By Eilis Barrett
Ducati, the historic motorcycle brand, have branched out into electric scooters. Let’s see how their latest 2022 model, the £700 Ducati Pro III fares.
- All round leisure riders
- Design fans
- Long range
- Distinctive style
- Ride over rough ground
This is a great looking foldable scooter, with design callbacks to Ducati’s motorbike heritage - such as the chunky platform, dual brake handles and the design of the electronic displays, featuring an odometer and speed dial.
It feels like every decision has been made in order to eke out as much range as possible, while still building a nimble and quick e-scooter befitting of a motorbike company. The result is a very impressive 50km range.
There are also some nifty features like cruise control, a security token and regenerative braking.
There’s always a “but” of course - and here it’s the ride quality on rough ground. This is a good scooter off-road - but in order to keep the weight down (partly caused by the great battery), they’ve skimped on the suspension. So you do feel the bumps when you’re riding. But at £700 (down from £800), this is a great all-round scooter.
|Charging time||8 hours|
|Motor||350W brushless; peak power 515W|
|Battery||36V, 13.0Ah, 468Wh|
|Brakes||Front and rear disc brakes with KERS|
|Display||3.5-inch LED with USB port|
|Lights||Front and rear LED|
|Size (unfolded)||1140 x 520 x 1180mm|
|Size (folded)||1140 x 520 x 500mm|
Ducati Pro III in detail
Power and performance
The Ducati Pro 3 has a 350W motor on its back wheel - 100W more than many cheaper models and which I found gave a lovely boost when speeding up - and it does handle hills of up to 20 per cent as claimed (I weigh 65kg but even with a heavy bag it had no trouble).
The 468-watt hour battery you're looking to get a range of up to 31 miles on one charge - double that of some of its rivals. It’s a beefy battery and stowed in the thick deck, which adds to the feeling of robustness.
You also get cruise control - just hold your thumb down to activate it. I didn’t use it much as I prefer to be completely in control but if you do use it, it cancels the moment you hit the brakes or adjust the throttle.
You can choose between four riding modes offering 6, 15, 20 and 25 km/h respectively:
- The lowest level is an assistance mode for when you're pushing.
- Eco mode maxes out the range but you don’t get the instant acceleration in the other two riding modes.
- Comfort mode offers a good balance between performance and energy efficiency.
- Sport mode - to be honest I mostly left it in this mode. That big battery means you don’t need to compromise on power due to range worry.
Ride and comfort
On smoother terrain and tarmac, this scooter really sings. But ride comfort is the one area where I did notice a compromise. The 10-inch tyres are pneumatic which absorbs some shock but there’s no suspension. So you do feel potholes and rougher terrain through the deck.
When riding, it’s really responsive and I found it super dynamic. I could lean into turns and corners and never had any worries about skidding - the chunky wheels (larger than a lot of everyday scooter wheels) really help here.
One nice touch is the throttle is a really lovely size for your thumb. This might sound a bit niche but I've ridden a lot of scooters where there's a tiny little button - with this, you don't lose your thumb position as you go over any bumps.
Maximum load is a fairly standard 100 kilograms. The scooter itself weighs 17.5kg - the top end of a middle weight. You can carry it but you might struggle if you had to go too far (although it does have that walking power-assist mode if you just want to wheel it). It’s presumably to keep this weight from rising any further that high-end suspension isn’t used, but this has affected the ride. The scooter frame is magnesium - lighter than the more common aluminium but which adds to the expense.
if you're based in a wet country like the UK then the waterproof rating is ipx4 meaning the Pro 3 is resistant to all splashes from any direction but shouldn’t be used in heavy rain.
Some Ducati quality here - front and rear disc brakes with regenerative braking to help that battery last longer. You use a left-and right-hand levers to apply them, part of that motorbike-like feel.
Ducati haven’t skimped on the extras. You get integrated lights front and rear, a locking clamp that acts as a bag hook, and my favourite feature, a USB port for on-the-go charging of my mobile phone.
The LED display is one of the best I've ever seen on a scooter. A lot of e-scooter displays suffer from glare in sunny conditions, but the Pro-III's display was highly visible in all conditions I tested it in.
There’s added security via a fob that you need to unlock and ride (it comes with a spare but try not to lose them, although the app also allows for Bluetooth keyless unlocking).