TTXGP, TT-Zero and e-Power race results show that electric motorcycles are competitive with gas motorcycles

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TTXGP, TT-Zero and e-Power race results show that electric motorcycles are competitive with gas motorcycles

If one were to look closely at the TTXGP race results and compare them to the gas bike races - well - I've done so and the electric motorcycles are running comparable times to some of the gas bikes. This means the electric motorcycles are fast enough that, if the qualification were based solely on speed, they would qualify to race in the gas bike races.

To be sure there are some limitations that are unsurpassable due to current battery packs, but battery technology keeps marching forward. At the next leap in battery technology it should be possible to directly race electric and gas bikes in the same races. Also, because electric bikes are already (nearly) as fast as the gas bikes it implies fans would be just as excited by electric motorcycle races and there's the potential for the ticket sales which drive the whole business.

Those were some big claims ... I want to back them up with the numbers I've been looking at.

TTXGP North America Mosport results (race 3)

Pos # Rider Team Distance Laps Best Time Total Time Avg Speed
1 80 Michael Barnes Lightning Motors 31.656 km (19.57 miles) 8 1:35.278 12:55.780 (775 secs) 91.37 miles/hr
2 27 Thad Wolff Team Electra 31.656 km (19.57 miles) 8 1:44.144 14:08.791 (848 secs) 83.5 miles/hr
3 23 Jennifer Bromme Werkstatt Racing 27.699 km (17.21 miles) 7 1:58.629 14:12.150 (852 secs) 72.71 miles/hr
4 15 Michael Hannas Electric Race Bikes 27.699 km (17.21 miles) 7 2:00.564 15:22.676 (922 secs) 67.19 miles/hr
5 16 Steven Belknap Square Wave Racing 23.742 km (14.75 miles) 6 2:12.218 13:38.272 (818 secs) 64.91 miles/hr

First thing which stands out is that the Lightning Motors bike is a touch slower than the Motoczysz bike, but hugely faster than the other TTXGP North America bikes. Motoczysz' bike ran at 99 miles/hr on the Isle of Man, a slightly longer race over more difficult terrain.

Second is there's a huge gap in speed largely because the Lightning Motors bike is so much more powerful.

TTXGP UK Snetterton (race 1) results

Bike/rider/team...........................Time..........bestlap....Average MPH
Bike 65, Jim Lovell on Tork India.........14:57.31......1:27.60....78.31
Bike 69, Rob Moon on Team Agni............15:03.44......1:27.84....77.78
Bike 77, Jenny Tinmouth on Team Agni......15:04.44......1:28.57....77.70
Bike 68, Pete Ward on Electric Hussar.....15:14.34......1:28.62....76.86
Bike 63, James McBride on ManTTX Racing...15:47.20......1:30.75....74.19
Bike 62, Adam Palferman on Kingston Uni...16.29.84......1:33.23....70.99
Bike 61, Annie Seel on Morris Motorcycle..16:03.50......1.41.99....65.64
Bike 66, Harry Hardi on LiFeBATT/Kingston.17:00.22......1:49.02....62.45

The set of teams racing in the UK series are a more tightly packed set of bikes. The top four bikes crossed the finish line within 20 seconds, wholly unlike the North American race with the 73 secs between 1st and 2nd.

As best as I recall the e-Power bikes gave similar speeds.

The next piece of data is to compare with representative timings from gas bike races. Fortunately at Mosport there was plenty of gas bike racing going on and I dutifully collected results sheets from those races.

Pro Sport Bike race on Sunday July 11, 2010 at Mosport

1st: Jordon Szoke, 34.43 miles, best time 1:23.331, Honda CBR600RR, total time 19:35.450, avg speed 104.45 miles/hr
14th: Matthew Leahey, 31.96 miles, best time 1:35.974, Honda CBR600RR, total time 21:00.672, avg speed 91.31 miles/hr

This speed range is comparable to the Lightning Motors and Motoczysz bikes. Motoczysz had an average speed of 99 miles/hr over a 38 mile distance (Isle of Man). Lightning Motors got an average speed of 91.37 miles/hr over a much shorter distance. Lightning Motors had a best lap time slightly faster than the slowest of these superbikes. Hence the Motoczysz bike is directly competitive with these gas bikes. The Lightning Motors bike is fast enough to be in the pack with these super bikes, but hasn't been shown to have the same range.

Next is some results from a "Sport Twins" practice round. These bikes are almost entirely Suzuki SV650's. I only have best lap times, no details like total time etc letting me calculate miles/hr. Anyway the best lap times range from 1:32.172 down to 1:44.691. The Team Electra bike is slightly faster than the slowest of those Sport Twin bikes.

The final is a Honda CBR125 race. They ran for the same number of laps (8) that the TTXGP race ran.

1st: Ryan Appenrodt, 19.67 miles, best time 2:06.483, total time 17:00.006, 69.42 miles/hr
21st: Toni Nesbitt, 19.67 miles, best time 2:22.879, total time 19:12.271, 61.46 miles/hr

All the rest of the TTXGP bikes are either faster than or as fast as these CBR125's.

See the following articles for more details ...

The TTXGP UK series gets under way with first race at Snetterton

Lightning strikes in Canada with Lightning Motors win at 3rd TTXGP race

Final TTXGP Mosport (North America) results

TTXGP is also running a race this weekend at Snetterton (UK)

Two TTXGP races this weekend

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