Friday, November 6, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 06-NOV-2009


Back with a vengeance… for now anyway!

So yeah, we’ve been slacking. For today’s Top Three we are going to highlight articles from three of EM’s electric motorcycle racing allies. Enjoy.

1 – AsphaltandRubber.com: Mavizen TTX02 Unveiled

Jenny Gun’s super-sharp eyes picked up on the striking similarity between the chassis of the early teaser photos of the Mavizen TTX02 and the KTM RC8. Low and behold, she was dead on. Mavizen has clearly sourced chassis from KTM for their race bike. Why develop a chassis when that isn’t your core competency? Instead Mavizen can focus on mass optimization, packaging of their powertrain, and development of electronic equipment. Smart move.

Link to the detailed A&R article: Here
Photo: AsphaltandRubber.com

2 – PlugBike.com: Mavizen Launch at SEMA/Announcement of First US TTXGP Round

The Mavizen TTX02 is looking to be one bad racing machine. It looks the part, and for a mass-produced spec racer it ups the competition for other manufacturers, particularly those based in the US. You know who you are!

Also announced at the annual SEMA show was the date and location for the inaugural TTXGP US Series race. Electric bike action will happen May 14-16, 2010 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The e-roadracers will run in conjunction with AMA Superbikes at the track formerly known as Sears Point. Whether or not the AMA series even happens this year is another topic all together, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Link to the detailed PlugBike article: Here
3 – BrammoFan.com: Brian’s Enertia

Okay, so not totally racing related, but this article highlights the personal Brammo Enertia of Lead Designer Brian Wismann. He’s made some very tasty and tasteful mods to the bike that even a racer can appreciate. More importantly, Brian alludes to an upcoming ‘performance package’ to be made available for the Enertia at some point in the future.

EM is a big fan of the Enertia but we would certainly love to see a production version of the Enertia TTR race bike made available at some point. Until then sportier Enertia performance will pacify us.

Link to the detailed BrammoFan.com article: Here

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nürburgring: World Superbike, meet eGrandPrix… eGrandPrix, meet World Superbike



This weekend marks the first time eGrandPrix electric racing motorcycles will be raced ridden in the same weekend as a premier international motorcycle road race. And what better place for this historic event than the iconic Nürburgring

The Hannspree World Superbike Championship at Nürburgring is historically, a fairly well attended (41,000 fans in 2008) round of the WSBK series. It’s very likely the German round will see a larger turnout in this year with BMW’s new-for-2009 S1000RR Superbike in the fray, and piloted by popular riders Troy Corser and Rueben Xaus (replaced by Richard Cooper this round).

Just like the eGrandPrix America event at Mid-Ohio in July, this event is being billed as an exhibition. According to the eGrandPrix blog, bikes and riders from the inaugural TTXGP, along with some newcomers will ride the legendary track during the weekend events.

It’s unclear which day or what time the exhibition lap will be run, but the entire weekend should see a decent crowd in the stands at any given time. It will be very interesting to see what kind of reaction the eGP bikes get while on the track, and the general level of interest and interaction in the paddock.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled, and update as we hear more…




Photo: Haga on the 2008 Yamaha at the ‘ring, via http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The $40, 000 Question: Who Will Supply 50 Production Racebikes for the 2010 eGrandPrix Electric Road Racing Series?



Gizmag’s August 19th article announcing 2010 US, UK, and international electric motorcycle road racing championships, also announced that a “major American company” was creating a ready-to-race motorcycle based on the Pro Class TTXGP-winning Agni motorcycle.

The article is pretty specific about the race-only machine being a replica of the Agni bike, although there is no direct quote from Azhar Hussain (founder and organizer of the eGrandPrix concept) stating this. So, that leaves the EnvironMoto crew to conjecture a few different scenarios about who will be developing and building these $40k race bikes:



Option 1: Electric Motorsport
Electric Motorsport has recently introduced their second generation GPR-S production street-legal sportbike. The bike appears to be a far more modern evolution of the original GPR-S that has been in production since 2003, and was the basis of Electric Motorsport’s Open Class TTXGP-winning bike.

From the spec sheet and photos, it has the basic requirements for a decent, economical racer: 17 inch wheels, steel twin-spar frame, modern-looking single shock rear suspension, inverted forks, etc. The styling is reminds us of the older Aprilia RS50 and RS125 track bikes sold in the US.

If it is true to the original GPR-S intent, a variety of motors can be configured in this chassis. The spec sheet claims a 298 pound (135 kg) curb weight. Removing unnecessary road equipment would likely drop a few more pounds off the total. At the very least, it appears to be a platform that could easily be adapted to the UKP £10,000 (~USD $16,000) Agni powertrain.



Option 2: Mission Motors
Mission Motors has been up to something. We aren’t sure what, but they have certainly been doing a lot of secretive testing as alluded to by @MissionMotors (Jeremy Cleland) and @Backmarker (Mark Gardiner) in Tweets over the last few weeks.

That’s a lot of secret track testing. Are they close to introducing the production Mission One motorcycle, or are they developing an undisclosed track-only bike? We would sincerely doubt that Mission would replicate the Agni bike, but a design of their own would be a possibility. Hopefully they will reveal what they have been up to soon.



Option 3: MotoCzysz
MotoCzysz has been very quiet lately. Racing is their business. That is who they are and what they do. They are using Agni motors in their current race bike, so the connection is already there. Are they committing to 50 production race bikes to be sold for USD $40,000? This would certainly embed them in the international road racing scene and provide world wide marketing for the E1pc in race or street trim.

Just as with Mission, its doubtful MotoCzysz would replicate the Agni racer. But what a great challenge it would be for any company to come up with an economical, race-ready electric sportbike.

Option 4: ?
The designated “major American company” may not even be making a motorcycle already. It could be anyone. We would love to suggest Brammo as option number four, but their activity is pretty transparent. Besides, Brammofan would certainly have been all over it by now!

So, insert 'your name here'. The door is open and the $40,000 question has yet to be answered. Who do you think it will be?

Sources: As Hyperlinked
Photos: From Top - Agni at TTXGP, Electric Motorsport New GPR-S (Electric Motorsport), Mission at TTXGP, MotoCzysz at TTXGP

Friday, August 14, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 14-AUG-2009

Our Friday Top Three new items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design.

Not the typical Friday Top Three for today. We’re just getting back into the groove of putting up regular posts again, so we’ll mention some interesting and notable news items in no particular order.

1 - Brammo:
Lots of activity at Brammo. Craig Bramscher (@brammocraig) and Brammo apparently never sleep. Tons of activity going on in Oregon. Our theory is that all of the energy being expended by Brammo and the CP+B interns is what is really causing the abnormally hot weather in the Pacific Northwest this summer.

As usual, EM will direct you to BrammoFan (@brammofan) for all the latest Brammo-info. Yes indeed, we figure BrammoFan never sleeps... he’s feeding off all that extra Brammo energy as well. Go to www.BrammoFan.com and check out the potential Brammo brand logos, and be sure to vote for your favorite BrammoFan logo as well.

