto’s special software. You cannot plug in the battery to the mains to recharge.
To select mode 2 for pure electric drive, the rider has to select neutral and switch off the Ducati engine.
In this mode, it is twist-and-go like a scooter with no gears.
Luca claims it will ride for 30 to 40 minutes in urban traffic below 70km/h.
Warranties can vary according to the type of bike. Dirt bikes, for example, cop a harder time from owners, so some offer warranties based on hours of operation or just a few months.
While it would be good to get a longer warranty on a motorcycle, the customer should be careful to read the manufacturer’s warranty in full because not all are the same.
The Ducati Europe-only warranty campaign is called 4Ever Multistrada and offers unlimited mileage for all models in their 2020 Multistrada range such as the new Multistrada Grand Tour.
Their fine print says is also offers free roadside assist, covers manufacturing defects (excluding wear parts, aesthetic defects, battery and accessories) and only if scheduled services are done.
Most warranties do not cover service items that need replacing due to general wear and tear such as brake pads, chains and sprockets.
Customers should also be aware that their warranty may be voided if they modify their bike from the manufacturer’s original specification or use it for training, hire, competition or racing.
There is also an onus on the customer to have the bike serviced at correct intervals and to alert the dealer as soon as a problem arises, rather than waiting until a little noise becomes a major problem.
You can have your bike serviced by a qualified mechanic who is not part of the manufacturer’s franchise network, but warranties may be voided if they use non-factory parts or parts that are not equal to manufacturer specification.
The purpose of a warranty is to protect consumers against loss due to components that fail within an unreasonable period of time, or defects in vehicle assembly.
It has nothing to do with normal wear and tear, unless there is a fault with a component within a reasonable lifespan.
Manufacturers usually agree to replace or repair faulty parts at no cost to the owner. However, some don’t cover labour costs.
Warranty periods may also vary for the engine, and various parts such as tyres, battery, light bulbs, etc.
You can buy extended warranties from some manufacturers or insurance organisations.
However, you should think first about how long you want to keep the bike.
Also, check whether the warranty can be passed on to the next owner. If it can, that’s a good selling point.
Manufacturer roadside assistance programs are becoming popular.
However, check whether you are paying for something that is already offered by your automobile association membership (RACV, NRMA, RACQ, etc).
If not, it may be cheaper to add that to your club membership rather than buying a separate assistance program from the manufacturer.
Some roadside assistance packages offer a host of benefits that may not be related to the bike such as travel and insurance assistance and even medical advice.
Ensure you read the contract carefully and don’t pay for anything you think you may never need.
Ducati have announced an updated Panigale V4 and Panigale V4 S for 2020, promising a more rider-friendly and less fatiguing mount that is also able to cut faster laps.
Much of the inspiration for these changes comes from the V4 R, with revisions to the Ride-By-Wire mapping, an updated aerodynamic package and a new front frame designed to improve feel at the extremes.
These changes join updates to the electronic aides which make use of a six-axis inertial platform. Ohlins Smart Electronic Control suspension is found on the up-spec S model.
Both Panigale V4 models boast the 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin-Pulse firing order. Claimed power comes in at 214 hp at 13000 rpm, with 123.5 Nm of torque.
The big update for 2020 is a new Ride-by-Wire system with track-dedicated mapping. Ducati promise smoother, more predictable throttle response. Torque curves have been tweaked in gears one through three for a more linear delivery, and vary according to the Power Mode chosen.
The updated aerodynamics package was co-developed by Ducati Corse and the Ducati Style Centre based on computational fluid dynamic and wind tunnel research.
The 2020 Panigale V4 aerodynamic package includes a taller and more angled plexiglass screen with a taller nose fairing to offer the rider better wind protection, and in doing so reduce arm and shoulder-created drag.
Larger lateral fairings are 38mm wider on each side, and there’s more efficient air vents to direct air through the radiators, with Ducati noting these replaced the more stylish Panigale V4 vents previously seen.
Aerofoils take the cue from the GP16 machine, prior to the current restrictions on foil shapes, meaning these are actually more efficient than those found on the current MotoGP machinery. These aerofoils offer 30kg of downforce at 270km/h, reducing front wheel float and boosting stability.
Also new for 2020 is the ‘Front Frame’ designed to Ducati Corse specifications and offering the bike a higher centre of gravity, increased chain force angle and improved use of the suspension travel available, which Ducati say will ensure an easier machine to lay into corners off the brakes, faster apexes and more neutral handling out of corners.
