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  • Help the Buckeye’s defend their podium position in the 2014 TT Zero

    Lame of me to not have jumped on this when it first came up, I know.  Better late than never?

    Any who, the Buckeyes are using indiegogo to raise money to get back to the Isle.  Kyle Ginaven was our previous contact and the gentleman I interviewed on the podcasts, but he graduated and has moved on with his life as college students do.  I do not know the new team but it seems they are getting on track and organized.  The latest pic of the bike in their Facebook page show’s the bike stripped down as they test a new battery pack.  Other news on their page is that their rider Rob Barber just celebrated a birthday.  So Happy Birthday to Mr. Barber.

    What the team needs is money.  They have a goal of $25,000 and so far have only raised $425.  If you haven’t already please donate to their cause here.  They showed up their first year and laid the smack down on everyone except Mugen and MotoCzysz.  That’s unheard of performance in the series since 2010.  There is only 31 days left on their clock.



  • ESBK Studios: Episode 25 Interview with Shelina Moreda

    This is a 2 hour podcast, so break it up into chunks.  But the first 26 minutes are a review of Laguna but mostly a preview of Indy this weekend with results from QP1 of both Indy and Oshersleben.  The rest is Shelina going over Pikes Peak, REFUEL, and her crash at Laguna.

    Enjoy.

     

    Episode 25 Interview with Shelina Moreda



  • Laguna Seca 2013: End of one Era and the Start of Another

    Courtesy of the eRoadRacing
    Courtesy of the eRoadRacing

    Well the Tour de France is finally over (I make my money fixing bicycles not blogging) and even though my motivation to blog or podcast just about nil, my love of lap times and now the extra time on my hands makes it a bit too much for me to resist.  But mostly, I’m going to set a few things straight and give what I hope is the correct lens of which to look through for this past weekend.  You would have seen eRoadRacing announce that Brammo finally broke Mission’s lap times from 2011.  Well yes and no.  And with lots of love to the Brammo guys to me the lap times say they are still not quite on par with Mission’s 2011 team.  Now, Brammo have a lot to be proud of and we will get to that after I review what remains to me to be the benchmark performance all other are to be judged by.  And why it marks the end of an era.

    In 2011 Mission Motors, Lightning and MotoCzysz showed up to the joint FIM/TTXGP round in Laguna Seca after no showing at Sears Point two months earlier.  Brammo was there as well and had an epic battle for 4th with the two dominant European teams that no longer race, but were no match for the big power bikes up at the front.  Mission was the unknown as Lightning and MotoCzysz had done battle the previous year.  They had two geniuses hacking away on computers between sessions, a James Parker designed chassis, and Steve Rapp who was flying that year in the top AMA class running in 5th in the championship on a privateer bike.  Not only that but Laguna was both Steve’s and the Mission R’s home track.  But this was the first race the bike had ever run.  With the MotoCzysz and Lighting bikes running approximately 200hp and all three not far from the 550lb max weight, the Mission looked to be miserably underpowered with a reported 163.2hp and 133.4ft-lb of torque.  But, in qualifying they pulled out a 1:31.378 lap time which put them only 10 seconds a lap short of the MotoGP pole position, midpack in the AMA Daytona Sportbike class’s qualifying, and 5th in the Supersport class qualifying times.  This has yet to be matched, and it’s been two years.  Continue reading  Post ID 2924



  • Amarok’s Press Release from Pikes Peak

    Photo courtesy of Amarok Racing
    Photo courtesy of Amarok Racing

    Yes, I’ve been quiet for a few weeks now.  My actual life has needed attention.  Sad, I know.  Anyway, I received this Press Release from the cool guys at Amarok on July 3rd and am just now getting it out.  It’s actually a big deal that I received this as I’m not getting anything from anyone else.  So a big thank you to Amarok, and an apology for the late posting.  Amarok did a good job keeping us posted in the preceding weeks leading up to Pikes Peak and it was very much appreciated here at ESBK.  Great job guys, and best of luck in the future!

