Thursday, August 30, 2012

Would Tesla Motors ever start a proper electric car race team? Eventually!

Since Tesla Motors has such a reputation for high powered electric cars, it must seem that the company is an obvious choice to launch an electric car racing event of some kind.  Today, Jalopnik posted an interview with Elon Musk in which he was asked almost precisely that question:
How long before we start to see electric cars in major motorsports events? What is the main technological hurdle that would need to get worked out?
His answer didn't cover what was asked, but still managed to get the point across.  No racing for Tesla right now, but in the long run "yes".
We could do it right now and that would be super fun, but it is more important to make compelling electric cars that people can buy. One day, we will do racing...
I wrote up a fairly long analysis of the Elon Musk interview on TorqueNews, but let's take a closer look at this specific question.

First, there have been some Tesla Motors vehicles participating in the REFUEL race over the last couple years.  This year there was 12 or more Tesla Model S's and Roadsters in the event, and the top four finishers were driving Model S's.  The lap times were on the order of 1:51-1:55, but this years racers did not beat the track record set at the 2011 REFUEL race by Joe Nuxoll driving a Tesla Roadster.

While the Tesla Roadster is a very fast car, it's been observed that car can't maintain a high speed for very long.  One reason why the REFUEL races go for 3 laps at a time is because the Roadster's overheat because the motor does not have cooling.  While the Model S motor does have cooling, Tesla's goal with these cars is not to build the ultimate racing machine, but to build cars we would drive around town to go grocery shopping or typical sort of trips.

As for electric racing .. obviously there are motorsports events already happening with electric vehicles.  But they do not yet qualify as "major motorsports events".

The current events are limited by battery pack capacity.  The TTXGP and e-Power events go for about 22 miles while the AMA 600cc SuperBike go for 55 miles or more.  Any electric car race would face a similar limitation - for example Lord Drayson's car has enough capacity for about 15 minutes of racing.

On the other hand in gas vehicle racing they do stop in the pits to refuel mid-way through the race.  Hence, maybe we're thinking about the range limit incorrectly.  If the electric race vehicles were designed to, for example, support fast swap battery packs they could race for a lot longer.  In fact Zero Motorcycles held such a race in April 2009, the 24 Hours of Electricross, which was a full 24 hour endurance race with electric motorcycles.  In that race each team was allowed three battery packs, one on the bike and two on a charger.

Fast swap battery packs have been used in racing for perhaps 20 years.    For example the original Formula E race car, built by Ely Schless, carried a battery pack of 12 Trojan 24C3 lead-acid batteries, divided into two units of 250 lbs apiece and could be swapped in 10 seconds track-side.

Fast swap would be the electric equivalent of refueling a gas tank.

Source: Jalopnik

KillaJoule/KillaCycle team does not quite set 200 miles/hr electric streamline motorcycle land speed record

A couple days ago Eva Hakansson, builder of the KillaJoule and the better half of the KillaCycle team, reported having made an over-200 miles/hr run at Bonneville but achieving an average speed well under 200.  As of Tuesday they were intent on making more runs on Wednesday and today, and setting a record over 200 miles/hr.  Unfortunately they were well on their way to doing so, only to find halfway through a run that the battery pack had a loose connection when the bike suddenly shut down.

Specifically: --- 214.050 MPH in the flying mile and 216.504 MPH in flying km, but no new record ---
Eva writes that the bike was accelerating great until it suddenly stopped at around 215 miles/hr.  The KillaJoule is using the KillaCycle's original 11P110S, total of 1210 A123Systems "M1" cells battery pack.  That pack is five years old, has set many world records, etc, and five years of being hauled all over the world has taken its toll.  

She also wrote: This year's best offical record will be 191.488 MPH in the flying mile and 191.886 MPH (308.744 km/h) in the flying kilometer (pending approval by AMA).
Again, the KillaJoule is in a different class from the Lightning or Chip Yates bikes.  This record for the KillaJoule is very impressive, but the Lightning and Yates records from last year still stand.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Electric skateboard beats Corvette in drag race

What could be more ridiculous than a "drag race" between a skateboard and a Corvette?  Well, when that skateboard is a supersized electric skateboard, and the drag race is limited to 75 feet in length, then the skateboard rider has a chance.  And, maybe, in such a case, it's not quite ridiculous.

