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  • [Article 2656]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



  • [Article 2644]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.

     



  • [Article 2638]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!



  • [Article 2631]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.


  • [Article 2629]Bostrom Takes Second Top Ten in AFM Weekend, and I catch up with Wismann and Moreda

    From a few sources I have finally figured out the basics of what went down in the last race of the day for Brammo.  It’s not flashy but, unlike the F1 race, EBoz didn’t get a rocket start.  So instead of less traffic ahead he had more bikes to contend with.  Also not getting up to the front of the field meant when the peak volts came off he had even further to fall back.  I thought I might had been seeing and hearing things as I thought Eric was in the race but with no mention of him, and no lap times available, I had no way of knowing.  Turns out I was right, and not going crazy after all.  I suspect this race was a little more competitive and it looked like Eric “settled” into his spot and brought the bike home in 10th.  Adding that to the very exciting F1 race where he got 7th, and that was 2 top 10 finishes, meaning Brammo finished every race they entered in the top 10, and meeting their goals for the race weekend.  OK, yes.  The Afemme race that Shelina rode the RR13 in, only had 6 bikes in it.  But at least two of those were 1000cc bikes, so I’ll cut them some slack.

    All in all, it was a very good weekend for Brammo.  I’m not surprised as this was their home track that the bikes were developed on, and because of some of the reports coming from the riders during testing.  However both Shelina and Eric shaved more than a few seconds off their fastest times at the track.  Now that, was surprising.  Talking with Brian tonight, they are still playing with the squat ratios of the RR13, and even Shelina was saying that the RR’s geometry needed tweaking when comparing it to her Yamaha R6 race bike.  She said she couldn’t feel the weight difference between the two bikes despite the rather large difference (100lbs -ish).  And with power clearly above even built 600s she felt it was more a matter of geometry than weight for better lap times.  She echoed what we have been hearing, that Parker has provided more than enough power at this point.  However, she agreed with today’s announcers that the RR13 seemed to run out of steam, similar to her TTX, at the end of the long straight.  I asked Brian about this and he didn’t think this was the case from his vantage point at the track.  Shelina wanted to be clear that it was her opinion alone, and I have yet to ask Eric his point of view.

    I don’t want you folks to think this is a critique.  For me this is an opportunity to muse a bit.  Is this a sign that even with that much power the compromise with a single speed transmission is still to great?  Or maybe motors need to go in the direction of higher RPM while maintaining power and fighting off saturation?  I prodded enough to get Shelina to muse how she felt Brammo would finalize their geometry long before worrying about putting a transmission in the RR.  And we both agreed that Parker would have more power for Brammo long before either happened anyway.  Apparently Parker is loving the racing and is there every weekend to support Brammo.  They have also been a big help this weekend sending me much needed data, even if Facebook was reluctant to let me know (grrrr).  Shelina also told me Icon was there showing their support.  So it was a full on team effort.  I hear the team was stoked that I was doing my best to cover them taking on the AFM, which is really nice of them.

    The next event for Brammo is REFUEL, and Atlas will once again attack the Laguna Seca time trial/track day event.  The question is, can he topple the prototype cars?  After that is the first round of the eRoadRacing series.  So far it sounds like a humm-dinger.  But I thought that about 2011 as well.  I’m taking a wait and see attitude.



  • [Article 2619]ESBK Studios Special: Buckeye Current TT Zero Update and Brammo Post Race

    From the Buckeye Current’s Facebook page

    I get the scoop on the TT Zero from Kyle Ginaven of the Buckeye Current and a post race chat with Brian Wismann of Brammo.  Yet another must listen for my fellow racing obsessed ‘tron heads.



  • [Article 2615]Bostrom Fights Back on Brammo’s Home Track

    I haven’t heard much from the Brammo folks since Eric’s first race of the day with the 750 Superbikes, so I have no confirmation for what I saw but the announcers spent a lot of time talking about both Eric and the Empulse RR13 as he launched hard off the line and fought to keep his forth place.  I believe he slid all the way back to 7th at one point and got a place back and had enough of a lead to hold the other rider off to get to the finish line.  According to the announcers the RR13 was running out of legs at the end of the straight but the smooth power delivery and powerful low end was allowing Bostrom to gain on the gas bikes in the tighter sections of the flowing track.  The opposite of what was happening at the last AFM round at Sonoma Raceway’s tight and technical course.  Eric’s next race is, well, next.  I can’t wait to get a hold of some lap times.



