Saturday, May 31, 2014

Anstey sets new TT ZERO lap record - 112 miles/hr - Saturday qualifying session

John McGuinness during Friday's practice
Source: IOMTT
Today it was Bruce Anstey's turn to set an TT ZERO lap speed record.  Yesterday, Mugen's John McGuinness finished with a 111.904 miles/hr lap speed, and in today's qualifying round Mugen's Bruce Anstey finished with a 112.355 miles/hr lap speed.

McGuinness finished with a 109.370 miles/hr lap speed after leading for most of the race.  At the Ramsey Hairpin, he had a 127.182 miles/hr lap speed (12:07.462) to Anstey's 123.194 miles/hr (12:31.011).  At the Bungalow the lap speed for both had slowed down a little, 122.300 miles/hr (15:59.610) for McGuinness and 119.486 miles/hr (16:22.207) for Anstey.  The mountain took its toll, by Cronk-ny-mona McGuinness was down to a 118.022 miles/hr (18:39.448) lap speed, and Anstey down to 115.707 miles/hr (19:01.845) lap speed.  By the Grandstand their positions reversed, with Anstey finishing with a 112.355 miles/hr (20:08.914) lap speed, and McGuinness finishing with a 109.370 miles/hr (20:41.917) lap speed.

Team Mugen Shinden before the start
Source: IOMTT
I'm guessing something happened to McGuinness - and it might be as simple as running a little low on energy.

At the Sulby Speed Trap, Anstey was the fastest, 163.3 miles/hr, McGuinness next at 158.6 miles/hr, Sarolea's Robert Wilson next at 121.1 miles/hr, George Spence on the ION Horse at 109.8 miles/hr, and Brunel's Paul Owen at 100.2 miles/hr.  Mark Miller, riding for Vercarmoto, wasn't recorded for most of the results, but he did finish the race.

Final results were:
  1. Bruce Anstey, Mugen, 112.355 miles/hr (20:08.914) lap speed
  2. John McGuinness, Mugen, 109.370 miles/hr (20:41.917) lap speed
  3. Robert Wilson, Sarolea, 91.871 miles/hr (24:38.464) lap speed
  4. Mark Miller, Vercarmoto, 79.907 miles/hr (28:19.829) lap speed
  5. George Spence, Kingston Univ ION Horse, 79.612 miles/hr (28:26.123) lap speed

Missing from yesterday's lineup was: a) Buckeye Current - they posted on Facebook that on Friday a couple battery cells had failed, so they were being replaced and tested; b) Brunel U - began the race, but Paul Owen's last recorded position was at the Bungalow; c) Russ Mountford, ARC EV Engineering - found no information.  Despite posting a picture yesterday showing their bike on the Ferry, Darvill Racing was a no-show today.  Darvill's picture showed an Empulse R rather than an Empulse TTX, so it's unclear if they're still planning to enter the race and if so what with.

Bruce Anstey at the start line
Source: IOMTT
This must be Anstey's day to set lap records - because he broke the outright lap record riding a stinky noisy gas bike earlier today.

The 2013 TT ZERO lap record was 109 miles/hr, by Michael Rutter of MotoCzysz.  That's now history now that both of Mugen's riders have beat that record.  Is it possible they'll get up 115 miles/hr?  It's racing, so we can't promise anything, since both could crash out leaving the win to other teams.

Last thing to note is that Sarolea's Robert Wilson finished faster today (91.871 miles/hr) than Buckeye Current's Rob Barber did yesterday (89.607 miles/hr).

And, he's off
Source: IOMTT
It's fair to say that 1st and 2nd place are sown up by Mugen's riders, and it'll be the luck of the race as to which is on top.  The 3rd place seems to be up for grabs with Buckeye Current and Sarolea as the main contenders.

The next TT ZERO event is at 16:00 GMT on Monday.

Here's some facebook postings from 2014 TT ZERO teams following yesterday's qualifying race.

Vercarmoto's Mark Miller

This picture by Team Sarolea shows what it's like at the starting line.

