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

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