2 - Mission Motors:
Mission hasn’t been sitting still either. Since the TTXGP they have moved into a new facility in San Francisco, and hosted the premier of the official TTXGP DVD as we mentioned in our last Friday Top Three.

There has not been much published news on Mission One production or further race plans, so we have to guess that they are focusing on infrastructure, engineering, and financials.

Which brings us to…

3 - Rumor City:
Via Twitter last week, @davejevans mentioned to @skadamo (www.PlugBike.com) that he was going to Mission for a track test this week. Yesterday, @davejevans said that he had indeed ridden a Mission test bike that day. Coincidently, @backmarker also mentioned yesterday “Wow. That was a nice way to spend Thursday morning!”

Hmm…

Knowing full well that @backmarker (Mark Gardiner) is privy to Mission Motors inner workings, EM surmises that something has been brewing in the Bay area. Glue yourself to Twitter (including @MissionMotors), and check www.RoadRacerX.com for Gardiner’s weekly Backmarker column. Since www.AsphaltandRubber.com is also in the San Fran area, we’ll be checking with them as well. We suspect that some interesting news is coming soon.

Sources: As Hyperlinked!

Friday, August 7, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 07-AUG-2009

From the lost files: Yeah, this post is a week late, but still timely… we think… Our Friday Top Three new items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design.

One word: VIDEO

1 – 2009 TTXGP DVD Premier in San Francisco


Photo: Azhar at the DVD premier, via David Herron

Mission Motors hosted the premier of the official TTXP video late last week. Sounds like the eGrandPrix people are pretty excited about it, and rightly so. The DVD will contain tons of track and paddock action as well as in depth segments on each of the participating teams. Go to the eGrandPrix.tv website to get on the order registration list for its September release: eGrandPrix.tv


2 – PlugBike Video of eGrandPrix America at Mid-Oh

Photo: Azhar at eGP America, via PlugBike.com

PlugBike.com was on the ground at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in beautiful central Ohio for the inaugural eGrandPrix America. PlugBike was immersed in the Mid-Oh electric motorcycle action and has proudly posted great video coverage for all to enjoy. Yes, Azhar was there as well… he’s everywhere!
Go to the article: 2009 AMA TTXGP eGrandPrix at Mid Ohio


3 – David Herron


Photo: Herron photo from eGP America

Herron is the Renaissance man (and all-around good guy) of the EV scene. He writes on all facets of green transportation, and is well embedded in the electric motorcycle landscape. We’ve been meaning to plug Herron and his various vessels of electric journalism for a while now. Long overdue!

- Check out this link to Herron’s excellent recap of the eGrandPrix America with a series of videos included (multiple daily entries): Examiner.com TTXGP Articles
- Check out the V is for Voltage EV forums: VisforVoltage.org
- Follow wwwatts for aggregated feed of all EV news and information on the net: wwwatts.net
- Herron is all kinds of Twitterified as well: @wwwatts, @visforvoltage

Video Update: We should also mention that we’ve found no updates on consummate motorcycle documentary filmmaker, Mark Neale, and his movie covering MotoCzysz and the inaugural TTXGP at Isle of Man. Neale and film crew were present at the TTXGP as mentioned in: this post. Hopefully they are well on their way to having the documentary kicked out and ready for release before next year’s TTXGP.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 31-JUL-2009



Our Friday Top Three new items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design.

The biggest news item of the week was the inaugural eGrandPrix America held during the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days this past weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Instead of a Top Three, we’re going to direct you to some of the top coverage of the eGrandPrix America:

PlugBike (www.PlugBike.com)
eVFR (www.eVFR.net)

Both of these sites are written by two of the best journalists on the Electric Motorcycle scene. Lots of atmosphere, tons of excellent photos, and great insight on how the entire event went down. Check them out.

Our take:
The inaugural eGrandPrix America was a great first effort in expanding the sphere of excitement that the TTXGP eGrandPrix ignited earlier this summer. We’re not so sure that we would call it a “groundbreaking” event like the TTXGP, but certainly more of an “icebreaking” event for American road racing fans.

A good number of manufacturers, homebuilders, and electric motorcycle industry insiders (including TTXGP and eGrandPrix creator, Azhar Hussien) were all on hand. This was a great opportunity to get some insight on the state of this emerging industry and pick the brains of some fascinating people.

Track action was minimal, but just enough to give spectators a taste of road racing… in whisper mode. EnvironMoto looks forward to more developments as the 2010 electric racing series comes to fruition.

Photo via: www.plugbike.com

Friday, July 17, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 17-JUL-2009

Our Friday Top Three new items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design.

A bit of a slow week in news, and I’ve personally been extremely busy with projects (hence the lack of commentary). Next week isn’t looking much better at this point. So, I’m going to list out our top three motorcycle road racing specific websites which are certainly worth a visit:

1 – www.SuperbikePlanet.com

The well written news site run by Dean Adams. You cannot beat the attitude and atmosphere Superbike Planet has built over the years. Some of the best racing and paddock photos around. Articles by Evan Williams and Julian Ryder, as well as racers like Roger Lee Hayden, Matt Mladin, and Ben Spies. Can’t say enough about Soup.

2 – www.RoadRacerX.com

A relative newbie (for someone who’s been around road racing for 20 years or so like me anyway). RRX’s Chris Jonnum is a gifted writer and has really created a phenomenal rag full of incredible photography and great writing. Mark Gardiner’s Backmarker column alone makes it worth a visit every week. The website is great, but you can also subscribe to the full electronic version of the magazine. RRX has many racers who contribute regularly (like Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden), and has become a well respected entity on the road racing scene.

3 – www.RoadRacingWorld.com

Road Racing World is the master creation of John Ulrich. The magazine is the first hardcore roadracing media I had ever encountered. Always full of details of every possible road race around the globe. RRW is famous for their massive contribution to rider safety in US road racing. Great articles, strong commentary, and the website is always quick with updates on race weekends. Good stuff.

Photo: Casey Stoner at USGP 2009 via SuperbikePlanet.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three: 10-JUL-2009

Our Friday Top Three new items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design.


1 – Agni Plans to Take Over the World!