Mugen Shinden tweeted: Our boys are pretty shattered after pulling an all-nighter repairing Bruce's bike after a part failed in FP1, ready for Q1 now though.  During the practice round yesterday, Anstey had to "retire" early in the lap and a picture we captured off Twitter showed flames, but the bike wasn't on fire it was skidding (apparently).  This tweet says Anstey will be back for the qualifying round today.

Yesterday they posted a picture of him just after retiring from the race.

The Buckeye Current team got some good news coverage in local press.

Buckeye Current Racing had a technical problem yesterday, and won't go out for a practice round today.  They'd posted yesterday the results in the practice round was enough to qualify them for the race, so maybe they don't need to enter the qualifying round? 

Friday, May 30, 2014

McGuinness sets 111 miles/hr lap record in TT ZERO qualifying/practice session on Friday May 30

Today the 2014 TT ZERO is having its first practice session on the Isle of Man.  At the bottom of this is a bunch of postings I've located on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  The big news is that John McGuinness, riding for Team Mugen Shinden, broke the 110 miles/hr threshold, hitting a 111.904 miles/hr lap speed.  Going by the Manx Radio reporting, he rode real hard the whole race, hitting 164 miles/hr at the Sulby Speed Trap.

James Hiller seems to not have a bike to ride in the TT ZERO, according to a post on ElMoto by a member of one of the teams.  However, some ManTTX and Brunel Univ have both shown up.  That makes the entry list a little longer than I posted the other day.

Darvill Racing won't be in today's practice session - an hour ago they posted a picture of an Empulse R on the Ferry, on Facebook, meaning they won't be able to prep it in time to go around the mountain.

Going by Manx Radio reporting from the field, these are the entries and the order they left:
  • Bruce Anstey - Mugen Shinden
  • Mark Miller - Team Vercarmoto
  • Rob Barber - Buckeye Current
  • Rob Wilson - Team Sarolea
  • John McGuiness - Mugen Shinden
  • Russ Mountford - ARC EV Engineering
  • Brunel University Racing - Paul Owen - based on a Triumph.

Missing at least one machine from the entry list.  Dave Moffit was unable to get to the starting line.

Michael Rutter was unable to secure a new ride for the race, given MotoCzysz did not enter (may Michael Czysz have a good recovery). 

Bruce Anstey had to retire from race at Quarter Bridge.  A picture on Facebook showed Anstey's bike on fire UPDATE: Turns out I misinterpreted the picture, a readwer who's on-the-island wrote "The smoke that is visible in the photo is from the rear tire spinning, nothing was on fire. The black mark from the spinning tire was visible this morning on my way to the course."  John McGuinness was going strong at the first checkpoint.

At Sulby speed trap, John McGuinness hit 164.9 miles/hr speed.  Think of that - back in 2010 it was amazing that Mission & Lightning hit the land speed record at around that speed, and it's just four years later that it's a speed achieved in racing. 

At Ramsey Hairpin, the announcer said McGuinness did the highest speed he'd ever seen for an electric bike.  The other riders going through, Rob Barber, Rob Wilson, etc, were much slower.

Paul Owen retired at Douglass Road.  Russ Mountford retired at Ballagh Bridge.

  1. McGuinness broke the lap record, with a 111.904 miles/hr speed, and a 20:13.202 lap time.
  2. Rob Barber 89.067 miles/hr lap speed
  3. Mark Miller with an unknown lap speed
That's all which Manx Radio reported.  I'll update this when I get more information.  One takeaway is that a significant number of these riders retired, meaning they didn't finish.  Of course not finishing is part of racing, but to gather/maintain excitement for electric racing we need a) more bikes on the grid, b) more bikes finishing the race.

Big news - McGuinness broke the lap record

Big news - Buckeye Current is still the fastest University team, and came in 2nd

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Buckeye Current repairing circuit boards, testing bike, at TT ZERO 2014

The Buckeye Current team is working hard on the Isle of Man before the 2014 TT ZERO.  I stumbled across a discussion thread on a forum where the team is posting field updates.

