• [Article 3732]What to Expect from ESBK.co in the Future

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    It seems like I owe you guys a little “what’s going on” chat.

    Well, as you have seen (if you follow this blog) I have a job working out to sea in the oil industry. The rotation is supposed to be 5 weeks out to sea and 5 weeks home. But that isn’t set in stone. I am making good money for the first time in my life, and trying to set myself up for the future, while still enjoying myself. So I will write as I can out here, but it’s not going to be regular. And I will do what I can with the podcast as well. I have enough interviews from last December for 5 episodes I think. But I will try to do what I can with that. It’s just a lot of energy that I don’t always have. I have a house I rent now, and a garage, and an office in my bedroom. It’s pretty sweet. I am still working at the bicycle shop when I am home, but I am, not sure how that will play out in the future.

    One thing that will change from say when I started all of this, or even a year ago is I am not going to put any real effort into getting news to the site asap. I may still get clued in and have a breaking news story once in a while. But I will be in no hurry. Often I find it better to let everyone else scramble, and then wait and see how it all settles and try to bring you a better informed opinion. Another thing that will change is that I now have the money and the time to take trips. I already have a trip planned to New York to ride the Energica. I still have some things to secure so there is plenty of time for it to fall through, but cross your fingers (or send money J ). And I am going to plan out attending the final round of the eMR to see if that is feasible. I also have something big I want to do. But it is going to take a lot of planning, and money, and luck. So my point is I am going to be able to go to some events and cover them now that I have some money to spend. And I am still looking for someone reputable to do my WordPress site up right.

    Also know that my posts out to sea may be a bit dull looking. Finding and downloading photos and such is not the easiest thing to do out here.

    So while there may be less content, and not particularly regular or showy, there should be some very good content to come. Enjoy!

  • [Article 3734]Project Live Wire: Range Doesn’t Matter . . . Yet

    Hey all. Well . . . there goes the neighborhood, huh.

    So if you are like me, you’ve seen all the news that Harley has some electric motorcycles now. How many of these prototypes exist seems to depend on which article they you read. Do I have anything new to add? No. Well there is this one thing. It seems like everyone has been talking about how the drivetrain was sourced from Mission Motors. So I contacted an anonymous source as soon as I read it in Ride Apart. I was given a standard, we can neither confirm nor deny reply. Which is fair enough. Well just yesterday this source got word that Mission motors can confirm they have involvement with Harley Davidson in this project, but that they are not discussing details. And I am good with that. Even though I haven’t received official word or a press release. I have yet to take the time to secure a line of communication with Harley-Davidson about this project. But I am in no hurry, I’m sure they are busy, and I’m not even sure they’d answer back if they had the time. I’ll give it a go when I get back to dry land.

    By now everyone should have the details, and seen all the videos. I haven’t seen any yet as I can’t stream video out here on the boat. I am actually writing this in word on my tablet and then will upload it to the internet when I get the chance. Here’s the thing that gets me. I have talked about this on the forums a bit. H-D straight out said these are prototypes that are to test ridden and to get input on. The packs are only sized for that purpose. So there is no reason for anyone to get their panties in a bunch over range. Right now it is a smaller, light, sporty muscle bike, that’s also electric. And, I am curious where it falls in Harley’s line up when it comes to 0-60mph times. Also, the looks are really good. Good enough that it has many Harley’s-aren’t-my-thing people (such as myself) going, “I’d ride that.” Forget the fact I am 6’2″ and this bike is sized for women. And, I think that is what Harley wants you focusing on. They have Mission Motors in their pocket, sort to speak. These are the folks that built the electric bike that still has the fastest lap around Laguna Seca from when they set it in 2011. More power? More speed? More batteries? No problem. However, on the flip side, Mission Motors is also the company that ran one race, left the field in the dust, got all us racing fans drooling, and then left us high and dry. Never to return to the track again. They are good folks and know their stuff, but I keep my eye on them. Either way, power and pack size are not the issues Harley seems concerned about.

