Victory Motorcycles to make electric racing debut at TT Zero Challenge
VictoryRacing will make its professional debut in European motorcycle racing at the 2015Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. A newly formed two-rider team on prototype electricrace motorcycles will take on the infamous Mountain Course on June 10.
In order totackle its first ever electric motorcycle race, Victory has teamed up NorthernIrishmen William Dunlop and Lee Johnston. Dunlop is a seasoned Isle of Man TT contenderand nephew of the Island’s biggest legend, the late Joey Dunlop. Johnstonenjoyed his first Mountain Course win during last year’s Classic TT and provedhis current form after winning the North West 200 Superstock class on a BMWS1000RR on Saturday, May16 – a race where William Dunlop finished fifth.
The prototype race bike is an evolution of Brammo’s EmpulseRR, after the Oregon, US company was bought in January by Polaris Industries, ownerof Victory Motorcycles. The Empulse RR won the North American series of the FIMeRoadRacing World Cup in 2013 in the hands of Eric Bostrom. Dubbed as the “world’s fastest motorcycle” atthe time, the latest Empulse RR prototype is powered by a liquid cooled highperformance GVM PMAC motor made by Parker Hannifin Corporation. Gary Gray, ProductDirector Motorcycles/Business Leader for Polaris Electric Motorcycles,revealed in a recent interview to motorcycle.com that the race prototype has anew battery pack offering 20 percent more capacity, now up to 17 kWh, while the motorhas been detuned to 150 hp in order to last the full 37.73 miles (60.72 km) ofthe Mountain Course. As raced in eRoadRacing World Cup, the full power version produced173 hp and was able to sustain race pace for approximately five laps in a racetrack with a 14 kWh battery pack.
Victory hasnever raced in an electric motorcycle class before, while Brammo raced at theinaugural Isle of Man TTXGP in 2009, finishing third with a race version of itsEnertia model. The Empulse would be launched several months later, in early2010.
The mainopponent Victory Racing has to overcome is Team Mugen, the Japanese outfit thatdominated last year’s TT Zero with John Mc Guinness and Bruce Ansty riding itsShinden San race motorcycle to first and second place respectively. In MarchMugen revealed Shinden Yon, the evolution of last year’s TT racer. It featuresan updated oil cooling system that allows for a 15 hp increase, bringing themaximum output to 149.6. With McGuinness and Ansty once again on Shinden Yon’ssaddle, the 2015 TT Zero could prove to be more competitive than ever.
Lee Johnston describes his experience with the Victory electric motorcycle in the video below.