Episode 32: Interview with Kenyon Kluge of Zero Motorcycles (part of the “Lost Interviews”)

Courtesy of Kenyon Kluge
Courtesy of Kenyon Kluge

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Later than late. I have given up being able to upload podcasts on the boat, in the hotel, or in the airport. It just doesn’t work. And then I have been distracted since I got home. Either way this is a really good interview with Kenyon from December of 2013. Enjoy!

There is racing this weekend!

From Future Electric’s Facebook page

OK, so I have a smoking new computer that I am still getting set up (transferring files and such), more trail building going on, bike rides, and no I didn’t get an Empulse. What do financing people know anyway. But above an beyond all that there is racing this weekend! MotoE is at  Hockenheim this weekend and Future Electric, JJ, who knows, who else are already there (OK, Mike Edwards knows). I am off to the bike shop to work on kids bikes and change bicycle tubes for the day. Enjoy!

Heading back home soon, and news to look out for

So my 5 week “hitch” as they call it in the seismic community is coming to a close. That’s 5 weeks straight of 12 hour days, so as you can imagine I’m ready to be able to sleep in for a change. But there has been a bunch of stuff happening that I have not been able to blog about. But I have been doing my best to share what I find on my Facebook feed.

Mostly we have the first two rounds of the MotoE racing series in Europe with the next two coming at the end of this month and a Final scheduled at Donington Park in October, if memory serves. That means the last two rounds are in Great Britain (for however long that lasts) and at major tracks. That’s a nice score for MotoE.

eMotoRacing here in the US just ran last weekend with their round at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The kids from Calgary showed up with a very clean-looking bike. I am not sure any Zeros made it though. EBoz still has the the Empulse R (TTX?) railing, and Shane Turpin, who is for all intent and purposes THE Miller ringer, not only left all the eSuperStock bikes behind, but also crushed every last gas bike on the circuit. No seriously. He won by so much on Saturday they made him start from the back on Sunday, and even then it didn’t make much of a difference. Brammo clearly has been working on that bike.

 

Speaking of which, Brammo is having a ridiculous sale that lasts until the end of October. $7000 off of 2013 Empulses and $5000 off of 2014. Go get ’em if you can find them.

Since I have been busy with this new job I have not been in as good a contact with folks. A little bit here and there, so the hope is after I get settled in back at home I can get some detail to these stories. I might even have time to analyze lap times if I can get my hands on them. I really want to record some new interviews as it has been a while, but I really need to get all those old ones edited and up first. They are still relevant. I also have an appointment scheduled to talk to someone about professionally doing the website. We’ll see how that goes. And progress shall be made on the 500 Interceptor, come hell or high water. 😉

KTRSD

 

FB Blurb outs Brammo as bringing the RR to eMR Miller round

This is a quickie, but hopefully will wet your appetite for news coming out of this weekends Miller Motorsports Park’s round of the eMotoRacing series. Here’s the post from last week’s post on the Electric Racing group on facebook:

eMotoRacing coming to BonnevilleGP at Miller Motorsports Park Aug 30/31. The Brammo Racing Team including the fast RR, Zeus Racing Team from the Univ of Calgary, the debut of a full streamliner, plus privateers from all over…will you be there?
This is the last race out west of the 10 round series, and it will be a good one!

Follow eMotoracing and Brammo on Facebook. I will try to share on the ESBK.co Facebook page as best I can.

Updated: Press Release: Darvill Racing to run European MotoE Series

Update: After some angst expressed on Facebook, I got an update as Darvill had yet to show to either round of the MotoE series. Well this weekend, the same as round 2, they were racing the Classic TT which I am pretty certain would have taken presidency. When asked if the rumor they had dropped out is true on their Facebook page they replied, “No Richard just having a look at new machinery. Hope to be back shortly.”

It looks like they are going to be the only production based bikes so far. But I say that as the second round has just finished up in Whales and I don’t really know what’s going on over there. Internet bites in the North Sea.