    Many reports say that acceleration is on par with Zero’s new SR, and maybe the power hits a little harder than either it or the Empulse R. Although in an interesting point of view, Ted Dillard (Evmc2) got to test ride one in Boston. And compared to his home made bike, the Harley still feels soft off of initial throttle. This seems to be something elmoto manufactures build into their bikes for public consumption. Otherwise this bike seems to have the Zeros and Brammos squarely in their sites. Sporty handling and racy cruiser looks. Not what the guys I work with think a typical Harley looks like. But then again, no one seems to know what a V-Rod is either. So it is aimed performance wise at Zero and Brammo, but just like the Empulse is a sportier standard motorcycle than the Zero, so does the Harley seem to be an equal distance to the cruiser side of the scale. So competitive, but not a direct competitor. I think this is a good thing. Also, with this model we see what it’s like when an experienced manufacturer like Harley Davidson makes an electric motorcycle. The build quality is something for both Brammo and Zero to try to match.

    But then there is the one thing no one else seems to have talked about. Other than Yamaha’s little pip-squeak elmotos I guess they will be coming out with, the first major motorcycle manufacturer to come out with a proper electric motorcycle is an American company. So what if they contracted the drivetrain. They contracted it from another American company. The elmoto wave is continuing to be dominated by the good ol’ US of A. And I feel this is an encouraging sign for our future.

    One question remains, will Harley come out to take Brammo on at the track? Oh tell me you didn’t see that question coming from the pages of this site.

  • [Article 3725]BRT and Moto Zero. Their History, Focus, and Direction

    So sometime late last summer or early fall I contacted Brammo and Zero’s race team leads with what I thought was a pretty cool idea for an article. Well Brian got back to me within the week, but I had to wait a while for Kenyon’s response. Turns out he had a lot of positive things going on in his personal life taking up his time. That, however, didn’t stop me from giving him a bit of a hard time. Well here we are months later and I am just now getting this written up. I am not sure but this may qualify Kenyon for a lifetime membership to the “give Richard a hard time” club, and Brian as his tag team partner. But this all started with me thinking to myself about the two teams one day. I always try go back and look at things, be it races, interviews, championship goings ons, PR stuff, etc. And try to use some of that 20/20 hindsight and see if I can gleam some previously undiscovered truths that might shed some more realism to this seemly fanciful world some of us fans inadvertently create. Well, OK. Maybe it’s just me. But I know where I am today is much closer to reality than it was when I started few years ago. So I tried to apply that to these two teams. My perception was that they were very different teams. One, seemingly a full on factory team and the other mostly an employee effort, seemingly despite the company at times. Those were my perceptions. But then I recalled my many conversations with Brian Wismann at Brammo and the few with Kenyon, and I went “wait a tick.” In the beginning Brammo’s team was nothing more than employee’s putting in extra work after hours and on weekends. But they proved themselves (eventually [cough*2010*cough]) and their worth, and the race team became more and more an actual entity within the company. To the point they now have a name, BRT. So if Brammo started off as an employee effort, and MotoZero is currently an employee effort, then maybe the two teams aren’t so different after all. Maybe they are following the same path, just at different rates. That’s what I thought at least, so I decided to contact them and find out. Now, before we get to their responses, remember this was last year and we were looking forward to a US TTXGP eSS series here in the US. Both Brammo and Zero were offering factory support for current and future bikes. Brammo already had the TTX, and I believe rumors of the SR were already swirly around the internet. Also know that I was convinced that the SR was going to be a factory race bike like the TTX, and did not believe that the bigger controller would stay cool enough for street use. I should have listened to Protomech. So I also took the time to ask about customer support from these teams, and help you folks decide if you should buy a race bike from them. At the time I was hoping to get the word out and help those who were thinking about jumping into elmoto racing, make an informed decision. So go the plans of mice and men. Here is what the two had to say last fall:   Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development and BRT Grand Poo-Bah [I honestly don't know what his title is in BRT]

    The racing program started with a decision to participate in the very first TTXGP race on the Isle of Man in 2009. At the time, Vectrix was the “big player” in the space and Brammo was a complete unknown teeny-tiny little company. We thought Vectrix might enter the race, and it was going to be a historic event, so we thought we should be there if we wanted to be credible in this market space. We learned so much from that initial program in technical terms, but we also saw the race effort work as an annealing force for our engineering team.

    We took a break in 2010 to focus on our commercial efforts, but came back to racing by the end of 2010 as we felt we might be losing touch with the “state-of-the-art” on the technology front as teams started pushing pack voltages up to levels previously reserved for automobile sized EVs. Our focus throughout the program has involved these key directives:

    1. Involve our production engineering staff as much as possible to design and campaign the bikes. This ensures that what is learned on the track makes it way to our production bikes (or doesn’t if it’s a bad idea!).