The front frame is derived from that on the V4 R, with lighter machined sides and greater flexibility, and is joined by a magnesium sub-frame alongside a cast aluminium seat sub-frame.
The 2020 V4 features Showa 43mm Big Piston forks with full adjustability, a Sachs steering damper and fully adjustable shock absorber. In contrast the V4 S features Ohlins NIX-30 forks and a TTX36 shock with Ohlins event-based steering damper, all controlled by the Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 system.
Wheels remain aluminium five-spoke items on the V4, with three-spoke forged aluminium items on the V4 S.
Brakes are also unchanged from the outgoing model, with Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers on 330mm rotors, alongside the Ducati ABS Cornering EVO system.
Electronics are the latest generation package with a six-axis IMU, ABS Cornering EVO, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Slide Control, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO, Ducati Power Launch, Ducati Quick Shift Up/Down EVO 2, Engine Brake Control and the Ohlins based Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO system. Riding modes offer a range of presets, which on the V4 S include the suspension settings. A 5-inch TFT in full colour is also fitted.
The updated V4 is now lighter and has upgraded aerodynamics with a wider side fairing, wider front fairing, racing screen and winglets.
The result is 30kg of downforce at 270km/h on the front wheel to reduce wheelie tendency and improve high-speed stability.
Ducati Australia should have the bikes early next year with pricing announced closer to the date. Current Panigale V4 prices are:
Panigale V4 $ 31,390
Panigale V4 S $ 39,990
Panigale V4 Speciale ALU $ 63,190
Panigale V4 Speciale MAG $ 68,190
Panigale V4 S GP $ 42,790
Panigale V4 R $ 63,190
The Panigale V4 is equipped with a fully adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) and a fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber, one side of which is attached to the Desmosedici Stradale engine via a forged aluminium bracket.
The Panigale V4 S, instead, mounts an Öhlins NIX-30 fork, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber and an Öhlins event-based steering damper. On this version suspension and steering damper are controlled by the second-generation Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system which, among other things, features the new OBTi (Objective Based Tuning Interface).
On both versions, fork rear shock has softer and more pre-loaded springs, resulting in more efficient use of suspension travel to even out pits and ripples on the asphalt. The combination of reduced spring rate and higher pre-loading gives better dive control during braking, resulting in easier, more intuitive turn-ins, especially for the less expert rider.
The softer changes were apparently made in response to “feedback/data numbers from customers all over the world”.
The Panigale V4 now has more components from the V4 R such as the aero pack (aerofoils, Plexiglas screen, nose fairing and larger lateral fairings, more efficient side vents for radiator through-air).
The front frame has modified stiffness to :give better front-end ‘feel’ at extreme lean angles”.
Thanks to a new ‘predictive’ control strategy, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2 significantly improves out-of-the-corner power control; Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS) EVO 2, instead, shortens up-shift times, allowing sportier high-rev gear shifts (over 10,000 rpm) and boosting shift stability during aggressive acceleration and cornering.
The bike also features specially-developed Ride by Wire system mappings with several different torque delivery control logics.
Powering the Panigale V4 is the 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale: a MotoGP-derived 90° V4 with Desmodromic timing, with a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order.
The engine can deliver 21hp at 13,000rpm and 12.6Kgm of torque at 10,000rpm.
Among the new bikes is a Scrambler Icon Dark the new entry level 803cc model. It will be €800 cheaper which should mean at least $A1000 off the current price of $A13,990.
It features a matt black frame, black engine with polished fin ends, black seat with grey trim and round black mirrors.
Claudio also presented two styling department drawings of a Motard version and a Desert X racer.
He says their styling department was asked to create “something unprecedented but entirely possible”.
The results are these images which have been turned into concepts to be shown at EICMA motorcycle show in Milan on November 4.
The Motard will be based on the 803cc Scrambler.
“This is a bike we are working on right now,” says Claudio, so a production version can’t be far away.
Desert X Scrambler
The Desert X is based on the 1100cc Scrambler and celebrates the 1990 Paris-Dakar Rally victory by Italian rider Edi Orioli on the Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant. That bike is in now in Ducati’s museum above their Bologna factory.
“We want to build the future without forgetting the past,” Claudio said.
Interestingly, Desert X is the name of a contemporary art exhibition held in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.
While Ducati already has an 803cc Desert Sled which is more off-road capable, the Desert X will be the 1100cc equivalent.
Claudio says Scrambler is now the company’s biggest seller with more than 70,000 sales since launch in 2015.
The production versions of these and other new Scramblers are likely to be announced this time next year.