- Electric mountain bike or E-MTBS for a sporty e-bike
Electric mountain bike or E-MTBS for a sporty e-bike
Electric is all the rage! No wonder then to see Ducati offering an electric bike with the Mig-RR. But what may surprise some is not yet a vintage surprise, since the Bologna brand has been offering bikes for more than ten years since the first model presented in 2009 to the last Bianchi.. Admittedly, it was almost anecdotal. But above all Ducati started the two-wheeler with a bike on which we had grafted an engine, thermal this time: the famous Cucciolo from 1946, present during the visit of the museum.
Cucciolo: the first Ducati thermal bike
Today Ducati is really embarking on the electric bicycle, with a booming market. And since we are talking about an Italian brand, we are necessarily talking about design and performance. And which design and performance, also say high-end. No wonder then that the Ducati model combines all these points with the MIG-RR model presented to a privileged few in Bologna, land of the brand, not far from the factory. So what MIG? Rather fighter plane or VAE for the privileged? Trial in the mountains on the small bodied paths around Bologna.
The problem with electric bikes is housing the battery. And the result is not always aesthetic because it weighs down the line of the bike. But with Italians, it’s all about design. And it is therefore Ducati who designed the MIG-RR, even if frankly, it remains very close to the version of the Thok bike. Who is Thok ? Well, that’s the manufacturer of the bike. Because if Ducati claims that it is indeed a 100% Ducati bike (for its design and performance), it is indeed a partnership between the Bologna manufacturer and the bicycle manufacturer. Opinions differ on the MIG-RR, with some finding that other brands have achieved better battery integration (but by making a larger frame) and the Ducati choice, partly based on the choice of black and red, which visually partially erases the battery size.
Electric bike Ducati MIG-RR
Of course, Ducati is everywhere on the bike, from the frame to the handles. For the rest, the MIG-RR is based on a Shimano (rather than Bosh, the major competitor of electric motors) Steps E8000, which produces 250 watts with a torque of 70 Nm, for a reduced weight of 2.8 kg. Shimano’s advantage over Bosh lies in the compactness of the engine, a compactness that allows for a shorter frame and better overall handling in the end. The 504 Wh battery is placed under the down tube and above the crankset.
A handlebar with Ducati inlaid in the grips
Then there are huge Maxxis tires of 2 "6 in the front and 2" 8 in the rear. A difference which is also made at the level of the E-XA Drifter wheels with a 29 "at the front and a 27" 5 at the rear, with travel of 170 mm at the front and 160 mm at the rear. . A choice of differences that have a real impact on the ride of the model compared to bikes with the same wheel sizes front and rear.
We will not forget the importance of the suspension with a fork signed Fox Racing Factory Kashima and a shock absorber Fox Racing DPX2.
TPS Thok Progressive System
For the rest, there are Saint Shimano 4-piston disc brakes at the front and rear..
Electronic side, there is a small indicator on the handlebars, indicating the speed but especially the mode of assistance. As for the choice of assistance mode, it is done very simply on the handlebars with triggers, all of which can be changed while riding. There are three main modes: eco, trail and boost, with an impact on assistance and naturally overall autonomy. There is also a more anecdotal walk mode that just allows you to walk with the bike next to you. It might sound weird, but if you walk while it’s a rating, at least you’re not pulling the bike behind you.
Digital screen with mode and speed indications, to be connected with the mobile application
Natural, like all high-end electric bikes, we also have gears, here with a single central chainring but eleven chainrings at the rear signed Shimano and therefore 11 speeds, with two triggers, one for up and down gears..
The electric mountain bike comes in several sizes and it is therefore important to choose it well, even if like any bike, you can adjust the saddle and handlebars, but also the suspensions. Note, the saddle can also be adjusted on the handlebars with both a hydraulic and a mechanical system..
The whole thing weighs 22 kilos, 21.3 kilos without the pedals for size M to be precise, since there are 4 sizes for the bike: S, M, L, XL.
In the end, we get a fairly short and elegant bike, aesthetically taking the Ducati red while the black partially "hides" the battery..
The bike is high and you really have to climb on it. The saddle is hard. The handlebars are wide and straight with its Ducati stem and its 35mm Renthal carbon handlebar. We are in the exact configuration of a Mountain Bike, designed for off-roading and not a city bike, which is more comfortable. The grip of the handles is good.
With the MIG-RR, we are on an electric mountain bike, which means that the assistance kicks in when you pedal and stops when you stop pedaling. This is important compared to some electric bikes (like the Bultaco Albero for example) where it is not necessary to pedal to move forward (and quickly). Here, we are on an eBike and therefore limited to 25km / h. A limitation by will but not by construction, since unbridled, the MIG-RR can go up to 40 km / h; an unnecessary speed in off-road, his favorite terrain. And using the MIG-RR for city use is a bit like using a cross-country machine on the highway. It is possible but not in the optimization of the capacities of the machine.
The MIG-RR makes virtually no noise, especially compared to an electric bike like the Michelin, while Shimano motors are usually a bit louder than Boshs..