    For Immediate Release                                                                               July 3, 2013

    Canada’s Amarok Racing Reaches For the Clouds, Falls 1 mile Short in Re-started Pikes Peak Race

    Pikes Peak, Colorado.  Team Amarok Racing, makers of Canada’s first electric racing motorcycle, competed in the 91st  Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday.  The event, also known as the Race To The Clouds, is North America’s second oldest motor race, running up the treacherous 156 corners of the mountain course into the rarefied air of the summit at over 14,000 feet.  The race is open to almost any type of motorized vehicle, and includes exotic and production-based race cars, motorcycles, quads, trucks, both gasoline and electric powered, and has long been considered a crucible for new motor vehicle technology. Continue reading  Post ID 2740



  • Another look at how the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb is Shaping Up for Elmotos: Lightning Dominates Practice

    I had one hopeful competitor tell me once that what he liked about ESBK.co was that I do my best to tell you folks how it really is, while maintaining a positive out look.  Which is exactly what I hope to do here with this site.  Some times I fail, and some times I succeed.  Funny enough I’ll get feed back from different people saying I’ve done both with the same post.  But I am going to take another stab at walking that fine line today.

    Earlier this year I was more excited about the PPIHC than I was about the TT Zero, and was getting the feeling that it might over take the TT Zero in importance in the near future.  However, that vibe is all but gone, but for a few reasons.  Firstly, in my opinion this year’s TT Zero was the most successful TT Zero in history with about half of the 10 teams completing all 4 laps comprised of practice/qualifying and the race; and with everyone completing at least 2.  It was an exciting race with the record of a 109.675mph lap being set and it being a race to the finish, sort to speak.  Literally twice as many bikes finished as last year, and I think if you added up everyone’s laps, twice as many laps were completed with less bikes showing up and really an extra two days of practice as last year had one practice get rained out.  So this year’s TT Zero was very successful, and that is part of it.  The second part is the seemingly constantly changing competitor’s list.  Amarok [edit] has been trying to raise money after Greg Tracy reportedly left to race the Mitsubishi electric cars instead.  [Edit] Tracy’s departure was impeccable timing because Chip Yates tweeted that he would not be racing a Lightning this year after all, right around the same time.  It looked like the event was going to just be stock based Zeros again.  I was able to get confirmation from Yates himself that he would not make it.  What happened, you might ask.  Well I don’t know for certain, but I do know Chip’s side.  I asked Lightning for a comment and they had none, saying simply that Yates decided not to ride for them.  I think I can say this, nothing happened.  At least from Yates’s point of view.  Nothing at all accept Yates losing enough money to get my frugal keester to a few eRR rounds.  Hence Yates’s frustration.  Having talked to a few people over the past few weeks who follow the series closely, as I do, no one seems surprised.  Yates did attempt to put together something last minute with a few companies who he said were all eager but couldn’t manage at such short notice.  I was hoping he would have teamed up with Amarok, but one can only wish I guess.  Maybe it was a bridge Lightning was willing to burn since they snagged recent winner of Pikes Peak Carlin Dunne.  Apparently he is going for the outright record, and not just an electric record.  He did set fastest times there during the tire test on the 8th and 9th.  Here’s the unmolested press release from the 4th:



  • Energica Hits the Track Tease from eCRP

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DZrBDxOD6s)

    Well we now know it moves, and that is a step in the right direction.  I have the newsletter which I assume is just the press release below.  Really they have been showing it off a bit in Italy a bit, crowing about anti-lock brakes which are going to be required in the EU soon anyway.  The price is still €18,000, but now you won’t get it until 2015.  It still figures to be a bargain with 2.5 times the power of a Brammo Empulse or 2013 Zero S and only 20kW down from the Mission R at 100 Italian kilo-Watts.  Don’t forget it has an 11.7kWh pack (confirmed nominal) and now anti lock brakes as well for $23,900 USD in today’s money according to Google.  That’s $9,000 less than barest bones Mission R before tax rebates.  I say that, and we don’t know just what the Energica will sell for over here after importing it.  Still, you have to admit it’s a good deal if you have or can get the money.  It sits nicely between the Empulse and Mission price wise adding to peoples options.

    If you want to know more Motorcycle.com did a write up about CRP and what was new.  Turns out the biggest news a few months ago was the personnel they have brought on.  Read their article here.

    Here’s the press release:

    Energica: on the track for the first time!

    moto<br /><br /><br />
energica gtAn exclusive preview of the first Italian electric superbike on Modena Racetrack!

    Energica & eCRP 1.4 were the extraordinary guests of the first edition of “Z.ero E.mission V.ehicle & Press ecoRace”.

    Zev Day was an Italian event organized by Modena Racetrack in collaboration with Renault Italy dedicated to sustainable mobility.

