Monday, March 17, 2014

OSU's Buckeye Current aims to win TT ZERO 2014 podium position

In 2013 the OSU Buckeye Current team made their first trip to compete in the TT ZERO, and took third place overall.  The team's website currently says they are building a new bike, the RW-2, and are looking to ride their momentum and again take a podium spot.

Mum is the word regarding specifics about the bike, at least on their website.  Their Facebook page has been busy showing some incremental progress towards building it.

Donor bike:

They're building some interesting looking custom parts, such as an electronics enclosure and this motor mount:

Battery pack:

Mugen plans two bikes for 2014 TT ZERO, with McGuinness and Anstey riding

We'd love for MotoCzysz to be at TT ZERO 2014, and we completely understand why they won't.  It means that Mugen, which took a very close 2nd place in 2013, will possibly be a shoe-in to win.  Except there are plenty of teams saying they're planning to win a podium spot in 2014.  In the case of Mugen, they're bringing two bikes to TT ZERO 2014 and have two top riders who've won the TT several times apiece.

John McGuinness has twenty TT wins under his belt, and New Zealand racer Bruce Anstey has nine.  Mugen has assembled a formidable rider lineup.

The 2014 bikes, named Shinden San, are described as more power and the team anticipates breaking more records.

A team spokesman said: "We are extremely excited to have secured the services of two such experienced, proven winners around the TT mountain course, and the team will be pulling out all the stops to provide them with the machinery to go for the first TT Zero victory for Team Mugen."

No further details are available for Shinden San at this time, and the bike will be revealed later in the spring.

MotoCzysz taking a year off from racing

Earlier in the day I saw a Facebook posting saying, unconfirmed, that MotoCzysz was not going to participate in the TT ZERO 2014.  Not wanting to publish something without confirmation, I sent an email to Michael Czysz asking for clarification.  I haven't received an answer from him, but halfway through the press release announcing that Mark Miller will race with Team Vercarmoto, there is confirmation:
I want to wish MotoCzysz and Michael Czysz all the best as they take a year off from racing ...
 Last year we were saddened to learn that Michael Czysz had come down with a serious illness, which prevented him from being at the Isle of Man for the 2013 TT ZERO.  The team pulled off excellence last year, and surely made him proud.

If Michael responds to my e-mail, I'll update this post, but this is enough perhaps.

Mark Miller riding with Vercarmoto for 2014 TT ZERO, not MotoCzysz

For several years now Mark Miller has ridden with MotoCzysz for the TT ZERO.  I just came across a Facebook posting by Mark Miller containing a press release saying he will be racing with Team Vercarmoto. 

In 2013 the team took fifth place with Chris McGahan riding.  For 2014 the team is looking to get on the podium, and have turned to Mark Miller.  His pedigree with the TT ZERO is excellent, finishing either 1st, 2nd or 3rd each time he participated except in 2013 when a bike failure forced him to retire halfway through the race.

The bike he's riding, the Vercar R6E, is built on a Yamaha R6 donor bike and has a 6-speed gearbox.  That's an interesting choice since the majority of electric motorcycles have no gearbox at all, but are directly geared.  It's 75 horsepower and 225 kilograms and top speed around 155 miles/hr.

That's fast, sure enough, but not in the same speed category as the Bramo Empulse RR, MotoCzysz e1pc, or Lightning Superbike.  On the other hand, TT ZERO isn't about raw speed, but the longevity to make it around the 38+ mile track.