Electric mountain bike wheeling
Eco mode. You can hardly feel the help given. The effort required is important, especially since the bike still weighs 22 kilos. Turn off the assist and you’ll find that the eco mode helps well, but just barely more than the gap between the extra effort required compared to a standard ATV..
Trail mode. This is the off-road mode par excellence. And it’s a mode that adapts to your muscle power; in other words, the faster you pedal, the more help from the motor. The display on the handlebars clearly indicates the power delivered with the peak at maximum. We don’t really need to look at the screen but rather to see it.
Boost mode. Here, there is hardly any need to pedal to have the maximum power instantly. Naturally, this is the most energy-intensive mode. But unlike electric scooters where we use almost only the most powerful mode, here, it is not the most common mode. Quite simply, because the reactions in mountain biking require a little finesse and there, all the power comes at once. And when you’re on a muddy path with frequent changes of direction, the help is too instantaneous. It would be ideal on the road or straight path, but as soon as it becomes more trialising, it’s almost a handicap. On the other hand, as much power is limited to 250w to remain an VAE, the torque is much greater than entry-level VAEs like the Michelin Wayscral. The difference is made in particular on hills, where the power input is real here and allows you to be dynamic in the climb without pedaling in the semolina. Ducati announces indeed 70 Nm of torque, values much higher than the VAE quoted before.
Electric mountain bike
As we know, when going downhill, it is better to lower the center of gravity and therefore the saddle. And here it’s easy, with a button on the left handlebars! The button allows you to lower the saddle by sitting on it. And once you set off again on the flat, all you have to do is press the same stalk for the saddle to rise hydraulically..
Finally, the tires provide excellent grip, only defective in boost mode in the mud. We tell ourselves that we are going to slide, climb, descend, even on the flat, but they provide excellent traction. It must be said that the rear tire is still 2 "8.
But horsepower isn’t the only criteria when testing a Mountain Bike. The maneuverability is a major point, allowing to chain the difficulties easily. The MIG RR is here a model of handling, facilitating difficult passages. The front is light with good downforce allowing an excellent steering gear without ever feeling the weight or heaviness of many electric mountain bikes. Suddenly, the maneuvers are done easily with an extremely healthy overall behavior.
Finally, there is the comfort of the model, not so much the saddle on which we are finally rarely seated, but the suspensions. The right compromise must be between damping and enough rigidity not to provide a spring effect on bumps and other stones downhill. The result is amazingly efficient, sparing the fatigue of putting everything on the arms, which are spared as much as possible from the pumping phenomenon..
To try a model like the MIG-RR is to adopt it. And unlike those who think that there is no effort to make, we stay on the sport. It is the assurance of having fun even in the event of a pump stroke, fatigue or getting back into the saddle. This is the ideal way to go in the mountains or in the forest for mountain biking, choosing the help you need to play sports without being in cardiac resistance at the slightest hill. I loved the boost mode to get out of dung beetles where I would have landed otherwise with a more entry-level VAE. And with a little training, the trail mode should be able to cover 90% of cases and ground conditions. In fact, it becomes a game, with a very beautiful toy, aesthetically successful.
And it remains mountain biking with its share of mud and various and varied mud, to the inside of the helmet (because the mud encountered during the test has regularly passed over my head with many descents on my head. ). I won’t talk about the condition of the washcloth outfit from the bottom up.
Shimano Steps E8000 motor – which produces 250 watts with a torque of 70 Nm – powered by a 504 Wh battery
Ducati announces a range of 100 km in eco mode and 50 km in boost mode. On this test of 26 kilometers but with 900 meters of vertical drop (in 3 hours) and with use alternating between trail and boost mode, only two level bars were lowered out of the 5, i.e. about 40% used only, which corresponds to the announcements..
A complete recharge takes place in 3h1 / 2.
Note that you can recharge directly on the bike or extract the battery to recharge it on a charger at home.
Ducati announces that after 1000 recharge cycles, the battery still offers 60% of its capacity. If we start with a use of 50 km per cycle, this already represents 50,000 km of mountain biking. And for those who want a second battery, the Shimano battery costs 600 euros.
No service interval, apart from the pads and tires, like any mountain bike, but no special maintenance in relation to the battery.
We sometimes wonder what makes the difference between a 1000 euros bike and a 6000 euros one, apart from its materials. The MIG-RR features aluminum and carbon, a proven Shimano motor which explains its cost. But it is above all its excellent overall homogeneity in use beyond the "premium" technical sheet that "justifies" its price. There is more expensive, but the 6,299 euros of the model (excluding state aid) of the order of the price of a medium-capacity motorcycle still reserves it for an elite, fan of Ducati, with the assurance of a manufacture quality guarantee of longevity especially since there is very little maintenance on this model, of the same order as that of a standard mountain bike. Please note, not all dealers offer it. But luckily, it’s available at the same price online and at dealerships..
- engine and modes
Ducati Mig-RR technical sheet
- Itinerary: mountain roads and paths
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