In order to finish first, you must first finish
The Third Annual electric motorcycle race at the Isle of Man, now called TTZero, ran Friday. MotoCzysz was the team to beat with last year’s bike seriously updated and a completely new bike for 2011. Czysz is an innovation machine, cranking out new patents the way most manufacturers crank out marketing plans. Everyone expected Michael Rutter to break the ton, as he’d come so close last year at 92mph. But at 99.60mph, he’ll have to wait until next year for that £10,000 prize. There’s bound to be more competition for that title next year. Brammo has promised to return, and others may also be ready. Although the field has thinned out over the years, it’s only a matter of time before the big boys (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki) decide to join the fun. Next year the ton will be broken, I only hope it’s a tight race. Be sure to see Charge (reviewed here) to get an idea of just how awe-inspiring Isle of Man racing is, and the sweat that went into racing electric motorcycles there.
Only 5 of 8 bikes that started completed the race, with the competition well behind the two Czysz bikes. Results sheet is here. But of course, what we all really want to see is footage. Sadly, the organizers have not embraced the modern world, and do not have a proper video of the race available for those of us beyond the reach of UK Television. For now, there is just this short snippet Hell for Leather managed to unearth. (requires $2 subscription). We can only hope MotoCzysz decides to post some on-board camera footage.
Czysz’s 1-2 win has proven they’re capable of building the greatest electric motorcycles on earth. Powerful, quick, and able to go the distance on the world’s most grueling course. What more could we want? More juice, as always. Although the 2011 Czysz is capable of 200hp, Miller was forced to hold back in order to complete the race. He said that if he’d had more time to practice, he’d have been able to perfect that difficult balance of speed and conservation. This remains the big challenge for EV’s, and is constantly improving. MotoCzysz has partnered with Dow Kokam to develop the battery packs for their 2011 bike. Journalist and former IoM competitor Mark Gardiner discusses the downside of Czysz’ claimed-with-a-caveat horsepower figures here. I’m looking forward to the TTXGP race at Laguna Seca July 26th, which will undoubtedly have a deeper field.