    2. Develop bikes and technologies that are feasible for production. This is the reason that Brammo has stayed true to our production chassis architecture and even our battery cell format. I believe there is key philosophical difference between this approach and saying “We’re going to build whatever it takes to win!”

    3. Involve our customers in our racing effort by sharing stories with them through our social media sites. If we’re going to be at the track, then we should make the effort to connect with those customers that have interest in performance and racing (although we realize that not all of our customers do).

    The race “team” has been a collection of production engineers, engineering technicians, and even some outside contractors, since its inception. Up until now, it has been a volunteer team with those engineers choosing to give up nights and weekends to compete in the TTXGP, FIM, eRR, and AFM events that we’ve participated in. Time is made during business hours to get work done, but race dates don’t move – so when long hours are required, these guys step up. I’m grateful for how far we’ve been able to get with such little formal organization, but we need to create a better structure for the team to operate within in the future. This is the genesis of BRT (Brammo Racing Technology), which will stay true to the directives listed above, but also provide some much needed structure for the project to be even more successful. BRT is not a “team” so much as it is a project within the engineering group. It will be resourced and prioritized just like every other engineering project.

    In the future, I can envision BRT becoming a semi-independent entity like HRC for Honda, but this will take time.

    We give all TTX customers full factory support. They have access to our factory TTX data and we share everything we’ve learned with them and visa-versa. Arthur can attest to this. Arthur has made a number of modifications to his bike, some of which we’ve followed suit on and others which we have not. We have also developed the Brammo RDK (Racing Diagnostics Kit), which is a sub-set of our dealer Service Diagnostics Kit, that allows us to gain remote access to the bike over a Wi-Fi network to provide track-side support even if we’re not physically there. I see the biggest benefit from offering these bikes to customers to race is to create a larger sample size to learn from. With the limited on-track time we have at events plus the limited laps we can run on the battery, we are at a major disadvantage to the pace at which gas bikes can be developed. The way to overcome that is to have more people doing it and sharing information more openly. I hope this is seen as a benefit to getting involved early, as Arthur and others have, in electric racing. We’re at a pivotal moment where the privateers can receive fantastic support from the factories and also contribute significantly to the development of the sport.

    For the record, I’m very happy to have Zero and their customers out there to race against. It wouldn’t have been much of a season without them there. I really hope they find a way to continue or increase their support. Brammo can’t grow this nascent sport alone. The Zero provides people with an option to consider and I think that’s a good thing for both of us.

    Kenyon Kluge, Head Electric Engineer and MotoZero’s Grand Poo-Bah

    Hello Richard, Thanks for contacting us and doing all you do to enlighten the masses about electric racing. I will do my best to answer the questions you asked. First with regards to how the race team started, this could be a very long story as it has changed quite a bit over the last 4 years. The level of support we have received from Zero Motorcycles has also changed over the years and we have at times been a full factory team and other times we are completely on our own racing as my team K Squared racing. Here is the condensed version. Back in 2010 Zero Motorcycles as a company decided they really wanted to win the first US TTXGP race. As a company they organized the team, hired Shawn Higbee, and put a bunch of resources into this effort. I worked as an advisor for this effort. About 2 months before the race I was at an AFM race running my GSXR600 and I had a Zero with me as a pit bike. I realized that there was no reason I should not just run a fairly stock Zero so that I could be a participant in the first ever US all electric race. I did convert a Zero and participated in that race and I did get some support from the company organized race effort to help make my effort happen. After this first race Zero Motorcycles as a company decided to not run a factory team and instead operate as more of a support organization. I wanted to keep racing and many people within the company felt the same way. As race and electric enthusiasts we have continued the racing ever since this first race. When there was equipment that Zero wanted tested then we would be used as a test resource and push innovations to the very limit on the track in order to prove it out. In 2011 we really ran on our own and my first ride in the TTX75 class was really just as a rider and advisor to Eland Eggers who had put together his own bike. Later that year we did run the Zero bike at Laguna with the support of Zero Motorcycles to test some prototype parts. In 2012 I really wanted to make a bigger effort and asked Zero if I could take 4 of the engineering bikes to the track and put riders on them to have the first eSuperStock class. I got permission to borrow these bikes for the 4 TTXGP races and talked TTXGP into promoting this class as a demo class. During this year Zero supported us with gas money, the loan of the bikes and the time to go to the races but this was really a massive amount of donated time by the employees and volunteers that helped us get to all of the races. This last year, 2013, we were only able to get our hands on one engineering bike and spent a great deal of time converting it from a full street bike that was used as a durability test bike, into a race bike and then back after the races. Zero again gave us some travel money and helped ship the bike to Indianapolis, but again the time was all donated after hours and many put in their own funding to help get us the rest of the way. So really we could not have our race effort without Zero Motorcycles but, our effort is very much a labor of love. We love racing, love electric vehicles, and love the challenge of pushing the technology and speed as far as we are able. We started MotoZero as a place that we could freely post all of our activities on the road course, at the cart track, in the dirt, as well as anything else we think is cool and race oriented. As for supporting other riders that are riding Zero’s Zero Motorcycles does not have an official program but, again we love racing and love to see others out there on our bikes. From the very beginning we have supported Brandon Nozak with knowledge and parts as much as we were able. Both Jeremiah Johnson and Brandon Nozak have spent a good amount of time here at our facility getting their bikes ready for the races. . . . When we head out to the track we try to bring spares and tools and help out all the teams as much as we are able. So though there is no official program we do our best to help out as we can and get as many people as we are able out on the track. As to the question about us copying another rider I am not sure what part you are referring to. If you can

