Rutter Smashes the Ton in Isle of Man TT Zero Practice!

Mark Miller cruises past the checker in the TT Zero Practice

Michael Rutter was the first rider to break the ton on an electric motorcycle at the Isle of Man, registering an average speed of 102.5 mph in the first and only TT Zero practice over the 37 mile course on the all-new MotoCzysz machine. This feat took the gas-powered bikes 50 years to accomplish. The electric bikes, specifically MotoCzysz, have done it in 4 years. Last year (Czysz’s first with two bikes) they took first and second place, the year before they won first place, and in the inaugural year, they DNF’ed. In the photo below, note the attention to aerodynamics, then read Michael Czysz’s blog post on the topic, where he explains why it’s better to have a bike built like a Kardashian

The MotoCzysz bikes ready for practice.

However, the £10,000 prize is limited to actual race time, and specifies that the fastest rider may eclipse the first rider to break the ton, as the fastest rider will take the prize. Before Rutter’s record finish in practice, the announcer used the example of if Rutter was to finish first at over 100mph, but Mark Miller (his teammate) were to come in at a higher average, Miller would be the one winning the prize. However, first time electric racer (yet 18 time winner on the gas bikes) John McGuinness came in an easy second place on the brand new Mugen Shinden, about 20 seconds behind Rutter. He posted a top speed of 158 mph in the trap, and completed a 96.9 mph lap. McGuinness even had enough juice to ride back into the paddock, albeit to the closest pit. Read more about the Mugen Shinden on Asphalt and Rubber.

Rutter ran out of juice after passing the grandstands and had to push his bike up the pit lane. Miller had to cruise to a finish and walk his bike home as well. Miller explained his gauges broke so he didn’t know how much juice he was using and did his best to manage it. He took it easy, and went for a good average, yet still managed 153 in the speed trap and a 94.8 mph average. George Spence finished 4th in practice on the Ion Horse 1/ Ecotricity Kingston machine at 73 mph average speed, and was the last bike to make the provisional results sheet. What started out as solely a University project has come a log way since the first race in 2009, and it shows. Tomorrow I’ll stalk the teams to find out what happened to the rest of them…

Walking through the TT paddock felt very familiar, and the whole event feels like a homecoming. In fact, so many of the people were familiar from having watched Charge (admittedly, more than once, and reviewed here.), I felt as if we were old friends. This video shows all the bikes starting, yet not all made it back in a timely fashion…

Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.