Ducati 1098R - Click above for high-res image gallery
We know that major motorcycle manufacturers like Honda, KTM, Yamaha and possibly BMW are all at least looking into electric or hybrid drivetrains for future two-wheelers. Apparently, we can now add Ducati – perhaps the manufacturer most often associated with racing and high performance – to the growing list of companies interested in zero-emission two-wheelers, though perhaps not for all the reasons you might expect. Speaking in an interview with Motoblog.it, Ducati's director of marketing, Sgorbati Diego, had the following to say (roughly translated with help from Google):
We are extremely interested in all these technologies, but the question is: Do motorcycle riders today feel really responsible to find a way to pollute less in the city? Fulfilling the current and future emission standards for motorcycles is still feasible with the refinement of existing technology, and Ducati has a small advantage from desmodromico, which controls very good combustion in the engine.If not to meet future emissions requirements, why might Ducati have an interest in electric propulsion? Diego goes on:
There are instances, however interesting, related to hybrids or electrics, which are not related to pollution but, for example, noise: a cross electric bike can make it possible to have a cross slope in the center of Milan, where fans could go to practice.While it's certainly true that one major benefit to electric vehicles are their lack of noise, we'd like to believe there's at least a large contingent of motorcycle riders out there concerned with tailpipe emissions. Either way, the idea of an electric or hybrid Ducati is certainly an intriguing prospect.