REVIEW OF THE DUCATI PRO I PLUS ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
Ducati have made motorbikes since 1950 and are well known for their high performance bikes, such as the Ducati Monsters; but the Italian company have released their first e-scooter with the Ducati Pro I Plus. But has the Italian company used its excellence in making motorbikes in the Ducati Pro I Plus or is it really just a rebranded Xiaomi? Well, not to drag out the suspense unnecessarily; it's really just a rebranded Xiaomi, which is somewhat disappointing. But let's take a closer look.
The Ducati Pro I Plus is a foldable electric scooter based on the Xiaomi 1S. It has the usual 25 km/h (16 mph) top speed, a 25 km range, and 11.5 kg weight. The battery is stored in the base and the dashboard displays the basics, including the speed and battery level. However, there is no app to connect with, which is a pretty surprising omission.
Anyone with knowledge of e-scooter will immediately recognise the Ducati Pro I as using the frame from the Xiaomis, and more specifically the M365/1S. This means it is an aluminium alloy frame. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with the Xiaomi 1S frame. Indeed, it has been much copied (there's a certain irony of a Chinese design being copied, even if it is usually copied by other Chinese companies). However, it is disappointing to see a famous brand like Ducati just repurposing an existing frame (and doubtless the innards as well). It would be like Porsche bringing out a new car and using the chassis from a VW Golf.
Of course, it does not just stop at the frame. The mechanical brake is exactly the same and the assumption is the electronics are essentailly the same, but with different firmware. As mentioned, the display on the Pro I Plus is similar to that on the Xiaomis. It displays the speed mode (see below), speed, battery level, headlight status, any fault, and cruise control status.
On the left-hand handlebar is a bike-like brake with an in-built bell. The accelerator is a button on the right-hand handlebar. A powerful LED light is built into the front of the handle for nighttime riding.
Riding The Ducati Pro I Pro Plus
If you check the Xiaomi 1S review, you will notice a similarity here because it is essentially the same scooter. So, like the 1S, the Pro I Plus is well-balanced and easy to control. Accelerating and braking are simple and effective. The tyres are 8.5 inch pneumatic. The idea being that air-filled tyres make the ride smoother. However, there is no suspension so it is a trade-off between the two options. Unlike Xiaomi, Ducati make no claims about how puncture-resistant their tyres are (though I suspect they are exactly the same tyres). It is to be hoped that they are better than the M365 tyres at any rate. The only real issue I have found with the Xiaomi frames/wheels is a tendency to scrape the bottom of the scooter on pavement edges when I go from the road to pavement or vice versa.
The Ducati App
There is no app for the Ducati Pro I Plus. Here is a picture of a dog and duck snuggling instead.
Battery & Motor
The Ducati Pro I Plus comes with a 36V, 7.8Ah battery providing 280Wh, which is the same as the M365/1S. However, where Xiaomi claim a 30 km range, Ducati claim only a 25 km range. The rated motor power is also 250 Watts but it seems Ducati have asked their scooter (via the firmware) to transfer more power when necessary on hills, enabling it to tackle slightly steeper hills. The speed of the e-scooter is, of course, limited artificially (as European governments have generally decided 25 km/h is a safe limit).
So, as outlined, the Ducati Pro I Plus is basically the Xiaomi 1S without an app to connect with. It is priced accordingly, but that still does not make up for the lack of effort displayed by Ducati. Or did Ninebot (which owns Xiaomi) simply offer to rebrand their scooter for Ducati and share the profits? Either way, someone expecting something classy from the old Italian company will be left disappointed by this knock-off. There is not much wrong with the scooter (as with a VW Golf) and you could argue that I am being unfair by downgrading its rating to 3 stars because I expected more from the brand (rather than just rating it according to its specs and pricing); and you may well have a fair point. However, as I am holding the metaphorical mic I can throw a metraphorical tantrum.
|Size (Unfolded)||108 x 43 x 114 cm|
|Size (Folded)||108 x 43 x 49 cm|
|Battery Capacity||280 Wh|
|Top Speed||25 km/h|
|Range||25 km (16 miles)|
|Charge Time||5/6 hours|
|Tyres||8.5 inch air-filled|
|Shock Absorbers||Front & Rear|
|Rear Brake||Disc (KERS)|
|Waterproof||IPX4: splash resistant|
|Lights||Headlight + Rear Light|