  • [Article 2610]Shelina gives the 250 Superbikes a Run for Their Money, Again

    Fram Brammo’s Facebook page

    There is a video of the launch Shelina got, apparently almost taking the hole shot from at least one row back.  Of course I didn’t get to see it because the feed locked up.  Not sure how she got shuffled back, but by fairly early on she had 7th locked up.  The battle for 2nd caused one of the riders to toss it away on the last lap handing everyone behind him, Shelina included, one higher placement.  So Shelina took 6th again, only this time posting 116mph top speed.  I did get to talk to her last night, and she was pretty tired.  She lost the front on the TTX in I believe turn 10 while in practice yesterday pushing harder than ever.  The bike crashed very well (with Brammo taking data), and even with the motor cover banged pretty bad the motor worked fine.  So what is the lesson here?  Crash you Empulse and it’ll go faster?  Probably not, but it sound fun.  I have heard that Shelina took either 5th or 6th in the Afemme (women’s only class) on the Empulse RR13 last night.  I have no access to lap time like I did during the last AFM round and cannot confirm or even give you decent comparisons at this time.  Eric’s race is up next.  The live feed is here.



  • [Article 2606]More Racing Updates

    From Jo Ralston’s FB page. His photos are for sale. Just click on the picture.

    Here’s a quicky for you folks.  Brammo was on track today and Shelina found 3 seconds on the TTX and E-Boz found another 2.  Shelina did end up in the kitty litter on the TTX today, but it was easily repaired.  The awesome news is that Shelina got to ride the RR in the Afemme class that ran today.  I had heard the class was expected to be about 30 riders, [edit: only 6 raced].  Shelina got 6th 5th against what seems to have been mostly 600cc machines.  Apparently the RR had some serious pull on the 600s at Thunder Hill.  At 160hp, I should certainly hope so.

    The TT folks have not posted official results but I looked up TTLive.com and found this (excuse the format):

    Michael Rutter (1) (L1)

    01:03.420

    107.8166 (20:59.806)

    Mark Miller (2) (L1)

    01:07.269

    104.3969 (21:41.072)

    George Spence (4) (L1)

    01:22.800

    83.3197 (27:10.201)

    Chris Mcgahan (7) (L1)

    01:27.289

    80.6177 (28:04.839)

    Ian Lougher (5) (L1)

    01:30.514

    74.5152 (30:22.822)

    Paul Owen (9) (L1)

    01:45.478

    73.3067 (30:52.872)

    Robert Barber (10) (L1)

    01:37.582

    70.0664 (32:18.559)

    John McGuinness (3) (L0)

    undefined (00:00:0.0)

    Some Twitter surfing and the Buckeye’s latest update on the Elmoto.net forum helped me confirm these results.  The Mugen’s transponder didn’t work but Mugen is claiming a 107+mph lap speed.  Also the ManTTX guys were working on their pack and didn’t have time to get it charged in time, hence why they weren’t on today’s list.  So best guess order would be:

    1 MotoCzysz (Rutter)

    2 Mugen (McGuinness)

    3 MotoCzysz (Miller)

    4 Kingston University (Spence) [there they are!]

    5 Vercamoto (Mcgahan)

    6 Komatti (Lougher)

    7 Brunel University (Owen)

    8 Buckeye Current (Barber)

    Kingston’s first lap is close to but still short of the Current’s first lap.  However, even though they lowered the current limit the Ohio team still had controller issues and Barber was forced to reset the bike multiple times.  He did all that and still got a 70mph lap.  That’s impressive, even if they plummeted to the bottom of the time sheets.  They say Barber thinks they have a 100mph bike if they can weed out all the issues with the controller as it is handling so well.  Vercamoto and particularly Brunel, went a fair bit faster today too, where Komatti seems to have stayed steady.

    That’s all I can seem to bring together for tonight.  Lets hope Kyle remembers to call me tomorrow.  Later.



  • [Article 2599]ESBK Studios: Episode 24 (Full) Interview Kyle Ginaven of the Buckeye Current

    Kyle and I chat for about 2 hours about their team, their bike, their goals, the Isle of Man TT Zero, and elmotos in general.  He comes up with some things that catch even me off guard.  And as we all know, I come up with some off the wall stuff.  Also the good guys at MotoPod let me share one of their TT Zero gems with you folks.  Thank you guys!  Consider this your TT Zero primer.  Enjoy!