I get the low down on the Gang from New York.
I get the low down on the Gang from New York.
I get the low down on the Gang from New York.
Those crazy kids at Virginia Tech’s WARE Lab are finally putting the new superbike together and got to do final assembly in for a local TV news station. 134hp, 520lbs, 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. That’s no TTX75 scooter.
Here’s the link to the news story:
Brian was so kind to send me these comments this morning. How he found the time I don’t know!
Here are some notes:
- Spent the practice sessions tuning suspension to the track, as this is a very different animal than Thunderhill. We also made adjustments to regen levels (Eric wanted less, Steve more) and our TC settings. Eric was able to run laps in the 1:49s, which isn’t mind blowing, but is 5-6 seconds a lap better than the last time we were here.
- Steve Atlas got in late and was only able to hit 2 practice sessions in the afternoon. He still got down to a 1:49 and believes the bike is capable of more.
- Shelina dropped 2-3 seconds every session and worked down to consistent 2:00-2:02s in the final practice session. I think this bodes well for a good performance in the 250 Superbike class this morning. I don’t think we’ve got a chance for a win, but should show well.
- AFM has some incredibly fast riders. Chris Siglin, Joey Pascarella, Lenny Hale, and others are running times very close to what the best at AMA can do. This is the largest and fastest group of club racers in the world. Pretty awesome to be a part of their paddock.
- We’ve been able to charge and get out for every practice session that we had a rider available to ride for. i.e… charge times have not been a limiting factor this weekend. The team worked hard on charging solutions, so I’m very happy about that.
- The overall response to the bikes being the paddock is extremely positive and we get a few racers a day coming by to tell us they’d switch to electric “in a heartbeat” after seeing the performance of the bikes on track.
That’s all for now. Race day!
Thank you Brian! I said I was looking for times at or below 1:40s and clearly that was ambitious, so I hope the Brammo folks don’t take that to heart. These guys almost always run faster in the race then they do in practice and qualifying, so we’ll just have to wait to see what the race brings. Don’t think I’m not going to ask about what they have done to improve charging when I get a chance.
Best of luck to them!
A London Grad student is doing research on the popularity of electric motorcycles, and how people view them. Whether you like them or not, please give him a hand and take two minutes. They are very painless as surveys go.
I saw this first on their webpage, but they put this year’s racing schedule (“subject to confirmation”) in their newsletter as well. Note that it includes the two AFM races they will be attending and the FIM WSBK round at Laguna Seca that I reported a month ago.
Yeah, this is a hit-n-run post.
Brammo Race Day Schedule (subject to confirmation).
- Race 1: May 5, Infineon Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, CA with AFM
- Race 2: June 2, Thunderhill Raceway, Willows, CA with AFM
- Race 3: July 21, Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, CA with FIM
- Race 4: Aug 18, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN with FIM
- Race 5: Sept 1, Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, UT with FIM
- Race 6: Sept 29, Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, CA with FIM
So I was looking over the monthly numbers today and noticed a nice trend. Namely that I’m not actually at half the hit s I was last year. Last year right from the get go I had 2100 to 2200 hits a month from November to March, when I took my hiatus. Other than October when Daytona happened and I had 1500 in that week alone, I have struggled to get those numbers up. I am happy to report that the months of January and February I was in the mid 1700 hits range, and March is starting off strong. 500 hits a month down from last year, but if you factor in that “TTXGP” is no longer in my title and that both HFL and A&R have reported waning interest in elmoto racing, that is no where near as bad as I thought. Not great, but not bad for standing on my own with out the TTXGP name crutch.
Also, according to WordPress I currently have 266 followers. 129 Twitter followers, 126 Facebook followers, and 11 that subscribe straight to the blog. Now, it seems highly likely there are folks that follow me on both Twitter and Facebook, so this number is inflated, but non the less Facebook and Twitter followers have steadily been rising. Twitter is a fickle bunch though. One week I jumped from 120 something followers to over 130 and back down to 120 in less than a week. I have no idea what to make of that, but I know there is some weird stuff that happens on Twitter.
I still need more followers though, and ones that donate. This may quickly become a pay for content site if I have to keep dipping in to my grocery fund to pay the expenses associated with running this site. But don’t fret, it won’t be expensive at all. I am currently looking to adopt a scheme local indy musicians here in the Nashville area have been using. Basically you will have to donate to listen to the podcasts. Right now we are thinking the suggested donation be a dollar, with the minimum being much lower than that as I know I have college students who listen. I’m not trying to make a living, just cover the costs of podcasting and maybe have enough for a trip to one race. But before you stomp off in disgust, there is also in the works that a free 15 to 20 minute version will accompany each full length podcast. So you will get a preview that allows you to get the gist and decide for yourself if the full length version of that episode is worth paying for.
