LONG article, here is the beginning:
The Inside Story of the MotoCzysz E1pc, the World's Most Advanced Electric Motorcycle
On the eve of its first race--at one of the toughest and most dangerous motorcycle racetracks in the world--we take an exclusive inside look at one man's quest to engineer the ultimate electric race bike
By Wes Siler Posted 06.09.2010 at 2:11 pm 5 Comments
The 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc Amadeus Photography
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This is the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc, a race bike built by a tiny Oregonian company focused on pushing the limits of electric performance to the absolute max. It packs 10 times the battery capacity of a Toyota Prius and 2.5 times the torque of a Ducati 1198 into a package that looks like something out of a 24th-century Thunderdome.
Tomorrow it will race in the Isle of Man TT, the toughest motorcycle race in the world. The technology at work is so advanced, so unprecedented, that we may be looking not just at the future of motorcycles, but of all electric vehicles.
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The reason the all-electric race bike is here, 4,600 miles from its home in Portland, Oregon, is to prove itself. Ever since 1907, the Isle of Man TT has been the race for bike manufacturers and riders to show their mettle to the public. The thinking goes that if you can lap its 37.7 miles of tiny, twisty back roads with an average speed in excess of 100 MPH, you or your bike become indisputably proven. Well over 200 riders and a handful of spectator’s have been killed trying to do just that.
But as recently as two days ago, the future of motorcycles was missing its body panels (stuck in customs). Before this week, the finished bike has never even seen the light of day. But even in its unproven, incomplete state, it's been putting in laps that have the competition quaking in their leather.
The customs snafu (and the mad dash to even finish the bike in time for the race) is not the first time Michael Czysz, MotoCzysz’s founder, CEO and the driving force behind the E1pc, had suffered a set back on this tiny rock in the middle of the Irish Sea. Last year, the Isle of Man TT hosted the first ever all-electric motorcycle road race, and MotoCzysz was there with the E1pc's predecessor. But while the machines that entered were technically impressive, their performance wasn’t. The race-winning team only averaged 87 MPH, well short of the 100 MPH watershed that defines a serious lap and way behind the 131.5 MPH lap record set by the fastest gas-powered superbikes. MotoCzysz didn’t even complete a full lap, suffering an electric spike from their experimental kinetic energy recovery system that fried the bike’s electronic control unit (ECU).
That was a major blow for Czysz (pronounced "sizz"). Five months of whirlwind effort from the former motorcycle racer and architect and his small team in Portland saw them abruptly transition away from developing a 200 HP, gasoline-powered MotoGP bike to produce an electric bike that blew the zero emissions competition away standing still. The E1pc looks like an X-Wing crossed with an iPod to the other electric racer’s cobbled-together adaptations of existing internal combustion engine bikes....