Question: When is a Ducati not really a Ducati? Answer: When it's an electrically-assisted pedal bike made by the Italwing Group. The machine is known as the City Pearl, and it will be available in both men's and women's (with a dropped top tube) styles when it goes on sale in January at selected Ducati dealerships in Europe.
There is a precedent set for a pedal-powered Ducati. The famed Italian marque's first two-wheeler was known as the Cucciolo, which was really just a small four-stroke engine that attached to a bicycle frame. Still, we do wish that there was a bit more of a direct connection between Ducati and the City Pearl – as it stands, it seems Italwin is merely trying to capitalize on the Ducati name.
In any case, the specifications for the City Pearl are right in line with other comparable electric bicycles. Power comes from a six-volt 9Ah Panasonic lithium ion battery pack and motivation comes from a front-mounted 250W brushless electric motor that's capable of propelling the bike to 24 kilometers per hour (about 15 mph). A seven-speed Nexus hub from Shimano sends human power to the rear wheel. See both versions in our image gallery below.
DUCATI ELECTRIC BICYCLE BY ITALWIN
Ducati Motor Holding and the Italwin Group have signed a three-year licensing agreement, which sees the two Italian companies, both leaders in their own sectors, working in close collaboration.
The first product to come out of this major new partnership, the new Ducati electric bicycle by Italwin, was unveiled at a worldwide launch at Eurobike, the top bicycle exhibition held in Friedrichshafen (Germany) from 2 to 5 September 2009.
The bike has been named City Pearl, describing its intended area of use and perceived value for customers. It aims to satisfy a demanding and knowledgeable target, with the express intention of revolutionizing the entire electric bicycle market. City Pearl combines great design with technology, eco-sustainability and innovation, making it ideal for those who want to enjoy a stylish, speedy, stress-free form of transport, even in zones with restricted vehicle access.
A jewel of design and technology, the Ducati electric bicycle comes in both a men's and women's version. As result of collaboration between the Italwin designers and the Ducati Design Centre, the bicycle looks fantastic while also featuring technical characteristics that highlight the experience and reputation of the Italwin Group.
ITALWIN products have proved a success not only in terms of reliability, but also for the great emphasis the company places on customer service, providing clients with an alternative and eco-sustainable mode of transport.
The Ducati electric bicycle features an exclusive, high-performance, hydro-formed frame, available in a choice of brilliant colours. The Panasonic lithium battery, positioned on the rear luggage rack, also houses the electronics - thus helping to create an elegant line, which at first glance gives City Pearl the appearance of a traditional bicycle.
The Ducati electric bicycle is an inimitable object of desire thanks to a combination of aesthetics, technology, innovation and eco-sustainability.
Both models on display at EUROBIKE will also be exhibited to the public later in the year during the two major EICMA shows in Milan (EICMA Bici, 18th-21st September and EICMA Moto, 10th-15th November). The bicycle is expected to go on sale from January 2010 (for the European market), and will be available via a selected network of retailers in the cycle sector as well as a selection of Ducati stores.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – MEN'S AND WOMEN'S MODELS
Top speed reached using the electric motor: 24 km/h
Motor: brushless 250W
Removable battery: Li-ion Panasonic 36V, 9Ah
Charging time: 6 h
Batter weight: 3.5 kg
Frame: aluminium 6061
Gears: Shimano Nexus 7 speed
Wheels: 26" x 1.5" – 28" x 1.5"
Total weight: 24 kg
Length: 177 cm
Handlebar width: 63 cm
Minimum handlebar height: 102 cm
Maximum handlebar height: 106 cm
Minimum saddle height: 85 cm
Crankset centre – frame end: 43 cm
Founded in 1926, Ducati produces sports inspired motorcycles, featuring powerful "Desmodromic" engines, innovative design and cutting-edge technology. The range of Ducati bikes includes various market segments, differing in terms of technical and design specifications and type of target customer: Superbike, Desmosedici RR, Monster, Multistrada, SportClassic, Hypermotard and Streetfighter. Ducati bikes are sold in more than 60 countries around the world, with the highest concentration being in the European, North American and Japanese markets.
Ducati is currently an official contestant in both the World Superbike Championship and the World MotoGP Championship. It won the World title in the 2008 Superbike championship, taking the total number of titles to fifteen in the last eighteen seasons. In the MotoGP championship, where it has competed since 2003, it claimed the 2007 World title, taking both the manufacturer's and rider's titles.
For more information about the company, visit the website www.ducati.it.
ITALWIN GROUP SRL
The leading Italian producer of electric bicycles was founded in 1997 by the entrepreneur Mauro Tomasoni as a secondary business to his family firm. Since 2003 the company has invested in high quality, lightweight electric vehicles with exclusive design.
The current range includes the luxury models Prestige Lux (for women) and Eagle Lux (for men) as well as the folding Tommy Lux and Beauty Queen with extra power for hill riding. The company's strengths include its timely after sales assistance and the immediate availability of spare parts. With ISO 9001 certification since 2005, the company is constantly researching new solutions to improve the technology of its vehicles, as well as evaluating alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and hydrogen in particular.
It is a member of ANCMA (the Italian association of bicycles, motorcycles and accessories) and CIVES (the Italian commission for electric road vehicles) and aims to strengthen its own leadership in the Italian market and move to an international level via the main European countries.
For more information about the company, visit the website www.italwin.it.