Wanna race in the TTXGP next year for less than racing in the AMA’s XR1200 class, without having to build a bike?

http://brammoelectricmotorcycles.smugmug.com/Racing/Laguna-Seca-2012-Gallery/Laguna-Seca-2012/24492380_QDRKsp#!i=2007876226&k=Sq8C5ts&lb=1&s=A
http://blog.motorcycle.com/2012/10/02/motorcycle-news/intermot-2012-2013-zero-lineup-gets-99-horsepower-increase/attachment/100212-2013-zero-s-08/

While I try to sift through all the stuff that was thrown at my head this weekend, and just what I should talk about, this is something that I think needs to be brought up now.  eSuperStock, as far as we know, is the brainchild of Kenyon Kluge of Zero Motorcycles, MotoZero, and K-squared racing.  It was arguably the best racing on track all season, accept maybe for Laguna.  And, so far it is on track to be back next year.

Now, it is not definite, but the TTXGP is mediating between two manufacturers as they slowly (painfully slowly for some of us) come to agreement on the rules for next year.  Basically how much you can hotrod the bikes.  And most of that is in a hotter controller “map”.  We have known for a long time that Brammo has been working on an eSuperStockish version of the Empulse called the TTX.  We saw the prototype at Laguna.  They are still working on it but as they are trying to get not one but three models of bikes out to customers, it doesn’t seem to be a priority yet.  And yes, there are best intentions of having fairings be an option someday.  They hope to have a whole kit (ie wheels, fairings, and suspension) that should save you a bit over buying them yourself.  But the TTX should be available as we saw it at Laguna with bikini fairings in time for race season.  However, you can just get an Empulse R and race it if the TTX isn’t available, and get the kit afterwards.  Know that an Empulse R is a $19,000 bike.  What we do know is that MotoZero is working on the 2013 Zero S eSuperStock bikes already (that probably means planning stages).  The bikes should be pretty close in performance, but the stock Zero S is $3000 to $5000 cheaper depending on the pack size you choose.

Here’s what you should look forward to.  This year Zero was able to show up with 4 pretty much stock bikes and almost had a different rider on them for every race.  I suspect they can do that again, but I don’t know for sure.  For Brammo running 2 GP bikes and Shelina Moreda’s TTX (yet to be confirmed but the intention is there) is all they can handle.  So what you should plan on is buying a bike and having factory support in getting parts and technical knowledge.  Not free stuff, but you shouldn’t be hung out to dry on a race weekend either.  And knowing Brammo and Zero, you won’t be.  Just be wary of Zero’s shipping department.  They are earning themselves a bad rep among a few individuals.  I think it would be best, if you decide to buy a Zero S to race to have something worked out with MotoZero as far as having spares on track.  Like say, oh I don’t know, brake pads.  But, this will be Brammo’s first time doing this, so don’t expect them to be flawless first time out either.

How do I get involved, you say.  Well, do not contact the manufacturers.  Negotiations are still going on, they seem to be going well, and I don’t want anyone screwing this up on account of my loud mouth.  What you need to do is contact the TTXGP here.  They will put you in touch with the appropriate party.  This helps everyone gauge interest and start lining up teams and start gearing up to support them.  This also helps the TTXGP in many other ways that will make your race season better while not affecting the manufacturers adversely.

How much will it cost?  Well, I don’t really know for certain, but the Zeros proved dead reliable on track.  For one, the cost of the bike, and as many bolt on parts the rules will allow next year. Then there is little to no maintenance other than tires, brake pads and chains.  And most races are club race distances, so tires aren’t that much of an issue.  And you’ll charge your pack the equivalent of 4 maybe 5 times.  That’s, on the high end, $8 in electricity for the entire weekend, that the track won’t charge you for.  Now, TTXGP entrance fees are another thing all together and something I have little to no knowledge of.

Want a dead simple way to go electric racing and get connections with the factories?  This just might be your ticket.

7 thoughts on “Wanna race in the TTXGP next year for less than racing in the AMA’s XR1200 class, without having to build a bike?

  1. Jeremiah used 35-40% of the ZF9 pack at Daytona, ~15 miles and high average speeds. With the Sevcon Size 6, the 2012 S should be about 30 kW motor .. so even if the 2013 bikes can use 30% more battery, no real need to get the larger battery unless TTXGP goes to a longer race format.

    Keep in mind too that while the smaller battery Zero S ZF8.4 is 8.4 kWh maximum and the Empulse is 10.2 kWh maximum, the Empulse has only slightly more 70 mph range (56 miles vs 53 miles). So you could probably prepare an educated guess that the Zero can get away with less battery..

    Then again, even when you compare the bottom-rung 2013 Zero S to the top-rung 2013 Brammo Empulse R, I think you get a fair bit for your $5k .. you get the hot-rod size 6 controller (runs much cooler than size 4, and the rated power output for the Empulse uses only 2/3 of its rated maximum), you get a liquid cooling system that *should* help keep temperatures down on track, and you get a much nicer set of suspension and brake bits. The 2012 Zero Jeremiah rode at Daytona was limited by motor cooling, and it’s a forced-air design. I’m really curious to see how well the passively-cooled 2013 Zero motors work.. seems pretty risky, but then again.. if they’re more efficient, then they’ll generate less heat.. and that’s certainly what the range numbers seem to indicate.

