What makes a great motorcycle design, to you? If you have special love in your heart for an absolutely perfect combination of future and past, then you need to take a look at the Italdesign Ducati 860-E Concept. While it clearly knows and loves its roots, it is very distinctly a new machine for a new era. 

Of course, it helps that Italdesign—legendary automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s firm, if you’re unfamiliar—also designed the past influence it drew upon here. That’s the thing with designers and OEMs that have been around for decades. There’s all sorts of rich history to mine when you’re in need of a little inspiration. 

In this case, Italdesign reached back in its catalogue of Ducati designs to the mid-70s 860 GT. As Italdesign explains, “it was so futuristic, it was probably way too ahead of its time. That’s why today, almost 50 years later, we asked our designers to re-imagine this model.”  

Ducati 860 GT

The resemblance is unmistakable. At the same time, even without having this explanation or knowing anything about the 860’s history, the 860-E design is clearly not content to simply be a rehash of the past. While the influence is there, Italdesign opted to build upon it and take it into an electrified vision of Ducati’s future. 

To be absolutely clear, Italdesign stresses that this is nothing more than a design exercise— an homage to the original 860. Ducati, Italdesign says, did not commission this design, and currently has no specific plans to build an electric motorcycle that it’s made public. While it’s focused on e-mobility, so far, the bunch from Bologna have stuck to things like e-bikes and e-scooters, not full-on motorcycles or straddle-type scooters. 

Design exercises can be a lot of things, though, including a way to test the waters and gauge potential interest in a given design. It’s unclear if any amount of public interest could persuade the companies involved to move forward on making this vision a reality, but it definitely couldn’t hurt. Would you be interested in an electric Ducati if the company brought the 860-E to life?