Monday, November 25, 2013

Official eMotoRacing series announcement, first race in February 2014

Arthur Kowitz - 2013 eRoadRacing @ Laguna Seca
As I reported earlier, Arthur Kowitz, a long-time AMA Pro Racer who is a convert to electric motorcycle racing, is organizing an electric motorcycle racing series for North America.  What we have now is an official press release as well as further discussion in the Electric Racing group on Facebook.

BTW - anybody interested in Electric Racing should join that group, pronto.

What does Arthur have on his mind? The press release (below) says quite a bit.

He wants to race electric.  What Arthur explained to me last summer is that, after his retirement from AMA racing, he kept racing within the AHRMA.  But it struck him that while he was advancing the state of the art in 2-stroke motorcycle racing, that's really a throwback to an ancient bygone era of motorcycling.  Two-stroke bikes have been banned from regular racing for ages.

The future is electric, the handwriting is on the wall.  Arthur wanted to be part of the future, rather than part of preserving the past.  That's why he raced with the eRoadRacing series this year, riding a Brammo TTX.

As he notes below, the ready availability of high quality manufactured bikes from Zero and Brammo now make it cheap for someone to race electric.  Their speed is on par with 250+ cc gas bikes, and could mean some interesting racing action if there's a full grid of such bikes on the track.  Where the 2012 TTXGP and 2013 eRoadRacing seasons proved this, the 2014 season will see the Zero SR as a race-ready bike, and will likely see an upgrade to the Empulse from Brammo.

The press release describes two classes - eGrandPrix for the no-holds-barred bikes, and eSuperSport for the production bikes.  It's not clear where this would place the University teams (Virginia Tech, Ohio State, etc) or the DIY constructors.  We haven't seen the precise definitions, so the next paragraph is a bit of guesswork.

A little fly in the ointment might come from either Lightning or Mission, both of whom claim to be in "production" of their ultra-high-end electric motorcycles.  Both have shown bikes which beat the snot out of the Zero S/SR or Empulse R/TTX.  Depending on how Arthur wants to define eSuperSport - would he use the eSuperStock definition from the 2012 TTXGP season?  Manufacturing and sales of over 25 bikes per year?  Mission claims to have sold (but not yet delivered) 40 bikes, and it's plausible that Lightning could do so as well.  Would that undermine this eSuperSport class?

Arthur - it's better to define the classes based on power and performance, right?  Wink, Wink, Nudge Nudge.  I thought at the time that the TTXGP was stupid to have defined eSuperStock that way.  One hopes the same mistake will not be repeated for this new series.

Arthur did say on the Electric Racing group - "The 2014 series will not be TTXGP over again, but an AHRMA stand alone class. Their policy is that a new class can have its autonomy, points standings, and awards...but maintain exhibition status for the first season at least to assure interest and viability."

This means eMotoRacing will exist at the AHRMA events while operating somewhat on its own.

Jeremiah Johnson is also working on setting up a 3-person team for this series.  Anybody interested should contact him.  

When I posted this question "If eRoadRacing is foundering where does the top electric motorcycle racing series go?" - Arthur answered "It goes to the new 10 race eMotoRacing Series...which will be affordable for racers and have a full schedule tied down well before the season starts."

AHRMA has posted a tentative schedule for the 2014 season - the eMotoRacing dates will be the same.  The first date is approaching fast, meaning the teams need to be organized right away.
Feb 28 – March 2 -Roebling Road Raceway - Savannah GA
March 28-30 - NOLA Motorsports Park - New Orleans
April 25-27 - Willow Springs Int’l Raceway - Lancaster CA
May 1-2  - Sonoma(Sears Point) - Sonoma County CA
June 6-8 - Road America - Sheboygan Wisconsin
June 13-15 - Grattan Raceway - Grand Rapids Michigan
July 11-13  - New Jersey Motorsports Park - Vineland NJ
August 29-31  - Miller Motorsports Park - Salt Lake City
October 9-12 Barber Motorsports Park - Birmingham, AL
October 17-19  - Daytona Int’l Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL

Cutting-edge Electric Motorcycle Roadracing Series Hits the U.S.

National electric motorcycle roadracing championship kicks-off in 2014 as the zero-emission U.S. eMotoRacing Series, running in conjunction with the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) CPL Systems Historic Cup National Roadrace Series.

Races will be held at many of the nation’s finest racetracks — Barber Motorsports Park , Daytona International Speedway, Grattan Raceway, Miller Motorsports Park , New Jersey Motorsports Park, NOLA Motorsports Park , Road America , Roebling Road Raceway, Sonoma Raceway and Willow Springs International Raceway.

Race-ready electric motorcycles are available from Brammo and Zero Motorcycles, making it simple to participate in this series.

Electric racebikes’ fastest speeds are similar to race-prepared 600cc gasoline-powered bikes. These electric motorcycles have similar powertrains to electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, and the electric portion of the Chevy Volt.

Riders and teams are invited to participate in the elite eGrandPrix class for full-on prototype machines, or in eSuperSport, aimed at production racers and race-prepped, electric-powered street bikes. Both classes give participants the opportunity to showcase and develop new technologies, while enjoying an affordable racebike with pure chassis feedback and very low maintenance.

Become a leader who is easy on the environment – the sky’s the limit in this high-performance, exciting new racing series! With trophies at each event and year-end awards, don’t miss your chance to become the country’s very first eMotoRacing champion!

Sponsored by Arthur Kowitz Realty of Daytona Beach, Florida, the U.S. eMotoRacing Series will run as an exhibition class at all 10 rounds of the AHRMA Historic Cup Series; for event information and a full series schedule, visit For technical details on the U.S. eMotoRacing Series, email Kowitz at

Friday, November 22, 2013

If eRoadRacing is foundering where does the top electric motorcycle racing series go?

What happened to the 2013 eRoadRacing World Cup?  The team, a fusion of the FIM e-Power and TTXGP, started the year with big promises that 2013 would be a formative year in which they launched the series.  Four or more races were to be held in both North America and Europe, along with a World Final in Asia.  Instead, what we got were two truncated series, no World Final, and a press release from eRoadRacing trying to painted the best face on the situation, desperately steering clear of the reality.

Whatever the reason for that (I understand the team had huge difficulty getting the season organized), the result was such that Asphalt & Rubber just described eRoadRacing as having foundered, as in a ship that's run aground and is sinking.

