TT Zero First Practice

So here are the first official results from the TT Zero.

Screenshot (46)

Zero qualifying 2.6

I know I saw Nottingham University was getting ready to do a lap, but I have yet to figure out what happened there. If history is any indicator there are bikes that tried to be ready and failed. There will also be bikes that didn’t get picked up by transponders, but those should be on this official release if there were any. My point is, don’t think for a second this is the whole story. But without scouring Facebook, and twitter (and even then), or calling people you’ll never get the whole story.

However it is still fun. I had forgot the now ‘disavowed’ MCN Team were the ones running the Stock Energica Ego. Their very first lap is in first year uni team, or just straight first year of the TT Zero speeds. I expect them to get quicker, but mostly I am just watching with extreme interest as to the reality of production elmotos. Makes me wonder if that isn’t MCN’s whole point, eCRP be damned.

Oh, and Bruce Anstey is taking over for John McGuinness who had an unfortunate crash in a gas race before the TT. He seems to be the fastest so far on the gas bikes, won the TT Zero last year, and had the fastest TT Zero time of the three today.

I got all my info from the Isle of Man TT’s website, and a Facebook post. Check it out for yourself.


Weather keeps TT Zero bikes at bay, and Schedule update

So I only had 3 hits on this page today, and I suspect they were bots. I find it strangely relieving. Not to mention I have to be to work in a few hours and here I am typing away on possibly the best blogging laptop every with my wife a sleep next to me. She finds out I wrote this she’s going to kill me. We have a wedding ceremony in 2 . . . no, 1 day! Yes a bit backwards I know, but such is life. Anyway on to the real news that no one is reporting.

So according to this news bit on the TT’s website the gas bikes only got 1 lap, and weather got so bad they shut everything down 1.5 hours before the Elmotos were to take the track on for the first time. Which was Wednesday. Then they canceled Thursday all together because of weather. So no one got to play. Not that I really care about any bike besides the elmotos.

So there is a revised schedule now. But it is only for Saturday to Tuesday. Friday will be Thursday’s schedule which is exactly the same for the TT Zero crew. So this the new TT Zero practice/Qualifying start times:

Friday: 8:40pm (all Isle of Mann time)

Saturday: 5:00pm

Sunday: 4:40pm

Monday: 4:05pm

Tuesday: 3:55pm



2016 TT Zero Second Practice Results [and adult language]


Every time I even think about writing a blog post these days all that comes forward is negativity. Like grumpy old curmudgeon negativity. I have no reason to still be sore, I’ve moved on and would like to think I’m a bigger man than this, but we all have to acknowledged our limits. So you can imagine the shit storm brewing in my garage when I did a simple search for news on the TT Zero. All could muster was to publish a PR spoon fed to them. This is the website that would start matching or trying to match my site’s number of posts intentionally trying to drive readers their way. Pretty much worked too. But now that me and a few other’s aren’t paying attention any more they prove themselves to be the ball dropping hacks I heard they were. All well. At least Hollywood electrics gets them going, which I do think is great.

But I am utterly confused. If you go to the IOMTT site you cannot get a .pdf of the TT Zero practice. But of course every other class is just beging to be dowloaded.  After what seemed like a year of acceptance last year, one twitter post referred to the “leccy’s” as “controversial”. Really? Still? On the subject of “seriously?”, you still cannot get enough practice laps in on an elmoto at the TT to be only a TT Zero rider. You must race another class. Yes, in the 7th year of electric bikes racing at the TT, this is still a thing. Back to why do I have to hunt results down, the Electric Racing page on Facebook is full of nothing but Formula E stuff. Really? And then Ben Swing hasn’t followed up his TT preview article, which falsely reported that Mark Miller and Splitlath had a bike to race this year. It took me 5 minutes to get a reply from Mark on his FB page letting me know he wasn’t racing the TT Zero for the first time in how long? That’s a fucking headline, ” Holy shit Mark Miller doesn’t have a TT Zero ride!!!” Just WTF is going on? The only place to really get filled in this year seems to be twitter. I’m not seeing much on FB yet. I mean 16 (made up facetious number) sites wrote a puff piece about Victory’s new TT Zero bike, but seem to feel that’s all they needed to do. Typical.

I only got this photo from Twitter, and there does not seem to have been one from the first practice. Over the years I have learned this is usually due to the practice being canceled and no one reporting that to the fans. Wait . . . yep a quick check on @MUGENSHINDENTT’s feed, the first practice was cancelled. So yet again one lap and then a race for the TT Zero teams and riders. Such utter bull shit.