They're using the same 2006 CBR1000RR frame as before but have completely redone the battery pack, adding three more cells while dropping 30 lbs of weight.  They've also worked on the software, hopefully eliminating problems that plagued them last year (hey! they made the podium with those problems), and they're hoping to break the ton (lap speed over 100 miles/hr).

What they posted yesterday is worrying:
We made good progress in fixing the buss board that was damaged last night.the electrical team had to by pass two burned traces with wires and coated the rest with RTV to prevent any more incidents.
Aiyeee, that's the kind of repair you make when time is too short to allow FedEx'ing in a replacement.  That is, if a replacement were possible.  The "buss board" probably refers to a custom board they built themselves.  This is the downside of building a custom bike - some parts exist only on that bike, with no spares in existence anywhere.  If that part breaks, and you need to race the next morning, there's no parts depot for a replacement, leaving no choice but field repairs like this.

Otherwise, they're looking for a way to do testing.  As I noted earlier, the official TT schedule has three TT ZERO practice sessions, the first of which is on Friday.  Every team obviously needs as much testing time as possible, preferably full speed testing, so they can know they're ready to race.  The last thing you want is for your race to be the testing time.

There's a race track at Jurby, but it's busy with other events.  They can arrange time at a local "driving school" for testing, and they think they're allowed to go ahead and run on the public roads outside of formal test periods.

Friday, May 23, 2014

ManTTX readying bike for TT ZERO 2014, may be a late entry

Just a few minutes ago I posted an entry list for the 2014 TT ZERO that lacked an entry from home-town team ManTTX.  That team is based on the Isle of Man, and has raced in every previous running, even including the 2009 TTXGP.  It'd be odd to hold a TT ZERO and not have a ManTTX entry, and indeed while looking for data on the previous post I found a news item saying Dave Moffit was going to ride for ManTTX.  Now a posting from the team on Twitter shows a partly assembled bike.

They'd better get a move-on, the race is coming up, eh?  It's a little late in the game to have the bike in this shape, eh lads?

TT ZERO entry list makes it onto Twitter, and we snag a picture for you

The Buckeye Current team just posted the TT ZERO entry list - this list doesn't seem to be posted on, but since Buckeye Current is a competitor they obviously have access to things not published on that site.  Hopefully it's okay they posted this on Twitter ;-)

Who are the entries?
  1. John McGuiness - Mugen Shinden - Team Mugen (earlier coverage)
  2. James Hillier - TBC - TBC - (?? To be Confirmed??)
  3. Russ Mountford - ARC EV3 - ARC EV Engineering
  4. Shaun Anderson - ION Horse - Ecotricity
  5. Bruce Anstey - Mugen Shinden - Team Mugen (earlier coverage)
  6. Marc Miller - Roe - Team Vercarmoto (earlier coverage)
  7. Robert Wilson - Sarolea - Team Sarolea Racing (earlier coverage)
  8. Rob Barber - Buckeye Current RW-2.x - The Ohio State University (earlier coverage)
  9. -
  10. -
  11. Neil Champion - Brammo - Darvill Racing (earlier coverage)
  12. Tuukka Korhonen - Brammo - Electric Arena Racing
James Hillier was going to ride for Kawasaki-Zytek in the 2012 TT ZERO, but that team pulled out just before the race.  According to a post at, Hillier is expected to ride in the TT ZERO but has not been confirmed with a team.  

That same post lists Dave Moffett as riding for ManTTX - the team that's actually based on the Isle of Man, and who has raced in all previous TT ZERO's and TTXGP. (see coverage)

As we see in the posted sheet - there's two blank spots, so does that mean there's two potential other entries?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spain's Bultaco Motors relaunching as electric motorcycle company, derived from LGN Tech from 2011 e-Power

Sarolea isn't the only historical motorcycle brand being revived for the electric age, Spain's Bultaco Motors is relaunching as an electric motorcycle company.  The brand has a strong history dating back to 1958, and had many racing wins to its credit.  However, the company had shut down until the Bulto family met LGN Tech Design, a Spanish firm working on mechanical and electronic designs and who had raced in the 2011 e-Power season.  From that meeting the Bulto family decided to relaunch Bultaco Motors using LGN's electric motorcycle expertise.