    As a last point I would like to say that I am really glad to be collaborating with Brammo on making this race series and promoting electric racing. They have really been friendly and genuinely want to work with us to make it a fun friendly environment to race in. It was really outstanding talking to them at all the races and I always felt like they appreciated our efforts and wanted to help were they could. I consider them all friends and look forward to seeing them at the track along with all the other riders, Zero’s, Brammo’s, and other prototype teams. The people are really what make racing a lot of fun and without people we would not be able to put on such a great show for all the fans. On a personal not[e] it really meant a lot to me that Brammo and Parker motors produced the eSuperStock awards this year and when they presented them to me they mentioned that they were aware of how much time and energy my team had put into racing. It was touching that they recognized our efforts and thought highly of us for what we are doing which what we have. I would also like to say how much I appreciate all the efforts that everyone around me has put into this racing effort. Without so much passion and excitement for what we are doing and the extra hours of work none of the incredible things that we have been able to do would have been possible. I get to be in the limelight but the true dedication really goes to everyone that makes it possible. I hope this answers your questions. I have a lot going on so I limited my answers a bit but really could write a book on the subject of racing. If you would like more clarity on anything I have said here please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Well, I guess I asked them something about racing against each other too. Oh well. These are both very upstanding guys, as far I can tell. And they both love racing and having someone to race against. It seems both teams started out the same way, only Brammo a year earlier. Both went full on into their first race, and you didn’t hear much the next year. But Brammo’s PR arm is really good, dare I say masterful at pumping up their race team’s image and monopolizing on their efforts. Where Zero’s PR arm just last year, even seemed to recognize the racing efforts happening on their bikes. This isn’t a knock against Zero, they just have focused their efforts elsewhere. And I believe that the actions of the PR folks for both companies are strong indicators of where their leadership is at, and explain why the two teams find themselves in relatively different places despite starting off in almost from the same point. Both teams have great stories and I hope you have found their writings enlightening and helpful. I know I have.

  • [Article 3723]eMotoRacing: Road America Race Report, June 7-8, 2014

    Got this in the ol’ mail box and thought I would share, and a thank you Arthur for the update. As a race fan I’d like to see more about the race itself, but I really do appreciate the detail about the riders and their bikes. Enjoy

    What beautiful racetrack and facility! We had perfect weather and crowds estimated at 10,000 for the motorcycle festival weekend.
    The track’s hilly terrain creates a few blind spots, while the 3 looong straightaways challenge racebikes as few courses anywhere. One of these long, but kinked straights hurtles the racers through a lush forest at top speed…it’s enchanting.
    There were 4 eMotoRacing entrants for the 2 round series held at this grueling, high-speed 4 mile road course.
    Dave Sadowsky, former Daytona 200 winner, had a new custom rear shock by Nitron fitted to his Brammo Empulse R.
    Secondly, Andrew Cowell, AHRMA’s race school instructor, fielded another Brammo with new Bridgestone DOT race tires mounted and ready for action.
    New to the series is AHRMA Middleweight Superbike veteran Scott Signorini, who recently took delivery of an Empulse R that sports lightweight racing wheels, and a few other nice bits. Scott was excited to compete in his first eMotoRacing event.
    Lastly, myself, with my Brammo TTX which is fitted with substantially the same motor, controller, and batteries as the other entrants…but the bike has been lightened and trimmed down for racing.
    eMotoRacing heads to a tight and technical course at Grattan Michigan next weekend, where racebike advantages are secondary to rider daring and skill. But, this week in both races at Road America, the lighter and sleeker TTX was too much for the rest of the field.
    1st….Arthur Kowitz, Brammo TTX
    2nd…Dave Sadowsky, Brammo Empulse R
    3rd…Andrew Cowell, Brammo Empulse R
    4th…Scott Signorini, Barmmo Empulse R
    These same competitors, plus another new entrant to the field will test each other next weekend at Grattan, Michigan, where the top podium spot will be fiercely contested.
    Bring it on!