I can't fault Jensen's reasoning.  The racing promoter, the TTXGP organization, is ultimately responsible for the result.

Racing promoters, as I pointed out yesterday, are supposed to create seasons that fans want to see, and racers want to participate in.  The riders and teams are the linchpin.  They need to know ahead of time their schedule for the year, and that the costs are reasonable.

The most interesting results in the 2013 season were not organized by eRoadRacing.  Instead it was the teams taking the initiative to race where the gassers are racing, in AFM, M1GP, and Pikes Peak.  The most amazing result being Lightning's flat out win at Pikes Peak.

The high level vision of creating a world racing series with high end electric motorcycles - that's cool.  Those of us who want electric racing to succeed are on board with that vision.  And clearly there are several teams that could be part of such a series.  Those names include Brammo, Lightning, Mission, MotoCzysz, Muench, Mugen/Honda, and Zongshen and perhaps some others. 

IF a series could launch with that kind of roster, what would happen?

Will 2014 eRoadRacing World Cup be a repeat of the dismalness of the 2013 season?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Terry Hershner reaches Mississippi after SNAFU gods give him a flat tire

I neglected to post an update on Terry Hershner's ride yesterday and today, so here goes.  They'd made it to Houston yesterday, and today are in Louisana, but one last problem had to occur.  At 10:30PM their time last night, the rear tire went flat.

After getting repairs done - that included cutting away some metal - they're on the road again.

As I'm writing this, going by the Glympse tracker they posted, they're just now entering Mississippi.  The remaining trip is small, under 500 miles, crossing the Gulf Coast portions of Mississippi and Alabama, and then the Florida Panhandle to get to Jacksonville.  As long as they can hold the SNAFU gods at bay, they're in the final stretch.

What does the "future of AMA road racing" say about the future of electric motorcycle racing

While looking for something else I stumbled across an interesting opinion article on about how the AMA was failing at promoting motorcycle racing in the US, despite being controlled by NASCAR.  The thrust of the article was that given the success of NASCAR, those people ought to be able to reawaken the US to motorcycle racing, so that fans would flock to the AMA which is the premier motorcycle racing series in the US.  But, what does this have to do with electric motorcycle racing?  It illustrates to us the opinion of one motorcycle racer as to the role and purpose of the racing promotion organization.

SteveO, Brian Wismann, and other Brammo crew
2011 TTXGP at Infineon Raceway
The interesting thing is the author of that piece, and the timing of when it was published.  The name Steve Atlas is familiar to us because he'd ridden with Brammo during the 2011 and 2012 TTXGP seasons.  The date on the article?  May 3, 2011, or just prior to his first outing with Brammo at the 2011 TTXGP at Infineon Raceway.

So, what did SteveO have to say about the AMA on the eve of his career in electric motorcycle racing?

"With the series’ schedule shrinking year by year and fan attendance dwindling at every round, is there a future?"

... And ...

"With a significant piece of its current business model based on making money by charging riders and teams as much as humanly possible for credentials, it will be difficult to continue with the perpetually shrinking grids we are seeing these days."

... And ...

"Secondly, when was the last time you rolled into a city hosting an upcoming AMA race and heard a single radio plug, saw a billboard or watched a TV commercial promoting the event? And they wonder why no one comes out to the races; they don’t even know they exist."
2011 TTXGP at Miller Motorsports
SteveO (Brammo), Thad Wolff (Moto Electra)
The rider for Lightning is either Ted Rich or the other guy they had

In other words, it's the role of the race promoter organization to, um, actually promote the race. The lack of awareness about the series rests solely in the lap of the race promoter, who is responsible for getting media attention on the series.  This is especially demonstrated when SteveO closes with this: "They need to figure out how to get people to come to the track and seriously boost the TV viewing audience. This hinges 100% around their ability to promote the sport."

These guys riding the bikes in the races - they, and the rest of their teams, need to earn a paycheck, just like the rest of us.   In racing that paycheck ultimately derives from fans, who buy tickets, and whose eyeballs the advertisers are trying to reach. 

Everything he wrote was aimed at DMG, the race promoter for AMA at the time.  But, what he wrote could also be said of the electric motorcycle racing promotion organizations, TTXGP, FIM e-Power and eRoadRacing.  It was TTXGP's job to promote the race series, just as it's eRoadRacing's job today to do so.  FIM is the sanctioning and rules organization, eRoadRacing is the promoter.  How much of the typical promotion has TTXGP or eRoadRacing done?  There's a TV deal with SpeedTV, but what else?

Essentially nobody knows about electric motorcycle racing, and the sport is suffering for it.  Well, the first part isn't entirely true.  Sometime in 2012 there were some AT&T line workers in the neighborhood working on the wires, and they spotted my car and we got to talking about restoring cars and electric vehicles.  Turns out they'd seen something on SpeedTV about electric motorcycle racing, so clearly that deal has resulted in SOME awareness.  But whatever that was hasn't been enough to cause a flock of fans to get rabidly excited about the sport.

Maybe it's just that the technology (still) isn't mature enough, despite the huge leaps and bounds of improvements that have been made.  The speeds and race length aren't on par with AMA's racing.  Yes, the speed of the top bikes are close to AMA 600cc superbikes, but the race length is only half AMA's.  At the speed bracket of the top electric bikes, it's close enough to the gassers to be good enough to make exciting racing, but only if there were a large enough grid of top electric bikes.

Which gets back to the question of funding.  It costs big bucks to field a top electric bike team, so where is the money going to come from?  While the teams are responsible for finding their sponsors, it's the responsibility, as SteveO said, to make the whole sport so compelling that sponsors organically show up looking for teams to sponsor.


Formula E boss: "We can create battery-heads"

The Formula E boss, Alejandro Agag, spoke at a technology fair in Barcelona recently, claiming that the Formula E will speak to the Facebook/iPad generation, and that the series will inspire a generation of battery heads.

What he's referring to is a demographic shift created by the flourishing of mobile electronics devices and the rise of Internet services.  He said that he grew up dreaming of buying a Ferrari, but kids today dream of the latest iPad.

Maybe there's something to that.  But given what I've seen via electric motorcycle racing, the theory he's proposing isn't necessarily the case.  While there are some young people involved and interested, there are plenty of older people involved and interested, and I haven't seen any evidence that the demographics of the electric motorcycle racing field is tilted to the young.

Are those who focus on their iPads and Internet services willing to go to a real world racing event?  

