Saturday, June 23, 2012

Opening of the TTXGP 2012 at Portland International Raceway

The TTXGP has finally come to Portland Oregon, one of the hotbeds of electric motorcycle and electric vehicles in general.  The series had been slated to come to PIR last year, but something happened (I never bothered to find out what) and it didn't happen.  This year the series is on the track alongside club racing with the OMRRA.  In addition to the TTXGP appearance is the EV LIVE event, a showing of electric vehicles, solar electric systems, and other green technology.

The primary word to describe the weekend so far is WET.  Earlier in the day it was raining hard, and the morning practice round was held on a wet track.  Only the VA Tech and Zero teams went out however.

VA Tech team
Present are:

  • MotoCzysz: Two bikes, direct from the Isle of Man.  Their bikes arrived from the Island just yesterday.
  • VA Tech (7.5kwh Award): One bike, it's their first appearance in any TTXGP
  • Zero (eSuperStock Award): As in the Infineon round, Zero is sponsoring four bikes, and racing for the eSuperStock award.
  • Brammo: One bike, and to those of us who wanted to know of Steve Atlas's condition after his wreck at Infineon, he is here, and planning to race.  
  • Proto Moto (7.5 KWH Award): Ely Schless, he raced last year and this is his first TTXGP race this year.

This is the VA Tech bike.  This is a student run team, that is in its second year of existence, but is in its first year of actually racing.  One of the primary sponsors is Kollmorgen, an electric motor and controller manufacturer.  Their bike is in the 7.5 KWH award group, but is faster than the Zero bikes by a decent amount.

Here's the Brammo Empulse RR, ready to race.

Here's some views of the two MotoCzysz E1PC bikes, fresh from the Isle of Man.  It's even more interesting in person.

Under the seat are a pair of wings, and on the front fairing is another pair of wings, and the tail section has a bit of an opening, all signs of working with the design to make it slip through the air more smoothly.

Team members explained to me the main difference between the 2011 E1PC and 2012 is the fairing design.  The motor and frame was the same, the batteries more-or-less the same, but what made the difference with this years Isle of Man is the fairing design.

One of the little details is the "<22:38.28" on the front fender - that's the lap time they needed to beat, to break the ton at the Isle of Man.

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