jueves, 14 de noviembre de 2019


Text and Photos : José Manuel Serrano Esparza


From a technological viewpoint, one of the greatest highlights of the very recent EICMA 2019 Motorcycle Fair held in Milan (Italy) between November 5 and 10, 2019 has been the Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit for the Ducati Panigale 1299 bike. 

                                             Ducati Panigale 1299 with Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit, the first hybrid motorcycle in the world. © jmse
This is the first hybrid kit for a motorcycle ever made, with an exceedingly low weight of 26 kg and very compact dimensions, designed and manufactured by the French/Italian engineering company Efesto.

It consists of a 10 kg battery pack, an inverter, a 9.5 kg liquid cooled electric engine of the type Axial Flux Synchronous Motors and Generators, featuring a rated battery voltage of 355 Vdc, a diameter x width of 208 / 85 mm, a power of 100 hp and a peak torque of 150 Nm, which adds to the 

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205 hp at 10,500 rpm and torque of 145 Nm at 8,750 rpm of the 1285 cc Superquadro L-Twin with 90º cylinder layout desmodromic engine of the Ducati Panigale 1299 featuring 4 valves per cylinder and bore x stroke of 116 x 60,8 mm.

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The 100 h.p and 150 Nm torque electric engine manufactured by the French/Italian firm Efesto 

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Detail of the state-of-the-art Efesto electric motor yielding a power of 100 hp and a torque of 150 Nm, a masterpiece of miniaturized engineering featuring very small size and an exceedingly low weight of only 9.5 kg. It is connected through chain to the secondary shaft and greatly enhances the performance of the Ducati Panigale 1299 desmodromic bike, to such an extent that the rider can reach a record power of 300 hp and a torque of 295 Nm. © Efesto 

is installed under the rear swingarm, respecting the minimum altitude from the ground of the original Ducati Panigale 1299, and a 100 kw inverter is located inside the front area of the bike, behind the radiator, and can work in perfect symbiosis with the 205 hp and 1285 cc desmodromic V-Twin engine of the Ducati Panigale 1299. 

To attain an uncompromising level of synergy between the electric powerplant of the Efesto kit and the Superquadro L-Twin desmodromic engine of the Ducati Panigale 1299 has been a milestone achievement in the scope of motorcycles, resulting in the first hybrid bike ever made, able to reach a power of 300 hp and a torque of 295 Nm


Image showing the three main parts of the Efesto Hybrid Kit: the battery (located under the rider seat and tail fairing, and with the incription Efesto 299 Hybrid specific of the Ducati Panigale 1299 hybrid bike on it), the electric engine (installed centrally, in the lowest position, below the rear swingarm)  and the inverter (placed in the front down position, behind the radiator). © Efesto

The Efesto 299 Hybrid kit only weighs 26 kg (including the 10 kg battery, the very compact 9.5 kg 100 hp engine and the inverter) and the fundamental keynote is that the pilot´s life style and way of driving don´t change.

Besides, this amazing electrical motor  
is highly efficient and features high specific power, in addition to generating very low noise and a commendable reduction of vibrations.

Battery of the Efesto Hybrid Kit, located under the rider seat and tail fairing, bearing on it the inscription Efesto 299 Hybrid, specific of the Ducati Panigale 1299. © jmse
Detail of the metallic plaque with the inscription " Efesto 299 Hybrid " on the 10 kg battery of the Efesto 299 Kit for the Ducati Panigale 1299. © jmse 

This way, this first ever Hybrid Bike total power is a staggering 300 h.p at 10,500 rpm, with a torque of 295 Nm at 9,000 rpm.


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There is a selector on the bike´s left handlebar, with four possible riding choices :

a) The purely thermic mode, using only the 205 hp Superquadro gasoline engine of the Ducati Panigale 1299, giving gas with the throttle in the right handlebar.

b) The purely electric mode. The Ducati powerplant must be turned off and the gearbox in neutral, with the throttle controlling only the 100 h.p Efesto electric engine, particularly inside cities and urban contexts, enabling an utterly electric riding of 40 minutes with a maximum speed of 70 km/h, with the advantage of using the bike as a scooter, without having to shift gears, since the electric motor is connected through a chain directly on the secondary gear shaft.

In addition, it produces zero emissions and significantly lowers the pollution level.

c) The sporting boost mode, with both the 100 h.p electric engine and the 205 hp Superquadro desmodromic one working at the same time, reaching the aforementioned power of 300 hp and peak torque of 295 Nm at 9,000 rpm, so the pilot has got in every gear the power and torque of the two motors combined, greatly increasing the overall motorcycle performance, along with the added advantage that the 150Nm torque of the electric engine is immediate, from 0 turns.

d) The custom mode, with which it is possible to set the desired combination of torque and power of the hybrid power unit.


The Efesto kit is an exceedingly complex and highly innovative technology, expanding the power, torque, performance and versatility of the Ducati Panigale 1299 bike to incredible levels, helping with its electric engine to the already superb desmodromic powerplant of the Ducati bike in which the valves are opened and shut mechanically rather than by springs, as a very efficient and practical device able to draw maximum power from an engine to get incredibly high rpm rates out of the reach of spring devices and even beating the pneumatic valves in this regard, since the desmo doesn´t need any accessory systems as happens in the valves working through compressed air.