Where I do agree with Agag is that electric racing appeals to a different sort of person, and appeals in a different way than does gasoline driven racing.

For example, the lack of noise means that the physical experience of the race feels different than gasoline powered racing does.  It resonates in a different place in the body, appealing to a different aspect of the person.

That means, the lack of noise isn't a bad thing, it just makes electric racing different.

And, once people experience electric racing, see what a proper electric race vehicle can do, perhaps the audience will become as enthralled with the innards of electric race vehicles just as they get rabidly focused on the innards of today's petroleum powered race vehicles.  E.g. "Battery Heads" versus "Petrol Heads".


Monday, November 18, 2013

2013, the year long distance electric vehicle travel started to become common-place

This year, 2013, is turning into a watershed year for long distance electric motorcycle and car trips.  As I write this Terry Hershner is taking another of his long distance electric motorcycle trips, and while he's not going to beat the record he was aiming for, it's still quite an accomplishment that he's even doing it.  It would be helpful to review the years other trips, so let's go.

Almost a year ago, Terry Hershner set off on a trip from Florida to Los Angeles with his Zero S, aiming to attend a motorcycle show at which Zero Motorcycles unveiled their 2013 product line.  This actually happened in 2012 but it positioned Terry for the rest of the trips he took this year.

In June 2013 two trips took place simultaneously.  In one, Team Moto Electra (Brian Richardson, Thad Wolff, and crew) left Jacksonville Florida on a trip to Santa Monica.  They completed it in 3 1/2 days, and had the support of a van full of parts and supplies, hauling a generator on a trailer.  In the other,  Terry Hershner set out from California attempting to reach Jacksonville Florida before Moto Electra left.  Unfortunately a SNAFU prevented him doing so, and they didn't manage to meet each other on the road.

In June 2013 another trip started with two Zero FX riders traveling from Shanghai China to Milan Italy, along with a support crew. Their trip is chronicled on .. Originally it was to take 35 days, but it took 45 instead. Some numbers: 12379 Kilometers in 44 days, 350 hours riding, 297 batteries recharged, 12 countries.

The next major US event was the BC2BC rally, in which several electric cars were driven from the British Columbia border south to the Baja California border.

Terry Hershner wanted to participate in that rally.  But, he had a problem.  His previous trip had positioned him in Florida.  So, of course, he first rode his electric motorcycle from Florida to the British Columbia border to meet the BC2BC rally at their starting line.  He arrived at the last minute, worn out from the long trip and, so I heard it, with an empty battery pack.  But he still placed very well in the BC2BC rally, which he actually found very relaxing compared to his other trips.

The BC2BC rally consisted of three Tesla Model S's, one Tesla Roadster, one Zero S electric motorcycle, a Gen2 Toyota RAV4 EV, two Nissan Leaf's, and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.  A Model S won, of course, because they're designed for road trips.  However, Terry Hershner came in 2nd place with his Zero S.

Shortly after the BC2BC rally another cross country electric vehicle rally made it to California.  This group of people had set out from North Carolina for a 45 day trek across the country.  The vehicles included an electric bicycle, two or three electric scooters, an electric motorcycle, a Nissan Leaf, and a support van.  The length of the trip, 45 days, was because of the electric bicycle.  Terry Hershner joined up with them in Los Angeles, riding with them to their finish line on the Google Campus in Mountain View.  The electric motorcycle that completed the whole journey was a Zero S ridden by Ben Rich.

In mid-July, Terry Hershner set off on another trip, attempting to reach the Columbus Ohio area for Craig Vetter's fuel economy challenge at the vintage motorcycles event at the Mid-Ohio race track.  However, a SNAFU while traveling through the mountains of Colorado cut that trip short.  He repaired the bike, but had already missed the fuel economy challenge, and instead returned to California via the scenic route, swinging into Arizona to see the Grand Canyon.

Finally, in November 2013 after a few months of work to refine his bike setup, Terry Hershner set off from San Diego to Florida attempting to beat the time set up Team Moto Electra back in June.  Unfortunately yet another SNAFU, this time in Austin Texas, meant he wasn't able to beat their time.  However, he should be able to beat the time he had last summer and still hold the record for fastest unassisted cross country electric motorcycle trip.

As Tesla Model S's become more commonplace, and as the Tesla Supercharger network is built out, long distance electric vehicle trips should become commonplace.  The phase we're in right now is similar to early airplane experiments, where dashing young aviators bravely took to the sky taking ever-longer flights trying to prove that airplanes could handle long distance travel.  Nowadays it's completely routine to take a long distance airplane flight, but 80+ years ago that wasn't the case.  Today's electric vehicle pioneers are proving to the rest of us that long distance electric travel is possible.

Terry Hershner reminded that lane splitting is illegal in Texas

Last we saw of Terry Hershner last night had him going to a motel for sleep after SNAFU'ing his bike.  This morning Terry posted the following update:
Today in Austin I'm hoping to meet with the folks at ReVolt and do a custom electrical connection repair. In the meantime here's a recap of trip. Depending if we can get it fixed in time, we are sill hoping to be the fastest electric vehicle to cross coast to coast charging with existing infrastructure, and the first electric motorcycle to cross the country with a passenger. More updates later today...
Around the same time Chelsea (Bun Bun) posted they'd gone to the ATX Hackerspace, which is an Austin-area shop similar to the Hacker Dojo and other Hacker Spaces.  Obviously that was one stop in their quest to repair the connectors necessary to reconnect the add-on battery pack to the main pack.

Last night's SNAFU was to overheat and melt the Anderson connector and other wiring for the addon pack.  The workaround he did last night was to disconnect the add-on battery pack, reducing the bike to a 9 kilowatt-hour main pack.  That's enough to get around town, but not enough for the 1,000 miles remaining to cover.  Reconnecting the add-on pack means building new cables and connectors, hence visiting an EV Conversion shop like ReVolt, or stores like Graingers, or the Hackerspace, looking for parts and tools.

While running around town, Terry forgot that Texas doesn't allow motorcycles to lane split.  That led to a conversation with a police officer which Terry described in the Facebook post below.

The other thing we're learning from these two updates is that Terry is conceding that, this trip, he won't beat the 84.5 hours record set by Team Moto Electra last summer.  He can still set another record having to do with a solo electric motorcycle trip, and also set a whole new record for this being the first electric motorcycle to cross the country with a passenger.

That's what we like about Terry, always looking to push the boundaries of what's possible.