The new Bultaco Motors says they seek two sorts of customers:  motorcycle afficianado's, and secondly people with a positive attitude and an interest in new 21st-century solutions for integrated mobility and connectivity.  Production is due to begin in 2015, and a sales network in Spain, the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France will be created. Sales will be through Bultaco stores, rather than through independent dealers, according to video's posted by Bultaco.

The company is developing multiple bikes.  At the heart is the Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS).  A primary feature of the DTS is to maximize energy recovery through regenerative braking on the rear wheel.  The energy storage system combines a normal lithium-ion battery pack with ultracapacitors to deliver superior performance.

In mid-2014 the company expects to launch the Electrical Urbanmotard. They're working on other designs as well, and "no form of propulsion for a two-wheeled vehicle that could be brought to market by 2020 is being discarded."

They expect to have 150 people on staff by 2015, have a design center running in Madrid, a factory near Barcelona, and be producing about 2,000 motorcycles a year.

Among the people named as team members is:
Nick Schoeps, Lead Project Engineer: He worked as the Chief Engineer at the company MotoCzysz in Portland (USA), and is a four-time winner of the TTZero race held on the Isle of Man only for zero-emissions motorcycles. He is an expert in electrical propulsion systems and battery design. 
Hmmmm...  The technology and team isn't just coming from LGN Tech.  Nowhere does the press material say Bultaco worked with MotoCzysz to adopt the MotoCzysz drive train components.

On the one hand the staffing and sales projections seem - uh - ambitious.  But, Barcelona is gung-ho for two-wheelers, and is especially gung-ho for electric two-wheelers.  It seems likely they can sell quite a few bikes just in Spain.

Bultaco's roots is in validating motorcycle design at the race track.  Nowhere does the press material say when or where Bultaco will go racing, but we should expect them to do so soon.

TT ZERO Schedule of events over the next two weeks

The TT ZERO is due to begin on the weekend of May 24 on the Isle of Man.  There's going to be a bunch of noisy stinky gasoline powered bikes roaming the Island, and filling the schedule with events important to those who haven't yet realized electric racing is the future.  Therefore, it's still the case that only a portion of the schedule will feature the TT ZERO activities.

In the meantime here's the official schedule for the portions of TT Week which includes TT ZERO 2014.
Friday 30th May

- 18:20 hrs - 19:10 hrs Sidecars
- 19:15 hrs - 19:50 hrs Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all Solo classes)
- 19:55 hrs - 20:25 hrs Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
- 20:30 hrs - 20:50 hrs TT Zero Challenge

Saturday 31st May

- 16:40 hrs - 17:40 hrs Supersport/Lightweight
- 17:45 hrs - 18:30 hrs TT Zero Challenge
Monday 2nd June

- 12:30 hrs - 13:00 hrs Sidecars
- 16:00 hrs - 16:30 hrs TT Zero Challenge

Wednesday 4th June 
- 10:45 hrs TT Zero Challenge 1 lap
- 12:00 hrs TT Supersport Race 2 4 laps
- 14:30 hrs TT Sidecar Race 2 3 laps
Therefore, this year it's three practice rounds and a race.  And, once again, the TT ZERO activities are pushed out to the edge of the schedule.

All times are in GMT.

Mugen Shinden pictures from TT ZERO preparations

Teams are starting to arrive at the Isle of Man getting ready for TT Week.  The festivities start this weekend, on the 24th.  Here's a few pictures of/from the Mugen Shinden team I'm capturing off Twitter.