The TTXGP blog posted a short interview with Team Agni Motors racer and inaugural TTXGP Pro Class Champion, Rob Barber from the Goodwood Festival of Speed (UK). In the interview, Rob mentions that he and Agni intend to become world champions next year with the Agni X01. A clear reference to the FIM/TTXGP world championship series slated for 2010. We’ll take that as a “we’re in” statement from Agni. Go to the TTXGP blog here: TTX Teams at Goodwood


2 – First Brammo Rolls Out First Production Enertia Electric Motorcycles

Yes indeed, another mention of http://www.brammofan.com/. Brammofan has been keeping close track of all the happenings at Brammo and following their activity like paparazzi on a pop starlet. For all we know, he may even have some compromising photos of Craig Bramscher… Link to: Brammo’s First Ride


3 – Mark Miller’s TTXGP Wrap-Up Blog

We meant to post this link a couple of weeks ago, but it’s worth revisiting. If you don’t know, Mark not only rode the MotoCzysz E1pc in the inaugural TTXGP, but he also rode in petrol powered classes at the TT (the fastest American!). While racing the Senior TT, Miller was nearly killed when he high-sided his Superbike at 130mph. Mark kept a great blog on www.RoadRacerX.com the entire time and relays his near-death experience in the final post. To understand how lucky Mark was, click here to read his account: Mark Miller’s TT Blog; Final Report



Special Note: Today also happens to be Nikola Tesla’s birthday. Tesla is probably the most under-acknowledged pioneer and inventor in electricity. He made Edison look smart, he gave us AC power, and so much more. He is the reason all of us are able to take electricity for granted. Born at midnight in a severe lightning storm, Tesla was an amazing genius whose goal was to give power to everyone in the world. A forward thinker, Tesla even foresaw the world’s need to lessen it’s reliance on fossil fuels a hundred years ago. If you aren’t aware of Tesla’s contributions to society, do yourself a favor and at least check out the wiki on him: Wikipedia: Nikola Tesla


Top Photo: Agni X01 in action at TTXGP, via Motorcycle-USA

Middle Photo: Miller’s Superbike aftermath, via RoadRacerX
Bottom Photo: Nikola Tesla, via The Internet

Monday, July 6, 2009

ACU and TTXGP Announce UK National Series

The ACU (Auto-Cycle Union) and TTXGP announced the first national series in the world for zero-carbon motorcycle roadracing.

Regulation and management of the series will be comprised of ACU and TTXGP representatives.

This is yet another landmark for the burgeoning sport of electric motorcycle roadracing. It’s also a representation of how quickly Azhar Hussain and his TTXGP team are proving that the green motorcycle racing is a viable motorsport with tremendous future potential.

The series is set to start in 2010 and will consist of 4 races in the United Kingdom. It is not yet announced what tracks the races will be held at, what the rules and classifications are, or which teams may participate. Stay tuned.

Link to announcement: ACU Road Racing and eGrandPrix

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

America’s Independence and America’s Independent Racing Motorcycle



This is a monster week in motorcycle roadracing for US fans... The Red Bull USGP is in Laguna Seca (Mazda Raceway) this weekend. There will be boat loads of coverage on the web and on Speed Channel, so make sure you have your TiVo warmed up and ready to record MotoGP qualifying and all of the race coverage. If you caught the Casey Stoner versus Valentino Rossi battle last year, you will know why this race is not to be missed.

I am sad and embarrassed to say that we have not been back to Laguna Seca since the inaugural Red Bull USGP in 2005. The race did not disappoint. Particularly since we were based in Kentucky at the time and our man, the ‘Kentucky Kid’, Nicky Hayden won the race.

The entire MotoGP atmosphere is indescribable. If you haven’t been to a large international motorcycle roadrace before, you need to go. Do it. As we made our way west from Nashville, we started seeing more and more fans at our airport layovers. A Rossi hat here, a Respol jersey there… worn by people speaking languages you can’t quite place. You start to feel the excitement build before you even set foot in California.

You become part of a world wide pilgrimage to a holy shrine of moto-goodness.

As hardcore fans we held paddock passes for the weekend. Wanting to absorb every last drop of moto-ambiance and catch a glimpse of our favorite MotoGP rock stars. I have weeks worth of stories I could tell.

Most interesting to look back upon was a small display in the paddock. A gleaming silver racebike sitting on a stand with a half dozen or so people standing around it. The words MotoCzysz emblazoned on nearly everything in sight, and a massive mural on the side of the tent. On the table in front of the tent were stacks of posters with a beautiful side shot the same bike. It was the revolutionary MotoCzysz C1 990, and Laguna was its official public introduction. A world stage for a little known American motorcycle company.

I had read about the C1 and its creator, Michael Czysz beforehand. I had seen the solid models of the longitudinally placed, ultra-narrow V-4 and its counter-rotating crankshafts.



The C1 was, and still is, a mind-blowing and impressive piece of engineering.

In truth, I looked the bike over at the time and being the hardened mechanical engineer and roadracing fan I am, I dismissed it. Not from a technological standpoint, but from a feasibility of ever entering a race standpoint. I considered it a paper tiger.

Understand that John Britten is a hero of mine, and I could not imagine anyone else, not even Michael Czysz, accomplish what John had done in his short life with the Britten V1000, more than a decade before. That is: Design and build a world class, winning, racing motorcycle from scratch.




I would be happy to eat my words, but unfortunately the C1 never did make it to MotoGP. Politically and financially it is just a massive undertaking. Even the true insider that Kenny Roberts Sr. is, he and his KR race team couldn’t keep up with silly changes in technical rules, and sourcing the funds required to design and develop a machine, pay personnel, and move everything around the world on a near-weekly basis. MotoGP is a piranha.




However, MotoGP’s loss has turned out to be a gain for the rest of the world. Late last year, Michael Czysz and MotoCzysz made a decision to go in another direction. Through a cryptic blog post in March, 2009, Czysz effectively said if there is no interest in a dead-dinosaur powered machine, he’d go electric.

Development of the MotoCzysz E1pc D1g1tal Superbike began as 2008 came to a close. Sights were set on the inaugural TTXGP on the Isle of Man TT Circuit in June of 2009. The race to have the best electric racing motorcycle in the world, in the first zero-carbon motorcycle road race in the world, was on.

Mere months later, the bike was unveiled. Aesthetically, the E1pc did not disappoint. It looked every bit as incredible as the C1 990 did 4 years prior. A sexy racing machine with fit and finish rivaling the best of MotoGP, maybe even better.

Over the course of the TTXGP week, there were plenty of technical issues and teething pains. Not unexpected nor out of the question for a bike with ridiculously expedited development and construction. Even though it failed to finish the TTXGP, the E1pc and Team MotoCzysz made its presence felt. When it was running properly, it was incredible. No one was left questioning the future capabilities and potential of the E1pc.

If you are at Laguna Seca this weekend, and happen to see a silver and orange race bike with the name, MotoCzysz written on the side: Do not dismiss it as I had done 4 years ago. This machine, the man behind it, and the team who supports it are the real deal. Keep an eye on the MotoCzysz E1pc. You will be seeing more of it very soon.



First Photo: The MotoCzysz C1 990 MotoGP machine, via MotoCzysz
Second Photo: John Britten and the Britten V1000, via Britten
Third Photo: The Team KR, KR212V race bike, via TeamKR
Last Photo: The MotoCzysz E1pc, via MotoCzysz

Friday, June 26, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! 26-JUN-2009

Our Friday top three news items from the week in green motorcycle racing and design:

1 – FIM Announces Electric Motorcycle Roadracing Series

Beyond huge. You can find details on this high profile news item all over the net.
Our take (will the bikes be considered Production or Prototype) can be found here: FIM Announces Electric Superbike Series

2 – AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Releases eGrandPrix America Schedule
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We still have no idea which teams will be there and which won’t. Via Tweets, it does seem that Brammo does not intend to… attend. Thanks BrammoFan, and Skadamo for following this! Follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/brammofan and www.twitter.com/skadamo
Link to AMA Vintage Days Schedule: Here
Our take and the bite-sized eGrandPrix schedule is here: TTXGP eGrandPrix America Schedule Released

3- Friends and Fans of EnvironMoto

Those first two racing news items are pretty significant. Therefore we want to take a moment to acknowledge some of the bloggers, forums fans, electric motorcycle industry people, and individuals who have been visiting EnvironMoto.com. We certainly try to give credit everywhere credit is due. Thank you, everyone.