Gnarboards -  has designed a line of electric skateboards.  The top end board has 3.4 kilowatts of power, 16.5 kiloWatts peak, and a 0-28 miles/hr time of 1.9 seconds.  It has four motors, one for each of the four wheels, a 300 amp controller, and a 37 volt 20 amp-hour LiPO battery pack.  That means the battery pack can pull 15C if I'm doing the math right.

Obviously these are not your grandfathers skateboards.

New electric motorcycle land speed record - 78.4 miles/hr - under 150kg class

A couple weeks ago I noted that Kevin Clemens was intending to set the land speed record in the under-150-kilogram class.  Fast forward to this week, the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials are underway, and he has set a record breaking the record he set last year.

According to a news report, on Sunday his controller went POP and probably let out the magic smoke. Fortunately he had a spare controller, but it only supported a lower voltage and he had to rewire the battery pack for the lower voltage.  This will of course limit the speed he can hit.

Yesterday he achieved a 78.4 miles/hr speed that is yet to be certified by the FIM.


KillaCycle's KillaJoule has 213 miles/hr run at BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials - aiming for 200+ mile/hr record today

This week is the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials, the AMA/FIM certified land speed racing event on the Bonneville Salt Flats.  This year the KillaJoule team has returned to the salt and is having great success, already setting a record and achieving a 213.190 miles/hr run.  The KillaJoule is a full streamliner electric motorcycle with a "sidecar" of sorts.  It was built by Eva Hakansson and Bill Dube of the KillaCycle racing team.  The week is not done yet, and they're looking to make a full pair of runs today at over 200 miles/hr.

This speed is in the neighborhood of the Lightning Motorcycle and Chip Yates records from 2011.  Lightning achieved a 215 miles/hr record, and Chip Yates set four records the fastest of which was just shy of 200 miles/hr.  The thing is that the KillaJoule and the Lightning/Yates bikes are in different race classes.  Where Lightning & Yates raced with regular motorcycles, the KillaJoule is a full streamliner.

This picture should help to understand the distinction.

On the Bonneville Salt flats with Bill Dube and Eva Haakansson and their electric streamliner. Eva's first run was a new record so we are in impound until the second run is made.

Sunday they reported a brief rain storm that created a lake on the salt

After a brief rain storm this place turns into a lake. Team Killajoule has gone a little higher with the gearing for tomorrow. The course should be smoother and faster tomorrow, after this afternoons showers.
Also on Sunday they had a shake-down run during which they hit 159 miles/hr on the first pass, which then broke their record from last year necessitating a second run.  On the return pass they hit a 175 miles/hr average and exit speed over 180 miles/hr.  For Monday they planned to fiddle with the gearing and shoot for speeds over 200 miles/hr.

--- AMA record for KillaJoule at 167.851 mph ---

Time slips from the runs on Sunday 

For Monday the report was that the track was wet and slippery in the morning. Eva couldn't get the KillaJoule beyond 169 miles/hr. This beat their record from yesterday, earning them a shot at a second run, by which time the track dried up. The average over the return run was 213.190 miles/hr with exit speed close to 220 miles/hr.

--- 213.190 MPH run! ---
Track was smooth but really slippery this morning and I couldn't get KillaJoule up to more than 169 mph. This was still a new record, so we got a return run. At that point, the track had dried up and traction was great. Since I did my qualifying run on the short track (starting at mile 3 with a 2 mile run-up), I had to make the return on the short track.

I run full throttle from start, and the bike just kept accelerating. The average over the flying mile was 213.190 mph. It was accelerating through the entire timed mile and the exit speed was probably close to 220 (my meter showed 201 mph entering and 211 exiting, but that is obviously not correct, it typically is correct so it must have been front wheel slip or the heat making the electronic speedo get out of calibration). 

We are making a new attempt tomorrow, this time starting from zero to get a 4.5 mile run-up. If the planets line up and luck is with us, we have a good chance for a record of over 200 mph.