Ho Chi Fung and Eric Bostrom winners of the 2013 eRoadRacing World Cup

Eric Bostrom at Laguna Seca
It appears the eRoadRacing World Cup crew quietly closed out the 2013 season without holding a World Final race.  A press release has popped up on and saying that Ho Chi Fung (Zongshen) and Eric Bostrom (Brammo) are the winners of the 2013 eRoadRacing season, its first season in existence.  Eric Bostrom took first place in the eRoadRacing North America 2013 series, while Ho Chi Fung took first place in the European series.

The full results for the season (see pictures below, copied from the eRoadRacing website) show

  1. #59 Hoi Chi Fung (Zongshen) 75 pts
  2. #91 Sue Rong Zai (Zongshen) 61 pts
  3. #62 Sam West (Agni Racing) 57 pts
North America:
  1. #32 Eric Bostrom (Brammo) 45 pts
  2. #96 Kenyon Kluge (K Squared Racing) 36 pts
  3. #64 Jeremiah Johnson (BE-EV.COM Racing) 29 pts
The discrepancy in points totals reflects the fact that the European series had four events versus only two events in North America. 

The press release included these quotes.  I see two things being referenced by the quotes. 

When Bostrom says "I want a world championship" he may be referring to the plan in which, starting with the 2014 season, the eRoadRacing series won't be split into continent-level racing series.  Instead it will be a proper world championship, with the same set of teams competing at sites around the world in the same series.  As I say below, we haven't seen eRoadRacing's announcement for the 2014 season and what their plans are.

When Wismann says "we wish we would have had a bit more competition," well, lots of us feel the same way.  Several teams that are known to have top flight bikes that are competitive with, or superior to, the Bramo Empulse RR, simply did not compete in the 2013 eRoadRacing North America series.  We all wish Brammo had had proper competition at the top end, and there are teams in North America with bikes that can beat the Empulse RR, and who can turn in lap times competitive with the gas bikes.  Those teams did some amazing things in 2013, achieving big successes, but the top end eRoadRacing competition was left to Brammo for the 2013 season.

Eric Bostrom, FIM eRoad Racing North American Cup winner 2013, said: ‘The development we have seen in these bikes year-on-year is just amazing. It has been a real pleasure racing in the series with Brammo, the team have been fantastic and Shane was very fast as well. Now I can’t wait to see how the bikes will perform in 2014 because I want a world championship!’

Brian Wismann, Brammo Team Manager, added: ‘Team Icon Brammo is proud to take home a third North American winner and continue our reign as World Champions through to the 2014 season. Congratulations to Eric Bostrom as he’s definitely put in the effort to deserve this award. We wish we would have had a bit more competition but it didn’t stop us from continuing to develop the bikes into more formidable race machines and achieving our technical goals. We’re looking forward to seeing who steps up to challenge the Empulse RR in 2014.’

Ho Chi Fung, FIM eRoad Racing European Cup winner 2013, said: ‘This has been a great season for electric motorcycles and it’s an honour to be crowned European Series winner. I want to say thank you to all the team who all put in so much effort to make this happen. Now we’re looking forward to improving the bike ahead of next season. We want to win this championship again.’

Daniel Chung, Zongshen Team Manager, added: ‘We’re obviously very happy with our season, we have seen a lot of developments with the AC-motored machine and it has been a real learning curve. Now we want to take want we have found into next season and keep developing these bikes to become the fastest out there.’

Originally, there was going to be a eRoadRacing World Final race for the 2013 season.  It was going to be open to the top teams from each series.  However, I'd been hearing from the eRoadRacing team about difficulties finding a location for that race, with several possible locations named.  Another symptom of those difficulties was the cancellation of the third North America event (Miller Motorsports) and the inability to schedule an event at the World Superbike event at Laguna Seca.

The next big piece of news we expect from eRoadRacing is an announcement of the 2014 Season schedule, characteristics, and rules.  A year ago they told me the 2014 season was going to be very different from 2013, a season conducted very similarly to how the TTXGP was operated.

eRoadRacing 2013 Europe final standings

eRoadRacing 2013 North America final standings

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Texas takes its toll on Terry Hershner's trip, stuck in Austin wating for Graingers to open

Terry Hershner was doing pretty good, made it to Austin at a reasonable time today.  But, then, Texas took its toll on his trip, and I suppose beating the record is now out of the question.

On Facebook, Terry explained that they'd been at the Whole Foods charging and showing the bike to passers-by and taking pictures .. but a SNAFU occurred, in which part of the charging system shut off, shunting the entire charge current through connectors not built to take 280 amps of current.  By the time he noticed the connectors had melted preventing use of the addon battery pack, leaving the bike in its 9 kilowatt-hour stock configuration.

Friends are posting suggestions to him on Facebook but since it's after Midnight on a Sunday night, there aren't any open stores at which he could buy Anderson connectors, welding cable, ring terminals or the crimping tools required to rebuild the cables.  It seems there's a couple Graingers stores that open at 7:30 AM, so Terry should be able to get back on the road pretty quick after building new cables.  In the meantime they're staying overnight in a Motel.

Will he make it in time to beat the existing record?  Team Moto Electra has the record, set in June, taking 3 1/2 days to travel from Jacksonville FL to Santa Monica (84.5 hours).  At the time they did that trip, Terry was attempting to make the same trip in reverse, going from San Diego to Jacksonville.  But a SNAFU on that trip cost him time and he took a bit longer than they did.  Terry should be getting extra consideration because his trips have been solo while Moto Electra's trip was a whole team of people, along with a van and trailer full of parts and a portable generator.  I dearly love everyone on Team Moto Electra, but there's a world of difference between what they did and what Terry is doing.

In any case, Terry's departure from San Diego was at 2:22 EST on Friday.  By my rough estimation he'd be leaving Austin by Noon local time, or at about the 72ish hours mark.   I'm guessing it's nearly impossible to make it from Austin to Jacksonville FL in 12ish hours with any kind of vehicle, much less one that has to stop every so often for an hour of charging.  In any case the hard deadline to get to Jacksonville and beat Moto Electra's record is 2:22 AM Tuesday morning.

At the same time, just finishing a cross country electric motorcycle trip is amazing enough even if Terry doesn't beat the record.  We want Terry to arrive safely, and if that means not beating the record then so be it.