We hope that you will continue to visit regularly and we invite your comments.

You may contact us via:
- Commenting directly on posts
- Following us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EnvironMoto

Photo: Brammo Enertia and TTR via www.hellforleathermagazine.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Electric Motorcycle Racing News: FIM Announce Electric Superbike Series



As announced yesterday, TTXGP organizer and founder Azhar Hussain has been behind the scenes working with the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) to introduce an international electric motorcycle roadracing series based upon the success of the TTXGP.

The FIM press release can be found here: Superbikeplanet.com
Discuss further at: ElectricMotorcycleForum.com

Details are very limited, but it will be interesting to see if the new, as of yet unnamed, series will run independently of the two current FIM World Championship series: MotoGP and World Superbike; or if it will be run as a support series alongside one or the other.

Conjecture would lean toward the electric bike series running in conjunction with one of the established FIM series and not as an autonomous series. How the FIM decides to position and market the electric series will likely depend upon a combination of financial sense and vision for the future.

The FIM purely establishes and enforces rules and regulations regarding international motorcycle racing. Promoting and organizing racing series and events falls on the two companies that own all of the rights to each form of racing: Dorna Sports for the prototype bike series: MotoGP, and Flamini Group for production bike series: World Superbike.

In a nutshell, Dorna and Flamini are marketing businesses that make their money sourcing sponsors, establishing television rights, licensing, and merchandizing their respective series. The bulk of the work they do is promoting their series, and handling all of the logistics and organization of races.

Will either promoter see value in an electric series and choose to bid on rights to it?

The bikes that ran at TTXGP were a combination of production-based (i.e. Brammo Enertia TTR, etc.) and pure prototype (i.e. MotoCzysz E1pc) motorcycles. Most of the prototype constructors do hope to produce production bikes based upon their race machines. It will be up to the FIM to decide if the vision they have is (and financial justification for) a production series or a prototype series, and make the rules to favor one formula over the other.

EnvironMoto will keep tabs on the rules as they come together.

Photo: MotoCzysz via Asphalt and Rubber

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TTXGP eGrandPrix America Schedule Released

Exhibition laps? Please…

As we’ve mentioned before, the TTXGP eGrandPrix America (www.egrandprix.com) will run in conjunction with the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, USA on July 24th through 26th 2009.

The AMA is billing the eGrandPrix as an exhibition of electric roadracing motorcycles from around the world. Maybe the AMA have themselves convinced that these bikes will be cruising around at a parade-lap pace, but we think enthusiasts, competing teams, and racers alike will all agree that eGrandPrix participants intend to show the world what these bikes are fully capable of on US soil.

The latest AMA Vintage Days schedule shows the eGrandPrix bikes will be on track for one 15 minute session each of the three days, and a final hour long run on Sunday:

Friday, July 24th – 2:00pm to 2:15pm
Saturday, July 25th – 1:00pm to 1:15pm
Sunday, July 26th – 1:00pm to 1:15pm
Sunday, July 26th – 5:00pm – 6:00pm


Details on the events leave something to the imagination at this point (AMA Vintage Days Schedule), but it reads to us as three practice sessions through the weekend, then a final chance to throw down some extended hot laps on Sunday evening. We hope that more details are released soon.

EnvironMoto is certain that when the eGrandPrix bikes are on track (sans pace-car) they will be ridden in anger and US fans will get the full electric racebike experience.

Friday, June 19, 2009

EnvironMoto’s Friday Top Three! For 19-JUN-2009

Our Friday top 3 news items from the week in the world of green motorcycle racing and design:

Since we’ve thrown up a poll involving the three teams committed to the AMA eGrandPrix this morning, and the TTXGP has been in the books for a week, our Friday Top Three this week will feature Brammo, Mission Motors, and MotoCzysz explaining their TTXGP experience in their own words.

1 – Brammo
- For the best/latest info follow CEO, Craig Bramscher on Twitter @BrammoCraig, and you absolutely have to dial in Brammofan: http://brammofan.wordpress.com/

2 – Mission Motors
- Mission Motors Blog: Blogging the TTXGP: Final Results and Reflections

3 – MotoCzysz
- MotoCzysz Blog: Read Michael Czysz’s extremely detailed and EXCELLENT account of the TTXGP happenings as related to MotoCzysz: TTXgp V1.0

Photo: Mark Miller at the TTXGP via MotoCzysz

EnvironMoto: Electric Motorcycle Racing Commentary

We’ve been working on Part 2 of our TTXGP in Review series, but time has been limited this week and the story we’re putting together has taken on a life of its own. Feel free to check out Part 1 (a combined tribute to Team Agni and racer John Crellin) if you missed it. Keep checking back or put us on your feed, and we’ll try to get something posted this weekend (and at least a Friday Top 3 Three for today). There is some interesting stuff we’re going into…

For now, check out more cool renderings from automotive designer and artist, Daniel Simon and his creation: Cosmic Motors. http://www.cosmic-motors.com/. Prepare to be blown away. EnvironMoto is a long time fan of Simon’s work.

Image: The Cosmic Motors Detonator via Cosmic Motors

Monday, June 15, 2009

TTTXGP In Review, Part 1: Everest and Agni


The Isle of Man TT is not for everyone. Spectators or competitors alike. Plenty of racers have publicly trashed the TT and have sworn to never be any part of it. It is dangerous and insanely hairy. Yet it still remains an icon of motorcycle roadracing, and the pinnacle of real roads motorcycle racing throughout the world.

The TT is the Everest of motorcycling: An impossible concept to most people, and a dream to some. It is only a reality to those few people who are willing to accept the risks and make the sacrifices required to become a part of its legend. Those brave few hold back their fears, and do whatever it takes to get on a racing motorcycle and go as fast as they possibly can for 37.73 miles.

The inaugural TTXGP is now in the books. Ten teams accepted the challenge made 9 months ago by Azhar Hussain and the TTXGP. They fast-tracked their concepts and technology and made them a reality in just a few months. Just to get to the island with a man and a machine ready for this significant race in such a short amount of time is truly amazing.

Team Agni came out on top in the Pro class and now boasts the fastest time and average speed ever recorded on the Isle of Man TT circuit for a zero carbon racing motorcycle. 25:50:53 minutes, and 87.434 mph is now the target for anyone intending to compete at the second TTXGP in June of 2010.