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Dr. Luca Morfino, the visionary Italian engineer founder in 2013 of the French/Italian Efesto company, devoted to the bespoke design and manufacture of top-notch different electric hybrid systems applied in a number of spheres such as cars, ultralight aircraft, vessels, drones, motorcycles, etc. The scientific background of this Italian genius from the Mechanical Engineering Division of the Politecnico di Torino is such that already during the 2013 Le Bourguet Paris International Air Show, he presented a drone featuring an innovative hybrid propulsion system based on a volumetrically supercharged 2-stroke Primavis engine having a particularly high power / weight ratio and coupled to an electric generator, offering a series of hybrid solutions, being able to be propelled either through a conventional internal combustion engine or in electric mode following the same concept already used in electric cars and applied in unmanned aerial vehicles scope. 

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The level of expectation raised during the EICMA 2019 by the Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit cutting edge technology hugely boosting the performance and versatility of the Ducati Panigale 1299 was unutterable, with great quantities of attendees impressed by this first ever hybrid motorcycle. Here we can see Dr. Luca Morfino explaining at length aspects of the hybrid bike to a group of motorcycling enthusiasts very interested in this highly avantgarde propulsion system currently at the forefront in its domain. 

This breakthrough Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit project has been fruit of two years of very strenuous groundwork, between mid 2017 and 2019, together with tons of knowledge, experience, ingenuity and passion displayed by Dr. Luca Morfino (a world-class expert in the sphere of two-stroke engines for hybrid applications), his brother Paolo Morfino (graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino and in Production Engineering from the Ecole Centrale Paris, as well as having completed a year of applied research in 1999 at the MIT of Boston, United States) and the teachings of Piero Baldini (an international leading authority in the field of engine design and experimental investigation of 2-stroke GDI powerplants for Range Extender Applications, with a career of more than thirty years, including the Engine Research & Development at Piaggio).

Lateral view of the thin exhausts of the Ducati Panigale 1299 Hybrid, specially designed to create space for the inverter. © jmse

Back view of the exhausts of the Ducati Panigale 1299 hybrid showing their honeycomb structure. © jmse 


As can be seen in the image, the counter-rotating Efesto electric engine is connected to the secondary gear shaft through a chain, so the motorcycle can be ridden with either both the petrol engine and the electric one working in perfect symbiosis or with each specific powertrain. © Efesto                                                                                                                 
It is not necessary to recharge the battery pack with a plug-in at home, since the electric engine in symbiosis with the Efesto software is constantly recharging the battery while riding the bike, getting the energy from the internal combustion Ducati 1285 cc Superquadro L-Twin motor, through regenerative braking with kers (kinetic energy recovery system) or working as a generator and absorbing a few kilowatts of the Ducati endothermic engine, which has been decisive to get the amazingly small size of the battery pack. and the whole kit.


It hasn´t been by chance that the bike model chosen by Efesto to create the first hybrid motorcycle in the world, installing in it its amazing electric engine, battery and inverter, has been the flagship model Ducati Panigale 1299, the last Superbike of the mythical Borgo Panigale breed of bicilindric L-Twin 90º desmodromic powerplants featuring four valves per cylinder,

                                                                                                               © Ducati                                                             
with its impressive 1285 cc Superquadro L-Twin motor, which set new standards in terms of engine performance when it was introduced in 2015, turning the Ducati Panigale 1299 into the most powerful bicilindrical L-Twin bike ever released (featuring a new 116 mm piston instead of the 112 mm previous one), with a record breaking power to weight ratio of 205 hp and a dry weight of 166.5 kg, as well as boasting a remarkable ability to deliver extremely robust torque, which was always a major priority of the Superquadro 1285 cc engine, not only at maximum figures, but also delivering an average of 15% more torque in middle range, between 5.000 and 7,000 rpm, than the previous 1199 bike.

It is well known that the utterly electric motorcycles are very heavy and feature very low range, so the Efesto Hybrid Kit applied to the Ducati Panigale 1299 becomes a great solution, working like a charm and significantly expanding the performance and versatility of the superb Superquadro powerplant designed in 2015 by Marco Sairu (Head of Engine Project Manager at Ducati Motor Holding), particularly regarding weight-power ratio, torque and fluidity of power delivery, since the 1285 cc Ducati Superquadro L-Twin engine is optimized to specially yield its best performance at the highest rpm, whereas the Efesto 100 hp electric engine beefs up low and medium rpm in a very efficient way.

Moreover, this Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit for the Ducati Panigale 1299 (with which the Efesto Team have significantly upped the ante in comparison to the first prototypes presented last year during the EICMA 2018, offering now a very mature and streamlined product) has greatly been the evolutive pinnacle of miniaturized concepts stemming from the six years expertise of the French/Italian firm designing and manufacturing add-on kits consisting of lightweight electric engines, power converters, control systems and rechargeable lithium polymer batteries for aviation industry, particularly in the scope of ultralight aircraft, with hybrid propulsion systems significantly helping the standard fuel powered Rotax 914 engines, providing an extra boost during take-offs and climbings.

The Efesto 299 Hybrid Kit, which can be mounted by the pilot, will be available for the Ducati Panigale 1299, 1199, 959, etc, is in its final stage of development, and the French/Italian firm is making extensive tuning, test bench and stabilizing software to improve this amazing hyperbike as much as possible and subsequently put it through its paces in circuits, in addition to keeping on striving after getting it more compact before its launching into market in late 2020.

Something particularly praiseworthy if we bear in mind that the Efesto Hybrid Ducati Panigale 1299 bike features an even higher power/weight ratio than the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, id est, more than any production motorcycle manufactured on earth hitherto.