Remniscing over AHRMA's history with TTXGP electric motorcycle racing

The other day we learned of a new electric motorcycle racing series that will be run under the AHRMA umbrella.  There's actually a fair bit of history of AHRMA hosting electric motorcycle racing, and I thought it might be worth recounting that history.

First, AHRMA is the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association.  In practice most of their bikes are loud 2 stroke machines from decades ago, that AHRMA members lovingly keep in a restored condition, racing them at AHRMA events.  They hold events across the country, but as a club racing series those events are not well attended.  Instead, it's the racers, their friends and family.

Thad Wolff riding Team Electra's 2010 race bike
Waiting for the start at AHRMA's event
At Barber Motorsports Park
The first instance I know of where an electric motorcycle raced at an AHRMA event came in October 2010.  Team Electra, the brain-child of Brian Richardson, had raced in the 2010 and 2011 TTXGP seasons with a Norton Featherbed motorcycle from the 1950's that had been converted to electric.  At the end of the 2010 season, the team had a chance to go to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama for an AHRMA event

After going through qualifying races, AHRMA decided their best fit was the GP-350 class.  During the race, rider Thad Wolff, lapped the whole of the GP-350 riders and was working on lapping the riders in the next faster class.  (AHRMA routinely runs multiple classes at the same time)

That was the first known instance of an electric motorcycle entering a gas motorcycle race, competing for points, and winning.
Lightning Motorcycles brought two bikes
to the 2011 TTXGP World Final

AHRMA then hosted the TTXGP North American finals events for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.  That occurred both years at Miller Motorsports Park outside of Salt Lake City.

The 2011 TTXGP final featured one of the more interesting line-ups in electric motorcycle racing history, so far.   It came a little over a month following the 2011 TTXGP/e-Power race at Laguna Seca during which Mission Motors beat the pants off both MotoCzysz and Lightning Motorcycles, setting a lap speed record that still stands today.  The line-up at Miller featured MotoCzysz, Lightning, Brammo, Team Electra, and Proto Moto (Ely Schless).  MotoCzysz won the race, beating Lightning by 30 seconds.

The 2012 TTXGP final (and this) had a rather different line-up, featuring Brammo, Virginia Tech, and several bikes from Zero Motorcycles.  By this time Eric Bostrom had joined the Brammo line-up and had raced with them in a couple events.

The 2012 season was the first year in which Zero Motorcycle's bikes were credible enough for racing in the TTXGP.  They'd raced all year with a fleet of four bikes and an ever-changing roster of riders.

The 2012 season was a turning point in electric motorcycle racing, because the field to be dominated by Brammo, with prototype high-end bikes, and Zero Motorcycles, with manufactured bikes close to 250cc performance levels.  In 2010 and 2012 the field was dominated by prototype bikes or home-built conversions.  With the 2012 season, factory prototypes and manufactured bikes became the norm.

The 2012 TTXGP World Final, held during the AHRMA weekend at Daytona International Speedway, featured the same line-up as the North American final (Brammo, Virginia Tech, and Zero Motorcycles) plus Catavolt came all the way from Australia to race. 

The most amazing part of that event was the performance of the two Brammo bikes.  Eric Bostrom and team-mate Steve Atlas both were hitting 170 miles/hr in race conditions.  Just two years previously, Lightning Motorcycles had set the electric motorcycle land speed record at 176 miles/hr (which they surpassed with a 215 miles/hr record in 2011).  But there they were, on a race track, rather than a straight line track like is used in land speed racing, hitting nearly the same speed, in race conditions.

This event turned out to be Steve Atlas' last time racing with Brammo.

For the 2013 season, the TTXGP no longer existed, and the new series, eRoadRacing World Cup, had to operate under different conditions.  Namely, they could only hold races at FIM homologated race tracks, resulting in only four events this year all of which came during MotoGP weekends.  That meant no AHRMA/TTXGP events in 2013.

What all this means is that AHRMA is already familiar with the electric motorcycle scene.  They know who we are, and how to deal with us.

Because AHRMA events are quiet little affairs, we'll be missing out on something the TTXGP originally sought -- exposure before large audiences.  The TTXGP's first event, 2009 at the Isle of Man, was on one of the largest stages one could imagine, TT Week.  During the 2010 season the TTXGP was able to race at AMA events, in front of large audiences.  But something happened beginning with the 2011 season, and TTXGP was no longer able to race at AMA events and instead ended up at less attended club racing events.

By working with the AHRMA this new series won't be in front of large audiences.  But maybe the sport is too young for what the large audience events demand.  They're expecting 600cc superbike or MotoGP speeds, and the number of electric motorcycles that can hit such speeds are, well, extremely rare.  Namely, MotoCzysz's two bikes, the Mission Motors 2011 bike, Lightning's two bikes, Brammo's two bikes, and maybe bikes from Meunch or Zongshen.  Everyone else has speeds closer to the 250cc-450cc classes.

The other requirement for large audience events is enough awareness that fans will pay for tickets to see them race.  Do enough people know about electric motorcycle racing to form a large enough fan base?  I don't think so. 

I suspect that racing at AHRMA events could give the electric motorcycle racing sport time to mature a bit before trying again to break into the big time.  Except that the eRoadRacing organization will presumably make another go of a racing season in 2014.  What will eRoadRacing's plans be?  And how will it overlap with this new series?   Will the new series even be able to get off the ground?  Lots of questions remain.

Is West Texas toying with Terry Hershner - stuck in the fog after finding a 100 amp charging station

This morning, Terry Hershner appears to still be stuck in West Texas.  When I went to bed last night he'd made it past El Paso, and was on the highway and looked like he'd make it to San Antonio or farther by morning.  This morning we see the report below, that they'd made it to the Iraan Energy House, where they have a Clipper Creek CS-100 that can provide 24 kilowatts burst charging power, and 16 kilowatts continuous, through one charging plug.  However, shortly after that he made another post about being stuck on the side of the road in thick fog.

Terry's traveling companion, Bun Bun, wrote this:
Trip update: visibility zilch (3-5 meters!)

Heavy fogs rolled through while recharging in Iraan... We've been traveling all night, but for about the last 50 miles we've been driving @30mph with deer throwing themselves at us!

West Texas appears to be playing with Terry?

It appears they've made it about halfway across, but they're close to the 2 day mark.  Once this fog burns off they'll be able to start rolling, and the charging stations are more plentiful as they head east.  Getting past West Texas is the big hurdle.  UPDATE: They just posted another link to a Glympse viewer, making it clear they're on the road again heading at 65ish miles/hr east from Ozona TX.  According to Google Maps it's 206 miles from there to San Antonio, so we should expect another stop for charging before that city.  Plugshare shows a KOA campground and that San Antonio is rich with charging stations. 