This is a landmark feat for a little known Anglo-Indian company which has been concentrating on electric motor design for over 20 years. Agni's Cedric Lynch, Arvind Rabadia, and Hasmuk Rabadia have made their mark and deserve the accolades. The ultimate reward for the dedication and effort of this team has come to fruition and rightfully put Agni in the spotlight.

The spot-on and consistent riding of Rob Barber pushed the Agni machine to the finish line over three minutes ahead of their nearest rival, Team XXL of Germany. Visit the TTXGP blog for a great video interview with the racers that really captures the excitement of the win and requisite podium celebration: Here

Triumph and tragedy always seem to go hand-in-hand at the Isle of Man TT. The TTXGP was certainly not immune to the dark shadow of sadness that the death of a competitor brings. In awful contrast to the TTXGP podium celebration which saw TORK rider John Crellin celebrate the Indian team’s sweet third place in the TTXGP Open Class; the entire TT was susequently mourning his death on lap 5 of the Senior race a few hours later.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of racer John Crellin. John was an Engineer, motorcycle racer, and mountaineer. He never made it to Everest's summit (he made his third attempt in May) but he did climb the other six highest peaks in the world. He was a man who seems to have never had any concept of the impossible. We can all be assured that he lived exactly how he wanted to live, and he died doing exactly what he loved to be doing. In John’s own words, we hope that he has found peace in his “Final Pit Stop”.

For links to the rich life of John Crellin go to:
http://www.iomtoday.co.im/cq/CQ-John-Crellin.5059985.jp
http://www.manxfellrunners.org/index.php/2009/06/14/a-tribute-to-john-crellin/
http://www.manxradio.com/newsread.aspx?id=36527

Photo: John Crellin via MCN

Part 2 of our TTXGP Review will focus on the rest of the TTXGP competitors and further analysis of the race.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Congratulations to Team Agni, Inaugural TTXGP Champions

Congratulations to all TTXGP competitors! Sadly, condolences to friends and family of John Crellin.

Full Reults can be found: IOMTT

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TTXGP Tuesday Practice Times!


Here’s the practice times from yesterday’s delayed (from Monday) first TTXGP practice session.
PRO Class times
Team Agni (Rob Barber): 26:41 (85.7mph lap)
Mission Motors (Thomas Montano): 33:45 (67.68mph)
XXL (Thomas Schoenfelder): 34.07 (66.45mph)
Brammo/Bike (Roy Richardson): 35:47 (63.83mph)
Brammo/Bike (Mark Buckley): 35:52 (63.74mph)
HTBLAUVA – TGM (Paul Dobbs): 41:53 (54.51mph)

Open Class times (£30,000 bike price limit)
ManTTx Racing (Dan Kneen): 32:01 (70.73mph)
Barefoot Motors Racing (Chris Petty): 33:35 (67.89mph)
Electric Motorsport (Chris Heath): 36:26 (62.44mph)
NSR - Kingston University (George Spence): 40:44 (55.98mph)

These are all the teams who have made the time cutoff. There is a lot of interesting behind the scenes stuff going down that we’ll report on later today. The second Practice/Qualifying session is scheduled for today dependent on the weather. The news is coming in fast and furious.

Make sure you vote for the top US team and stay tuned!

Source: MCN

Monday, June 8, 2009

TT Postponements

Due to the crap-load of crappy weather IoM has had throughout the weekend, it looks as though Monday TTXGP practice has been bumped out to Tuesday at 3:45 PM IoM-Time. All racing and practice sessions for all classes have been bumped up. Not sure what this means for the qualifying sessions or how the rest of the week will play out. We'll update as we know more...

Link: IoM forecast

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mission Unveils Racebike at TT

First photos of the Mission One TTXGP machine at the TTMA Dinner Sunday.

Source: TTXGP

Friday, June 5, 2009

EvironMoto’s Friday Top Three!

Our Friday top 3 news items from the week in the world of green motorcycle racing and design:

1 – Moto Czysz E1pc TTXGP Racebike Revealed
- SKADAMO’s great article with detailed photos of the MotoCzysz racer at the Isle of Man. Read the article at: AsphaltandRubber.com
EM comment: Stare and drool. Our take: Article

2 – Mark Miller’s Daily TT Reports
- Mark Miller is racing several classes at this years TT, including the E1pc in the TTXGP. His daily reports get you inside the race. Go to: RoadRacerX.com
EM comment: Being there, without being there. Our take: Article

3 – TTXGP Announces The eGrandPrix America
- TTXGP has announced that the eGrandPrix America will run at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in conjunction with the AMA Vintage Days, July 24th –July 26th, 2009. Brammo, Moto Czysz, and XXX will be there and international competitors have been invited as well. Go to TTXGP.com
EM comment: Awesomely awesome, awesomeness!

Photo: AsphaltandRubber.com

TTXGP: eGrandPrix America @ Mid-Ohio!

From the TTXGP Blog:

"The TTXGP eGrandPrix is to launch zero-carbon motorcycle racing into the USA with an exhibition appearance at the annual American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Vintage Motorcycle Days festival at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio."

The TTXGP people are working aggressively toward world wide participation in zero carbon roadracing. This is a good thing for all of us, and it's just plain awesome that we'll be able to see these bikes in action on US soil. Even better if we'll be seeing them all on track at the same time...

Link to the TTXGP post is here: TTXGP America

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mark Neale/Discovery Channel Documentary on Moto Czysz at TTXGP

An interesting snippet from Mark Miller’s (Moto Czysz E1pc, TTXGP rider) daily Isle of Man TT report today on www.RoadRacerX.com :

“I met up with Mark Niel (sp) of FASTER movie fame (roadracing DVD with Nicky
Hayden) who is here to do a documentary on our Moto Czysz electric bike entry.
Did our first interview chat and we’re meeting tomorrow to take
a car around the circuit. The doc is supposed to get picked up by the
Discovery Channel.”


This is very cool stuff. If you aren’t familiar with the movies Faster or The Doctor, the Tornado, & the Kentucky Kid, you need to get them in your DVD collection or at least add them to your Netflix list. Go to www.FasterMovie.com for more info.

Mark Neale understands how to bring motorcycle roadracing to life. His documentaries are truly insightful works of art. Both movies are well narrated by Ewan McGregor, and just impeccably filmed. Neale will certainly do well by Moto Czysz and the TTXGP.

Cheers to Mark Neale and The Discovery Channel for having real insight into how significant the TTXGP is, and how legendary the Isle of Man TT is. We’re certainly looking forward to it.

Source: RoadRacerX.com
Photo: FasterMovie.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TTXGP: Unofficial Overview of Official Rules, Part 2

Part 1 of our TTXGP official rules summary covered the breakdown of the two classes (Pro and Open) within the TTXGP competition. In Part 2, we'll detail the schedule and qualification process that each each competing team must follow in order to race in the main event on June 12th 2009.

Tech Inspection
Initially, all TTXGP racing motorcycles must pass technical scrutineering. TT officials must ensure all bikes meet the required rules and regulations with respect to the bikes designated race class. Additionally, all teams riders must attend mandatory riders meetings.

