Ducati R&D Boss Vincenzo De Silvio On Technology Transfer From Ducati's MotoE Project Into Production Bikes

At the presentation of Ducati's MotoE bike, it was immediately clear that this was a very different project. Energica had put MotoE on a solid footing, creating an exciting racing series with their Ego Corsa bike, and producing a machine that was both reliable and had an acceptable performance window. But the Ego Corsa was a modified version of Energica's road-going sport bike Ego. And Energica itself is a small engineering company specializing in electric bikes.

Ducati's V21L MotoE bike is a very different kettle of fish. Ducati is a major motorcycle manufacturer with a storied history of producing high-performance motorcycles and racing success. They have a long tradition of building a particular kind of internal combustion engine, and no experience with electric vehicles. So what Ducati have done is take the decision to build an electric racing bike, to learn valuable lessons needed to make the switch to production.

The V21L is a pure prototype, perhaps the purest prototype on the grid, in terms of distance from the technology used in Ducati's street bikes. And it is being built with the explicit aim of developing technology and gaining the experience necessary to eventually build an electric bike which consumers – or rather, Ducatisti, some of the most demanding consumers in the world – will cherish and buy.

To that end, Ducati set up a special project team. The team was led by two people, Roberto Canè, eMobility Director, and Vincenzo De Silvio, R&D Director. The project drew from the staff and expertise of both Ducati's road bike division and Ducati Corse, the racing department. Centro Stile Ducati, Ducati's design department, designed the bike, R&D built the bike, and Ducati Corse modeled the bike using aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics simulations and developed the electronics and power, torque, and braking management software.

At the presentation, I got to spend 10 minutes with Vincenzo De Silvio, R&D Director, who led the production side of the V21L project. I had the chance to dig a little more deeply into the process by which racing R&D translates into production. De Silvio gave an insight into what they hope to learn from this project, how the knowledge gained from racing has already translated into production, and how they have already applied those lessons to Ducati's MotoE machine.

Q: How has the information flow - starting from racing and going into R&D – changed in this project? Is it different process? Does anything change?

Vincenzo De Silvio: If I compare to conventional projects, the difference is the fact that usually when developing a conventional bike, there are two ways. In MotoGP, they develop technologies they decide are the best for competition, and then this technology becomes interesting also for production, and they are moved to production as well.

In Superbike, since the bike has to be basically derived from a standard bike, they create a set of requirements, because they think about what will be needed in order to have a successful bike for racing. So they set up requirements that they pass to us, and we as Ducati R&D, we try to make the bike as close as possible to the requirements, also using all the experience that they did in the previous generations. Using all the experience they got in the previous generation.

In this case it has been different in the sense that we started together, we divided the job in two. We made the bike, and they made basically all the electronics and the development of the bike, but we worked together as a unique team. So in this sense, the integration was bigger than usual.

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I would love to see a line drawing of the machine showing the layout and exactly what bits are where. I am having trouble working it out from the pictures given all the stuff fixed to the battery/frame. I hadn't initially realised how big the battery was.

It is great that Ducati can use their semi frameless expertise in a new area.

It's all battery! Plus the other bits. The battery pack is shaped to fit between the riders knees. The seat bolts onto the rear of the battery. More pix in the first half of the article.



Ducati did work on an earlier electric race bike. It raced in the Italian championship (CIV) as far as I can remember. It had a 3-d printed swingarm from memory. Developed in an Italian university iirc.

The second photo helped.

The way that Ducati have displayed the battery is part of my difficulty as it does not match the battery location in the bike. To approximate what i think is the correct position the end of the battery with the pointy metal looking bits needs to be lifted to rotate the battery about 40 degrees. The head stock then fixes to the two large round inserts.

Latest WSBK podcast reports that Yam techs reckon that no one has ever braked as late as Toprak on the M1, but also nobody has ever had slower corner speed either. At least he was having a good go at it. New tyres, new brakes and only two hours track time. Good on him. 
The guest presenter Charlie Hiscott (?) thinks that Toprak is so comfortable in SBK paddock that he won’t even consider a move to GP unless he is 100% certain of a race winning package/ team / environment.

Big fish, small(er) pond.

Like a the best kind of drunken bar fight, infinitely serious at the time, nobody gets hurt because the punches miss, highly entertaining and they all love each other (sort of) afterwards.

So Martin just said he prefers to be in Red but ok at Pramac w same equipment. Primary reason better to be Red? To guide bike development your way. 

Stoner just said Ducati has biggest current budget but no Cup since him primarily because they don't listen to riders, add clever things to the bike for its own sake, and are then insistent that is the way.

Perhaps the pressure then of being on the Factory Red seat in such a scenario is not conducive to success recently. If he can beat Pecco and Bastiannini on "their" bike from the friendlier Pramac garage further from management, it could be wonderful. 

Less corporate crap, public relations, etc. Plus, the situation re what spec bike the other Teams get and when at Ducati is great now. 

Sounding like Bastiannini Red. (Has Be"d"zzecchi arrived to join the Duc party too? Maybe!)

^ Just now dawned on me that putting Summertainment under a MotoE article that few GP people might be clicking on was a bad idea. Ah well. 

Missing the racing and Mutterrers. Won't be too much longer.


... holding our breath until Silverstone. WSBK first, then Moto GP. Great track, usually excellent racing.

Thanks for the links Motoshrink.

Work is getting in the way of motorcycle racing frivolity. I will have a look sometime.

MotoAmerica is happening at Laguna Seca this weekend, I'll check that out as well.

Hope you are doing some riding in the PNW if the weather is favorable.