  • [Article 3721]Energica EGO US Tour Coming Soon


    While the Energica EGO tours Europe with Germany coming up, us Yanks will get our crack at a test ride as well. Test rides are scheduled for July 18th in San Francisco (Mission Motorcycles back yard no less), July 20th in LA, and July 30th in Bear Mountain, New York. If you want to reserve a test ride fill out their online questionnaire at http://www.energicasuperbike.com/where-is-my-ego-tour/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_CRP_2_2014

    You might just catch me in New York. We’ll see, and fingers crossed it works out for me.

  • [Article 3718]Buckeyes Podium Again!, 1st sub 20 minute laps, and a C+ grade

    Ok, here we are, in the afterglow of yet another TT Zero. It is a bit hard to believe it has been 5 years now. I am sure you noted where my loyalties lie, i.e. American education. Great job again, Buckeyes! Rob Barber came back at the end to just snatch the podium away from the Belgian new comers Saroléa by hundredths of a mph/tenths of a second. To tell the truth with the early numbers put out about the by Saroléa I thought we were looking at a challenge to Mugen. Clearly that was not the case this year, but Saroléa put in a heck of a good run for their first time. You have to give it to those Buckeye kids beating a carbon fiber beauty, and to Rob for putting the bike on its nose into that one turn grabbing back precious seconds. That 117mph lap just gets cooler the more I look at it. 19:17 seconds isn’t just under 20 minutes, it’s headed for south of 19. It’s just remarkable and congrats to Mugen. As Mark Miller said, there are guys on full liter bikes that have a hard time getting a 117 mph lap. I was interested to see if Anstey could beat McGuiness in his first time out, but McGuiness, who seemed to forgo a gas race to concentrate on the TT Zero, had control of the race from the get go and it reads like he had no intention of letting go.

    By now I am sure you are wondering why the C+ rating? A bit harsh, but after a very successful year last year we are back to half the field finishing. Some of these teams haven’t finished a lap since when, 2009, 2010? Actually I guess 7 bikes lined up, but there were 10 on the starting list. And then we are back to one team racing themselves. This just isn’t as good racing, and the teammates weren’t that close to make it exciting. So yet again I want bigger fields and closer racing. However, I still think the solution is letting a stock/supersport class run at the same time (TT format helps keep bikes from interfering with each other) and fill out the field and get manufactures some good exposure. Hence, these reliability issues shouldn’t be as much of an issue. But it is the TT and that may be nothing more than wishful thinking.

    Some of my disappointment comes from looking at a 117mph lap and thinking, “now what?” I know, there I go thinking again. Regular readers understand what kind of trouble that usually follows me thinking, and I am sure are chuckling to themselves right now. But, I started to ask myself if things are at the point of racing two laps. I then realized the next fastest bike only did a 93mph lap. So moving onto a two lap race would not be fair to anyone. It is a disappointing conclusion, realizing that wide spread progress is still just beyond grasp. And you have to wonder where Mugen laid down such a massive statement, is anyone out there up to the task of taking them head on? The only ones with the known technical experience to build a bike that might be close would be Brammo, but I am not sure they have deep enough pockets, much less the time.

    Still how about them Buckeyes, and 117.3mph! Ok, maybe a B-.

  • [Article 3711]TT Zero Update [Edit]

    Well, my internet is spotty and getting all the details right has been impossible, so please just consider this a basic guide to what is going and check out the ESBK.co Facebook page for links to articles and updates from teams and riders.