Not as bleak as I thought.
Alright, big apologies to both the M1GP and Hollywood Electrics for taking so long to get to this. I haven’t been exactly prolific as of late waiting on the TTXGP and FIM to release their news. The jist of all this is that the M1GP, a self described mini road-racing league in California, has adopted electric motorcycles and created a class for them. Round 1 a few weeks ago was a dry run for the M1GP and Hollywood Electrics where Brandon Miller raced his modified (you could say highly modified and not be wrong) 2012 Zero S in the “CBR250 Cup” where he placed 3rd in race 1 and 2nd in race 2, “Open GP” with the exact same results, and the single race “Road Warrior” class where he won. The notable rider in the group would be Motorcyclist’s own Ari Henning who competed against Brandon in all but the Road Warrior class, and I assume was on the Motorcyclist CBR250R project bike. Ari only raced the first race of both classes, and won. As a result of Henning running only one of the 2 possible races Miller is 2nd in the Open GP and CBR250 championships behind Tony Nolley, and also happens to be 1st in the Road Warrior championship. In the overall championship this puts Miller 9 places ahead of Henning’s 15th, but 3 behind Tony Nolley’s 3rd. But make no mistake, taking a look at the lap times, Ari walked the other two as is to be expected, but Miller and Nolley were quite close to each other.
Round 2 should be the first race of the new all electric class open to all production electric bikes. (more…)
You don’t hear too much about Amarok from me, but there hasn’t been much to tell since they announced that they are going to race in the TTXGP a few months ago. I have decided to take a wait and see with Amarok because, as a race fan and a fan of cool bikes, I have been burned by them and others before. Now, they are taking things much more seriously this year with appearances at Canadian motorcycle trade shows, videos, and now a new web page. Their bike has always intrigued me and, with a military aviation background that that goes 3 generations deep, makes a lot of sense to me as well. The 3 things that intrigue me the most are the linkage front suspension (my mountain bike also has a rare linkage fork), the air intake and exhaust ports for the motor (how much air really gets in there with the front fairing and riders arms in the way, or is it getting sucked in?), and finally the sub-frame tubing attaching the top headset to the main body.
Really, the only new stuff is the video which went up about a week ago and the new website which is just informative enough to be worth a visit, but doesn’t have enough content to warrant pouring over for hours. I really wish you could blow the pictures of the prototypes up some more. I want a look at that front suspension. The video is definitely worth watching as well. The use of the skin of the bike as its structure is the aviation design influence that has been their trademark from the beginning. But I am very curious to see how well this exercise in balancing of forces works. What Michael Uhlarik (Hell For Leather Magazine contributor) says in their latest video makes a lot of sense, and just leaves me wanting to know more. He has been in the industry for a long time, so he should know from which he speaks. Time will tell. Give ‘em look.
This weekend I spent hours writing a rough first draft of a post that quickly became one of my epics. I have a few big ones I just haven’t had the energy or time to finish. Anyway, it is about the performance of the 2013 Empulse and Zero S ZF11.4 and comparing it to modern gas bikes. Another very popular post I wrote was a comparison of the two bikes. The problem is there are no real performance numbers on either bike, so its all just a guess. But a similar conversation is going on over on the Brammo Forum, as several Zero owners (who were on the Empulse waiting list) hang out there as well. But as many of you folks do, just as I do, we talk about these things so much even though 2013 Zeros have yet to even hit the dealerships its all almost old news. I think the Empulse more so, as we have been waiting so long for it. But even then, because we tend to spend our spare time chatting on forums and reading blog posts, magazine articles, and company PR stuff we tend to forget it’s new. Its not just elmotos, I found myself thinking in a similar fashion about bicycle and ICE motorcycles over the years. So, what you get is some folks (OK, me) serious geeking out on which bike is going to be “better” and how the performance is “only” up to the performance of lightweight sportbikes (or so we think), and not taking a moment to seriously appreciate what Brammo and Zero have brought to the table so far this year. Let’s take a deep breath and take a moment to appreciate at how far our elmotos have come, and how hard everyone in the industry and community has worked to help get us here.