Aussie team ELMOFO debuts first electric race car in gas car racing

An electric race car team in Australia just became the first team to race an electric car against gas powered race cars on equal terms.  The team, ELMOFO (electro motive force), builds high end electric cars, and has built a race car based on a Radical SR8 chassis.  With that car they entered the 2014 NSW Motor Race Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, last weekend.  While a battery pack problem prevented completing the weekend the team reportedly made a great showing.

The team was able to enter one race and place third, for a spot on the podium.  But a battery cell issue meant bowing out of any other races.  Taking a podium spot put the Australian racing scene on notice, electric cars are coming fast.

In this case, at speeds up to 265 km/hr (165 miles/hr) and with 600 nM torque.  IIRC, that is faster than the Formula E cars.

A posting on the teams Facebook page says this:
The ELMOFO team had a very positive and educational first round of the NSW SuperSports State Championships.

Thanks to everyone that came out and showed your support.

The car completed qualifying and the first race until a technical issue forced an early retirement from this round.

The first race proved that the electric driven Radical is more than competitive with the petrol powered Radical SR3s, so stay tuned for Round 2.
This video posted by the team shows the insane torque, that let driver Garth Walden immediately jump to 3rd place off the line.  He stayed in 3rd through most of this video, meaning the car is faster than about 6 other (gasoline powered) Radical SR8's but was unable to catch up with the two front runners.

It's not just a fast car, but ELMOFO had an ingenuous charging system in use at the track.  If the Sydney Motorsport Park is like other tracks I've gone to, the electrical supply in the paddock is minimal and primarily meant for power tools and not fast charging electric race vehicles.  Instead of lugging a diesel generator, as some teams do, ELMOFO has collaborated with a solar power company who brought a solar panel array.  The panels charge a battery pack, that's then used to dump charge the on-board pack through a fast charging controller.

A report on the Confederation of Australian Motorsport website has these quotes from team members:

Brett Sutherland, team owner,: “I have a solar power company that believes in zero emissions vehicles being the way of the future, so through building an electric Delorean we realised we could build an electric car that was powerful enough to compete, we chose the radical format because it has a high speed chasis that can corner at high speed with high downforce. “The vehicle has direct-drive that runs straight into the differential, so no gears, this means that when you put your foot down it has the torque to pull it off the line really quickly.”

Garth Walden, driver: “Firstly it is a lot heavier than a petrol car, this takes some getting used to, but the best feature of it is the torque that the car makes, its 600nm of torque, you have instant power there the whole time making the acceleration out of every corner fantastic, slow or high speed.”

The ELMOFO SR8 has these specs:
  • Dual AMRacing IPM Electric Motors
  • Rinehart Motion Systems controllers
  • 310 kilowatts, 600 nM Torque
  • ELMOFO-AMRacing battery modules containing Kokam High Power Lithium-ion-polymer cells
  • Tritium IQ BMS
  • Top speed 265 km/hr (165 miles/hr)
  • 50-200 km range depending on driving style (up to 124 miles)
  • 1-4 hours charging time depending on power source