// Eva & Bill with our great team Mike, Kent, Alicia, Tim, Debbie and Lena

Photo: Tim Eckert


Thursday, August 23, 2012

KleenSpeed taking to the track at Sonoma Raceway this weekend

KleenSpeed has built an electric race car which they use to test their drive train technology.  It also acts as a public face of the company where they can get some attention.  They just sent out an email saying they would be appearing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway during the IndyCar weekend.  They will be displaying all weekend in a booth behind the main grandstand, and then on Sunday at 10:30 AM they'll take an exhibition lap.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Three electric cars finish in top 15 of 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb was delayed following the (global warming) epic wildfire near Colorado Springs just before the original race date.  The rescheduled date was last weekend, and eight electric cars remained in the lineup for the race.  These teams included Toyota Motorsports Group, Mitsubishi, Elias Anderson (NovaKar), Michael Bream (EV West), Ikuo Hanawa (Ibaraki Japan Summit), and Nobuhiro Tajima (Monster Tajima).

For my full report see:

The Yokohama Tires entry, seen at the REFUEL 2012 race

The TMG EV P002 from a May test run

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tang Yu of Zongshen Racing wins e-Power/TTX at Oschersleben

In what they're describing as an "epic battle," Tang Yu of Zongshen Racing is the surprise winner of this weekends e-Power/TTX at Oschersleben.  We say "surprise" because his teammate, Ho Chi Fung, has the more powerful of Zongshen's bikes, and two of Muench's bikes are more powerful than Tang Yu's, and with the results of yesterday's sprint race it seemed likely to be a Muench/Muench/Zongshen podium.   However, the top bikes all developed problems leaving the field open to the win by Tang Yu.

Himmelmann started off the race strong with but by the middle of the race (lap 4) his battery pack overheated.  He says the bike stopped, but he was able to get it going again, and he pulled into the pits to check voltages and temperatures, and it seemed okay so he went back onto the track.  But the bike was riding "horribly" and stopped two more times.  The last was just a couple hundred yards short of the finish line, and he was unable to get the bike started back up, so he pushed it over the finish line.

Katja Poensgen says she was following Ho Chi Fung for a few laps to see how his bike would perform, and was confident she could overtake him any time she wanted.  But then the bike stopped, and she was able to restart it, but then it stopped again, and that time the marshals wouldn't let her continue.

Tang Yu - Zongshen
Ho Chi Fung also had electrical problems (no interview was posted with him) and he had to drop out.  Tang Yu did say "I really wish my team mate Ho Chi Fung gets the bike he deserves for the next round. The team are working hard on the new development bike but there is much to learn with a whole different set up, new motors, battery pack and control systems. I hope at the next round in Le Mans he will be able to join me on the podium."

Tang Yu said he nearly crashed on the first lap, putting him in last place, and he was so busy working his way up the grid that he was a bit surprised to be the winner.

Christian Amendt – 36 / "I was so happy that I was able to manage my small battery pack for such long race whilst keep respectable lap times. It was awesome to finish 3rd and get on the podium here in Germany. I have to say it was also really great to have so many good quality competitors here this weekend and a lot of spectators. I found the whole weekend really good fun especially with the introduction of the new sprint race, which I feel is a really good idea."

Matthias Himmelmann (Münch Racing) wins the Oschersleben Sprint

It's another joint round between FIM e-Power and TTXGP, this time in Oschersleben in Germany.  Race results have been posted, but in this report I'll focus on the Friday and Saturday results.  On Saturday they held a "three lap sprint" race, which Matthias Himmelmann won.  There was an over 20 second gap between him and team-mate Katja Poensgen, and the 2nd/3rd/4th/5th places all finished fairly close together indicating a fairly serious race going on between Muench and Zongshen.

A surprising thing I see in the results is Peter Linden racing with Zongshen.  Usually he's racing with his own bike, but Zongshen now has three bikes.  At the prior race, Assen, Zongshen enlisted Wayne Tessels to ride the third bike.  This time around it is Peter Linden riding it.

That's Katja Poensgen in front, with Matthias Himmelmann in the rear and Thomas Schuricht in the middle (all Muench)

The three lap sprint was meant to let the riders showcase high speed riding, by not having to conserve battery power as they do for longer races.

1st place: Matthias Himmelman, no. 49 Muench Racing "I have to say I had a really great race with an exceptionally strong start, I was confident going into the race especially with such a great German crowd cheering on the team. They really help inspire us to do the best we can to put on a good show. The Sprint for me was a lot of fun because it allows everyone to to just race and not worry about battery management as they mst do for the longer race. I am happy so many of our sponsors where able to be here and share the experience. We have more than 100 guests celebrating in our teams hospitality unit and the atmosphere here at Oschersleben is great, we are really happy to have a first and second place today, but it will be even better when we have the whole podium tomorrow."