    The CRP Group decided to surprise all the participants showing Energica in an exclusive track tour along Modena Racetrack!

    The first Italian superbike, ridden by Giampiero Testoni, Chief Engineer Energica, has covered 3 extraordinary laps side by side with the eCRP 1.4, the electric racebike 2011 Vice World Championship. 


    It was an unique experience for all those people who attended the first lap of Energica, the CRP international, sustainable project with high performance. Here you can find a video preview: Energica on the track!

    The whole audience was astonished at its passage!

    energica<br /><br /><br />
all'autodromo di modena!!!This “proudly made-in-Modena” supersport electric streetbike is a mixture of technology and innovation that make it a good option to traditional vehicle indeed.
    Energica, officially presented at Eicma 2012, will integrate  the ABS system since the first release, an added value for the customer’s safety with one year ahead of EU mandatory:

    Energica will be available for purchase worldwide in 2015Reservations are open on the website.

    The first Italian superbike with its performances, unique in its kind and with its high technology (Windform and 3D Printing) with which it was designed, was included in the 2013 – Year of Italian Culture in the United States – Italy in US.
    In the end, this year, Energica, join the 1.618 Sustanaible  Luxury Guide, the world’s first sustainable luxury online guide as the one and only electric motorcycle in the guide.

    Join Energica’s World!!



  • MotoCzysz, Rutter, and the Isle of Man TT win the 2013 TT Zero [Updated]

    TT Zero300w.ashx-150x150

    Man, there is so much to talk about I’m not really sure how to organize it.  The title alone took me forever to settle on.  Some of the you newer followers may be wondering why this is so late.  Long time readers will know I generally like to sit and digest a race before I write about it.  Also, more info inevitably comes out after the fact and hushing only means you miss some of the story.  That, and everyone seems to want to rush and write about it as soon as possible.  Competitiveness I guess.  Either way getting up at 4:30am to listen to the race and watch the timing screen has me all screwed up for the day.  So that is the real reason this is so late.

    First we’ll get the race out of the way.  Continue reading  Post ID 2656



  • Racing Across America: What do I Think?

     

    It’s one thing to ask EBSK what I think.  I know then, that I really should take a breath and answer in an appropriate way.  But the problem comes when you ask Richard Dort what he thinks.  The problem with that is that most of the time I’ll tell you.  That happened today.  An appropriate answer was not left by your truly.

    Here’s my beef with MotoElectra and Terry Hershner’s World Record attempts . . . timing.  They are doing this right smack in the middle of the Isle of Man TT.  The dates have been out forever.  Brammo raced their second and last race of the year with the AFM on their home track (and it showed) just a few days ago.  That has been known for not as long as the TT’s schedule, but some time.  Terry did it because he saw Moto Electra’s announcement and it coincided enough with his finished Vetter conversion he decided to try to beat them to it.  I don’t think MotoElectra is doing it for publicity, so the timing may not really matter.  Terry, on the other hand, is a bit of a PR machine.  But this thing has been harder to cover than the TT because I haven’t received promised document from either camp.  And I did make an effort.  But with covering everything else too, by not getting promised items it’s gone to the back burner.  However, both are covering things pretty good on Facebook.  However, the reality is that they have to do these things when they can, despite my work load.

    I did have a good talk with Brian Richardson of MotoElectra a while back.  He and his team were inspired by an old movie that was about the first attempts across the US with a gasoline powered car.  They had no roads and had to have gasoline shipped by train because there were no gas stations.  Hense why they are bringing a generator and chase vehicle.  I seriously doubt there is a J1772 or CHAdeMO socket on the MotoElectra machine.  They want to show both what can be done and where charger networks need to be put in.  The only thing is I don’t think they planned at all to try to use any already installed chargers in the I-10 corridor.  But in fairness I think they are charging at probably near 15kW, with many J1772 putting out only 9kW at most.  And I might be able to count the number of CHAdeMO chargers along I-10 on one hand.  Frankly, I’m too lazy to figure it out on Plug-Share.  Terry Hershner, as I have talked about before is using the existing infrastructure to do his trip solo.  Unfortunately Texas, both coming across the first time and this time, has bitten him with both charging and with a toasted motor most recently.  Knee-jerk reaction says giant fairings ( no air-flow to the motor), a size-6 controller, and the Texas heat may have been too much for the little motor.  But that is a wild guess.  Seems like Terry would have thought of that in the design of the fairings.  It was definitely looking like Terry’s race to lose with the ability to charge the larger 15kWish pack in an hour and with the advantage of the fairings he was looking to get some really impressive range.  Then Texas hit.  Just what does Texas have against EVs?  Or is it just EV related things with T’s in the name?