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Press Release: Darvill Sets Speed Record on a Saietta!

photo courtesy of Darvill racing

 

OK, Discovery has Shark Week, so I’m gonna give what I call “Darvill Week” a go. Basically I am going to post up one of many of elmoto related press releases everyday this week. Not much to comment about as these pretty much say it all. But please comment on anything you would like to know, and I’ll do my best to find out. Here’s the first: Continue reading “Press Release: Darvill Sets Speed Record on a Saietta!”

eMotoRacing’s Review of the weekend at New Jersey and Arthur’s ride on VT’s â€˜Bolt

Better late than never?

Hello again eRace Fans…

    New Jersey Motorsports Park is on a rural peninsula that looks more like North Florida than the New York-like place I expected. The locals were friendly, the racetrack facility was awesome, and the course was technical and grippy…my kind of place.  Even though this was my first visit to NJMP, one practice day was enough to get up to pretty good speed, as the track is easy to learn the basics…late apex. late apex, decreasing radius. To really get good at it another practice day or 2 would help…oh well, I’ll do my best with one day.

Continue reading “eMotoRacing’s Review of the weekend at New Jersey and Arthur’s ride on VT’s â€˜Bolt”

BRT and Moto Zero. Their History, Focus, and Direction

So sometime late last summer or early fall I contacted Brammo and Zero’s race team leads with what I thought was a pretty cool idea for an article. Well Brian got back to me within the week, but I had to wait a while for Kenyon’s response. Turns out he had a lot of positive things going on in his personal life taking up his time. That, however, didn’t stop me from giving him a bit of a hard time. Well here we are months later and I am just now getting this written up. I am not sure but this may qualify Kenyon for a lifetime membership to the “give Richard a hard time” club, and Brian as his tag team partner. But this all started with me thinking to myself about the two teams one day. I always try go back and look at things, be it races, interviews, championship goings ons, PR stuff, etc. And try to use some of that 20/20 hindsight and see if I can gleam some previously undiscovered truths that might shed some more realism to this seemly fanciful world some of us fans inadvertently create. Well, OK. Maybe it’s just me. But I know where I am today is much closer to reality than it was when I started few years ago. So I tried to apply that to these two teams. My perception was that they were very different teams. One, seemingly a full on factory team and the other mostly an employee effort, seemingly despite the company at times. Those were my perceptions. But then I recalled my many conversations with Brian Wismann at Brammo and the few with Kenyon, and I went “wait a tick.” In the beginning Brammo’s team was nothing more than employee’s putting in extra work after hours and on weekends. But they proved themselves (eventually [cough*2010*cough]) and their worth, and the race team became more and more an actual entity within the company. To the point they now have a name, BRT. So if Brammo started off as an employee effort, and MotoZero is currently an employee effort, then maybe the two teams aren’t so different after all. Maybe they are following the same path, just at different rates. That’s what I thought at least, so I decided to contact them and find out. Now, before we get to their responses, remember this was last year and we were looking forward to a US TTXGP eSS series here in the US. Both Brammo and Zero were offering factory support for current and future bikes. Brammo already had the TTX, and I believe rumors of the SR were already swirly around the internet. Also know that I was convinced that the SR was going to be a factory race bike like the TTX, and did not believe that the bigger controller would stay cool enough for street use. I should have listened to Protomech. So I also took the time to ask about customer support from these teams, and help you folks decide if you should buy a race bike from them. At the time I was hoping to get the word out and help those who were thinking about jumping into elmoto racing, make an informed decision. So go the plans of mice and men. Here is what the two had to say last fall:   Continue reading “BRT and Moto Zero. Their History, Focus, and Direction”

eMotoRacing: Road America Race Report, June 7-8, 2014

Got this in the ol’ mail box and thought I would share, and a thank you Arthur for the update. As a race fan I’d like to see more about the race itself, but I really do appreciate the detail about the riders and their bikes. Enjoy

