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 (
eVFR (

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:

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 –

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 –

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 –

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

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 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 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