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Doors open on new Donington Park headquarters and team facilities
LEICESTERSHIRE, UK (May 15 2014): The 10 teams competing in the new FIA Formula E Championship received their first batch of Spark-Renault SRT_01E race cars today, at the same time as the doors to their new state-of-the-art facilities were officially opened.
With both projects delivered precisely to schedule, each team received one fully-electric single-seater which has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault and Michelin.
Meanwhile their new 44,000ft² bespoke premises has taken 14 weeks to build and will house the teams for at least the next three years as well as provide offices, stores and workshops for Formula E’s own operational staff – a total of more than 150 people.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, and Kevin Wheatcroft, owner and chairman of Donington Park, led the proceedings which were attended by more than 250 guests including newly announced Virgin Racing drivers Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari, e.dams co-team manager Alain Prost, regional members of parliament, the Chief Executive of North West Leicestershire Council, the Board of the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), local dignities, partners and members of the press.
Alejandro Agag said: “Today marks a very significant milestone in the genesis of the FIA Formula E Championship. In September 2013 we launched this incredible fully-electric 150mph car and after more than 3,000km of rigorous testing we’re delighted to be now handing them over to our 10 teams. My thanks go to Frédéric Vasseur and his team at Spark Racing Technology for making this happen and all our car partners – McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault and Michelin – involved in its development.
“Today we also officially welcome our teams into their new bespoke facilities, built to the latest environmental and sustainable construction standards. The Donington Park team, led by Kevin Wheatcroft and Christopher Tate, together with the North West Leicestershire Council, the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Growing Places Fund should all be immensely proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time. We’re delighted with our new operational headquarters and very pleased to be a part of burgeoning British motorsport industry.”
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Racing entirely on temporary city-centre race tracks, it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson and Leonardo DiCaprio. To date, four of the 20 drivers have been announced with Lucas di Grassi, Daniel Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari.
Kevin Wheatcroft, Chairman of Donington Park Racing Ltd added: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to the working group from Formula E, the construction companies and my staff here at Donington Park, who have made all this happen in just 14 weeks since construction started. It’s a proud day for everyone associated with Donington Park, now back at the heart of the British motorsport industry. We look forward to welcoming 150 highly trained specialist engineers who will be working here on site within the Formula E setup. We are also looking forward to all the other developments and improvements that are taking place; it’s certainly a very exciting time ahead for Donington Park.”
Donington Park will also provide the location for all Formula E pre-season testing beginning on July 3 with all five dates open free of charge to the public. The next delivery of Formula E cars arrives on June 16 with each team receiving their allocated four cars by July 15. The first of 10 city-centre races takes place in Beijing on September 13.
Formula E’s commercial aspects will continue to operate out of its London offices.
The event also saw Alejandro Agag presented with a fully-electric ZOE car by Technical Partner Renault.
For more information on Formula E visit For further details on Donington Park, including how to register free for pre-season testing, log on to


Colorado Springs, May 9------------One of the top competitions at the 2014 The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be the quietest of them all.
The talent-heavy Electric Modified Division already includes Nobuhiro Tajima, who won the Electric Division last year when he drove his Tajima Monster Sports Special E-Runner to a blazing time of 9:46.530, an Electric record and the seventh fastest time in the history of the race.
Now, this exciting division has added two of the race's veteran stars to go head-to-head with Tajima for top honors in the world's most famous hill climb and America's second-oldest motorsport competition behind the famed Indianapolis 500.
The powerful Mitsubishi Motors team will again field two factory teams on America's Mountain on June 29, driven by two of the most accomplished drivers in the history of the race.
Greg Tracy, a six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion, will pilot one of the Mitsubishi Motors entries in the chase to the 14,115-foot summit of America's Mountain. Tracy, in his last ride on a bike, a Ducati, broke the ten-minute mark with a clocking of 9:58.262.
Last year, Tracy surprised race experts and turned a lot of heads around by finishing third in the Electric Division, his first year with Mitsubishi Motors, with a nifty 10:23.649 and an average speed of 74.77 MPH.
The other powerful Mitsubishi Motors entry in the Electric Modified Division is the veteran Hiroshi Masuoka, second last year in the Electric Division with a time of 10:21.866.
His Mitsubishi Motors debut came in 2012 when he finished second behind winner Fumijo Nutahara, but his performance was a look into the future for the talented Masuoka, who was the 2002 and 2003 Dakar Rally Champion for Mitsubishi Motors. Masuoka is one of only four drivers ever to garner back-to-back Dakar titles.
Details about this year's cars aren't being released by Mitsubishi Motors at this time but look for the brand to field cars using its proven MIEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) technology found in its all-electric i-MIEV on sale globally.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pikes Peak entry list has 6 (?7?) electric cars and 3 electric motorcycles

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is coming up again, so it's time to take a peek at the entry list to see who's shooting for the peak.  Okay, that was a bad pun, but who's planning to go, that's what's important.  At the moment the electric division looks smaller than last years, but down at the bottom of the entry list is a dozen or so TBD's for entries that are being considered and have yet to be approved.  Maybe some electric teams are among the TBD's?