2nd place: Katya Poensgen No. 65 Muench Racing "It was fantastic racing in the sprint, it is so raw, I could just open the throttle and go. It was short; I was not sweating but it was a lot of fun. I will do my best to go faster tomorrow for the big race. My bike has a different engine that Matthias’s bike as I am on the production racer and he has a development motor. We also run a different type of battery pack on this bike to the development bike as this is totally enclosed so safer, but it means you have to be more careful with over-heating. I am confident for tomorrow and looking forward to representing Muench once again."
3rd place : Ho chi Fung; no.59 Zongshen "As a racer I don’t feel any different going into a sprint race or a longer distance one, I just want to go out there and win. The feeling is just the same. This race was great, I started from further back on the grid than I would have liked as we had some battery pack problems with the bike yesterday after the morning qualification where I was still learning the track. I only completed a few laps yesterday morning before we had some issues with the battery pack so I was forced to go slower than I had wanted to. We spent a lot of yesterday afternoon working hard on the pack, and missed the second qualifying session. Over night we have charged and discharged the new configuration; my team have worked really hard to give me the best possible bike for the race and everything seems to be holding ok. I am really optimistic about electric racing; I have only been eracing for a few years but have along history with my first love Petrol bikes, but my team is amazing and the pace at which the technology is developing I am confident it will not take them too long before they will be build me a bike that will go even faster the traditional petrol fuelled bikes."

".. I expected this new bike with a more powerful motor and better batteries to be faster; I had really high expectations and was really disappointed in Assen with all the problems we had been having but this was due to the lack of time to properly prepare and test the bike away from racing. The team are still getting to know this new bike but learning very fast. This morning I had a bit of traffic in front of me including my team mate Tang Yu; it actually took me over half a lap to get ahead of him as he was racing well. I got really close to Thomas in the second lap coming out of the chicane, but his bike is very powerful on the straights, I thought I would wait until the last corner to try again, and it worked for me. I got closer and closer and finally took over him on the right side on the last corner… I actually was disappointed though as I wanted to come second today, we felt we had the bike and racer to do this but with the traffic early on it was impossible to catch them all in just three laps., I need a little more time. We look forward to tomorrows race."
4th place: Thomas Schricht, no. 6 Muench racing "I am not sure exactly what happened because I have not had the time yet to examine the date from the bikes but I was so happy in the first lap, the bike was doing much better than yesterday and I had a great feeling about the race. I was actually trying to push the bike further and try to catch Katya but I made a small mistake in the chicane in lap twp and noticed that Ho Chi had come up really close. I then focused on making up the ground and in the last lap in the last corner, just when I need to keep maximum power, Ho Chi sailed passed me and my bike just didn’t give me the power I needed as it should have done.  Overall I had a great race, it was a lot of fun racing in a sprint, we have obviously meet with Zongshen on the track a number of times and they are always great to race against."





team (bike)



best (lap)

149HimmelmanMuench (Muench TTE)5:02.3971:38.481 (2)
265PoensgenMuench (Muench TTE)5:26.10023.7031:46.683 (3)
359FungZongshen (Zongshen)5:30.23127.7031:46.588 (3)
46SchrichtMuench (Muench TTE)5:31.72729.3301:47.858 (2)
525YuZongshen (Zongshen)5:37.28934.8921.48.881 (2)
636AmendtEpo (Epobike)5:45.96843.5711.53.142 (2)
772ReichmannReichmann Racing (mavizen TTX02)5:47.52945.1321:52.167 (3)
864LindenZongshen (Zongshen)5:48.42246.0451:52.385 (3)
991BergauBergau Racing (mavizen TTX02)5:51.17048.7731:53.782 (3)

Fastest lap

49HimmelmanMuench 138.481 (2)

Harold Gasse did  not qualify to take place in today's race. (for Friday)

Fastest electric motorcycle in the world? Depends on how you define it

Kevin Clemens of Lake Elmo MI is seeking to set the national land speed record for electric motorcycles - at 100 miles/hr.  His motorcycle is a fairly typical motorcycle conversion, with an Agni motor and an Alltrax controller, though he was careful with the weight keeping that under 150 kilograms.  However the head-scratcher here is the claim that he owns the land speed record for electric motorcycles (61 miles/hr) and plans to up that record to over 100 miles/hr at Bonneville this year.  Okay, has he not heard of Lightning Motorcycles and the 215 miles/hr record they set in 2011?  And what about Chip Yates and his set of four speed records including an average of 196.420 miles/hr?