What Terry's overnight report reminds me of is the question in my mind - just how badly do "we" need "fast charging" anyway?

Some of the automakers appear to have been delaying electric car manufacturing plans to wait for fast charging standards to be fully tested and implemented.  Though, why didn't they just adopt CHAdeMO and get on with it is a mystery.

Anyway, the J1772 plug is spec'd to handle up to 19 kilowatts, which is 3x the charging rate that's common now (Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, etc).  For long trips like what Terry is doing, the charge rate effectively limits the speed of travel.  At 6 kilowatts the rule of thumb is you're gaining 20-25 miles of range per hour of charging.  So at 19 kilowatts it's more like 75 miles of range per hour of charging.  That's a pretty useful rate of charge.  With the 16 kilowatts continuous Terry says the CS-100 can handle, that's about 60 miles of range per hour of charging, still pretty useful.

Those figures are for cars - motorcycles require less energy than cars, so have a higher effective range gain per hour of charging.

If the car makers were to simply upgrade the on-board chargers to handle the full 19 kilowatts of the J1772 spec, electric cars would be that much more useful while not requiring expensive fast charger infrastructure.  The infrastructure would be more expensive than it is now, because 100+ amp circuits are more expensive to install than the 40 amp circuits required for a 6 kilowatt charging station.

The way things are positioned currently, the 6 kilowatt charging infrastructure is touted as "This is the Way Things Will Be" with nobody talking about upgrading level 2 charging above that power level.  That's leaving electric car owners stuck with 25ish miles of range gained per hour of charging.  And while that's much better than the 12ish miles of range per hour of 3 kilowatt charging, it's still not very fast.

For example, when I went to Craig Vetter's shop to visit with Terry and crew, I drove my electric car of course (because it's the only car I own).  The on-board charger is a Manzanita PFC-40 which can handle 8-9 kilowatts charging rate, but this is effectively limited by the rate supported by public charging infrastructure.  First, the voltage is typically 208 volts but sags to 205 volts during charging.  Second, the stations are configured for 32 amps max, and while the charger can handle 40 amps there's a risk of popping the circuit breaker if the charger is set above 32 amps.  That calculates out to 6 kilowatts or so.  The trip to Vetter's shop is 100 miles each way, and it took 4 hours of charging time each way, plus 1 1/2 hours driving time, making it 5 hours each way for a 100 mile trip.

What Terry has done to get around this limitation is to have multiple J1772 plugs and use multiple chargers.  If he stops at a charging station location with multiple charging stations, he can simultaneously charge from each station.  Two stations means 12 kilowatts, and three charging stations means 18 kilowatts.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Terry Hershner takes on West Texas, this time geared up to win

It's 9pm PST, 1 1/2 days into Terry Hershner's trip in which he's attempting to set a record for cross country electric motorcycle travel.  The Facebook post embedded below was posted 5 hrs ago, from El Paso, his last status update a few minutes ago shows him now on the highway a few miles east of El Paso.  What Terry wrote on Facebook, "We're gonna try to be friends this time," is deserving of some explanation because Terry has some history with West Texas.

Over the last year he's made several cross country trips with his electric motorcycle.  It started with a long distance trip in early 2012 going from Florida to Tennessee for a conference.  Since then he's made trip after trip, continuously improving his bike and techniques.

Terry Hershner's bike as it was in December 2012
In December 2012, 11 months ago, Terry set off on his first cross-country trip.  The goal was to arrive in Los Angeles for the unveiling party of Zero Motorcycles' 2013 model line.  

He set off from Florida and I was following his Facebook updates with interest.  But.. then... there was this abrupt jump from West Texas to Los Angeles, and immediately before-hand Jeremiah Johnson had made a couple Facebook posts about driving his van through the night.

What I learned later is that West Texas was an insurmountable hurdle for Terry, at that time.  But now, Terry has the machine which can conquer West Texas.

Terry had counted on a public charging station owned by Oncor Electric in Big Springs Texas, that's shown on the ChargePoint maps.  But, the charging station turned out to be closed to the public.  While he was able to locate a big truck repair shop that let him use power outlets normally used by welding equipment, the long distances in the desert south-west were too much of a risk.

Terry Hershner and motorcycle,
in Craig Vetter's shop in October 2013
At that time he followed a pattern of riding 45 miles, then charging enough for the next 45 miles.  The south-west is so vast that charging opportunities are more than 45 miles apart.  Zero Motorcycles really wanted him and his bike in Los Angeles for the event, leading to Jeremiah driving to pick him up and together they went to Los Angeles for the event.

In other words, his first cross country attempt didn't achieve the goal of making it all the way across the country.  But, that didn't stop him.

Instead of returning to his home in Florida, Terry stayed in California, shuttling between the Los Angeles area and an apartment he rented in the Santa Cruz area.  Terry found collaborators in both areas and set about redesigning his bike for longer riding range and more energy efficient.  Rather than a 45ish mile range per charge, the bike now has nearly 200 miles range per charge.

As I wrote the other day, a key connection he made was to meet Craig Vetter.  Craig has been working on fairing designs for decades, and especially has focused on ideas he gathered while following Buckminster Fuller around - doing more with less.   Craig applied those ideas to Motorcycle Design with properly aerodynamic fairings so motorcycles would perform better, while using less energy.

For the last few years Craig has worked on the "Last Vetter Fairing" project.  The goal of this project is motorcycles that serve daily transportation needs while being extremely fuel efficient.  Over 100 miles/gallon fuel efficiency, while being able to carry 4 bags of groceries.

What's on Terry's bike is a version of that Fairing.  With it, his bike has well over 100 miles/gallon equivalent fuel efficiency, and can carry way more than 4 bags of groceries.  Or, in the case of this trip, tools and power adapters and cabling.

With that fairing, Terry has already ridden from California to Florida, then from Florida to the Canadian border north of Seattle, then from there to the Mexican border south of San Diego, then attempted to ride from California to Ohio, and in-between he's made several trips up and down California.  Just before this trip his bike hit the 50,000 miles mark, thanks to these trips.