Qualifying Session 1 - Monday, June 8th, 2009
TTXGP competitors must prove the bike and rider can complete one lap of the 37.5 mile, Isle of Man TT course within 50 minutes, maintaining an average speed of 45.28 mph.

Qualifying Session 2 - Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
The second qualifying session is another chance for TTXGP riders to circulate the track at racing speeds. Racers unable to complete the first qualifying session are given this second chance to make the official race on Friday. Any bike or rider who is unable to complete the circuit in 50 minutes or less in qualifying will not compete in the TTXGP.

By the end of the second qualifying session, we should have a pretty solid indication of who the serious players are going to be on Friday. But it's the TT, so anything could happen on Friday!

TTXGP - Friday, June 12th, 2009
This is it. The moment we've all been waiting for. The flag drops and the world will see who the best rider is and which bulider has the best zero-emission racing motorcycle. History in the making without a doubt. EnvironMoto will be following closely and making updates throughout the race week. Keep us bookmarked, fed, and follow us on Twitter (@EnvironMoto).

Think you know who's going to take home all the TTXGP glory? Cast your vote for the top American team on the right. Think someone else will win it? Comment on this article below!

Photo: TTXGP

TORK! Need we say more?

Check out the photo of the Indian-made TORK TTXGP race bike posted on the TTXGP blog.

Kind of a weird mash-up of a Ducati and a Buell. There is not a lot of information to be found on the bike or the team. Maybe someone could send us some more info?

The team rider is Garth Woods. Again, not a lot of information on him but he does appear to have some real roads racing experience at least in the North West 200 held in May of this year. Woods placed 48th in Supersport, and 47th in Superstock. Certainly not podium finishes, but nothing to sneeze at if you understand how difficult the North West 200 is.

It's getting interesting.

Photo: TTXGP

MotoCzysz TT bike in race trim

Had to post this photo from Matthew Miles (@CW1Miles on Twitter) of the race-ready MotoCzysz TTXGP entry.

The most striking impression is how well finished it looks. This is MotoGP level fit and finish for sure.

The styling is incredible, and the level of detail is amazing. MC needs to get a production version going ASAP! Good thing they are running the Pro Class, or we'd be buying it for $33,000!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TTXGP: Unofficial Overview of the Official Rules Part 1

With all the excitement over the inaugural Isle of Man TTXGP, the fact that there are actually two races within TTXGP has gotten a little lost. Let’s break it down:

The TTXGP is comprised of two classes: The Professional Class and the Open Class.

Professional Class Summary
- The motorcycle propulsion system may be one of the following
o Electric power supplied by battery or accumulator
o Fuel cell (considered a separate class?)
o Internal Combustion using non-carbon based fuel (i.e. Hydrogen)
o Hybrid using non-carbon based fuel and producing non-toxic emissions

Open Class Summary
- Electric power supplied by battery or accumulator ONLY
- Motorcycle must be made available for sale for a period of 75 minutes following the completion of the race for a price of £20,000 ($33,000 USD). Refusal to sell the motorcycle upon receiving a legitimate bid results in disqualification from the race.
- Intellectual property remains in the possession of the original owner

From the entry lists, it appears that Electric Motorsport is one of the few, if not the only entrant to sign up for the Open Class competition with their Yamaha R1 based R144.

It takes some balls to risk letting your electric racebike get into the hands of your competitors by participating in the Open Class. It’s certain that this class won’t appeal to teams fielding the expensive prototype and one-off machines being built exclusively for the TTXGP. But it is a great opportunity for manufacturers currently building production bikes to show what they’ve got and give their product some well deserved street cred.

The Professional Class should see the most competition and will definitely garner the biggest bragging rights. These motorcycles will be the most expensive and exotic of the lot, containing each team’s most secret ingredients for TT success. It appears most Pro Class competitors are going with the electric power option but the door is open for some interesting choices.

TTXGP Official Rules for other aspects of the machines including dimensions, bodywork, and safety are all the same for both classes. Thus allowing each builder to focus to be on power technology and handling.

Tomorrow we’ll continue with Part 2 and detail what it takes for each team to qualify for TTXGP. Stay tuned!

Source: TTXGP
Photo: Electric Motorsport


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brammo Enertia TTR Revealed!

Wow! The first photos we've seen of the actual Enertia TTR race bike in Best Buy livery. It's on!

Great article on Wired, Autopia with all the details on the bike, more photos, and the Best Buy relationship. More to come...

Source: Cycle World's Matthew Miles, and Brammo's Craig Bramscher via Twitter

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Enertia TTR Race Bike Spec Sheet Released

Brammo has released the specification sheet for the Enertia TTR on their website: www.Brammo.com.

They have included two detail photos on the sheet. They mostly focus on the upper mounting area of the rear shock. You can clearly see that the bike will have a full fairing that is spaced away from the chassis... but that's about it! Hopefully we will see more soon...

Source: Brammo

Friday, May 22, 2009

Late Breaking: Brammo Sends Aaron Gobert and 2 Enertia TTR's to Isle of Man

Check out the press release via Twitter or AutoblogGreen!

Photo and Source: AutoblogGreen

Best Electric Motorcycle News of the Week Revolves Around: Mission Motorcycles

Asphalt and Rubber: Mission Motors CEO Interview – Electrification is Coming
- A great interview with Mission Motors CEO and co-founder Forest North. Some good insight into Mission’s approach and direction in electric motorcycles.

RoadracerX: Backmarker column by Mark Gardiner: Run, Forest, Run
- Gardiner gets inside Mission Motors and interviews Mission’s President, Edward West, and CEO and co-founder Forest North. Some great biographical information on North as well. Gardiner also got some of the inside scoop on the Mission One TTXGP bike during it’s Infineon Raceway shakedown a few weeks ago. Yes, Mission has an experienced TT rider, Tom Montano, and enough brainpower to make nearly anything work.
- This article is the third in Mark Gardiner’s detailed series on electric motorcycle manufacturers. Make sure you read the previous two on Zero and Brammo.

Mission Motors: Mission Motors Preparing for the TTxGP: Photoset, by Edward West
- This blog entry is a little bit dated now, but does link to photos and video of the Mission One TTXGP in action.

Source: As noted

Electric Culture: Rockers versus Mods

Rockers (loosely defined): A post-war British motorcycle subculture defined by their black leather jackets and rough looks, love of early American rock and roll music, and a penchant for powerful performance bikes. Fierce rivals of the Mods.

Mods (loosely defined): A post-war British scooter subculture defined by their clean-cut business suits, taste for R&B music, and bent for step-thru scooters of the day. Fierce rivals of the Rockers.

To avoid any confusion, EnvironMoto is a Rocker blog for the electric bike scene. We’re interested in the baddest EMs. We proudly lean toward the most evil side of green motorcycling, notably sportbikes and racing. We love the machines that race, have incredible performance, and look the part.