Turns out you have to read down in the fine print of the article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that's showcasing Clemens' effort.  He is competing in the "lowest weight category" for electric motorcycles, those weighing under 150 kilograms.  Lightning Motorcycles are way above that category, and as for Chip Yates he does hold the FIM record for bikes weighing between 150-300 kilograms, at 187.142 miles/hr with fairings, and 173.574 miles/hr with no fairings.

Kevin Clemens poses for a photo in front of his custom-made electric motorcycle in Lake Elmo, Minn., on Thursday, August 9, 2012. It's a modified Kawasaki Ninja running on 100 volts and up to 350 amps. He's hoping to break 100mph, a new electric motorcycle speed record, on the salt flats this year. In the background is an electric motorcycle he made last year. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)
Well then, what about Kevin Clemens?  He built a bike last year that set the record in this class at 61.534 miles/hr, and has built a new bike hoping for a new record.

The new bike is built on a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 that's said to feature parts that aren't off the shelf -- "a specially made Agni motor that just arrived from India, expensive lithium polymer batteries and a state-of-the-art, never-before-made Alltrax controller."  Reading between the lines of this, it's likely that Agni sent him one of the super-dooper Agni motors that aren't on the price list yet, and that Alltrax built him a special controller.

What he says on his website is: "The batteries consist of 96 lithium polymer cells of the sort more commonly found in radio controlled model aircraft. The permanent magnet DC electric motor is a lightweight yet high performance unit produced by Agni Motors."  The pictures are too-low a resolution to tell much, other than the build is similar to that in The Secrets of El Ninja.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

EV West at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Back in June an epic wildfire near Colorado Springs CO broke out just a few miles from Pikes Peak.  The fire forced the evacuation of residents into nearby hotels, and placed a big stress on the local area.  In the face of this the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb team delayed the race until this week.  One of the electric teams, EV West, has posted some updates on their Facebook page showing what they're doing at Pikes Peak.

You can follow their updates at:


This is the Netgain motor, along with an accessory system driven by belts attached to the motor.  Tis runs common accessories such as the air conditioning pumps, power steering pumps, a tachometer, etc.


Loading up the car in a trailer for the trip to Pikes Peak.

And few shot from the qualifying round:

An earlier picture shows the drive train removed from the car.  Notice that this is a different setup than the first picture.   This shows dual motors in a siamese arrangement.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Muench Racing wins TTXGP Europe at Assen

Muench Racing's Matthias Himmelman won last weekend's race in the TTXGP Europe race at Assen (see the report on the qualifying round), with two riders from Zongshen Racing about 20 seconds behind.  Himmelman's bike is running with a new motor, and the team is getting more comfortable with its characteristics.  Zongshen's Hi Chi Fung's bike also has a new motor, but clearly given his performance for the weekend they have a lot of kinks to work out.

The Brouwers' are a brother-sister racing team where Mike was given a 2010 Mavizen, and Kim was given Agni's 2009 bike.  Neither should be expected to be terribly competitive in today's TTXGP, but the report on the TTXGP website makes it clear they enjoyed themselves anyway.  The Mavizen ridden by Mike had run well on Friday and Saturday, but come Sunday developed a serious problem described as "the team discovered the bike built in 2010 had for the first time developed a flaw that resulted in excess weight being put onto the drive shaft."  Engineers worked on a fix, that let Mike take the bike out, but it wasn't right and he had to bow out of the race.  On Kim's bike they had trouble getting things tuned right, and were unable to set the controllers past 70% and thus the bike didn't have full power.  Nelson Rolfes also had a Mavizen TTX02, but one of the motors blew up due to a chain that was too tight.