Terry Hershner update - somewhere past Tuscon AZ

Overnight Terry Hershner and Bun Bun ran into a couple delays - an accident on I-10 that blocked the road for a few hours, and then strong headwinds that increased energy usage.  Even with that improved aerodynamic fairing, riding directly into a headwind still takes up a lot of energy.  They ended up prematurely draining the pack and having to charge on a 120 volt outlet.  They eventually made it to a GOE3 charging station from which they could draw 12 kilowatts - closer to their normal charging rate.

The last report I see on his Facebook page came 5 hours ago saying that a "drunk driver" had blocked the road for a few hours.  I assume that means a major traffic accident caused by a drunk driver ..etc.. and if we looked at news reports around Tuscon today it's probably full of gorey stories from the highway.

Because their last report was 5 hrs ago, one hopes that Bun Bun talked Terry into taking a nap ...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Terry Hershner sets off on new cross-country record setting attempt - San Diego to Florida in under 3 days

Terry Hershner's modified Zero S,
in Craig Vetter's shop
Terry Hershner has taken a 2012 Zero S - the same one which Jeremiah Johnson rode in the 2012 TTXGP World Final at Daytona Beach (see the video at the end of an article I wrote on him) - and modified it beyond belief to support nearly 200 miles on a charge, and a sub-1-hour charging time.  He's about to set off on another of his cross-country trips, looking to ride from San Diego to Florida in under three days.

Out of the box, the 2012 Zero S had about 60 miles range at highway speed and took 8 hours for a full recharge.

With his bike, Terry Hershner has criss-crossed the country this year demonstrating that the combination of 150 miles electric range and fast charging means the freedom to ride/drive "anywhere". 

The last couple months he's been working on further refinements with the intent to make another cross-country trip that will secure the record time for a cross country electric motorcycle trip.  Currently the record is held by our friends with Moto Electra, Brian Richardson, Thad Wolff, and crew.  Terry is looking to make the trip this time in about 2 1/2 days, but any trip under three days duration will snag the record.

How does it work?

The key is the charging system.  The bike is carrying, uh, IIRC it's 18 kilowatt-hours of battery pack, but it might be "only" 15 kilowatt-hours.  Stock, the Zero S ZF9 had 9 kilowatt-hours.  To charge that in under an hour means 18 kilowatts or more of charging capacity.  Terry has lashed a bunch of Elcon 2500 PFC chargers to the bike, enough to get 18 kilowatts -- if he can find sufficient charging stations or power outlets. 

Another part of the system is a bag full of power adapters.  The one shown here converts a J1772 plug into a NEMA 14-50 outlet, which Terry then converts further to connect with the chargers. 

His system lets him use multiple J1772 charging stations simultaneously.  Each typical J1772 charging station supports 6ish kilowatts, and by connecting to three stations simultaneously adds up to 18ish kilowatts.  If he can't find charging stations, laundromats typically have NEMA 14-50 outlets, plenty of electrical capacity, and he's become adept at talking laundromat owners into letting him charge his bike.

Another key is aerodynamics.  Terry has had the good fortune to meet Craig Vetter, a legendary motorcycle designer who has been developing motorcycle fairings for 50 years or so. 

Over the last year they've set up a full fairing for his Zero S - the idea being to make the most use of the energy carried on the bike.  They estimate that half of the range extension comes from Terry having installed a larger battery pack on the bike - 18 kilowatt-hours versus 9 - and that the other half comes from aerodynamics.

Vetter told me that one test of his fairing involved two Ninja 250's being ridden side-by-side, at the same speed, in the same air conditions.  One bike had his fairing while the other didn't.  The Ninja 250 with the fairing had something like twice the fuel efficiency of the one that didn't.

We believe that electric bikes need this much more than gas bikes do, because of limited energy storage.

For most of the year Terry had ridden with a fairing that ended in a blunt end.  That's the wooden bulkhead you see in the picture above.  What they did over the last two-ish months is to design, fabricate, and install the tail section shown above.  Adding the tail improves air flow and increases efficiency even more.  The technology used is amazingly simple, just an aluminum frame with a simple skin, but it makes huge energy efficiency improvements.

Craig Vetter overseeing installation of the tail

Testing the ride
Unlike his previous trips, this time Terry will have a passenger.  His friend Bun Bun will be riding behind him, helping him stay awake.  She's the one wearing the second helmet in the picture below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Brammo looking to go public in 2015, eventually build electric sports car

Brammo, whom we know mostly for ultra-fast electric motorcycle prototypes, and reasonably fast electric street bikes, is also looking to build an electric sports car for plus-sized people.  Ahem, like Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher.  If Tesla Motors' product plans seem eerily like the personal needs of CEO Elon Musk (first the sports car, then the family sedan, then the minivan), then maybe Brammo's product plans also fit the personal needs of its CEO.  Or maybe that's reading too much into it.  In any case, an article on the Sustainable Business Oregon website says that Bramscher's original purpose in launching Brammo was to manufacture a sports car that he himself could drive.

As a somewhat plus-sized person myself whose daily driver is an electric Karmann Ghia, the difficulty of getting in/out of a normal sports car is challenging.  I understand, really.

First - it says that Brammo is looking to go public in 2015 (or so) and raise $150 million.  The company has raised some investment capital already, and Polaris is a part owner of Brammo. 

The company has raised $17 million in investment capital in the last four years - a time period going back to 2009.  At that time the company had just competed in the 2009 TTXGP on the Isle of Man, had been a big sponsor of that race, etc.  The current fund raising target is $150 million from private investors, and another $150 million from public investors once they go public.

Bramscher's personal background is having launched a tech company, Dream Media, that did something related to creating "system infrastructure and connectivity solutions for communications companies such as Warner Bros."  He sold that company and made a mint, then used the proceeds as seed capital for launching Brammo.

His first thought after selling Dream Media was to buy a 'super-car' but, Bramscher said, "It turned out my 'petiteness' wouldn't fit into a Lambourgini or a Ferrari."

His thinking turned to building an electric car for what Bramscher described to Sustainable Business Oregon as "'pro athlete-sized' clients."

Read between those two lines and you get the description I wrote above - an electric sports car for plus-sized people.

According to the report, they've got an 85% complete prototype sitting in a storage facility in the Ashland OR area.  But then they took the pieces they'd been developing for the sports car, and instead built a motorcycle, and latched onto the idea of becoming an electric motorcycle company.

