This week we’ve got Ducatis old and new: a German-built custom 848, plus the latest factory race bike—the electric V21L. We also take a look at the 21 Helmets show from the US, and a BMW R nineT with vintage rally theming from Munich.
Ducati 848 redux by Motocrew We’re always fascinated to see bikes that are developed and tweaked over time. A year ago, German builder Chris Scholtka wowed us with his super-clean 848, clad in minimal silver bodywork.
He’s since revisited the 848 to give it a classic race bike look—and he’s managed to get it past the very fussy TÜV regulators, too. “The old school racer style was in my head since day one,” he explains, “but the costs and the regulations were horrible.”
The fairing is a 1980s race job from a Kawasaki. “It took a lot of time to get it nearly symmetrical on the bike, because the old fiberglass stuff isn’t perfect,” Chris says. “I also had to build a strong and complex ‘cage’ to install the fairing—an instruction from the TÜV to get it street legal.”
The headlight is now hidden, and so is a new, custom-made radiator that cost €1000. “It was hard to find someone who could build it—the old craftsmanship is nearly gone.”
There’s a new shock from Black-T at the back, and the forks have been refinished in black and upgraded internally with new springs. Chris has also revamped and hidden the electrical system, which now gets juice from a tiny NOCO lithium battery and is wired up to Motogadget lighting.
After finishing the new bodywork in white, Chris has finally got the 848 road legal. “The TÜV boy looked at every lil’ part to make sure it was strong enough,” he says wryly. The next step will be a quick shift system with new engine software—but we’d be happy to take this machine just as it is. [Motocrew]
21 Helmets Show The One Motorcycle Show is an institution these days. Held in Portland, Oregon and organized by See See Motorcycles since 2009, it’s a celebration of weird, rare, custom and classic bikes.
One of the highlights of the show is the 21 Helmets exhibition, and this year, 21 artists were each given an ICON Airflite lid to showcase their talents.
It’s a synergistic collaboration: ICON is known for the wild graphics on its helmets, but the artists have taken the idea to the next level.
The show was curated by local a creative agency, the Lincoln Design Co., and as you’d expect, there’s some truly retina-searing stuff here.
We’re particularly fond of the more conceptual ideas though, such as the military-toned lid with a skull inside, by Lonely Design.
And then art director Dustin Noden came up with a novel idea for a helmet that is past its use by date, or damaged: spray it with terracotta-toned paint and turn it into a plant pot. Explore the designs in more detail here.
BMW R nineT ‘Desertfox’ by Motoism Motoism are based in the city of Munich, but this new R nineT build is destined to work off-road as well as on. It’s an alternative to BMW’s own Scrambler and Urban G/S models—but the Metzeler Karoo 3 tires will give it a little more prowess on the hardpack.
Motoism’s mods don’t involve any grinding, but they transform the vibe of the popular roadster. There’s a whole catalog-worth of Motoism custom parts fitted, including a new headlight mask, enduro-style fender, leather seat and carbon fiber tail unit.
The lighting is new too, from the LED units at the back to the blinkers integrated within custom fork covers. And everything has that all-important regulatory approval.
The new vintage-style paint job is striking, and most of the bare metal on the R nineT has been refinished in black for added effect. A smattering of top-spec aftermarket additions finish the BMW off, including a neatly integrated Motogadget speedo, a high-spec Öhlins monoshock and a ceramic coated Arrow Pro-Race exhaust system—complete with lightweight muffler.
There’s no shortage of mods out there for the R nineT, but this is one of the most attractive and cohesive selections we’ve seen. [Motoism]
Ducati’s first electric motorcycle It had to happen, and it’s finally here. Borgo Panigale has just revealed ‘V21L,’ which is unfortunately a niche race bike rather than a showroom offering. Still, it’s a step towards the future, and the tech will probably find its way into roadgoing machines.
Next year, this machine will compete in the MotoE race series, with Ducati replacing Energica and supplying 18 bikes for track use. That’s why the launch PR includes a clip of former MotoGP racer Alex de Angelis thrashing a V21L prototype around the Vallelunga Circuit.
The styling is nothing to write home about, especially in the context of Ducati’s prettier offerings, but the tech side is interesting.
The battery pack is rated at a hefty 18 kWh; to put that into perspective, the LiveWire claims 15.5 and the Zero SR/S 14.4 kWh. But despite the size of the battery, Ducati’s priority seems to have been weight—the V21L clocks in at just 225 kg (496 lb).
Both the battery and the motor are liquid cooled, which means easier and safer charging, and they sit within a carbon fiber and aluminum frame that weighs a mere 3.7 kg. The Desmosedici-inspired swingarm actually weighs more, at 4.8 kg, and there’s a 20 kW charging socket hidden in the tail.
Ducati quotes power and torque figures of 150 hp (110 kW) and 140 Nm, and says that the bike tops out at 171 mph (275 kph) on a circuit like Mugello.
A Desmosedici MotoGP bike squirts out almost double the horsepower of the V21L, but the MotoE racing should still be reasonably fast and exciting. And given Ducati’s habit of filtering race tech down to showroom bikes, it might not be long before we see a road version. And that will give the consumer sportbike market a real jolt. [More]