2016 Isle of Man TT Zero Race: Electric Motorcycles Pushing the Boundaries

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The Isle of Man TT Zero race is one of the annual highlights of electric motorcycle racing, conducted on a 37.7-mile loop on the public roads on Britain's Isle of Man.

This is where companies test their latest technology on one of the toughest race courses in the world. 

Over the past few years, some major manufacturers as well as smaller manufacturers and college teams have taken part.

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The race was dominated by team MotoCzysz from 2010, its first year, until 2013, but sadly, Michael Czysz died earlier this year. 

Since 2014, Team Mugen (Honda) has been dominant and has continually pushed the average speed higher each year: The top average speed in 2010 was 96.8 mph, but the same figure in 2015 was up to 119.3 mph. 

Once again, two-time winner John McGuinness on Team Mugen will be the man to beat with the new Shinden Go TT Zero bike.

Electric motorcycle at 2016 Isle of Man TT Race: Shinden Go

Electric motorcycle at 2016 Isle of Man TT Race: Shinden Go

Enlarge Photo

Team Mugen’s bike has been upgraded in all aspects including the battery system, motor, cooling system and monocoque frame, which were all redesigned this year.

The motor puts out 160HP and 155ft-lbs of torque.  The 250kg monocoque frame uses the shell to support part of the load, which reduces overall weight. 

Adding intrigue to this year’s race, Team Mugen has apparently promised to give a bike to McGuinness if he loses 22 pounds for this year’s race.  Time will tell if he ends up with a new record and a new bike.

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McGuinness set the record last year for electric motorcycles at the IOM TT Zero race with an average speed of 119.3mph. 

Victory also redesigned its bike this year and will field a 240-kg machine with 170 hp, 177 ft-lbs of torque, and an eye-popping peak efficiency of 97 percent.  You'll never see a gas engine with that kind of efficiency.

Electric motorcycle at 2016 Isle of Man TT Race: Shinden Go

Electric motorcycle at 2016 Isle of Man TT Race: Shinden Go

Enlarge Photo

Veteran Isle Of Man competitor William Dunlop will ride for Victory as was the plan last year until a crash in practice sidelined him.  

Last year Victory earned a spot on the podium, after the two Team Mugen bikes, with rider Lee Johnston averaging 111.6mph. 

Belgian company Saroléa will also compete in this year’s race.  They have many photos of their motorcycle and the owners Torsten & Bjorn Robbens, but no details about the bike. 

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The team's riders this year include Lee Johnson and Dean Harrison.  This will be their second foray into racing at the Isle Of Man; last year they placed 5th with a respectable average speed of 106.5mph.

Several Universities and new entrants into the TT Zero Race.

Nottingham University once again will enter the IOM TT Zero race after winning the University prize last year.  Their bike has a 12kWh battery and reached an average lap speed of 73.156mph.  This year's bike can reach a maximum speed of 180mph.


 
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