The electric sports car idea is still there, apparently, as part of the company's road-map.  And now that they're hooked up with Polaris, perhaps they have a manufacturing partner who can help bring it to market?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New electric motorcycle racing series for the US - under AHRMA auspices

Arthur Kowitz just posted an announcement in the Electric Racing group on Facebook (which I manage) titled - "Announcing a New eMotoRoadRacing Series in the USA!".  The announcement is basically that AHRMA will host an electric motorcycle racing series starting in 2014.  For the first year it's an exhibition series, that will have points and awards, and with "reasonable participation" it will become a regular class in the subsequent years.

The series will be held during AHRMA race weekends at these tracks
  • Roebling Road Raceway
  • NOLA Motorsports Park
  • Willow Springs Int’l Raceway
  • Sonoma(Sears Point)
  • Road America
  • Grattan Raceway
  • New Jersey Motorsports Park
  • Miller Motorsports Park
  • Barber Motorsports Park
  • Daytona Int’l Speedway
I queried him privately, and he says there's nothing yet public to link to for specifics.

He did say the series is open to "ePrototype, eProduction racer, or race-prepped eStreetbike".  I believe what he means is that the series is open to including the top end bikes (Lightning, Brammo Empulse RR, MotoCzysz, etc) and the middle-weight race bikes (Empulse TTX, Zero SR) as well as the street versions of those bikes (Empulse R, Zero S).  It may even be meant to include the DIY electric builders.

I think in practice that the series will primarily focus on what I called the middle-weight bikes .. Empulse TTX, Zero SR, Empulse R, Zero S, as well as DIY builders.

We'll have to see just where this is going.  In the meantime I have some questions, and no answers, but here's the primary one in my mind.

Are they cooperating w/ eRoadRacing?  What Azhar Hussain told me at the end of the 2012 season, is that  the TTXGP name would be freely licensed for use within club racing series.  There would be some conditions on using the name and rules, with the idea that TTXGP would become a production bike series with limited modifications allowed.  Maybe, or maybe not, this new series will be launched under that plan.

I'll wonder something out loud ... just because the TTXGP and eRoadRacing series' existed, does that mean we all need to treat that organization as the be-all-end-all of electric motorcycle racing?  Yes, the TTXGP and e-Power did valuable service in laying the ground work for electric motorcycle racing.  But, does that mean there can be no other electric motorcycle racing series?

The end goal is for electric motorcycle racing to take over.  But, how do we get there?  Do we work at the grass roots and build interest organically through club racing events?  Or do we build a world championship series from scratch?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Zero Motorcycles announces near-race-ready electric motorcycle, the 2014 Zero SR, while ditching dirt bikes

The 2014 Zero SR
Zero's first race-ready electric motorcycle
In the Laguna Seca corkscrew
Zero Motorcycles has ditched their dirt bike roots, and added a race ready version of the Zero S.  While this is exciting for electric motorcycle racing fans, it means electric dirt bike fans might be disappointed.  Or maybe not, depending on how good BRD's electric dirt bikes are.  But let's not get distracted by that, and instead focus on today's announcement by Zero Motorcycles of their 2014 product line.

The new 2014 Zero Motorcycles product line is primarily the core trio: Zero S, Zero DS, Zero FX.  The Zero SR is the race version, and there is also a Zero Police bike.  The press pictures area on Zero's website also includes pictures of a Zero MMX but that bike isn't listed on the front page as one of the 2014 models.  The Zero XU is missing as are the Zero X and Zero MX (their dirt bikes).  The Zero MMX pictures show a bike that's much like their old dirt bike design.
2014 Zero SR on Laguna Seca's front straight

Just in case you're confused if this
is a race bike or not

The Zero Motorcycles website does not describe the Zero SR as a race bike, but that's what it is.  To make that clearer, half the Zero SR the press pictures on Zero's website were taken at Laguna Seca.   They say: The “R” configuration of the Zero S is designed for riders who simply want to go faster and accelerate harder.  The difference between the Zero S, Zero DS and the Zero SR is that the SR has a 660 amp controller versus the 420 amp controller on the Zero S/DS.  In other words, the Zero SR has a SEVCON Gen4 Size 6 controller, while the S/DS has a Size 4 controller.

That controller difference is exactly the primary modification made during the 2013 eRoadRacing season by the guys riding 2013 Zero S's.

That means Zero is now offering, from the factory, a ready for racing motorcycle configuration.

Technically it's not completely race-ready in the same way Brammo's Empulse TTX is.  The Zero SR has mirrors and other doo-dads required for riding on the road, and doesn't have the tail switch and lights required by the rules.  Those are simple modifications however.  The big hurdle, upgrading to the Size 6 controller, is being taken care of by the factory.

The 2014 Zero S MSRP is $14,995, while the SR's MSRP is $16,995.  That makes the race-ready Zero SR to be a $2,000 price premium. 

For that price bump, torque goes from 68 ft-lb to 106 ft-lb, power from 54 hp to 67 hp, and top speed from 95 miles/hr to 102 miles/hr.  The 0-60 miles/hr time goes from 5.2 seconds to 3.3 seconds.  It's the same motor, so you're going to have to develop a cooling system.  At the 2013 eRoadRacing events, all the Zero based racers (except for Ted Rich) had installed ducts to direct air at the controller and motor.   Curiously they didn't upgrade the suspension components for the Zero SR.

Another new feature is an optional add-on battery pack that bumps total battery capacity from 11.4 kilowatt-hours to 14.2 kilowatt-hours.  That increases highway riding range from 70 miles to 88 miles.  This won't be of much help to racers because the 2013 bikes had plenty of range for the 22 mile distance of the TTXGP/eRoadRacing events. 

I have a niggling thought in my head, does the 14.2 kilowatt-hour pack give the bike enough range to complete the Isle of Man TT ZERO?  While it's not fast enough to be competitive for a shot at winning the TT ZERO, wouldn't it be wild for a factory built bike to go to that race and finish?  So far the TT ZERO has been all about prototype one-off bikes, and not about factory bikes.  Just like the 2013 eRoadRacing season was all about factory and manufacturer prototype bikes, bringing a factory bike to the TT ZERO would represent a big step forward.

Profile shot
Zero SR on the highway - it's not just for racing
The Z-FORCE 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency,
radial flux permanent magnet, brushless motor.

Zero introduced this concept for the 2013 model year.
It is designed with the heat-producing components on the outside,
so that simple cooling fins can take care of cooling the motor.

The model number, 75-7, is the same for 2014
as it was for the 2013 Zero S.