Automobiles going electric are good for Planet Earth – lesser gas emissions, lesser pollution and lesser global warming. But why is this focus and awareness so sharpened now? It is because, manufacturers have struggled to get the perfect batteries in place, batteries that run long and strong without compromising on speed and manoeuvrability. The landmark was the development and fine tuning of lithium ion (better known as Li-ion) batteries that really took electric motorcycles to the next level. And if road worthiness is proved and polished, can the track and racing be far behind.
The future of racing on electric motorcycles looks bright and steady, mainly due to the durability of the batteries being manufactured today. Makers of such batteries assure 500 cycles from a battery. But that is only related to full cycles where the battery is fully discharged and then topped up again. If you have used up say 20% and then recharge it again, you stand to gain more cycles from it. This is especially useful for rallies as you get more mileage out of racing bikes between sectors.
However, charging of such batteries has to be done at points that are fully approved and tested to exact specifications. For example, get expert and certified electricians in Melbourne only to check the points if racing comes to the city and electric motorcycles have to be charged. Any change in wattage or voltage fluctuations can adversely affect the life of the batteries.
It will now be relevant to evaluate some of the electric motorcycles that have made their mark in the world of racing. This is based on the benchmark of achieving 0 to 60 mph speed times. Purists often complain that racing bikes without the guttural sound of exhausts is not true blood racing. But then, they have no reason to complain when it comes to muscle power of some of these bikes. In fact, these electric monsters have showed their tail lights to four wheel electric vehicles in quarter mile flashes by reaching 215 mph top speeds. Truly amazing!
- Brammo Empulse R at 4.8 seconds – This would be stunning for any car but for a bike it’s at the bottom of the list. Manufactured by Oregon bike maker, it sports a flashy Italian design. A 66 lb-ft of torque and 54 horsepower engine can blast the bike down any track, be it for sprints or a full scale racing event, at an astonishing 110 mph. Incidentally, Brammo sports the first drive train designed specifically for an electric motorcycle.
- Sarolea SP7 Superbike at 2.8 seconds – Now this is really super as the name suggests. It is in a class apart made possible by an engine delivering 180 hp at 295 lb-ft torque, propelling the 440 pounds bike forward at 155 mph. At a 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, it leaves others behind at the first curve itself. The bike debuted in 2014 at the Isle of Man electric superbikes race.
- KillaCycle at 0.97 seconds – That is truly a killer performance. It uses a 500 hp from A 123 Systems batteries and two DC motors to surge ahead. It has a long pedigree too, being the first bike as long back as in 2000 to reach 150 mph in a quarter mile sprint. If you cannot wait even a second to reach 60 mph, this is the bike for you.
With these super bikes around and more in the pipeline, the future of electric bike racing is indeed bright.