Motorcycles

Voxan claims 11 records with the world's fastest electric motorcycle

Voxan claims 11 records with t...
Max Biaggi aboard the Voxan Wattman in its non-streamlined form – the team claimed 11 world speed records for electric motorcycles
Max Biaggi aboard the Voxan Wattman in its non-streamlined form – the team claimed 11 world speed records for electric motorcycles
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Max Biaggi aboard the Voxan Wattman in its non-streamlined form – the team claimed 11 world speed records for electric motorcycles
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Max Biaggi aboard the Voxan Wattman in its non-streamlined form – the team claimed 11 world speed records for electric motorcycles
The partially streamlined Wattman at rest
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The partially streamlined Wattman at rest
Ex-MotoGP villain Max Biaggi knows plenty about going very, very fast, and piloted the Wattman to
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Ex-MotoGP villain Max Biaggi knows plenty about going very, very fast, and piloted the Wattman to its 11 new records
Voxan teammates congratulate Biaggi on a successful run
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Voxan teammates congratulate Biaggi on a successful run
The partially streamlined bike broke through the 400-km/h (250-mph) mark on the way to one of its records
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The partially streamlined bike broke through the 400-km/h (250-mph) mark on the way to one of its records
Decent sized rear sprocket you've got there, Max
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Decent sized rear sprocket you've got there, Max
Biaggi and the team hold up four fingers to celebrate hitting a top speed over 400 km/h (250 mph)
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Biaggi and the team hold up four fingers to celebrate hitting a top speed over 400 km/h (250 mph)
View gallery - 7 images

While some speed records are going through a heated patch of controversy right now, others appear to be agreed upon. French manufacturer Voxan and the global sanctioning body for motorcycle racing, the FIM, have put out joint press releases announcing no less than 11 new electric motorcycle speed records.

After COVID-19 forced it to abandon a planned record attempt on the salt flats in Bolivia earlier this year, Voxan went home to France and hired out a runway instead. Last weekend, the team went out to Châteauroux airfield, a few hours south of Paris, and got the job done in comprehensive fashion.

Despite using a scarily-short 3.5-km (2.17-mi) runway instead of an expansive, smooth salt flat, ex-MotoGP racer and the 362-horsepower (270 kW) Voxan Wattman managed to substantially raise the bar for electric land speed motorcycling.

The first big-ticket record was a two-way average of 228.05 mph (366.94 km/h) for the "partially streamlined electric motorcycle over 300 kg (661 lb)" class, measured over a full mile (1.6 km) after a flying start, beating the previous record of 204 mph (329 km/h) set by the Mobitec EV-02A. The bike peaked at 254 mph (408 km/h) for just an instant during the record run, giving the team a taste of what it might be able to achieve with a longer track.

Biaggi and the team hold up four fingers to celebrate hitting a top speed over 400 km/h (250 mph)
Biaggi and the team hold up four fingers to celebrate hitting a top speed over 400 km/h (250 mph)

The second was the same flying mile using a non-streamlined naked version of the bike with a tiny bikini fairing instead of a giant dustbin. This version of the bike can be seen in the hero image at the top, revealing the Wattman's single-sided front swingarm, presumably hub-steered. This bike managed a two-way average of 217.14 mph (349.38 km/h), reaching a peak speed of 231 mph (372 km/h) that would've felt absolutely crazy from the saddle.

The team chalked up nine more records over the weekend, including:

  • ¼ mile, flying start, partially streamlined: 394.45 km/h (245.10 mph) – no previous record
  • ¼ mile, flying start, non-streamlined: 357.19 km/h (221.95 mph) – no previous record
  • 1 km, flying start, partially streamlined: 386.35 km/h (240.07 mph – previous record: 329.31 km/h (204.62 mph)
  • ¼ mile, standing start, non-streamlined: 126.20 km/h (78.42 mph) – no previous record
  • ¼ mile, standing start, partially streamlined: 127.30 km/h (79.10 mph) – previous record: 87.16 km/h (54.16 mph)
  • 1 km, standing start, non-streamlined: 185.56 km/h (115.30 mph) – no previous record
  • 1 km, standing start, partially streamlined: 191.84 km/h (119.20 mph) – previous record: 122.48 km/h (76.11 mph)
  • 1 mile, standing start, non-streamlined: 222.82 km/h (138.45 mph) – no previous record
  • 1 mile, standing start, partially streamlined: 225.01 km/h (139.81 mph)
The partially streamlined bike broke through the 400-km/h (250-mph) mark on the way to one of its records
The partially streamlined bike broke through the 400-km/h (250-mph) mark on the way to one of its records

While the team is happy with its performance, the plan is to go faster, and Voxan now has the 400 km/h and 250 mph marks in its sights with further attempts planned up until the end of 2022.

Sources: Voxan, FIM

View gallery - 7 images
5 comments
Frank John
They need to explain why the Standing Start speeds are so slow when their Flying speeds are so much faster. All on a 2.17 mile long runway.....
Username
What about the almost partially rear streamlined quasi standing towards stetting sun on Friday record?
Martin Hone
One of the oic captions states that they broke the 400 kmh mark, but then in the report it says they are planning on taking that record in the next round ?? And what's with (excuse the pun) the weak standing start 1/4 mile ( surely they mean 400 m) speed times ? My road car eats it!
Loz
@Martin Hone

These land speed records are measured as an average speed over two passes in opposite directions over a set distance - in this case, a mile, with a flying start. The average speeds of each run are themselves averaged to produce the record figure. So the Voxan hit 400 km/h, but only for a brief moment during one of those passes. My bad for not making that clear.

As for the slow quarter mile, I'd wager it's because the bike was running on a single speed geared for in excess of 400 km/h - I noticed the same with the Lightning LS-218, it didn't do much off the line, but it really got cracking if I goosed the throttle from 60mph upwards.
ljaques
Yeah, where are the wings to go with those speeds? // Man, that's a nuckinfutz ride, I'll bet. Pass. ;) // Too bad the 254mph run was beyond the regulation test track, or they would own it now.