    We finally got results with yesterday’s practice, which is the second practice according to the teams. And there is nothing about the first practice on the TT’s website. David Heron did a good job of piecing together Friday’s result from social media. I think he thought Saroléa didn’t finish their lap, but I got word from them that they had transponder issues, and actually snagged third in both practices to date. The Buckeyes qual’d on Friday but noted an issue with their pack. They have since fixed said issue and have opted not run any more practices, instead leaving everything for the race. Mark Miller has been racing for Vercar Moto on both the R6 electric conversion and their gas powered Yamaha R6. He has been having a good time. In the first practice he had an overheating issues and had to wait 4 minutes before the bike would let him reset it, according to his Facebook page. He didn’t have much to say about the second TT Zero practice other than it went well. ManxTT and Brunell have also run, but it seems both have not finished at least one of the two practice laps. The Mugen guys have had some excitement. There’s a photo of Antsey’s bike with fire coming out of it in the first practice According to the Mogen rep that smoke is from the rear tire and the sunlight reflecting in it and the bike’s retirement had nothing to do with the electrical system. Meanwhile his teammate McGuiness ran a 111mph lap. In the second practice Antsey came back with 112mph, while McGuiness “slowed” to 109mph. Part of this appears to due to a hand injury. But it was not uncommon to see MotoCzysz teammates swap fast times, and even slowdown in the second practice. So none of this is unusual. Also, if memory serves, Mugen has said 115mph is possible. And with how things have gone in the past 112mph in the second practice doesn’t seem like that big a deal. But 115mph in the race is what I will be watching for. The last team that has been a mystery is Darvill Racing. They teased a shot of an Empulse on its way to Isle of Man, but as of the last I saw, they had not confirmed whether they were going to enter it or not.

    It seems 5 bikes finished yesterday, which I think is one more than Friday. But again I am not positive. So it looks like this year isn’t going as well as last year in that respect, but nowhere near as bad as previous years. So the Mugen boys are in their own race as MotoCzysz or any other factory (ie. Brammo, Mission, or Lightning) isn’t there to challenge them. The question will be can McGuinness get his first TT Zero win, or will his teammate snatch it. Next it looks like it might be a good battle for third between the Buckeyes and Saroléa as they both seem to be in the low 90mph speed bracket. Next down the list will be Brunell and Vercar Moto as they are both close in the 80mph bracket. I am not sure that a stock Empulse will be far off of those speeds, should Darvill get a bike in and qualified. We have one more practice before the race, so we’ll see.


    P.S. Check out Arc EV Racing’s Twitter feed to find out what is going on with them. They have fixed something, had a dyno run and am going to run practice on Monday.

  • [Article 3709]Back to Sea, and a strange year so far

    Hi ho everyone.

    OK, ok. Yet again I have proven to be a huge slacker when it comes to keeping up with the blog. Truth be told my life has been very full the last few weeks even with the extra 2 weeks home. I am renting a house now, and have discovered just how much more a PITA (not to mention expensive) it is than the humble room I was living in. But having done the homeless thing I am resolved to not let any of my family members have to go through the same thing. And that is exactly the situation I find myself in now. I am actually on a plane now headed to Norway. By all rights I should be headed to the TT Zero, but that just cannot be helped. One thing I did do for the blog while I was home was pay the web hosting bill. Not insignificant, so I’ll have to do something to justify the investment.

    The big news that you should be looking for is next week’s TT Zero results. The other is the formation of a new elmoto series in Europe and the apparent end of the TTXGP. I have not seen nor heard anything official, but by David Herron’s report it seems to be no more, or at least dormant. It seems to me that things like these die quietly, and for a change I am content to leave things be. I do not feel digging around in this particular matter will help anyone. But what a year; no MotoCzysz at the TT, and no TTXGP pushing an international series. Meanwhile, I look at the up and coming Formula-e and their giant facility and F1 team involvement, and their Robert Llewellyn announcer and his team with great envy. All of that is enough to conjure emotions that warrant much inflection, but then you add Lightning finally revealing the new bodywork of their superbike. David Herron has been doing a great job of keeping everyone up to date and I, for one, am grateful.

    Since the beginning I have supported the TTXGP, even though many have not. Some with extreme vitriol, while not backing up their arguments with anything other than a trust me. But that was a while ago. Arthur Kowitz apparently felt the eRoadRacing experience was lacking enough for the club racers here in the US that he organized his own series in conjunction with the supportive folks at AHRMA. The biggest issue the TTXGP ever had was getting teams to show up. From my point of view we all share in the blame, if any blame really needs to be assigned. But it causes me to pause, and wonder how far off the mark I may have been over the last few years, and then led you readers off. It is something I also concern myself with. Balancing passion and excitement with responsibility. Irreguardless, one of the reasons I originally got behind the TTXGP was because they stepped up and started something. And One thing I have a hard time tolerating is people kicking someone’s new hard efforts, when they should instead be involved and help. If we take pause werealise we now have electric motorcycles racing gas bikes, elmoto series still on three continents, two major one race events fielding them, and now a very well supported electric car series unfolding in front of us. And who knows, maybe the eRR or TTXGP will come back to the fore front. But if they don’t, they still left an admirable mark.

