Veteran motorcycle builder Ducati has revealed its first road e-bike, and it's seriously impressive. At first glance, the Ducati Futa (opens in new tab) looks like a conventional high-end carbon road bike, but tear your eyes off its sleek carbon monocoque frame and you'll notice a 250W rear hub motor – the maximum permitted for a road-legal e-bike in the company's native Italy.
That motor has five power assistance levels (most e-bikes only offer three) and is controlled by a Garmin computer operated from the handlebar. You get a 250Wh integrated battery, with an optional 250Wh range extender, though Ducati hasn't given an estimate for its maximum range.
As you'd expect from a premium e-bike, the Ducati Futa is extremely light, with the medium frame size tipping the scales at 12.2kg. It's not as featherweight as the HPS Domestique (opens in new tab), but you're getting more power here, plus top-end components. These include a K Force WE groupset with 2x12 speed wireless electronic shifting, Vision AGX30 wheels with carbon rims, sturdy Pirelli Cinturato Velo 'tubeless ready' tires, and a tough, aerodynamic Trimax Carbon Aero handlebar.
Style and substance
Many premium brands are now building pedal-assisted e-bikes that are fast, sleek and powerful, turning a machine that was once considered frumpy and uncool into a real status symbol. Porsche, Lamborghini (opens in new tab), and Bugatti (opens in new tab) are just some of the luxury carmakers adding e-bikes to their lineup.
Moving into e-bikes is a particularly natural step for motorcycle builders. Yamaha is one of the oldest e-bike builders, and Harley Davidson is taking them seriously, too; in 2020 it launched Serial 1, a whole spin-off company dedicated to electric bikes, together with a line of bikes that take design cues from the first-ever Harley motorcycle.
It's therefore little surprise that Ducati is expanding its own lineup and bringing its luxury e-bikes onto the road. As Road.cc reports, the new bike sits alongside Ducati's existing line of e-MTBs, all of which were built in collaboration with Italian e-bike builder Thok.
The standard Ducati Futa certainly isn't cheap, but at £7,690 (about $10,000 / AU$14,000) it's far from the most expensive e-bike we've seen. The Porsche eBike Sport, which launched alongside the Taycan Cross Turismo in 2021, was priced at £9,600 (about $13,000 / AU$17,000).
If you've got some more serious cash weighing you down, however, there's also a Futa Limited Edition. This will lighten your wallet by £11,990 (about $16,000 / AU$22,000), and gives you the range extender battery, a Garmin Edge Explore GPS bike computer, and the glow of knowing you own one of only 50 numbered bikes in existence.