Watch out for a full race report soon
Please, don't bother.
The inaugural TTxGP has been won by Rob Barber on the Team Agni bike. Barber completed the course in 25 minutes 53 seconds, at an average speed of 87.434mph. His bike is a converted 2007 Suzuki GSXR 600 fitted with two Agni 95 reinforced motors and a 63-cell, 16kWh Kokam lithium-polymer battery. TTXGP Winner: Team Agni's …
"Considering a full-on 1000cc bike gets a lap speed of around 130mph, almost 90mph for a leccy bike is pretty impressive. Especially considering this is the first year of running, and petrol bikes have been running this course for over a century now!"
Mike, the only difference is the power source. The winning bike wasn't developed from the ground up, they took a successful existing design and stuck electric power in it only to make something that is painfully slow.
If it was an entirely new design which had only had a few months' worth of development then your comments would be fair. However in terms of development for tackling the mountain course it's all in the running gear, which isn't new to this bike but borrowed from a bike which can lap considerably faster straight out of the crate.
The interesting thing about the TTxGP is that it has give the lie to claims that the electric vehicle is ready to compete with it's IC brethren. EV's are almost as old as IC vehicles, but EV development was abandoned because IC was so much more effective.
The biggest single limiting factor is the battery and in a muddersickle this becomes even more apparent. There simply isn't the space for a large battery pack and the weight will upset the handling even more than it would in a car. The battery capacity on the winning bike was woeful. The average sport bike tends to cover short distances per year when compared to the family car, but the average journey is generally longer and executed at higher speed. So what if it only comes out of the lock up on sunny summer wednesday evenings and sundays, when it does come out it will be heading for the hills or the coast and getting thrashed in the process. How will a 16KWh battery pack be useful in this environment?
Yes I know we are constantly being promised a quantum leap in battery capacity and charge times, but it never seems to be forthcoming. Until it does arrive EVs will be limited to use in cities.
"they took a successful existing design and stuck electric power in it only to make something that is painfully slow."
So if the first version of anything is not as good as the greatest existing thing, it should never be done? Go get a grip.
Leccy vehicles are not the total solution, but they could be part of the solution. Anything that gets the innovation buds juicing is good IMHO. if you don't like it then either don't follow it or get off your own rump and go an do better.
"EV development was abandoned because IC was so much more effective."
Will it still be that way when petrol costs £3+ a litre? (For any yanks reading, its US$3.7+ a US gallon now, so I'm talking US$11+ a US gallon).
"Yes I know we are constantly being promised a quantum leap in battery capacity and charge times, but it never seems to be forthcoming."
Well if they don't strive and fail from time to time, how do you expect them to get better? Magic pixies? Of course, batteries are not the only way to store the energy. But as none of them can match the energy density of petrol I guess you think they should not be pursued either?
The first IC (and EC for that matter) engines weren't any better than horses and donkeys. Luckily people stuck with them rather than abandoning them like you seem to think they should have.
This is noting more than an interesting first, and as firsts go it is not quite so bad.
For sure, this is not going to make EV motorcycles a full replacement for its IC counterparts today. But it does raise awareness, interest, and may even spur development sponsorship as racing has done for decades. So much that we drive/ride around in has a direct link back to race series technologies.
That's the smallest possible change... We need a lot more than that.
I specifically looked at an ebike for my work commute a year ago and had to say no because noone could guarantee I'd get there and back on one charge (22mile round trip, but country lanes and a 400 foot climb/descent of the North Downs in between.
WRT the 1967 comment: Remember that the rules were rewritten across the board at the end fo the 60s and it took until the 1980s before petrol bikes were back on 1960s laptimes.
This is a start. I'd like to know how it would have gone in a lighter chassis.
Mine's the one with a spaceframed, full body fairing, 500cc V8 Ducati in the pocket
It's a first step, and a good one too. Perhaps instead of the usual droning on about how realitvely poor the performance of the machines may appear to be, how about some congratulatory noises to the TT organisers in providing the platform for the leccy bikes to have a go in the first place. Hopefully we will see this become a regular feature now and watch development of the technology on the track take shape.
On a similar point the team and particularly Cedric Lynch deserve some applause too for their efforts. The power source, its' weight and recharge cycle may still be significant obstacles to overcome, but these are not impossible barriers.
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