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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freak of the Week: Buzz-by

June 10, 2011 marks the end of the Isle of Man TT event and also marks the centenary of its mountain course. First held in 1907, this incredible venue is even older than the Indianapolis 500, of which only celebrated its 100th anniversary last month.

More than an event with an illustrious past, the Isle of Man TT is also an event that warmly embraces the future. In FotW #21, we take a look at the third annual Isle of Man TT Zero, the clean emission electric motorcycle race.

Arguably the most stand out team in the electric class is Portland based, two-time TT Zero winner, MotoCzysz. This year, MotoCzysz fielded their unique Segway-Czysz motorcycle to win their event and to set a new electric lap record of 99.513 average mph, thanks to their newly developed 3-phase AC motor capable of producing an equivalent of over 200hp.

Moreover, the fairings on this year's motorcycle completely shroud its innards. Last year, the 2010 MotoCzysz E1PC's fairings were conveniently stuck in customs, allowing fans to get a closer look of the Czysz's brilliantly engineered battery array design.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to dig up any substantial specs on the 2011 model but I imagine it's essentially an enhanced and refined version of their 2010 bike. Undoubtedly, the battery array is the E1PC's party piece. The 2010 E1PC possessed a 10 individual lithium polymer cell array, each cell weighing 19.5 Lbs.

Rather than have wires connect batteries to the bike, MotoCzysz created these docks that lock the batteries into receivers integrated onto the bike’s frame, conducting the batteries and supporting the batteries’ weight at the same time. This allows for lighter weight, stronger rigidity, durability, and quicker servicing.

The TT Zero is a fantastic event that deserves it's place in the Isle of Man program as we benefit from innovations emerging from MotoCzysz's and their competing teams. Both batteries and electric motors will get lighter and lighter as well as better packaged within a chassis. Whether you are an advocate of alternative energy or not, the question is no longer "if", only "when".

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