The annual Isle of Man TT races can certainly be described as electric. Manufacturers and riders view the 37.7 miles of narrow twisting road as a proving ground for engineering and skill.
More than 200 riders and several spectators have lost their lives to this chase to push the performance envelope.
But there is now another electric element to the races. Starting last year, the event introduced a zero-emissions race. At the moment, zero emissions means electric.
This year an American team brought to the fray a unique machine built from the ground up: MotoCzysz’s E1 PC.
MotoCzysz (pronunced Moto-sizz) sported proprietary batteries, hand-built by a company that also supplies NASA, and an oil-cooled electric engine. The bike won the zero-emissions race with a lap speed of 96.820 mph and a top speed of 135 mph.
We could well see the zero-emissions race turn in times that rival standard races within a few years. And like all such races, this is a proving ground for the technologies and designs that will eventually make their way to the average consumer.
MotoCzysz holds several patents on this advanced electrical technology, and rumor has it the company is in talks with manufacturers, including Indian automobile giant Bajal.
Truly, the electric motorcycles at the TT races are giving us performances that can be described as, well, electric.
— Isle of Man TT 2010 by Guy Wheatley, the author of TEXARKANA GAZETTE.COM - a source for motorcycles and bike riding in Texarkana.
Highlights of the 2009 Isle of Man TT & 2010 Isle of Man TT
Following the success of the inaugural clean emissions motorcycle race on the Isle of Man in 2009, the Isle of Man Government Department of Tourism and Leisure became the official promoters of Zero TT 2010 on the TT Mountain Course, as part of the 2010 TT Race program.
As well as the usual prize money available to teams and riders, the Isle of Man Government created a £10,000 prize fund for the first TT Zero Race team to record a 100mph lap (160.93kph) around the 37 and 3/4 mile course. This landmark was achieved for the first time by a conventional bike in 1957, when Scotsman Bob McIntyre lapped the TT Course in 22 minutes 24.4 seconds for an overall average of 101.03mph. Rob Barber and Team Agni recorded a fastest lap time of 25 minutes 53.5 seconds (87.434mph) in the 2009 clean emissions race.
TT Zero 2010 - The Zero TT clean emissions race on June 9th was an integral part of this year's Isle of Man Time Trials, with the Isle of Man Government offering a £10,000 prize to the first team to record a 100 mph lap. Isle of Man TT racing was established in 1904.
There was no one to challenge John McGuinness as the HM Plant Honda rider dominated all six laps to take the 2010 Isle of Man TT win, setting a new outright lap record and a new race record.
McGuinness is now a 15-time TT winner, with three 130mph+ laps on his way to victory – including a new outright lap record of 130.442mph on lap two, despite slowing down to pit.
The clean emissions race in 2009 was widely credited with accelerating the development of clean emissions transport and many of the technical innovations that were introduced in the Isle of Man are expected to become an integral part of future mass market transport. The event was conceived with the support and involvement of numerous Departments of the Isle of Man Government as part of the Island’s Freedom to Flourish program.
The 2010 clean emissions race on the Isle of Man was renamed "TT Zero" and has become part of the core TT programme, featuring riders from all race classes. The one lap race was open to clean emission motorcycles at 4:30pm on Wednesday June 9th, following the Royal London 360 Superstock and Supersport Races. Qualifying was on Saturday June 5th and Monday June 7th.
Hon Martyn Quayle, MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Isle of Man Government, released this statement :“We are delighted that the Isle of Man was the first country to run an electric bike race and the fact that there are now events scheduled around the world is a tribute to the Island’s entrepreneurial, innovative spirit and shows what an achievement it was for the Isle of Man to run the groundbreaking inaugural event. We are now building on this fantastic start by properly integrating the clean emissions class into the race program - this really does send a clear signal that electric motorsport is fast evolving and that the TT Races remain at the forefront of motorcycle sport.”
The next Isle of Man TTs are May 28 to June 10, 2012.