Azhar Hussain, Father of Electric Motorcycle Racing, is Awarded MBE
In 2009, there were less than a handful of crackpot engineers toiling away in their garages, trying to make fast electric motorcycles. In 2011, there are OEM’s like Brammo and Zero supporting their racing endeavors with sales of electric motorcycles. Then we have the top speed contenders- Lightning, MotoCzysz, and Chip Yates. Rounding out the field are a number of competitors also striving to keep up: Mavizen, eCRP, Zhongshen, Amarok, and many more struggling to make it in electric motorcycle racing. In less than 3 years, Azhar Hussain has launched not only a racing series, but an entire industry.
Here’s the press release and Sir Hussain’s letter to the electric racing community. It’s wonderful to see him being honored for all his hard work, especially at a time when so many teams are dropping out. Many teams have been unable to make it to the grid this season, so he’s had to cancel the Portland and Loudon rounds of the US TTXGP. However, a full turnout is expected for Laguna Seca. In fact, I’m hoping to secure a ride and be able to race the TTX75 at Laguna Seca. Unfortunately, there’s no lack of talented, willing racers, only a lack of funding to be able to build competitive bikes.
The industry is in a tough place right now. While there are a few companies working hard to create competitive sportbikes, many are not quite ready to race. Previous years’ fields were deeper because it was wide open. But perhaps now that people see what they’re up against (Brammo at Infineon, and Czysz in 2010 and 2011, as covered here) I suspect a lot of the teams with smaller budgets are staying home. Although the racing is not up to the level of what we’re accustomed to, the technology is developing rapidly, far more rapidly than it did with ICE vehicles. With the partnerships and R&D happening in this industry, we’ll see tremendous advancements.