Donington next weekend, I won't see Funsize then either. Motomutterers meet ups seldom go smoothly eh Breganzane.

Kimiring has turned out to be another disappointment. At least they built the track & had a test. Maybe next year.

Ape! Kimiring is effected by Putin's a-hole 1930's revival, , so no breath held here. I will watch Laguna on the tele, haven't been there in a LONG time. Noticing two fast MotoA riders are from S.Africa, which along w the Binders has me asking - where and how did we get a bunch of strong racers from there? Am I missing something about S Africa and roadracing? 

Wrenching a little, puttering around locally some. Been doing other things of late (making music, cooking, camping, projects, work). 

Have a good "Summer-Winter" down there where toilets flush the other whirlpool direction Steve.


Addendum, I love how your huge beard explodes out from under the front of your helmet. At speed it must look like a scarf. Now, what the heck is with the people right by you and Ducatis?! An Australian thing, via Bayliss/Stoner/Miller? 

Hoping fuel prices come back down for your business. Or that you just retire into a moto meanderer. 

Go Petrucci! He was just running RIGHT behind frontrunner #1 plate Yamaha in 2nd at Laguna. Love it.

Yes the monster in the labyrinth that is the Kremlin. Frightening, yes. Terrifying indeed for Ukraine. Or: an extremely wicked or cruel person, that seems to fit. A monster of our own making perhaps. Gimme Mikhail Gorbachov any day of the week.

Shapeshifters, weird critters from science fiction, appear to be something familiar. But turn from a fun motorsickle into an odd looking dragbike with it's belly almost scraping on the road. Engineers like Dr Frankenstein made it because they could. Now you, me and the GPC have to figure out what to do with it. Hey Pandora can you bring that box over here please. Prometheus give us a hand wouldya mate.

Sarf Efrika yes where did all that talent come from? Not sure, maybe motorcycles are still cheap transport in Africa. Rather than expensive toys for rich people with leisure time? If you are a good rider you might imagine a pathway out of of poverty riding a bike. Some very cool Africa racers in history. Kork Ballington, Jon Ekerold. Currently; Steve Odendaal, the Binders, Sheridan Morais etc. So young riders can see it is possible & has happened recently.

Autumn was good here. Winter has been a bit too wet & cold for road riding. The dirt bike works for me, right now, slithering around on mud or wet bitumen.

Not shaving saves time in the mornings. Beard usually bifurcates & I have one over each shoulder, gets knotty at speed. After the 600 kilometre pilgrimage from home to Philip island it takes a while to de-tangle. That is 370 odd miles of mostly winding back roads. Some boring highways.

Yes some of us are inspired by Casey, Jack and Troy Bayliss. Troy Corser was also an Aussie world champion riding for Ducati and Suzuki. I, for one, was also impressed by Kevin Magee when he rode the Bob Brown Ducati in the Australian superbike championship.

Magoo also won a 500 Gp way back in 1988 at Jarama. I remember him doing well on a Ducati TTF2 with a pantah engine in it punched out to 851cc. It made the heavy old Japanese superbikes look very ordinary on the brakes and with much better corner speed. Top bloke our Kevin Magee, I met him at P.I. one year & scored an autograph. Magoo raced at Suzuka and at Mount Panorama Bathurst. Very fast racer and a decent human being as well.

Why my neighbors buy them I don't know. It is fun riding with mates. Also like riding with someone just a bit better than I am. Only been riding for 50 years, so I still have much to learn.

Sunday's action at Monterey should have finished by now. I'd better keep moving, Adios amigo.

Laguna Seca race 1 last lap Superbike MotoAmerica 2022.

Petrucci battling for 2nd - WOW!

The "Colin Edwards" inside pass top of the corkscrew, but full barging lots paint contact. The S.African Peterson was forced to take "the Vale" line cutting off track. Petrux had the best position. They came together AGAIN at the corkscrew exit and somehow Peterson grabbed the lead. 

It was gorgeous AND nuts. I had to keep telling myself that it is completely different in there than before. Odd to see. The WHOLE are to rider's right as you drop in it? Used to be all sand in 2005-2006. Later they added a bit of paved near the bottom. Whole thing now! Weird. I remember crashing in there 2005 and it wasn't accomodating or comforting. 

7 mins highlights, WATCH THE LAST LAP FOR SURE and multi-watch the corkscrew. You're welcome.


How refreshing to see split screens and such and nothing else except the racing. Not one cut away to the back of someone's head or to see a Tardozzi preening for the camera. Dorna could learn how to broadcast motorcycle racing if they paid attention to this. Thanks, Shrink, very entertaining.

Thanks, 'Shrink. Great LS action. The green that Peterson was forced onto was just dirt not long ago as you said. The South African had problems with T2 but sure handled the corkscrew when it counted on the last lap. So fun to see Petrux battling at Laguna Seca.

^ Fun one stumo! Validating. Bikes are FAST, and car people are regularly surprised/humility struck. I've had cheap liter bikes on the street that would wallop spendy pride soaked cars with ease. Still do, just don't go do that sort of thing these days. (Dani is a super good guy, eh?)

^ And AWD w launch control, that light and powerful, strong car contender off the line too. 

Here in the USA anyhoo, where $ car culture and ego is huge, one often hears fantastic talk about their car then that "it does 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds!"

We bikers just smile, right? You can spend $2,000 on a liter bike and beat these on the gas.  

Cars are transportation. I like slow ones with fuel economy, or AWD things to take you places. Cuck fars.

Bikes? Sheezus. Passion and joy beyond words. I have put a great number of people on their first scooter, they never stop smiling. Good medicine. Headed out for a dose right now.