    Anyhow. 2013 is going to be good : ) And I think you could probably build a very competitive bike on the cheap with a used 2012 S, size 6 sevcon, and an aero fairing.. someone’s got to do that.

  2. Great article. Protomech thanks for the mentions. Just to throw my hat into the ring on this one. I’ve raced a Zero motorcycle twice now. Once was pretty much bone stock, with just the few modifications that made it TTXGP race legal (emergency cutoff switch and a flasher for the rear light) and a modified version with a size 6 controller and some changes that allowed for a better seating position for racing. Unfortunately, the later would not be considered legal in the current rules for eSuperStock. As a racer I do feel that being able to modify the suspension on a stock bike should be allowed, because that is a performance thing, but it is performance that makes the bike much safer to ride at speed. Even in the pro racing classes that were designed with the same spirit of the eSuperStock class, keeping it as stock as possible to keep costs down, suspension changes and footpeg relocation brackets were allowed. That typically meant being able to change the valving and springs in the forks, but the outer fork housing needed to remain stock, and being able to change out the rear shock to a race version. With the current power levels of the Zero S, I was riding it at the very limit of the stock suspension. Granted being 6’0, my weight would effect the need for suspension changes a lot more that another smaller rider, such as Shelina, would need. She could probably get away with running stock suspension a lot better than I could. And like Protomech mentioned, if the Brammo Empulse R comes with better brake and suspension components, it could very easily be worth the additional $3k-5k sticker price for someone looking to either race it, or just ride it very hard. I have easily spent $3000 on suspension to get a stock bike to handle properly for race conditions. And with the current rule setup, that would be the only way to get better suspension and still remain legal in the eSuperStock class. So for riders that are looking to go racing, that is definitely something to consider when it comes time for purchase.
    Of course, the companies could also consider doing a “homologation” model like a lot of the gas bike companies did for racing. It sounds like this is what Brammo is doing with the Empulse R model, and maybe Zero should follow their lead on this. Come out with a Zero R model that has upgraded suspension and brake components, maybe a rearset mount that allows for more ground clearance. Some people may scoff at a $19,000 “street bike”. But to keep that in comparison in relation to the title of this article, I spent $11,700 for my stock XR1200 bike brand new from a dealer. I then spent $4000 for the race kit that was required by the pro race series. I spent another $3000 and some change for the suspension. Then I spent about another $1000 on various race additional race components like aftermarket rearsets (foot pegs) and brake line upgrades etc. So that brings us up to just about $20,000 to get a race bike from the show room to the track. Not to mention that the required race gas was typically $8.50 per gallon, I would spend about $100-200 every weekend just on gas. For the current TTXGP series length, this could cost as much as $1000 per year. I typically spent about $3000 per year on race gas for the longer AMA series. This would be something that wouldn’t be needed with an electric bike. Even if you had to buy gas for a generator to charge your batteries in your bike back up, it is a lot cheaper for regular gas in a small generator than race gas in a bike that is red lining all the time. But like mentioned in the article, many tracks have power that is free to use. And if it really comes to it, you can just charge your electric bike in your hotel room if need be. 😉
    That’s just my 2 cents on the issue, for whatever that’s worth. Once again, I really enjoyed the article. Stoked that you were able to come down to the races and provide the series with some great coverage. Keep up the great work.

  3. @Protomech Great insightful as always.

    @Jeremiah WOW dude, you just blew my mind! Such great insight is always appreciated! And thank you for the compliments.

    It’s so nice to have readers who fully read and comprehend the intent of my posts. I am fortunate. Thank you.

  4. If specifications of Brammo and Zero are confirmed, the Zero S seems to have a weight and the battery pack advantage is not it?

    Who among you will run with a ZERO S 2013? someone will run with the new model?

  5. I have a buddy that is a hard core racer that has been on the waiting list for a Brammo Empulse for a long time. If he ever gets it, I’m pretty sure he will end up racing it. I think that is the biggest issue at the moment, Zero is the only bike that you can actually go out and buy. Really hoping that Brammo steps up and releases theirs this year.
    I was just in Long Beach this past weekend and attended the International Motorcycle Show and Zero 2013 release party. I had a chance to talk to some of the big players with Zero about different possible scenarios for getting Zeros on the track. These bikes are getting better every year and I’m really thinking the new Zero S is coming along great as far as actually making it a bike that you can ride hard. First thing I noticed was their redesigned “tank”. This is going to make huge improvements over how aggressively you can ride the bike. That was one reason we put my LeLi tank onto the Zero I raced at Daytona, now the 2013 model has addressed the issue.

    1. Brammo delivered the first Empulse 4 days ago. They are aiming for 300 to be made by the end of the year. I expect your buddy will have his before March at the latest, but we’ll see how adding the dealerships to the mix goes. If he intends to race I would highly recommend he get a hold of Brammo so they can streamline getting any future race parts and firmware to him as it comes available and as he wants it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s