    But then I wonder if the eRR (as the TTXGP evolved into), could ever have been what the Formula-E appears to be now? I’m not so sure. First the TTXGP started right in the middle of the economy crashing, where there has been at least some recovery in recent years for the cars guys to build on. Also, the motorcycle world hasn’t had a Tesla. A small startup company that built an award winning consumer car that just happened to be electric. No offense to Brammo or Zero, But the Empulse nor the S are blowing the doors off of the best the gas bikes have to offer, yet. Also, while major car companies have been building electric cars, we have not seen it from major motorcycle companies. Although, we used to hear the ‘when Hondamaha wants to join the fray Brammo and Zero will be toast’ quite often. I still believe the longer they wait the less likely it is that is going to happen. And I haven’t heard it in a while either, but maybe they know I don’t listen so well. Also F1 teams aren’t all OEM manufactures. They tend to be their own company building their own race cars in multi-million dollar facilities, where rarely do you see such teams in MotoGP as they are all factory based. F1 strikes me as a field where being as conservative as an OEM brand means you’ll never finish first. They are folks that are used to trying to think in, out, or sideways of the box in order get an advantage, and dabbling in this electric car stuff might be fun and enlightening. Especially with a chance of feedback and experience gained could help with KERS systems many teams employ in their gas cars. There are no such benefits for OEM MotoGP teams who have no OEM elmotos, hybrid motorcycles, much less hybrid race bikes that could benefit from participating in an eRR type series in that manner. And let’s not forget the outrage from the TTXGP offering bikes for sale through the sister company Mavizen. Now the company building the Formula-E cars is supposedly separate, but it’s not that separate. But they have the advantage of getting parts and/or systems from multiple F1 teams to put people’s minds at ease. And then there is always the suborn conservatism of motorcyclists. It seems to exceed that of even car guys. Who knew? So, if you are like me and look at Formula-E with jealousy and a wish for utopia, I say don’t feel bad. I don’t think it could ever have happened that way for us anyway.

    So what is the future of elmoto racing then? Ha! Darned if I know. I think it is in the hands of the TT Zero in Europe, and the American companies Brammo, Zero, and even Lightning here in the US. I also think racing gas bikes in the shorter club races is great, while promoting grass roots elmoto classes like the Aussie series and the eMR here in the US is just as positive. Lots of racing to be had and seen, minus the MotoGP entry fees. However, from what I hear the sponsor money is out there for a big series. The problem is getting the right person who can step up and organize such a thing. The other thing is getting teams lined up who will show up. Maybe next year? We also need to keep an eye on the eMR as well. Thought I saw a report that quite a few bikes showed up for round 2. Things that make you go, hmmm.

  • [Article 3707]Hello World, Meet Saroléa’s SP7

    Yes I have been quiet for a while and all I can is grovel for your forgiveness. And things most likely are not going to get any busier, here on this site, any time soon. But even I know when it’s time to sit down and bring something to your attention. And this is one of those things. Thank you to Torsten for sending me a message to keep me apprised of the goings on over there in Belgium. You gotta love the retro look with modern materials and drivetrain. I can’t wait to see how she holds up at the TT this year. If you click the pic above you’ll get sent to the bike’s page on their website and a very nice gallery of pics.

    Enjoy, everyone.

  • [Article 3699]Where in the World is Shelina Moreda!?

    Courtesy of She’z Racing

    It seems to me that keeping track of Shelina’s comings and goings this past month plus has been a kin keeping track of a 9yr-old chugging on a 2 liter bottle of Mt Dew. Few, I fear are up to the task. Thankfully Shelina has taken the time to give us one of her updates, complete with pictures and everything. Now, this is her news letter and I am leaving the information you need to sign up for it yourself, if you wish. Here you go:

    My Wall Street Journal Feature & Race Recaps! ….(and I broke my phone)

    I have some updates! First order of business is that I broke my phone when I was in Daytona, on my way to Qatar, so I’ve been without a phone for a month. If you’ve tried to contact me and I did not respond, I apologize, that’s why. I just got home and I’ll have my new phone tomorrow, so you can reach me again.