That left the field to Muench and Zongshen.  The new #59 bike ridden by Hi Chi Fung was described as a prototype for what will be Zongshen's 2013 race bike and as such they were looking more to collect data than anything.  The other two took 2nd and 3rd, and the race results show they had nearly identical performance.  Normally Zongshen has two bikes, but with the addition of a third bike this round meant taking on a new rider, and 18 yr old Dutchman Wayne Tessels was the lucky one.  He said “I had a great weekend, it was a lot of fun and I would like to race electric again!”

Himmelman took the lead after 3 laps and ran a comfortable race, tussling a little with Tang Yu early on but ultimately making winning look too easy. The team had had some disappointment though as they had planned to enter a second bike into the championship – team engineer (Thomas Schuricht) wanted to get in on the action but sadly his start permission did not arrive in time from Germany. Look out for Thomas at Oschersleben, the joint TTXGP/e-Power race coming up next weekend.

Posno.nameteamgaptotal timefastestinaverage speed
149HimmelmanMuench6 laps12:28.0801:55.6546131.52
226Tang YuZongshen20.34812:48.4282:05.9856128.03
364Wayne TesselsZongshen22.27712:50.3572:05.8032127.71
459Hi Chi FungZongsehn1:01.48013.29.5602:05.1885121.53
562Kim BrouwersAgni Racing Team13:45.2762:37.700299.34
Not Classified
DNF88Nelson RolfesKTM Mulders Motoren3 laps6:45.8712:07.5142121.2
DNF25Mike BrowersBrouwers Racing team3 laps10:50.2092:19.291175.65

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Video of Steve Atlas celebrating TTXGP win while other riders are still racing

In the TTXGP North America 2nd round, at Portland International Raceway, there was a little allegation that Steve Atlas had "stopped" on the track because his race was over, but there were still riders whose final laps had not finished.  Supposedly this interfered with those riders, and one (or more) of them were angry, and there was a bit of a stink going around the paddock that afternoon after the race was finished.  However I didn't think there would be any proof of this, until watching this video by Troy Siahaan of who was one of the riders selected by Zero Motorcycles to ride the eSuperStock at Portland.  We see in his video report details of the event.

Specifically .. Steve Atlas can be seen zooming by at some point, and it gives you an idea of the huge performance gap between the fast bikes and the slow bikes.  The eSuperStock bikes are shown in their final lap, and they come up to Steve Atlas who is riding slowly in the middle of the track, and rather than riding in a race stance, he's sitting upright and waving to the fans.  Obviously Steve-o was in his celebration mode, having won the race.  Not that there was any doubt that weekend, after MotoCzysz pulled out.  But there were other riders still racing, but there he was blocking the middle of the track.

Is this a big deal?  I dunno, but I felt it was important enough to warrant writing this followup.

eFXC | TTXGP Australia 2012 DVD will be available soon.

Coming soon - a DVD showcasing the 2012 TTXGP/eFXC season in Australia.

See for more info.

Qualifying round results for TTXGP at Assen

This weekend is the TTXGP race at Assen, and while I know the race has been run, I'm running a little behind ...

A brother-sister team, Mike & Kim Brouwers of Brouwers Racing, are new participants this time.  Kim Brouwers is riding Agni Motors' 2009 bike which won that years TTXGP on the Isle of Man, while Mike Brouwers was riding a 2010 Mavizen bike.  In Kim's case, the bike had controller issues that left only one motor running, and in Mikes case the bike was just slow (the 2010 Mavizen bikes were never speed demons).  As of the qualifying round, both are said to be disappointed, but it's possible that the support engineers have simply dialed down the controllers because both these riders are new to electric machines.

Meunch Racing is happy to be there, having just raced in America at Laguna Seca.  They're replacing the front fork on Himmelmann's bike, and he's quoted saying “I love my new motor, it is very powerful and once I have my front fork set up just how I like, I know I will be putting in faster lap-times, I know and like this circuit and am confident for tomorrow.”  BTW - the "new motor" he refers to is due to the team having replaced the Siemens motor they'd used since 2010, with a new one (on both bikes) from Wittenstein.

Zongshen has introduced a new bike which is described as "next years machine" and this year they are testing that new machine by racing it.

