Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing and Zytek Automotive Join Forces to Develop TT Zero Electric Racing Motorcycle

"British Superbike race team, Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing and electric powertrain innovators, Zytek Automotive, have joined forces to develop an Electric Motorcycle to take part in the Isle of Man SES TT Zero race on 6 June.

... The team, which is being supported by Kawasaki Motors UK, are using a race proven Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R chassis, powered by a state of the art Zytek Permanent Magnet oil cooled KERS motor. At a proven 100kW (the equivalent of 134 horsepower) the design has previously been used in a Hybrid Le-Mans 24 hour racing car, and uses technology similar to the extremely successful Zytek KERS system used in the 2009 Formula 1 season.

... Zytek Project Manager Des Hill said “I watched the TT Zero race last year from the Gooseneck corner at the start of the steep “mountain” section and, frankly, many of the entries were very slow. Using Direct Drive and no gearbox they simply didn’t have the torque to pull away from Ramsey Hairpin and accelerate up the mountain in same way as a conventional engined bike would.

... By using the Kawasaki six speed transmission we won’t have just built an electric motorcycle, but a machine with the performance nearing that of a conventional racing machine” By using multiple 15Ah LiFeP04 cylindrical cells, Zytek have managed to squeeze an 11.8kWh battery of their own design into the twin spar aluminium Ninja ZX-10R frame in four separate packs, each of a bespoke design.

... Working in partnership with highly respected Battery Management experts REAP systems of Southampton, the distribution of the battery packs was a real challenge according to Hill. “The shape of the Ninja ZX-10R frame is designed to curve around a conventional engine, and does not lend itself naturally to the fitment of a battery. We have ended up filling the area normally use by the tank, air-box, radiator and exhaust with four sculpted packs. In total we have 240 power cells carefully distributed around the bike” 

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