Monday, July 22, 2013

Performance comparison between Empulse TTX and Zero S at eRoadRacing Laguna Seca

Last night before going to bed I attempted to put together some thoughts on comparing relative performance between the Zero S's and Empulse TTX's at the eRoadRacing event at Laguna Seca yesterday.  The goal was to take a close look at the actual performance in race conditions of those two bikes.  It's one thing to look at a spec sheet and say "Oh, the Empulse should be faster" but it's another thing to see them at a race and see the Zero S's beating the Empulses and wonder what happened.  Is it because of upgraded controllers, or rider skill?

Brammo Empulse TTX Shelina Moreda (#93) Team Parker Brammo Unknown - one expects they tweaked the controller settings
Brammo Empulse TTX Arthur Kowitz (#8) Independent He worked with Ely Schless for 3 weeks in Ely's shop reconfiguring the bike, perhaps mostly the battery box
Zero S (Zero Motorcycles) Kenyon Kluge (#96) Zero Motorcycles employee, races as K2 Racing Upgraded to gen4 size6 controller, added cooling fan to controller, added cooling ducts directing air to motor, added a different fairing
Zero S (Zero Motorcycles) Jeremiah Johnson (#64) Independent Upgraded to gen4 size6 controller, added a different fairing, added a gas tank top so he'd have better leverage, added cooling ducts directing air to motor, unknown other tweaks by Hollywood Electrics
Zero S (Zero Motorcycles) Ted Rich (#28) Did not upgrade controller, added box around size4 controller to hold ice water, presumably some suspension tweaks
Zero S (Zero Motorcycles) Brandon Nozaki-Miller (#10) Independent Upgraded to gen4 size6 controller, cooling ducts directing air to motor, unknown further tweaks by Hollywood Electrics and his own line of upgrade/tweak gadgets

That's the raw data.  Again, going by numbers on the stock spec sheets the Empulse TTX should beat the Zero S.  Most of these Zero S's were upgraded to have the same controller as is used in the Empulse TTX.  One was not.

Ted Rich 1:51.386Kenyon Kluge 1:48.068Kenyon Kluge 1:48.706
Shelina Moreda 1:51.419Ted Rich 1:49.061Jeremiah Johnson 1:52.361
Kenyon Kluge 1:52.205Shelina Moreda 1:51.019Arthur Kowitz 1:55.586
Jeremiah Johnson 1:55.736Jeremiah Johnson 1:52.046
Arthur Kowitz 1:57.091Arthur Kowitz 1:54.417
Brandon Nozaki-Miller 2:05.759Brandon Nozaki-Miller 1:55.625

During the race, Shane Turpin, Shelina Moreda, Ted Rich and Brandon Nozaki-Miller all crashed out.  We don't have lap time data for them because they didn't complete enough laps.  The table is also focusing solely on the TTX's and S's, not the Empulse RR's because they're in a different universe of capability.

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