In cars we have:

#1: Nobuhiro Tajima (Monster Tajima) returning with his E-Runner Pikes Peak Special
#32: Masuoka Hiroshi - Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution III
#34: Greg Tracy - Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution III
#8: Ikuo Hanawa - Yokohama Tires - Summit HER-02
#177: Roy Richards - Honda Fit EV
#230: Steve Wickham - Toyota RAV4 EV

The official entry list has a TBD at the front of the Cars list.  According to Electric Auto Sport, Janis Horelicks is planning to enter with a Tesla Roadster 360, whatever that is.  Janis is with the Latvian team that entered the eO last year but were unable to finish.  Their website contains a promise to return in 2014, but nothing further has been posted since September 2013.

In motorcycles we have:

#64: Jeremiah Johnson - Brutus Electric Motorcycle V2
#39: Yoshihiro Kishimoto - Mirai TT ZERO 13 (Pikes Peak Version)
#777: Jeff Clark - 2013 Zero FX

This is a lot smaller a group than the 2013 electric motorcycle field.  The glaring omission is Lightning Motorcycles, whom we hoped would return to the mountain and prove their overall win last year wasn't a fluke.  There are five TBD's at the bottom of the official entry list for motorcycles, maybe there's an electric hiding among them?

I wasn't able to find out much about Yoshihiro Kishimoto.  His facebook page doesn't have postings about electric motorcycles this year, but shows some kind of reunion he attended with alumni of a TT ZERO run.  Back in 2012 some site named reported that he entered the 2012 TT ZERO with an awesome looking bike.

Johnson entered last year with a Zero S but this year has hooked up with Brutus.  They're building a monster of a bike that also looks awesome.  They posted a little picture gallery a few days ago:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fastest production motorcycle in the world - Electric - Lightning Motorcycles - Debut is this weekend

Lightning Motorcycles is making good this weekend on a promise - that they would go into production of the "race bike" with which the company has won races in the TTXGP, at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and land speed records.  This weekend at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, Lightning Motorcycles is debuting what they call the "most technologically advanced and highest performing street-legal production motorcycle in the world" - the Lightning Superbike LS-218.

Why LS-218?  Well, the clue to that might be Lightning's land speed record in 2011 where they hit 218 miles/hr in one run.  The average over those two runs worked out to 215 miles/hr, making the actual record 215 miles/hr. Last fall the team returned to Bonneville to attempt to beat that record, but bad weather (an epic rainstorm) cut those plans when the whole event was canceled.  They did manage a 203 miles/hr pair of runs.

The LS-218 is a motorcycle that's been proven to be capable of hitting 218 miles/hr, from a dead stop, without changing the gear ratio.

With that same motorcycle, Lightning Motorcycles has won numerous road and track races.  The hottest race they've won was the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb challenge, where their rider beat the entire field of every motorcycle by over 20 seconds.  That meant beating top motorcycle riders riding top monster machines like customized/tuned Ducati 1200cc superbikes.  By 20 seconds.

Lightning's CEO Richard Hatfield boasts that the LS-218 is the fastest production motorcycle in the world, based on this record.  That claim has been a little unclear until now, because of uncertainty that they've sold any bikes, yet.  LS-218 VIN# 001 is available for sale, now.

What's the specs?  How about: liquid cooled 10,500 rpm electric motor can produce in excess of 200 hp and 168 ft/lbs of torque.  At "highway speed" the riding range is said to be 100 miles, but I imagine that a bike this speedy would be difficult to keep as slow as "highway speed".

Charging can be done through a regular power outlet, and according to Lightning it is fast charging capable in under 30 minutes.  Their press release did not say anything other than "public charging stations" so one wonders whether that's CHAdeMO or Combined Charging System?  Will have to check with Richard about this over the weekend.

The dashboard is a fully customizable Android display.  It can be customized in various ways including a carbon-fiber swing arm, or custom wraps.