We’re not going to diss electric scooters, minibikes, electric bicycles, or even their riders. We’re certainly not going slip-on the brass knuckles and bust their heads in on the streets. Truth is, the Mods of the electric motorcycle world are doing great things for motorcycling and the environment. They are making machines like the Oset that get kids on bikes and open up riding areas, or powered bicycles that possibly make the transition from bicycle to real motorcycle more palatable for Joe Commuter.

We appreciate the more gentle side of electric motorcycling for sure… we can’t even guarantee that we won’t ever comment on a particularly cool bicycle or scooter. But rest assured that our focus will be on the slickest and most aggressive motorcycles the green motorcycle industry has to offer.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sphere of Influence: TTXGP

The June 12th, 2009 inaugural TTXGP is, according to www.TTXGP.com, “the world’s first zero carbon, clean emission Grand Prix.” The definition of “zero carbon” and “clean emission” is arguable, but TTXGP truly will be the first REAL green motor race with tangible environmental benefits.

Motor racing in any form can be quickly dismissed as frivolous and a waste of resources, no matter the guise. After all, fossil fuels in some form will still be burned to generate electricity for the construction of race bikes and the recharging of batteries. Tires will be quickly worn out and disposed. Transportation will be required to move people and equipment to and from the venue. Etc. All for the purpose of seeing who the faster rider is, or who has the best machine.

Maybe the immediate results of a motorcycle road race like the TTXGP don’t appear to justify the means. However, the long term benefits will have the potential to change how all humans traverse the planet.

Motor racing drives technology that ultimately trickles down to production vehicles and puts those benefits in the hands of the people. Motor racing teaches competitors how to maximize their use of resources and eventually improves all aspects of personal transportation.

The TTXGP re-writes everything we knew about motorized competition, even environmentally friendly competition.

Most eco-races are distance or economy competitions. They do push technology, but are typically relegated to ‘freak’ races to see how far a car can travel powered by sunlight or a teaspoon of fuel. The real world application of many of these races is a bit diluted. How safe or practical is a car riding on bicycle wheels and carrying a single emaciated driver several thousand miles at 15 miles per hour?

Of course the TTXGP generally is far from the reality of your daily commute. But strength, endurance, durability, power, and performance are all tested in harsh conditions on real roads, and in real conditions. Conditions which the daily driver or commuter will experience.

The TTXGP is a REAL roads race, held in real conditions, being contested by competitors who are developing and building motorcycles for real people to ride. The bikes we’ll see racing at TTXGP will be the parents of zero carbon and clean emission bikes we will all be able to buy for ourselves within a few years, months, or even weeks.

TTXGP provides an honest, direct, and nearly instantaneous trickle-down of useable green transportation technology to the masses. That is what truly sets TTXGP apart from any other eco-race ever held before.

Photo: Wade Boyd at Isle of Man TT, from: Link

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brammo: The Enertia and Racing are First Steps to Performance Electric Motorcycles

EnvironMoto has gushed about Brammo, the Enertia electric motorcycle design, and the paradigm shift which will result from selling motorcycles at Best Buy in past posts. The Enertia is a cool commuter motorcycle designed to be a stylish, rider-friendly, alternative to a bicycle or scooter for the aesthetically-inclined, green urban commuter.

In an excellent (as always) Backmarker article on RoadRacerX.com last week, Mark Gardiner spoke with Brammo founder and CEO, Craig Bramscher. Bramscher explains how the original intention of Brammo was to design and build an American, V-12 supercar, but that impetus evolved into the more environmentally responsible Enertia electric motorcycle. Bramscher also states that Brammo sees their involvement in competition as the way to develop viable long distance technology for future production performance electric motorcycles.

Gardiner also interviews recently hired Brammo PR Guy, John Harris in his May 7th Backmarker column. Both articles provide a glimpse into Brammo’s marketing and sales direction. Best Buy will be the vessel that places the Enertia and future models in front of the masses. A boutique style, store within a store dedicated to Brammo motorcycles takes away some of the powersports shop intimidation, and introduces electronics and media shoppers to electric motorcycles.

Source: RoadRacerX via skadamo (ElectricMotorcycleForum) via AutoblogGreen

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sound and Fury Update!

Michael Czysz updated the MotoCzysz blog on Wednesday with a sweet video of their electric racebike on the dyno. The incredible banshee scream the bike lets out is pretty amazing! Check it out: MotoCzysz Blog

Also, note that TTXGP Blog has removed the music from the TTX01 test run video mentioned in our last post, so now you can get a much better idea of what that machine sounds like on the track.

The future of motorcycle roadracing is bright indeed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Sound and Fury of Electric Roadracing

Video released this week of the TTX01 electric road racing motorcycle in action poses an interesting question: What is the future of motorcycle racing going to sound like?

The video is set to music and leaves a lot to conjecture (go to AutobloGreen to see/hear it).

Take into consideration that under relatively quiet electric power, we will be hearing sounds that are normally masked by the barely silenced succession of internal combustion explosions in a conventional racing motorcycle. Breaking down the mechanical aspects of an electric motorcycle in a roadracing environment, there are several elements which will combine to create a unique sound:

Wind Sound – the whistle or roar of air being displaced by a bike and rider at speed
Tire Sound – the cyclic slip and grip sound of a slick forced to the limits of adhesion
Brake Sound – the vibration of brake pads contacting a rotor while aggressively shedding velocity
Chain Whir – the sound of rollers impacting sprocket teeth
Motor Hum – the sound of air and electricity moving through a motor as the rotor spins
Gearbox Whine – the sound of helical or straight-cut involute gear teeth engaging and disengaging each other at various RPM

A bellowing staccato or a high RPM scream is the natural byproduct of tuning an internal combustion engine for maximum performance. A sound appreciated by most enthusiasts.

The electric race bikes being built for the inaugural TTXGP are essentially typical of any racing machine. They are being built for shear speed and aggressive handing. Any sounds that result are those of pure purpose, not audible aesthetics.

Builders of road-going, production electric motorcycles will have the more complicated job of taking these elements of sound into consideration. They will have to craft a palatable symphony from them. Then again maybe the collection of sounds emanating from an electric race bike will become the accepted sounds of speed and power that street riders will lust for, just as they do with gasoline-powered machines. The result may be the most realistic race replica motorcycles that street riders have ever seen.

Source: AutoblogGreen via TTXGP

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Barefoot Motors: Ely Schless Design to Compete at TTXGP



Barefoot Motors will compete at the inaugural TTXP with an Ely Schless designed chassis. Schless is famous as the former CEO of Electric Moto and creator of the Blade XT electric dirt bike (pictured above).


Schless' TTXGP racebike design should be very interesting. To really understand what a modern inventor/genius Schless really is and how much clout he has in the industry you must know a little bit about his background.


The Ashaland (Oregon) Daily Tidings had a great interview with Ely Schless in 2007 that is well worth a read to gain some insight into the man's background and focus.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Electric Motorsport Unveils TTXGP Entries!