What beautiful racetrack and facility! We had perfect weather and crowds estimated at 10,000 for the motorcycle festival weekend.
The track’s hilly terrain creates a few blind spots, while the 3 looong straightaways challenge racebikes as few courses anywhere. One of these long, but kinked straights hurtles the racers through a lush forest at top speed…it’s enchanting.
There were 4 eMotoRacing entrants for the 2 round series held at this grueling, high-speed 4 mile road course.
Dave Sadowsky, former Daytona 200 winner, had a new custom rear shock by Nitron fitted to his Brammo Empulse R.
Secondly, Andrew Cowell, AHRMA’s race school instructor, fielded another Brammo with new Bridgestone DOT race tires mounted and ready for action.
New to the series is AHRMA Middleweight Superbike veteran Scott Signorini, who recently took delivery of an Empulse R that sports lightweight racing wheels, and a few other nice bits. Scott was excited to compete in his first eMotoRacing event.
Lastly, myself, with my Brammo TTX which is fitted with substantially the same motor, controller, and batteries as the other entrants…but the bike has been lightened and trimmed down for racing.
eMotoRacing heads to a tight and technical course at Grattan Michigan next weekend, where racebike advantages are secondary to rider daring and skill. But, this week in both races at Road America, the lighter and sleeker TTX was too much for the rest of the field.
1st….Arthur Kowitz, Brammo TTX
2nd…Dave Sadowsky, Brammo Empulse R
3rd…Andrew Cowell, Brammo Empulse R
4th…Scott Signorini, Barmmo Empulse R
These same competitors, plus another new entrant to the field will test each other next weekend at Grattan, Michigan, where the top podium spot will be fiercely contested.
Bring it on!

TT Zero Update [Edit]

Well, my internet is spotty and getting all the details right has been impossible, so please just consider this a basic guide to what is going and check out the ESBK.co Facebook page for links to articles and updates from teams and riders.

We finally got results with yesterday’s practice, which is the second practice according to the teams. And there is nothing about the first practice on the TT’s website. David Heron did a good job of piecing together Friday’s result from social media. I think he thought Saroléa didn’t finish their lap, but I got word from them that they had transponder issues, and actually snagged third in both practices to date. The Buckeyes qual’d on Friday but noted an issue with their pack. They have since fixed said issue and have opted not run any more practices, instead leaving everything for the race. Mark Miller has been racing for Vercar Moto on both the R6 electric conversion and their gas powered Yamaha R6. He has been having a good time. In the first practice he had an overheating issues and had to wait 4 minutes before the bike would let him reset it, according to his Facebook page. He didn’t have much to say about the second TT Zero practice other than it went well. ManxTT and Brunell have also run, but it seems both have not finished at least one of the two practice laps. The Mugen guys have had some excitement. There’s a photo of Antsey’s bike with fire coming out of it in the first practice According to the Mogen rep that smoke is from the rear tire and the sunlight reflecting in it and the bike’s retirement had nothing to do with the electrical system. Meanwhile his teammate McGuiness ran a 111mph lap. In the second practice Antsey came back with 112mph, while McGuiness “slowed” to 109mph. Part of this appears to due to a hand injury. But it was not uncommon to see MotoCzysz teammates swap fast times, and even slowdown in the second practice. So none of this is unusual. Also, if memory serves, Mugen has said 115mph is possible. And with how things have gone in the past 112mph in the second practice doesn’t seem like that big a deal. But 115mph in the race is what I will be watching for. The last team that has been a mystery is Darvill Racing. They teased a shot of an Empulse on its way to Isle of Man, but as of the last I saw, they had not confirmed whether they were going to enter it or not.

It seems 5 bikes finished yesterday, which I think is one more than Friday. But again I am not positive. So it looks like this year isn’t going as well as last year in that respect, but nowhere near as bad as previous years. So the Mugen boys are in their own race as MotoCzysz or any other factory (ie. Brammo, Mission, or Lightning) isn’t there to challenge them. The question will be can McGuinness get his first TT Zero win, or will his teammate snatch it. Next it looks like it might be a good battle for third between the Buckeyes and Saroléa as they both seem to be in the low 90mph speed bracket. Next down the list will be Brunell and Vercar Moto as they are both close in the 80mph bracket. I am not sure that a stock Empulse will be far off of those speeds, should Darvill get a bike in and qualified. We have one more practice before the race, so we’ll see.

Enjoy.

P.S. Check out Arc EV Racing’s Twitter feed to find out what is going on with them. They have fixed something, had a dyno run and am going to run practice on Monday.