    Second order of business is my updates for this month! One highlight is that the Wall Street Journal featured me in a video! They spent a couple of days with me at the ranch and at the all-girls Girlz MotoCamp that I put on in Petaluma. It’s a huge accomplishment and stepping stone to me to have the Wall Street Journal take interest in what I’m doing as a Pro Racer and entrepreneur in the Motorsports industry.

    (click on the link to watch it, or copy this link: http://on.wsj.com/1iCsyr3 )

    Asphalt & Rubber took interest in the camps as well, and with our next camp just around the corner, A&R grabbed ahold of our most recent camp video for an awesome article this week.

    Also just got back from one of the most awesome months of my racing career, jam packed with travel and riding with and learning from some of the fastest guys in the world!
    Started out a month ago at Kenny Roberts’ ranch, riding with Kurtis Roberts and learning how much I don’t know! I picked up a lot from Kurtis and was able to put some of it to use the very next week on big bikes. My first real Flat Track experience and I raced a 450 on the Savannah Half Mile! Big thanks to Michelle Disalvo and Aaron Yates for coming to help me out. I had a great time racing with BMC Racing and Mitch Harvat, and I brought home several trophies, 2nd, 3rd and two 4ths!! I’m Hooked!

    The high banking of Daytona was next, on my AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Davidson! It’s the best race I’ve had so far on the Harley, in that I battled with some guys I had never been able to keep up with (and I came out in front of that pack… which the boys are not happy about ;)  I am stoked on our 14th place finish and we were not too far behind the lead pack of 11, who all finished within 0.6 seconds of eachother!

    After Daytona I was off to Qatar to race my first Night Race and it was during Moto GP weekend, so even more thrilling!! We had a lot of trouble with suspension in Qatar and things were getting lost in translation with my team, but we still came out in 4th place in the LARRS race with my QMMF Racing Team. Another highlight in Qatar was getting to ride the Arabian desert on Quads with some of the rest of the QMMF Racing Team.

    After Qatar I made a quick decision to head to Spain to train with some fast Aussie racers; Anthony West (Moto 2 rider), Alex Cudlin, (World Endurance Racer), up-and coming Lawson Walters, and their trainer, Bernie Hatton. We raced Go Karts and rode in the Spanish Dirt and I had an absolute blast.
    And some Pictures:
    My first real (big bike) Flat Track experience, with BMC Racing and Mitch Harvat, brought me several trophies, 2nd, 3rd and two 4ths!! Raced in Savannah Georgia and Volusia Florida!
    FINISH LINE at Daytona! (that’s me in front, #93) on my Chilipepper Racing machine! It was Hot, Hot, Hot!!!
    Quads in the Desert Sands of Qatar! With some of the QMMF Racing Team; Manca Katrasnik (Slovenia), myself, Viktoria Kis (Hungary), and Anthony West (Australia)
    Knee down in the Night Race at Qatar! On my QMMF Racing Team machine! (photo thanks to SuperStoked.me) 
    King (ok Queen) of the Mountain!! Looking down at our riding spot where we were riding TT track in Madrid, Spain!
    Ready to Ride at our spot in Madrid, Spain! with Anthony West, Alex Cudlin and Shelina Moreda (that’s me)
    Thank you to all of my sponsors who make these milestone media appearances and rad racing experiences possible.
    ChiliPepperRacing.com, QMMF Racing Team, BMC Racing, Brammo, Parker Hannifin, She’z Racing, GP Fabrication, Paul Diener, Elvis Johns, Arai, AXO, G&B Motorsports, FinishLine Fitness, Impact Safe-T Armor, Vance & Hines, GoPro, NP Moto, and Chuck Desimio!
    If you want to be a bigger part of my awesome racing adventures, we always appreciate new partnerships and sponsorships, please email me at Shelina@ShezRacing.com for more information.
    You are not necessarily on my Race Reports mailing list. This email is going out to ALL of my contacts because I needed to let everyone know I have not had a phone for a month.
    If you want to check out more of what I’ve been up to, reply with ADD ME to let me know to add you to the Race Reports group and you can also check out www.ShezRacing.com
    On the flip side, if you want to be removed from future update emails from me, please respond with REMOVE ME in the subject line.
    Thanks for all of your support!!
    Shelina Moreda

    #93 AMA, FIM, TTXGP
    Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead, Go Instead Where There Is No Path, And Leave A Trail.