How MotoCzysz’s Aerodynamics Helped Them Break 100 MPH At The TT Zero

As our intrepid (and now international) reporter Susanna Schick has already reported, yesterday electric motorcycle team Motoczysz managed to “smash the ton” at the Isle of Man TT Zero. Motoczysz became the first electric motorcycle team to average over 100 MPH across the over 37 miles of roads on the Isle of Man, and they have a huge rear wing and other aerodynamic enhancements to thank for putting them over the century mark.

It took gasoline-powered motorcycles over 50 years to achieve an average lap speed of 100 MPH on the twists and turns of the Isle of Man. For electric motorcycles, it was less than five years, as Motoczysz spent the time since last year’s race focusing on improved aerodynamics on its E1pc electric motorcycle. To that end, the 2012 version of their electric racer features a number of fins, ducts, and wings, particularly on the back end of the bike.

Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed, and since the E1pc already has 200+ horsepower and weighs just 525 lbs, it was a matter of aerodynamics, not power, that would help put Rutter over the 100 mph mark. Functionally speaking, this is pretty much the same 14 kWh drivetrain as last year’s bike, though the cooling systems have been improved. to make up for less air flow. The biggest difference is the big butt-wing and aping fish-mouth front end, along with other aero enhancements, that helped put the Motoczysz team over the top. Aerodynamics are proving to be an integral part of increase fuel efficiency for both gas and electric vehicles, and this is no doubt a preview of  the designs that other vehicle makers will eventually embrace.

Rutter averaged a speed 102.5 mph in the only practice race for the TT Zero, a racing that carves through countryside and village alike, as this helmet-cam video from Motoczysz 2011 run shows.  He did this over 37 miles, though he had to walk his bike back to the pit after passing the grandstands. Electric motorcycle racing is in many ways the vanguard of alternative fuel motorsports, and the sport has already come quite a ways. But there is even further to go, and it looks like the Motoczysz team is intent on leading the way.

Source: Asphalt and Rubber

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.