    In all honesty this would be a lot more exciting if Brammo, multiple Tesla Model S owners, Terry, and who knows how many untold others, hadn’t already crossed the country in or on EVs.  Doing it with a gas generator makes almost no sense in that context.  Other than maybe to show how fast it could be done if there were charging stations in place, in the proper places.  Which really is the whole point, isn’t it.  But so far the only thing I am learning is that I should petition the federal government to move the I-10 up and over Texas if I ever want to own an EV in that part of the world.  Oh, wait.  No, you’d be hard pressed to do that in Texas either.  All Brammo owning Texans should be beware and armed.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.  Well that, and it seems we really need at least 15kW packs for long distance travel.

    So just what is the story here.  The story is that MotoElectra is the most reliable and consistent electric motorcycle racing team in known history, period.  Brammo is a close second and might pass them this year, depending on how you score it.  Terry is taking on a barn built prototype with a highly modified, yet still, production motorcycle.  So is the young gun production bike up to the reliability of the grandad that showed the elmoto racing world how to show up and run?  So far the answer is no, but the “racing” isn’t over yet.

    So for me it isn’t about who gets the World Record.  I have a lot of respect and love for both efforts.  I met Terry at the World Final and he is a great guy, and the MotoElectra team adopted me at the Miller round back in 2011.  I’ll be really happy for whoever sets the record, and even happier if everyone gets home safe and sound.

    For me, it’s about reliability and reputations.

     

    Follow and cheer on Terry here.

    Follow and cheer on MotoElectra here.

     



  • ESBK Studios Special: Post AFM Round 3 with Shelina Moreda of Team Parker-Brammo

    Shelina Parker Brammo Racing

    I get the low down on Shelina’s long weekend race not only the TTX, but also the Empulse RR13 .  It was an up and down weekend for Shelina (literally).  But she came home with a 5th and sixth place out doing her teammate yet again in placements (ignoring that she’s admittedly 10 seconds a lap slower than EBoz on the RR).  As always it’s a great time with Shelina as I wring as much info as I can out of the racer.  Thank you Shelina!

    ESBK Studios Special Post Race AFM Round 3 with Shelina Moreda



  • TT Zero’s Last Practice/Qualifying: McGuinness a 109mph, and Buckeyes up to 91mph! [Updated]

    Lets just get to it.  Here’s the results just from today:

    SES TT Zero Qualifying – Monday, June 3 – All Laps
    Pos No.   Rider                        Machine/Entrant                                LapTime       Speed
    1       3     John McGuinness      2013 Shinden Ni/Mugen                      20:45.699     109.04
    2       1     Michael Rutter            2013 MotoCzysz E1PC/                      21:02.318     107.60
    3       2     Mark Miller                  2013 MotoCzysz E1PC/MotoCzysz    21:23.742     105.81
    4     10     Robert Barber            RW-2/                                                 24:40.121       91.77
    5       4    George Spence           Kingston 2012/Kingston University   26:28.937       85.48
    6       7    Chris Mcgahan            2013 Yamaha R6E/Vercarmoto          27:53.788       81.15
    7       5     Ian Lougher                2013 KOMATTI MIRAI KMI/                 28:12.376       80.26
    8       8    Neal Champion            TT Zero/                                             28:48.719       78.57
    OFFICIAL RESULTS
    Gary Thompson, Clerk of the Course
    I watched this on TT Live and Brunel and Imperial did start the practice, but appear to have not finished it.  This means Brunel have completed two laps, but Imperial has only one full lap this year.  News being that they are they only team with only one lap within three practices.  All previous years it seemed you were doing well if you managed to actually completed a lap before race day.  Times have finally changed!  Oh, and if you were wondering who TT Zero was, and where ManTTx went.  They are one in the same.  The big news for me is the 109mph from McPint and the 91mph from the our own Buckeyes.  Its not the 95+ I was hoping for, but it is progress.  At the very least it shows their 12V system fix worked.  It’s the saturation/over current issue I’m not sure was fixed.  I’ll find out at some point.  [update] An update from the Buckeyes on the Elmoto.net forum lets us know that the run went flawless accept for only one reset early on probably due to the higher voltage that you typically get as you come off the charger.  Other than that, Kyle says the temperature was by far the hottest it’s been on the isle, and it was that heat that caused the controller to turn the power down.  They aiming for a 94mph lap as the data say they are right on the edge with the bike now.  But the bigger news there is that they are over 6mph faster than the closest team.  Still a big jump up to Miller who is now up to 105mph.

