We've long argued that electric motorbikes make sense - low-emissions, quiet operation, instant torque and hardly any maintenance compared with their gas-guzzling cousins. The sluggish reaction of the established industry players to this e-revolution has created an opportunity for names like Brammo, Vectrix and Zero to try their hand, and now a brand that dares to put the words "electric" and "superbike" in the same sentence. Launched last week in Las Vegas, the 130+ mph, GBP25,000 Mavizen TTX02 is based around a KTM RC8 frame, ships with two Agni motors and boasts a hot-swappable battery and drivetrain architecture. Born from, and bred for, the world's first electric GP, the bike is a "laptop on wheels" that runs on the Linux OS, comes with with integrated IP connectivity and a USB based system bus for open source engine management, and although it's not being sold as a street legal machine, TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain says the package can still provide a pathway from the racetrack to the road.
On first impressions there's no doubt that the looks the part. The addition of Mavizen's own fairings to the RC8 chassis, plus the obvious change in color scheme, the twin Agni motors and the absence of the distinctive headlight help to differentiate the TTX02 racebike from the KTM.
The bike's top speed is specced at 130+ mph (depending on gearing) with 70kw peak and 40kw continuous power. The range is 25-50 miles using the 6kWh Circuit pack under track conditions, but this can be stretched to 130 miles "under regular road use" with the 11kWh Snaefell Pack according to Mavizen. There's also a yet to be finalized 3kWh Sprint pack on offer which provides six miles of track use.
Stopping power is provided by 320mm double disc Brembo's at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear while the drive train is from the Isle of Man TT winning Agni bike with the "interchangeable capacity dependent on the pack selected during purchase".
Dry weight is 110kg which jumps to 160kg once batteries are added (Circuit Pack ) and in a specification we're not used to discussing for a motorcycle, the OS is Linux, although Mavizen says it's also tested against Windows and may look into Android.
The TTX02 is first and foremost a racebike that will give a new breed of competitors a development platform with which to take a place on the TTXGP grid, or any national or FIM championship. "Mavizen is about growing the grid," says Hussain, stressing that the company"wants to be a platform provider and facilitator for the TTXGP, not a competitor." Competitors who choose the TTX02 platform will be encouraged and expected to tweak the bike to gain a racing edge, and the swappable drivetrain and versatile management system is designed to facilitate this.
The onboard IP connectivity also makes it easier for fledgling race teams the ability to configure the bike themselves, and for regular buyers, this means that the bike can be remotely diagnosed and tweaked by Mavizen if there's a need for modification. Hussain's aim is to take full advantage of the "laptop on wheels" potential offered by electric motorcycles so that "you can just log onto the bike as if you are logging onto a website".
But what if you want to get take your GBP25,000 superbike to the streets? The TTX02 is built on a homologated chassis and the clever part is that although it's not being sold as a road legal bike, it still ships with a wiring loom fully integrated into the frame. This means that when you buy all the lights and other bits and pieces required to make it road legal (and this of course will depend on the jurisdiction you live in), the process becomes much more straight forward.
Mavizen is targeting March 2010 for shipping of the TTX02. Initially sales will be online and a limited production of 50 units will be brought to market. The target price complete with a Circuit Pack is £25,000.
The versatile architecture around which the bike is built also positions Mavizen to create a stable of bikes based on a common power pack concept, so we don't expect that the TTX02 (which we see as a groundbreaking step towards the day when e-bikes will outstrip their petrol-driven counterparts) will be the last we hear from these guys.
We'll be riding the Mavizen TTX02 soon, so stay tuned for a full review. Meanwhile, there's loads of exclusive pics of the very first TTX02 in the Gallery.
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