Victory Motorcycles is preparing two all electric motorcycles to compete in the Pikes Peak hill climb and the TT Zero race on the Isle of Man this year. The racer for Pikes Peak will be a modified version of the company’s street legal Empulse TT. “Victory Racing serves as an international R&D development program and test bed for future products, and since Pikes Peak is arguably the most challenging race in America –it’s exactly where we need to be,” says Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles.
Pikes Peak is ideal for electric vehicles because their performance does not fade as altitude increases the way combustion engine powered machines do. The 12 mile long course rises more than 4,700 feet from start to finish. Driver Don Canet says he’s “very optimistic” about their chances with the electric bike. “Pikes Peak is an ideal venue for an electric powered bike to showcase its performance potential,” he says.
The company is also bringing and all new Victory RR electric motorcycle to the TT Zero competition on the Isle of Man this year. It will be ridden by William Dunlop and is a development of last year’s race machine. The bike’s motor was developed in cooperation with Parker Hannifin and is called the Parker GVM. It make 170 peak horsepower from a motor that is only 8 inches in diameter and 5 inches long.
The battery for this year’s racer is more powerful and has a higher energy density. The package of battery and motor is more than 97% efficient. “Compared to the electric motor we used in the TT Zero event last year, this year’s version features an even further optimized winding configuration based on the data gathered from last year’s bikes. Coupled with the increased energy on board in the battery, William Dunlop will have access to more of the power available from this motor than in 2015,” Victory Racing’s team manager, Brian Wismann said.
It was only a few years ago that electric racing vehicles were considered impossible. The pace of development in the world of motorcycle racing is rapid and may well have a spillover effect on electric car technology.