So here I am relaxing on a Sunday instead of off trying to tear up the local mountain bike trails and keep the fast old guys anywhere in sight. So, I decide to try to find some info on Saturday’s practice. Well, there is none. It got rained out. My only connection to any TT Zero news is Asphalt & Rubber via twitter. There is no news on http://www.iomtt.com. TT Zero coverage is nil, save for Manx TT Radio who broadcast everything, and whom I can’t listen too because I’m at work when it’s on.
So, what I have gathered from A&R is that he has seen 10 bikes go through tech, but there may have been more as tech was going to be open for a while longer when he had to move on. I believe two of those bikes were for Mugen’s Rider John McGuinness alone. That makes 9 riders, but I am making an assumption here.
Oh, wait . . . what’s this . . . ?
Here’s a list of entrants they’ve seen so far:
Its good to see a variety of bikes here, we counted 8 bikes present and ready to race in parc ferme before the session was cancelled:
Both Moto Czysz bikes
IH11 (IH12 won’t be racing)
The Lightning bike is known to be on the island but with battery pack under construction (?!) according to Michael Czysz. Also, the Kawasaki Zytek ZX-10EV is present but not running. There has been no appearance by either Brunel or Imperial or any of the ‘official’ Agni bikes, Sarolea or TGM IOT. Still not a bad showing, it will be especially interesting if the Lightning bike is ready in time for Wednesday.
I was mistaken with TGM IOT bike, the bike I’m talking about is actually the work of a random Austrian dude called Harold who is planning to finish building (!) his bike and enter it; whether he achieves one or either of those goals is uncertain, but the TGM effort is nowhere to be seen.
I will try and get as many pics as possible over the next couple of days
And this is what was said about practice being cancelled:
Yes, it was drizzling at 1715 on the Mountain while the lightweight ICE’s were out. We were meant to go out at 1755 but the weather was deteroirating so it was called off. As there is no racing today or Tuesday and the bikes take over 6 hours to charge there is no way of squeezing the two qualifying sessions in on Monday. Therefore we will only get 2 outings this year. Weather forecast is dodgy for Monday and ok for Wednesday, but Isle of Man weather is so unpredictable we’ll just have to ckutch our amuletsd and dance the sunshine dance!
The sour grapes update:
So yesterday’s practice was called off, understandably, because rain was closing in on the mountain. The down side of that is that all the teams lose out on a valuable run around the course, compromising the setup of new bikes on race day as a result of less testing. the race officials first of all suggested having two practices on Monday, however this is hardly practical for most if not all teams as the bikes take 5-9 hours to charge (wild guess average). That would mean going out first thing and in the evening, however the Supersport ICE race is at 1045 and is televised so can’t be moved.
This afternoon, a meeting of the teams and race officials discussed options, and the result is that tomorrow’s practice will go ahead at 1630 with an option to bring it forward to 1200 to fit in between the Supersport and Superstock at 1400. The twist is that it willl consist of two 45 minute sessions rather than one 30 minute sessions and give the possibility of a bike completing two laps. Obviously, the TT Zero bikes can’t do this on one charge (not at race speeds anyway) and the only way to take advantage of this would be to have two bikes and one rider; the only team with this capability is Mugen with their twin Shindens. This means that McGuinness will complete a lap, pit, swap bikes and then head out on a fresh bike, giving Mugen twice the race data which is so valuable.
The weather is looking good for tomorrow, so we are looking forward to our session; we will also be trying to squeeze in a testing session at a local short track (Jurby) on Tuesday. For us, the benefit will be to slowly build up George’s speed on the bike. Since having the motor out and sent back to Yasa for inspection, they have (somehow) unleashed it to deliver 900Nm peak torque and continuous power at 130kW. This new and unknown impact on the battery usage is compounded by the dash readout for battery usage which has not been calibrated to accurately reflect remaining usable power. The only way to calibrate this essential rider aid is to cycle the pack, which is what we missed out on yesterday.
Here’s to sunshine and success!
So, it’s “crazy” qualifying tomorrow and then the race on Monday. If McGuinness gets 2 laps in tomorrow, as in one lap on his “A” bike and one on his “B” bike, will that be an advantage over Miller and Rutter each getting one lap on their bikes? MotoCzysz doesn’t think so. But I think this situation makes a good case for hot swappable packs. However, I am really wondering why charge times are so slow. TTXGP bikes don’t take that long. Well, the “factory” ones anyway. Maybe it’s the power available on the island.
Don’t think I haven’t noticed Lightning has been almost completely left out of the conversation. We’ll have to see if they can keep from repeating last year. But at least they are there. Agni is no where to been seen apparently. One blogger says they cancled, and t eother expects them any minute. [sigh]
So the Motoczysz storyline from my last post can be removed as the bike has been unveiled. The others all still seem relevant. But I am going to add one more, stolen from A&R. As energy consumption at high speeds and battery capacity are the 2 biggest obstacles to elmotos running toe to toe with ICE bikes, we will get a glimpse tomorrow at which problem is the bigger problem. If MotoCzysz puts in the faster time then the assumption can be made that aerodynamics are the biggest problem. But if the Mugen puts in the faster time we know it’s pure capacity that is the weakest link.
According to the A&R posts I linked in my last post, and the MotoCzysz website, last year’s bike had 12.5kWh, and this year’s has 14kWh on board. And A&R believes that the Mugen could have upwards of 20kWh potential in their pack. I think that is slightly ludicrous myself, but clearly the impression people are taking away from the Mugen is that it’s stuffed with batteries. Now, to lend some credence to this we know from a podcast episode that Lighting knows of some batteries that they can get their hands on that would bring their bike down to the 400lbs range. Where Mugen was able to afford 2 bikes it is possible they had the cash to buy some really trick batteries. But even so, 20kWh is a BIG number. To quote an Anime I watch recently, “almost impossibly big.” But, lets not get carried away. I have heard from a reliable source some time back that last years E1PC pack size was actually very close to what they are claiming this year’s pack size is. I have decided to reconcile the 2 numbers in my head by looking at it that the published MotoCzysz numbers as Nominal, and the numbers I heard as Max, fresh off the charger. It actually makes a bit of sense. But, it means us fans are gong to have to pay as much, if not more, attention to how the race teams use nominal and Max kwh ratings, as we do the manufactures. Generally (very generally) speaking Nominal capacity is 90% of max. So 12.5kWh nominal would be about 14kWh max, and so 14kWh nominal would be about 15.5kWhrs max. And if Mugen were at 20kWh max, then that would be about 18kWh Nominal. A big if, and an advantage, but not insurmountably big considering how much extra weight the Mugen has to push up the mountain over the E1PC, and the aero advantage that it also has. It should be a good battle between those two if all the rumors are true.