Well I really do need to settle down and take a breath. As a passive observer this year, it seems like there has been a lot of death, and maybe the folks involved are a little frazzled and hoping to catch a bit of a break by blowing over the TT Zero. And then there was the passing of Michael Czysz. I don’t know.

Then again, maybe I just need to put on my best pissed TT fan accent and tell everyone to pull their heads out of their arse. Either way I’m too pissed off to analyze the numbers. Yeah, those of you who know me know shit just got real. 😉


Maybe Grassroots isn’t so good, maybe

Back in my early days of elmoto obsession and hanging out on the forum, a debate went round and round. Which was better for electric motorcycle racing, to have a World Championship series that was at major venues racing with other major world series, or to have the series grow naturally from a grass roots effort where the average Joe races these bikes, then when it becomes popular enough it makes it to the national, and international series.  Basically is it better to build elmoto racing from the top down using inspiration to drive excitement and wealthy peoples money to do the brunt of development, or is it better to build from the bottom up. Bottom up makes a lot of sense (or did anyway), as this is pretty much how modern motorcycle racing came about. But the times really are quite different, in that media consumption is radically different. You can pretty much follow any infinitesimal sport you want to via Google, or Bing, or whatever browser you choose. And it can even go viral and the next thing you know its on NBC. But in today’s media you needs fans watching and following for that to happen. I know I made an effort at making that happen, scrapping what info I could together to bring something people could look forward to and follow. It didn’t take off. It makes me wonder if Azhar Hussain and the TTXGP took that gamble too, hoping it’d capture people’s imagination enough to ‘go viral’, as it were. I would most certainly not believe this is how the FIM would do things. They would, and kind of did, view it in a slow and steady kind of way.

But the problem is fans. Why? Well because fans = money. And this isn’t another fans are the problem rant. Been there, done that. This is a fan access problem. A problem I didn’t fully appreciate until I recently looked into attending a race. The current eMotoRacing series here in the US is a new class in the American Historical Racing Motorcycle Association, or AHRMA for short. So really, its not a series, its a class. But maybe I’m being too harsh. But then you have to realize that AHRMA is a club racing series. And I have said this time and time again, about the eMR being a club racing series, but the gravity, or maybe just personal panic, of that statement has just now hit me. The first round of the eMR is at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, GA. Its a non-spectator track. Yeah, did you do a double take like I did? I called and got an answering machine, so I have sent an e-mail and still waiting for a reply from the track.  Two days ago I posted on eMR’s Facebook page asking for info on how to attend. I an still waiting for a reply, but its only been a few days. So I thought, well, none of this is under the eMR’s control, so I’ll go to AHRMA’s website. Well, I cannot find one info@* email address. All the e-mail addresses are for the people in charge of the various classes, and Board members. Nothing on the web site, that I can find, has any kind of info for someone who just wants to watch some racing. Its all for people who want to race. That is what club racing is about, after all. It’s about people who have enough money and spare time to race motorcycles, and have a whole lot of fun doing it. Which is great! But it puts the electrics racers and bikes in a bit of a bubble. My hope for this series was that the few elmoto fans who want to see this type of racing can finally go see it live as this series goes all over the country. But what keeps these types of series alive is participants, not fans. And what will keep the eMR alive is racers and bikes. But with such a fledgling sport who is going to go race a class they don’t even know about? Well that appears to be fans who hits them up on Facebook Messenger will get good and friendly support. So they don’t have an infor@* e-mail address, but they have someone answering their messages on FB. So there is some hope. Just a heads up a reply on messenger will take about a day.

