First Ride on the Ducati TK-01 RR Electric MTB

The Ducati TK-01 is an electric mountain bike with mixed wheels and 170mm of rear suspension.
Photo: Mountain Bike Connection – Rupert Fowler

The trail-loving folks at Thok MTB know how to grow a business. They kicked off the brand with a handful of longtime industry professionals in 2007, and now they are selling bikes faster than the factory can produce them. Wisely, they also saw the appeal of e-bikes for moto enthusiasts, and partnered with Ducati to design builds that follow the aesthetic of the historic moto brand.

The TK-01 RR model with Ducati paint uses the same frame and motor as the Thok 01-R, differentiating itself with moto brand components from Öhlins and Renthal. Priced at $7,995, the mixed-wheel Ducati steers a 180mm Öhlins RXF38 fork and a custom-tuned TTX air shock to actuate its 170mm of Horst-link driven rear suspension. A 630Wh battery powers a Shimano EP8 motor to propel this monster truck up anything its pilot desires.  

Along with enduro racing travel numbers comes the requisite geometry, and the Ducati TK-01 RR is a full-on gravity party uphill or down. The 64.5° head tube is plenty slack to keep riders from an OTB, while the shorter reach measurement of 439mm (size medium) leads the 453mm chainstays into a stable platform that’s playful enough to let you throw the big bike’s weight around. The 75.5° seat tube angle does require a forward position on the saddle for the steep climbs this bike is capable of, with a solid forward slide to keep the front wheel planted.

I spent a couple of hours on the TK-01 RR in Paganella Bike Park, climbing the grassy hills beneath the chairlift and descending machine-built and natural trails alike. The bike’s low-slung weight is well-balanced between the wheels, and maintaining traction on steep and loose climbs is surprisingly easy — provided you keep low over the handlebar. The climbs were far steeper than anything I could pedal up without the motor, and cracking this thing into Boost mode was far more fun than riding a gondola to the top.

All the sexy moto looks.

We did have to hop a few electric cattle lines on the ascent, which reminded me that e-bike racers must spend a good amount of time in the gym. I didn’t get a chance to weigh the Ducati, but I’m confident the scale would have read “not light.”

You can feel that heft on the descent as well, where the bike rides planted and sturdy. It takes a little extra effort to steer a full power e-bike at speed, and the Ducati paid back that effort with a good amount of pop and play thanks to the well-tuned Öhlins suspension kit.

I’m not an e-bike aficionado, and every time I hop on a volt steed I’m reminded that they ask a different riding style of the pilot. Unlike other e-bikes I have been on, this one wanted to play a little, like it was more of a foal than a fully grown mare. There’s a youthful party to the platform that made me want to jump it over the roots and past speed-sucking holes. A bit of added speed and forward momentum from the low-slung battery and motor helps the bike fly forward off jumps to easily clear whatever feature you like.

No shortage of “tough” in this aluminum frame.

The rest of the bike’s spec is spot on, with a SLX shifter to prevent riders from jamming through too many gears under power, paired with a durable XT derailleur. The XT 4-piston brakes do well to slow this load, but I would mount up a set of Saint calipers for even more power when things get too spicy. E-bikes are notorious for blowing through components, and this one seems smartly built to keep everything rolling for quite a while.

We hope to have a Ducati TK-01 RR in for long-term test in the near future. Until then, you can find all the details on the Ducati website.