Results from the qualifying session are as follows :

Pos No. Name team fastest (in) gap diff speed
1 49 Matthias Himmelman Muench Racing 1:53.710 144.2
2 59 Ho Chi Fung Zongshen racing 2:02.617 8:907 8:907 133.73
3 64 Wayne Tessels Zongshen Racing 2:06.010 12.300 3.393 130.13
4 26 Tang Yu Zongshen Racing 2:09.283 15.573 3.273 126.83
5 25 Mike Brouwers Brouwer racing 2:16.858 23.148 7.575 119.81
6 62 Kim Brouwers Bruwer Racing 2:47.904 54.194 31.046 97.66

 2 non starters for qualifying session.

Zonghshen Racing has a new ride - w/ Yasa motor

Zongshen Racing has been riding bikes powered by Agni motors since their entree into TTXGP racing in 2010.  That year the team raced with the bike that Rob Barber rode for Agni to victory in the initial TTXGP on the Isle of Man.  During 2011 the team built two bikes of their own, again with Agni motors, which they've raced with during both 2011 and 2012 seasons.  This weekend is the TTXGP at Assen, and Zongshen brought a new bike, making three for the team.

This marks a departure for Zongshen.  As I said, until now the team has been racing with Agni motors, and doing very well against the competition.  The switch to Yasa motors should give them more power and of course switch them from permanent magnet brushed DC to a proper AC motor.

Currently the team is racing with the two Agni powered machines they already have, and this new Yasa powered machine.

Going by the specs below, the team is using a YASA-750 motor which the company describes as so:

The YASA-750 has been designed as high torque direct drive motor for sport car and racing applications. The motor outputs a very high peak torque (750Nm) and a high continuous torque (400Nm) in a lightweight package (25kg).

The motor can deliver up to 100kW of peak power with a top speed of 2000 rpm (higher powers and speeds possible above 380V). The motors can deliver a high continuous power of >50kW (1800rpm and 300Nm continuous, for example).

Zongshen ZSE002RR Technical Specifications:


Chassis – Steel Trellis
Front Forks – Showa
Rear Suspension – Showa
Wheels – OZ Magnesium
Brakes – Brembo
Instruments and Data logging – AIM Gold
Bodywork – Custom Aosracing
Total Weight – 210kg


Yasa Advanced Axial Flux brushless motor
Peak Power – 100kW
Peak Torque – 750Nm
Weight – 25kg
Peak Efficiency >94%
Cooling – Liquid cooled

Battery Pack

A123 Prismatic 20Ah Lithium Nanophosphate
Voltage – 380V Charged, 343V nominal
Storage Capacity – 6.84kWh
Cell weight – 51.5kg


Sevcon Gen 4 Size 8
Peak Power Output – 100kW
Peak current – 360Arms
Max voltage – 400VDC
Weight – 10kg
Cooling – Liquid cooled

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Virginia Tech wins TTX75 award, Kenyon Kluge wins eSuperStock award, at e-Power/TTX Laguna Seca

In the rush to announce the overall winners from last weekends e-Power/TTXGP race at Laguna Seca, I forgot to mention the two awards.  The TTXGP offers an overall ranking of 1st through 10th (or whatever) place finishers, and in addition has two special awards for specific subsets of the racing grid.  These are the TTX75 award (for bikes under 7.5 kilowatt-hours battery pack) and the eSuperStock award (for production bikes with sales volume over 25 units).  Both of these are experimental classifications that may eventually become proper race classes.


In the TTX75 award group, Virginia Tech was the winner.  Ely Schless of Protomoto was on track to be the winner of this award, but his battery pooped out on the last lap and he did not finish the race.  See Virginia Tech Bolt upgrading for next season!


In the eSuperStock award group, Kenyon Kluge won.  This group started to have only two riders, but Jeremiah Johnson joined this group when he wasn't able to get his own bike running.  Kenyon races under the name K Squared Racing, and is a Zero Motorcycles employee, and was instrumental in creating this award group.    Kluge wins the eSuperstock Award at Laguna Seca

The racers in the eSuperStock award group have been characterized by very close racing.  In the three events so far, these bikes have been running very close together and we have seen good racing action between these riders.  The bikes in this group are all Zero S's primarily because they defined eSuperStock so that only the Zero S (and DS) can qualify.  The S's aren't the best bike to base a racing series on, because the top speed is 88 miles per hour, but because the bikes are identical the results in this group depend more rider skill than anything else.  In the rest of electric motorcycle racing it is the design of each specific bike which does more to determine the overall winner.