First: I told you so.
Asphalt & Rubber found some info and real life pics on some Japanese sites. Go here to read his article and see all the pictures.
But I found the official Mugen press release:
March 3rd, 2012
Announcement of participation of “TEAM /MUGEN” in The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race
M-TEC Co., Ltd. Shin Nagaosa, president (Hereinafter called M-TEC) announced the intention to tackle the 2012 The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race held on the Isle of the Man with “TEAM /MUGEN”.縲The motorcycle to be used will be the newly developed bespoke EV bike, “(SHINDEN)”.
The chosen rider is the 17 times Isle of Man TT winner, John McGuinness, who, with such an excellent record, it is hoped will bring victory to TEAM /MUGEN on the teams debut in the TT Zero Challenge.
Given the current global trends, even those involved in the business of motor sports, as we are, must be concerned about environmental issues, regardless of whether it concerns motorcycle or automobile, and it is expected that Eco-Friendly Races where vehicles fitted with battery fuel cells, HEV and EV cars compete, will all play a main role in the future of motor sports. Facing such a future, at this time M-TEC has developed the original EV bike, “(SHINDEN)” in order to showcase our advanced clean emission technology and creativity to the world, and for the education of the engineers of the next generation for our future.
*The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race TT Zero Challenge
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race TT is a motorcycle racing event having been held on the Isle of Man since 1907 and is historically the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world.
TT Zero Challenge started in 2009 as a new class requiring the entrants to ride motorcycles with zero-emission engines emitting no CO2. The race is run in a time-trial format over a course of approximately 60km of mixed terrain around the isle.█ TEAM/MUGEN
TEAM BIKE CLASS RIDER TEAM/MUGEN (SHINDEN) TT Zero Challenge John McGuinness█ (SHINDEN)
Ground clearance(mm): 130
Seat height(mm): 840
Curb weight(kg): 260
Caster angle: 23°
Trial length(mm): 96
Frame: CFRP Twin-Spar-Type
Motor type: Three Phase Brushless DC motors
Battery: Lithium-ion Battery
Battery output(V): 370 or more
█ Meaning of the name, “ (SHINDEN)”
“(Shin)” means God. “(Den)” means electricity. Wishing God who in nature dominates all kinds of electricity including from thunder to static, would support us for the race, and for this the name was chosen.
Points of interest:
- 260kg weight. About right in the ball park with MotoCzysz’s 2011 bikes, and the Lightning.
- Li-Ion pack with voltage of 370+. Ahh, I think a fair bit under MotoCzysz’s old bike I think and way under Lightning. This makes me think they are going to be lucky to have a 14kWh pack.
Hell, they’ll be lucky to have a 13kWh in there. And the size of the overall package looks it. 370v with 40Ah cells will get you 14.8kWhs. 30Ah cells will get you 12.95kWh. Now look at the size of the bike with the tiny Japanese gentlemen standing next to it. Does that look like a bike with almost 15kWh in it to you?
- A 200/55ZR-17 rear tire. Really? You need a 200 for 120hp? Well you do have John McGuinness on board. But I think a call to Steve Atlus will confirm smaller is better.
- Frame: CFRP. I suspect the first two letters mean Carbon fiber. The swing arm, and what looks like maybe some supporting members of the battery pack are CF, bolted to a fairly traditional twin spar aluminum frame. They still got nothing on the MotoCzysz though.
All in all, the spec sheet makes it look like this bike doesn’t have a pryer of knocking on MotoCzysz’s door, much less Lightning’s. Who knows, even Kingston University might have something for these guys with a top notch rider. Yes, they do have McGuinness, and the 17 time TT winner is a big factor. But, Miller and Sutter are no slouches, and Miller has done the TT Zero dance more than anyone. And lord that thing is typical Japanese ugly. Blah!
My prediction is they will struggle to average much over 90mph, and will fail to complete at least one the laps leading up to the TT. I think if in the unlikely event Brammo shows up with a proper race bike, it’ll be a tree way battle for 3rd between Brammo, Mugen, and Kingston.
Your thoughts and predictions?