    As far as who did what, McGuinness was up an unofficial 2mph, Rutter actually went 0.2mph slower, Miller is up over 1mph faster, Barber is up 3mph, Spence is up 2mph, McGahan is up .5mph, Lougher is up a seriously impressive 6mph, and Champion ran 2mph slower than Mallet (the rider he is replacing) on his first time out course on the ManTTx machine.  So everyone that ran improved on their times in this session, accept Rutter.  I seriously doubt he will let that stand come the race time on Wednesday.
    So where does that leaves us?  The IOMTT folks have done that for us already.  Here are the fastest times and ranking for all of the practices.  Note the “Provisional Results” lable:
    SES TT Zero Qualifying – All Sessions
    Pos   No.   Rider                     Machine/Entrant                            LapTime     Speed       Run
    1          3     John McGuinness   2013 Shinden Ni/Mugen                      20:45.699    109.038     Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    2          1     Michael Rutter          2013 MotoCzysz E1PC/                       20:59.806    107.817     Saturday, June 1  (TT Zero)
    3          2     Mark Miller               2013 MotoCzysz E1PC/MotoCzysz    21:23.742     105.806    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    4        10     Robert Barber         RW-2/Ohio State University                24:40.121       91.768    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    5          4     George Spence      Kingston 2012/Kingston University     26:28.937       85.484    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    6          7     Chris Mcgahan        2013 Yamaha R6E/Vercarmoto          27:53.788       81.150    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    7          5      Ian Lougher            2013 KOMATTI MIRAI KMI/                  28:12.376       80.259    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    8          8     Dave Moffitt             MANTTX Racing/                                28:15.850        80.094    Friday, May 31     (TT Zero)
    9          8     Neal Champion        TT Zero/                                              28:48.719       78.571    Monday, June 3    (TT Zero)
    10        9     Paul Owen 2013      Brunel BX/Brunel University               30:52.872       73.307     Saturday, June 1  (TT Zero)
    11        6     Antonio Maeso         2012 Imperial College of London/       32:02.174       70.664     Friday, May 31     (TT Zero)
    PROVISIONAL RESULTS
    So you may take a quick look at this and think, ‘Oh, will McPint’s got this in the bag’.  That is what anyone applying KISS would think anyway.  But really, when have I ever just let something be and not over-thunk the living daylights out of it?  Why start now?  In the first practice Rutter ran almost the same time he did when he won the race last year, while his teammate improved.  Then he came out the next day and gained 3mph, while Miller improved yet another mph.  Then today, almost the same time.  I see a pattern, and I think he’s trying stuff and if others think he’s at his max then that only plays into his hands.  But that only works if he isn’t at his and the bikes max.  To me it doesn’t make sense that he would be.  But with Miller “only” up to the 105s (if there is such a thing) it maybe a sign the E1PC is giving all she’s got.  Having watched MotoCzysz over the years, I seriously doubt it.  Their MO is usually a highly strategic game plan, with as many misdirects as possible.  Oddly enough the two MotoCzysz riders really seem to be on two different strategies.  Rutter attacks the first part of the course hard, and then nurses the bike the rest of the way almost never going over 125mph at the Sulby Straight speed trap.  While Miller takes it easier early on and then has the fastest trap speeds.  Today I think he up’d his 135mph top speed from Saturday to a 137mph.  Way faster than Rutter or McGuinness are going.  I believe he also had the fastest top speed across the line at the Grandstands.  So the question is, how much of these differing game plans are the rider working to their strengths, and how much is it them lulling everyone into thinking that is how they are going to play it, while MotoCzysz is gathering data and perfecting a different and faster game plan to implement on race day?  What about Mugen?  I pretty much think their game plan is to give McGuinness a bike he can ring the piss out of, and let him go.  But it is all speculative.
    The race on Wednesday is going to be exciting!  Although I’ll be watching more for how many bikes finish than who does what.