Press Release: MotoE World Cup: Ducati Tests Electric Prototype At Misano

From Ducati’s press release

So I just saw this pop up on Linkedin. Now remember the big claim for Ducati taking over bike building of the one make series was lighter race bikes in the name of safety. Ducati also feels their traction control system will be a big step forward in safety and familiarity with riders. I feel they can absolutely claim that while at the same time casting absolutely no dispursions at Energica’s effort. They simply have been able to put in that much more work for that many more years. Simple as that. The lightweight part I’m a bit suspect on. But they are claiming it is already lightweight. Just what they consider lightweight I would like to know, but for now I will give them the benifit of the doubt.

Michael Uhlarik had his unique designer take on what he saw, and posted it on Linkedin, “

Ducati Motor Holding released images of the prototype electric race bike they plan to supply the FIM for the all-electric MotoE series.

Notable is the wide, tall fairing devoid of the edges and winglets that normally adorn gas-powered street bikes. Like its MotoGP sibling, the fairing design is clean and focuses on hiding the rider as much as possible.

With electric motorcycles, drag reduction is paramount, and rational aerodynamic efficiency has to supersede styling trends. Aerodynamic devices that to add downforce, such as winglets, also add drag.

While this prototype is almost certainly wearing off-the-shelf Ducati MotoGP fairings for development purposes, it highlights physical reality. Motorcycles will have to evolve towards cleaner, less fussy designs as they transit to electric power trains.

We live in interesting times.”

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/michaeluhlarik_electricmotorcycles-ev-ducati-activity-6878749695607365632-814G

Here’s the press release I found on Ducati’s website. Enjoy:

“Ducati MotoE bike takes to the track for the first time on the Misano circuit

The Ducati MotoE bike took to the track for the first time at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, right where the agreement with Dorna Sports was announced in October. In fact, starting from the 2023 season, the Borgo Panigale motorcycle manufacturer will be the sole supplier of motorcycles for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, the electric class of the MotoGP™ World Championship.

The electric motorcycle prototype, code-named “V21L”, is the result of the joint work of the Ducati Corse team and the Ducati R&D engineers, led by Roberto Canè, Ducati eMobility Director, and was taken out on track by Michele Pirro, professional rider and Ducati test rider since 2013, who evaluated the technical characteristics and potential of Ducati’s first electric motorcycle. 

Roberto Canè, Ducati eMobility Director: “We are experiencing a truly extraordinary moment. I find it hard to believe it is reality and still not a dream! The first electric Ducati on the track is exceptional not only for its uniqueness but also for the type of undertaking: challenging both for its performance objectives and for its extremely short timescales. Precisely for this reason, the work of the whole team dedicated to the project has been incredible and today’s result repays us for the efforts made in recent months. We are certainly not finished yet; indeed, we know that the road ahead is still very long, but in the meantime, we have laid a first important ‘brick’.”

Michele Pirro, Ducati test rider: “Testing the MotoE prototype on the circuit was a great thrill, because it marks the beginning of an important chapter in Ducati history. The bike is light and already has a good balance. Furthermore, the throttle connection in the first opening phase and the ergonomics are very similar to those of a MotoGP bike. If it weren’t for the silence and for the fact that in this test, we decided to limit the power output to just 70% of performance, I could easily have imagined that I was riding my bike.”

The most important challenges in the development of an electric racing motorcycle remain related to the size, weight and range of the batteries. Ducati’s goal is to make electric motorcycles that are high-performance and characterized by their lightness available to all FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup participants. The focus of the project are, in addition to better performance, the containment of weight and the consistency of power delivery during the race, obtained thanks to the attention in the development of a cooling system suitable for the objective.

Ducati’s experience in the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup will be a fundamental support for product R&D. The goal is to create, as soon as the technology allows it, a Ducati electric vehicle for road use that is sporty, light, exciting and able to satisfy all enthusiasts.”

https://www.ducati.com/us/en/news/ducati-motoe-bike-takes-to-the-track-for-the-first-time-on-the-misano-circuit

2022 Zero Keynote Updated

Sooo, Zero has restricted who can embed this video, and I don’t have the time or want. Just click the link to watch the Keynote. The next video is ways down their playlist so it might be faster to just play it here.

Update: Usually there is a copy of the live event, and I thought this was it. I was wrong. However, I do like posting these things so they are easy to find and you can take from it what you want. Not anyone else’s synopsis of what they said. Although so far Engadget is the only one to the web with a video that I have found. [Electrek has one now too. ]

KTRSD.

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!

Cute little elmoto prototypes from the other Japanese companies (possible transmission content)

So I saw this on Asphalt & Rubber, and the piece about Suzuki’s electric Monkey prototype I saw on AutoBlog Green, who saw that on Asphalt and Rubber in return.  That Jensen has his nose tuned into those big bike companies, for sure.  Now I’m not sure if you folks remember Honda’s RC-E, but Honda teased us with it right before EICMA back in 2011 only to barely give it lip service at the Tokyo Motor Show a few months later.  The internet damn near lost its mind over the bike.  Never mind the prototype had a 10kW (albeit high torque) of a squirrel motor from a Honda car hybrid, or that many of the parts on the bike were mere bolt-on bling, and the only interesting and thought-provoking thing I could find was the very unique chassis design.  Many proclaimed Honda had thrown their hat into the elmoto ring.  Yeah, never happened.  My favorite is when some tried to tie the RC-E project to Mugen’s Shendin.  Any way, what it truly appeared to be was more of distraction from an elmoto news being made at EICMA and give it to the Tokyo trade show.  So when Suzuki’s EXTRIGGER appeared I looked at the timing and wrote it off as just another RC-E, and it might very well be just that.