US-based electric motorcycle manufacturer, Electric Motorsport Inc., has released it's Open Class and Pro Class entries for the June 12th TTXGP at the Isle of Man.
The GPR-S (pictured above) will race in the Open Class and the Yamaha R1 based, R144 will race in the Pro Class.
Perfomance details have not been released but it does look like Electric Motorsport will be ready to rock in 39 days!
Source (and more photos): TTXGP or Electric Motorsport

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bombardier EMBRIO

This is a blast from the past. Okay, a blast from only three years back but that is an eternity on the web. The Bombardier EMBRIO is still a fascinating concept. If you don’t remember it, or haven’t seen it before, check out this article on Gizmag from “back in the day”.

We’ve dug up the EMBRIO to post on EnvironMoto because it’s a great concept that still looks cool and is still relevant in the ‘green’ (or ‘blue’ if you are reading this in Europe) motorcycle world. The intentions of the concept were to offer a cooler and sportier counterpoint to the amazingly lame Segway Personal Transporter. Bombardier did not intend for the Embrio to be a high performance sport motorcycle like the Mission One or EV-o RR.

The EMBRIO concept is enticing and you have to wonder what it would be like to ride a high performance mono-wheel sportbike. As electric motorcycle design continues to evolve, maybe we will see the EMBRIO or a machine like it come to fruition.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

EnvironMoto Props: www.AsphaltandRubber.com

AsphaltandRubber: EnvironMoto has to give our highest compliments to http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/. We have recently discovered this blog and cannot say enough about it. A&R is well written, beautifully designed, and features great articles on all aspects of motorcycling with a distinct bent towards motorcycle roadracing and motorcycle design.

Of particular interest to ‘electric-motophiles’ are the articles by Jenny Gun covering the electric motorcycle scene. Great stuff, and certainly work that this hack blog and it’s particularly hack writer aspires to!

Relevant to our previous TTXGP posts is this great article by Jenny Gun detailing the TTXGP entries: TTXGP Entries Announced

Mission Motors: Testing Electric Racebike for TTXGP at Infineon

Mission Motors has recently run their TTXGP contending, Mission One electric motorcycle at Infineon Raceway (California, USA).

This is the first US entry for the TTXGP to be seen in action on the track. The bike looks great and appears to be very close in appearance to the renderings, and construction photos previously shown on Mission’s website. So far there are no details on lap times or top speed at Infineon.

For action photos go to the Asphalt&Rubber article.

Source: Asphalt&Rubber

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mission One: This Electric Motorcycle is the Target All Builders Will be Aiming For


There is much to discuss about the Mission One. This electric motorcycle is setting a very high mark for Performance, Styling, and Engineering. The best part is that they intend to run at the inaugural TTXGP.

Mission has all of the key ingredients to be a big player in the industry, and quite frankly they understand that they need to be the Tesla of the motorcycle world. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the former Tesla and Ducati NA people that are putting it all together.

Those who follow the EM scene have seen this machine since it was unveiled a couple of months ago. I’ve intended to write about it since then, but have not had a chance. I still don’t, but I want to leave you with a glimpse of what direction the electric motorcycle industry is going. This is where the future is:

www.RideMission.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Time For A Revamp

I’ve been neglecting EnvironMoto.com for far too long. It hasn’t been for lack of worthy topics or a creative drought by any means.

More than anything it has been a lack of time. My personal ethics won’t let me put something out there for the world to see unless it is work that I feel is informative and gives my readers a lot of value for their time. The ideas are there, but the time to compose a decent article that is half-way worthy of my excellent readership hasn’t been.

So, I’m going to try a little different approach. I’m not going to try to set the world electric motorcycle coverage on its ear. There are some fantastic blogs (like AutoblogGreen and Gizmag) and forums (like ElectricMotorcycleForum) that are doing an excellent job of scooping the latest test rides, innovations, and technology.

Instead I’m going to focus on the aspects of electric motorcycles that are my first true loves within motorcycling to begin with: Design and Racing.

For those who don’t know, I’m a former art student and terrible amateur artist. Additionally, I am a motorcycle track day whore and a rabid motorcycle roadracing fan. This is in addition to my background as a mechanic and my current career as a mechanical engineer.

So, expect to see shorter articles that will go into detail on racing like the upcoming TTXGP, and the racier EM’s coming along like the Mission One. I am a staunch believer in the ‘mainstreaming’ of electric motorcycles and improvements that make them more viable for the street rider and modern motorcycle enthusiast. A good deal of my articles will continue to ask for more from the manufacturers in making designs that look incredible and deliver on real world performance. I firmly believe that deign for racing and performance inherently trickles down to amazing street equipment.

I am making a commitment to update the blog weekly at the very least. This content will range from detailed design evaluation to small comments and links leading to the best EM news or information on the web. I also intend to improve the appearance of the blog and make some tweaks over time to create a slicker and easier to digest format. I hope that you will stay tuned to EnvironMoto.com “Version 2.0” and come back for more.

Thanks,
Chris

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Art of Electric Motorcycle Design


“If it looks right, it will fly right”: This is a long standing adage in the aircraft industry that describes the physical appearance of an aircraft as a determinant of its flight capability. Whether or not it’s ever officially admitted, military contracts for airplanes have been won and lost based upon this perception of design for decades.

Motorcycles and automobiles are not unaffected by the ramifications of styling perception. The only exception to this natural law of vehicle sales is if the vehicle can be bought cheaply enough. A modern precedent is the Pontiac Aztec. Pontiac dealers were selling this car for years after it had been out of production. Hideous? Yes. But after heavy discounts and incentives, they eventually started looking pretty good to those in need of transportation for minimal cash.

Admittedly, motorcycles may be less affected by this phenomenon since variety is more the norm and cost is less of a factor, but it does happen. A recent example is the Pierre Terblanche designed Ducati 999. There was no question about the bike’s pedigree or engineering, but the styling was, and still is, very controversial.

Currently in the electric motorcycle world, there are a handful of machines that have the potential for aesthetic mass appeal: Flying right, via looking right. But do they have a high enough level of design that will change perceptions and sell electric motorcycles regardless of performance or cost?

Rapidly evolving technology leaves little room for styling priority, nor does it allow for appealing pricing. It’s not that manufacturers and home builders are disregarding style. After all, this is a new type of vehicle and it’s not subject to the conventions we associate with a typical internal combustion powered motorcycle. The manufacturers are definitely developing distinctive styles. Unfortunately distinctive style does not always translate into world-beating style.

For an electric motorcycle to go to the next level, to become a must-have product that will displace one’s desire for a gasoline fueled bike, it’s going to have to deliver more than great power or range of operation. It will have to look incredible and create neuron exploding lust in the minds of enthusiasts.

This is the next step in taking ever-improving performance to mass recognition. Whoever introduces a design that blows minds and lands on the cover of a major enthusiast magazine will have truly shaken up the motorcycle world.

In truth, if it looks right to enthusiasts, it will fly right off the showroom floor.

Lead image is a screen shot from Motorepublic. A motorcycle design studio based in Sweden specializing in motorcycle design concepts. Link: www.motorepublic.com