However, my concern is not about the intent of the people behind AHRMA and the eMR. I truly believe that they have all the best of intentions. My concern is about the real world implications. The closest race to me this year is an 8 hour drive, and it doesn’t seem fan friendly. Actually, “Non-Spectator” is #2 on their fact sheet about the track, and all of the Yelp reviews mention how its a non-spectator venue. That is about as non-fan friendly as you can get. How am I supposed to get behind a series that starts its year like this as someone who is hoping to get people in front of these bikes, or simply a fan? I’m a bit nutty so jumping through a few hoops to see what I want is one thing, but what about the average Joe who just runs across some articles and has never visited a race track? Nothing is ambassadoric about any of this (did I just make up a word?). Honestly I don’t even see any eMR content on their site. So people’s only point of contact really is the eMR. Some of the racers are on the electric motorcycle forums, so those folks can connect and get hook ups that way. But it doesn’t change that when you show up everyone assumes you’re a racer, and if you aren’t, its quite possible not everyone is on the same page as to what you can do and where you can go. It just seems like a locked off world for the non racer, and getting the key isn’t easy as the people inside might think it is. I wonder if any of these folks have considered how confusing a track on a club race weekend can be for a simple person off the street. If it was an AMA Superbike weekend, back when those were a thing, there’d be no confusion because of the difference in focus of where they money is coming from. I’ve been to only a few club race weekends in my life time, Loudon, Miller, and Daytona, and I can’t honestly say I’m not overstating things. But, I don’t think its all that easy, and starting the season off at a “Non-Spectator” track isn’t the best signal to send non-racer types. If AHRMA hadn’t got back to me I’d be at the point that I’d be thinking about crashing the place. I’m sure it wouldn’t be any kind of hassle to get in. “I’m with the electric guys” would probably get me as far as I needed.

It would be nice if there was an “Are you a fan and want to come see a race?” button on the eMR site somewhere obvious. They input the usual mailing and e-mail addy info and what race they want to see. Then they’d get an email listing all the local places to stay, insider info on how to get away with camping, and even maybe the best spots to watch the race at the track. And in the case of Roebling Road, how to Jedi mind trick your way in. And you know a nice touch might be a cheap eMR badge press pass (with “fan” written on there somewhere) looking thing just to keep the weak-minded from bothering them. Hmm, that’s a bit detailed. 😀

If you want to go to Roebling Road and watch the first race of the year just drop AHRMA a line via messenger on their Facebook page. This way, they will have a better gauge of actual interest. Note I did not ask about the electrics specifically, just about attending the weekend in general.

BTW, someone pointed out that I didn’t mention the European series, MotoE, when I listed series and goings on in an earlier post. Well let me take a moment now. If I catch wind that any fan with the cash in hand to pay entry fees is somehow denied reasonable access to the races, much les the electric ones you will receive a tongue lashing on this site of such of epic proportions that it will make Hussain and Czysz want to hug each other for comfort and safety. Of course since it’ll be on this blog no one will read it, so there’s that. But still, you know better, have been doing it long enough to know better, and I expect better. Have a nice day. 😀

Has Harley already Lost?

The joy of not having paid attention over the last year that nothing has been going on, is that now that I have waited a year there are enough things to peak my interest. Namely, a LOT of journalists and “journalists” have been talking about how Polaris’ buy out of Brammo’s electric motorcycle production was to get a one up on Harley-Davidson. Sure, I’ll take your word for it Mr. Journalist. But it always bothers me a bit when people say this because Polaris bought something like 3 electric vehicle companies the same time they tried to buy Brammo the first time, and only walked away with 20%. So I always saw it as H-D not trying to get left behind. But now Mission Motors is belly up. But I can’t keep track of if its Mission Motors Motorcycles. Or Mission Motors, or both. Either way, the people who allegedly designed and built the drivetrain’s for H-D’s Live Wire project are gone. Poof! And there’s the H-D fans. Not sure how many changed their tune, but it seemed the forums were ablaze for a moment. A quick visit to the Victory forums and I saw nothing but nice and reasonable people. The new Empulse TT may or may not be their thing, but they seem to feel that’s OK. But with no one to build the drivetrain I assume H-D worked hard on having developed, and a customer base that was luke warm at best (by my limited observations), it’s no wonder they told people it probably won’t be until 2020. Or maybe it was H-D’s decision to hold off that put Mission Motors under. Either way I have to wonder if was due less to public interest, and more to having to find a new partner they can trust and start the design process all over again. What American Company can they get to do that? Definitely not Brammo. Zero? My reaction is “meh”. Lightning? Hehe, ahh I don’t think so, but stranger things have happened. The only ones who might be able to pull something like that off, other than all these companies, would be MotoCzysz. But they turned their lights off a while time ago. Will people buy electric Harley’s with foreign drivetrains? Only time will tell.

But in the meantime, it seems to me Polaris has already won, and handily. But this then begs the question: Will Polaris sit on their laurels having seemingly dominated H-D in the segment before the fight began, and perceiving Zero as a threat either, and just let the Empulse TT ride for the next few years? Similar to the 2002 Honda VFR when they removed the gear driven cams and no one liked the bike anymore? They just keep the model basically unchanged until it finally pays off the tooling cost. Or, well, that’s what it felt like any way. Are Empulse fans in for the same?