But now Yamaha has released this new PES1, and I did talk about this in my last podcast.  But not only has Yamaha one up’d both Honda and Suzuki (and one has to wonder how long Honda will let that stand) by having one that actually runs, but they appear to have waited until after EICMA to release the info.  This definitely makes the bike seems more credible.  But take a close look at the video.  The bike is small and rider looks tiny, and look just how low the camera angle is, which will add to the allusion of speed (drive 45mph in a car and then a tall SUV and you’ll see what I mean).  I also wonder just how darn tight the turns were the bike was going through to help it reach those lean angles.  But then we got a glimpse of the speedo.  It seemed to top out at 100kph, which is 62mph.  Now take a look at the wheels.  Those are some really small tires.  Seems like the kind you might find on a 50cc or 125cc race bike.  It really strikes me as a familiar silhouette, and I want to say it strikes me as some sort of 50cc sporty street bike you’d find in Asia, but I haven’t been able to find anything to actually back up my impressions.  The bike is small overall and light as well.  There can’t be a whole lot of batteries in there, and I really don’t think they’d have any secret squirrel batteries in there either.  I get the feeling we are looking at a bike that has very similar performance and range to that of the 2009 Zero S and Brammo Enertia, only it looks a lot sexier with a touch screen interface and typical Japanese build quality.  Also, stop the video at the 1:04 minute mark.  It clearly says 4th gear.  Could this possibly have a transmission?  Edit:  Well yes it can, A&R posted here, and let me know it was mentioned in the press release that it had manual and automatic modes.  And while this might be a great bike for the Asian market I seriously doubt it would hold up to what Zero and Brammo have to offer here in the US.  And let’s be honest, that’s pretty underwhelming in a world where production elmotos are good for 100mph+.  But, I am getting a bit ahead of myself.  This is simply a prototype Yamaha is showing off at the Tokyo Motor Show going on now, and seems to be but part of an electric bicycle, scooter, and motorcycle prototype line up.

Those are some cool looking bikes, but I don’t see anything that is actually impressive.  I still feel the truth is that they longer the Japanese wait to get into the elmoto game and take on out American companies the more likely it is they will get the butts handed to them.  Brammo and Zero started with limited experience and knowledge, but are learning fast.  And now both companies have moved into larger facilities.  All that, and the Japanese come out with these cute little bikes.

It seems I really need to get back in the swing of things as Yamaha has also released an electric dirt bike prototype, the PED1.  Info from the Yamaha website below.

PES1 (Reference vehicle/prototype)
PED1 (Reference vehicle/prototype)
In addition to the characteristics unique to an electric motor, the Passion within the new riding experience these two EV (electric vehicle) motorcycle concept models offer is clear-cut, and they retain the same operational feeling that current motorcycle riders are used to. The Street sport “PES1” and Dirt sport “PED1” have a power unit (Yamaha Smart Power Module) with a monocoque structure that also functions as the frame. Supplementing the environmental performance inherent to an EV, both models are equipped with features like a transmission with manual and automatic modes, a removable battery for easy replacement and various types of smartphone information service functions.

[PES1] Length×Width×Height = 1,918 mm×640 mm×1,000 mm Motor type = DC brushless motor Battery type = Lithium-ion Transmission = Switchable between manual and automatic Vehicle weight = under 100 kg
[PED1] Length×Width×Height = 1,900 mm×758 mm×1,205 mm Motor type = DC brushless motor Battery type = Lithium-ion Transmission = Switchable between manual and automatic Vehicle weight = under 85 kg

What do you think?

 

ESBK Roundtable #3 (Full): All About Formula-E

 

From Formula E’s Facebook page

So for this episode I gathered Domenick Yoney of AutoBlog Green, Drew Sanford is the guy who edits the teaser episodes, and myself, to talk about the up and coming Formula E series.  Domenick covers the series, Drew is a die-hard F1 fan, and I dug into it pretty hard, and watch every Agag interview I could.  I tried to read some of the F1 blogger articles as well, but their absolute ignorance of the TTXGP series and technology within it left me more frustrated than enlightened.  Between the time we recorded this and now, Williams has been announced as the battery maker.  As my eyes roll at the announcement, everyone else is even more hopeful.  Make no sense?  Listen and all will be revealed, but be warned we are no experts, and it is heavy on the bench racing.  And, the full length podcast might be . . . 3 hours long.  Yes, three hours.  This is one of those you listen to for a while and come back too later.  Unless you’re as bonkers as we are.  Here’s the whole Enchilada:

ESBK Studios Roundtable #3 (Full) Formula E

ESBK Roundtable #3 (Teaser): All About Formula-E

From Formula E’s Facebook page

So for this episode I gathered Domenick Yoney of AutoBlog Green, Drew Sanford is the guy who edits the teaser episodes, and myself, to talk about the up and coming Formula E series.  Domenick covers the series, Drew is a die-hard F1 fan, and I dug into it pretty hard, and watch every Agag interview I could.  I tried to read some of the F1 blogger articles as well, but their absolute ignorance of the TTXGP series and technology within it left me more frustrated than enlightened.  Between the time we recorded this and now, Williams has been announced as the battery maker.  As my eyes roll at the announcement, everyone else is even more hopeful.  Make no sense?  Listen and all will be revealed, but be warned we are no experts, and it is heavy on the bench racing.  And, the full length podcast might be . . . 3 hours long.  Yes, three hours.  This is one of those you listen to for a while and come back too later.  Unless you’re as bonkers as we are.  Here’s the 20 minute teaser:

ESBK Studios Roundtable #3 (Teaser) Formula E

I’m confused: Gasoline Gallon (US) VS kWh Equivelency

(Lisa Zador/Photodisc/Getty)

Confusion is a normal state for me.  Actually my third grade teach would probably get a real kick out of this title if she could remember back that far.  But this time I’m not confused,  the gas guys are confusing me.  And my concern is that they are confusing you too.  Why am I writing about this now?  Well, because I have been caught out twice by this particular way of thinking and/or wording and got really upset thinking they are saying something else.  I am going to use two real word examples and let you sort out how you want to think about this.  But let’s review my favorite fact.  The EPA has deemed that a gallon of gas is equivalent to a 33.7kWh.

The first example is the article about BRD’s RedShift in Motor Cyclist magazine.  They said this in one of their captions:

BRD’s bright red battery holds 5.2 kilowatt-hours of energy roughly equivalent to one gallon of gas.

Say what?!  Yeah, that’s what they wrote, and it’s still there for the world to see.  I didn’t get it all, and frankly it ruined my day.  But my motorcycle mechanic buddy totally got it as soon as I said it.  They did not mean that 1 US gal. of gas = 5.2kWh.  What was meant was that 5.2kWh in the BRD RedShift will take you as far for as long a 1 gallon of gas in your standard dirt bike.  That’s a big difference.

And I got caught out again when Asphalt and Rubber said this in their post about the first photos of MotoCzysz’s 2013 TT bikes:

If you factor in the efficiency of an electric drivetrain over a petrol-based one, this means the 2013 MotoCzysz E1pc will be tackling the Mountain Course with the equivalent of about a gallon and a half of petrol. For reference, the internal combustion race bikes typically refuel after two laps on the Mountain Course, meaning MotoCzysz will have a tad less energy available on its single as the Superbike class rider does.

Now if I had comprehended the second sentence I would have understood what he was saying.  But again, he is not saying that the electric bikes are using 1.5 gallons of fuel to get around the island.  He’s saying it would take a gas bike 1.5 gallons to go as far and as fast as the electric bikes with the big assumption that elmotos are 3 times as efficient as gas bikes.  I do happen to disagree with him.  Really it depends on which bike you are looking at, but the Superbikes run roughly 6 US gallon tanks (24 liters).  He is trying to claim they only use 4 gallons.  I don’t think the racers would carry around an extra 2 gallons for no reason.  I am sticking to my guns and saying that the Superbikes use 3 gallons per lap.  So to quibble some more I’ll assume 4 times the efficiency, which brings the gas bikes up to needing 2 gallons to run the same pace as the elmotos.  Interestingly enough, that extra gallon takes you from a 109mph lap to a 131mph lap.

Now my grammar is, well, sub-par from what English majors have told me.  But 17kWh is equal to 0.504 US gallons of gasoline, not 1.5.  And 1 US gallon of gas is equivalent to 33.7kWh, not 5.2kWh.  These bikes are using less than a half a gallon of gas to go racing, end of discussion.  But just beware of the wording used in the two examples above.  Probably you don’t need to and perfectly understood what they were trying to convey.  But for those like me, the world is a nicer place if we just keep this in mind.

ESBK Studios Special: Buckeye Current TT Zero Update and Brammo Post Race

From the Buckeye Current’s Facebook page

I get the scoop on the TT Zero from Kyle Ginaven of the Buckeye Current and a post race chat with Brian Wismann of Brammo.  Yet another must listen for my fellow racing obsessed ‘tron heads.

ESBK Studios Special Buckeye Current TT Zero Update and Brammo Post Race

 

ESBK Studios: Episode 24 (Full) Interview Kyle Ginaven of the Buckeye Current

Kyle and I chat for about 2 hours about their team, their bike, their goals, the Isle of Man TT Zero, and elmotos in general.  He comes up with some things that catch even me off guard.  And as we all know, I come up with some off the wall stuff.  Also the good guys at MotoPod let me share one of their TT Zero gems with you folks.  Thank you guys!  Consider this your TT Zero primer.  Enjoy!

Lost Episode. 😦