“Since 2006 the Lightning team has been dedicated to developing electric motorcycles that meet and exceed the performance of the best ICE (Induction Combustion Engine) alternatives”, said Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning Motorcycle.“ To have broad acceptance from the motorcyclist community,we need to provide design, performance and value that competes head to head with the best gasoline motorcycles on the market. Lightning’s R&D team has developed electric vehicle technology through years of competition at racing events around the world. We believe that the LS-218 offers consumers the best of design, performance and value in today’s market.”

Electric motorcycle racing on 3 continents - eFXC, eMotoRacing, M1GP, MotoERacing - but no eRoadRacing

I have some preliminary news on a new electric motorcycle racing season in Europe - MotoERacing.  I learned of this series last week thanks to a posting by the Danish team, Future Electric, who made a blog post seeking sponsorship.  Their reason for seeking sponsors?  Because they've been invited to participate in MotoE.  MotoWhat?  This was the first I'd heard of that, so what's on the MotoE website?  And does it have any relation to eMotoRacing in North America?  And this raises the unanswered question - where is the 2014 eRoadRacing season?

The MotoE website describes a 2014 season of several motorcycle race events, all in Europe, starting in the middle of the summer.

There's some elements shown on the site that recall the TTXGP and eRoadRacing - such as referring to the IET for technical/rules support.  Oh, and there's many pictures on the site derived from the 2013 eRoadRacing season, and the teams mentioned match the TTXGP/eRoadRacing European roster. 

According to Rupal Patel (owner of the domain name - and one of the top people of the TTXGP/eRoadRacing), MotoE is extremely preliminary at this moment, and there nothing concrete to report, yet.

Basically, we must simply watch that space to see what develops.

Electric motorcycle racing teams in Australia, Europe and North America are responding to the lack of a 2014 eRoadRacing season.  If all had been right in the world, eRoadRacing would have announced a season lineup last fall, and we'd have already seen a couple races by now.  But they didn't, and and still haven't even though we're in May.  Currently the eRR website is down and has been for a month or more.  I have to do some more digging before I can report on the status of eRoadRacing.

To fill the void left by TTXGP/eRoadRacing, four electric motorcycle racing series are underway.

Australia:  eFXC was the Australian partner to TTXGP.  For the 2013 season the eFXC went its own way when eRoadRacing was unable to work with them.  I haven't been able to follow them in 2014, but I believe they are conducting a 2014 season.

North America:  eMotoRacing was organized by Arthur Kowitz, who'd ridden during 2013 in the eRoadRacing.  The M1GP in Southern California was organized by Hollywood Electrics, a Zero Motorcycles dealer in Hollywood, and is doing electric racing action at tracks near the LA area.  The AFM has allowed, since 2013, electric bikes to race for points in gas bike races.  Additionally, some teams are gearing up for another big showing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Europe: as we said, MotoERacing is trying to start a series.  The TT ZERO is of course "on" for June and should be interesting.

A good thing is that the electric motorcycle racing field is showing resilience - the primary promoter, eRoadRacing, is missing from action but the racing teams are organizing replacement racing action.

That's what resilience is - the ability to bounce back in the face of survival threats.  Such as a motorcycle racer, leading the race in the last corner of the last lap, spinning out, then getting back up, finishing the race, and scoring a decent standing.  The loss of eRoadRacing could have been a death blow to the electric motorcycle racing sport, setting the field back by a decade while the FormulaE electric car racing series is getting all the limelight.  Instead the sport is organizing itself.

Here I am at the end of the posting, and I don't have answers to the questions raised at the top.  That's where the electric motorcycle racing sport is - clutching at answers to key questions - What about eRoadRacing?  How will electric motorcycles be established in the overall motorcycle racing field?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

eMotoRacing onboard video Sonoma Raceway May 1-2, 2014

I wasn't able to go to the eMotoRacing event, even though it was so close to my home.  Fortunately Abe Kowitz posted these GoPro videos of the race on Thursday, May 1, and Friday May 2.

It shows quite a few riders were on the grid.

Thursday, May 1

Friday, May 2