The annual Isle of Man TT races can certainly be described as electric. Manufacturers and riders view the 37.7 miles of narrow twisting road as a proving ground for engineering and skill.
More than 200 riders and several spectators have lost their lives to this chase to push the performance envelope.
But there is now another electric element to the races. Starting last year, the event introduced a zero-emissions race. At the moment, zero emissions means electric.
Last year’s winner was the British-Indian team Agni, with an average speed of 84 mph and a top speed of 102 mph. With conventional bikes, an average of 100 mph is considered the benchmark of indisputable proficiency. The fastet lap ever recorded by any bike was set this year by John McGuinness at 131.578 mph.
This year an American team brought to the fray a unique machine built from the ground up. MotoCzysz’ (pronunced Moto-sizz) bike sported proprietary batteries, hand-built by a company that also supplies NASA, and an oil-cooled electric engine. The bike won the zero-emissions race with a lap speed of 96.820 mph and a top speed of 135 mph.
We could well see the zero-emissions race turn in times that rival standard races within a few years. And like all such races, this is a proving ground for the technologies and designs that will eventually make their way to the average consumer.
MotoCzysz holds several patents on this advanced electrical technology, and rumor has it the company is in talks with manufacturers, including Indian automobile giant Bajal.
Truly, the electric motorcycles at the TT races are giving us performances that can be described as, well, electric.
— Guy Wheatley