Motorcycles

New Victory RR electric superbike targets Isle of Man TT glory

New Victory RR electric superb...
Aiming higher than last year's third place finish, Victory's RR electric superbike comes to the 2016 TT Zero with the highest nominal horsepower in its class
Aiming higher than last year's third place finish, Victory's RR electric superbike comes to the 2016 TT Zero with the highest nominal horsepower in its class
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The view for the rider's seat on the Victory RR could easily belong to any world-class superbike (equipped with a Brammo top yoke)
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The view for the rider's seat on the Victory RR could easily belong to any world-class superbike (equipped with a Brammo top yoke)
Brammo's original swing arm is coupled with a new steel frame and an Ohlins TTX 36 shock absorber on the Victory RR
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Brammo's original swing arm is coupled with a new steel frame and an Ohlins TTX 36 shock absorber on the Victory RR
The unpainted Victory RR prototype uses a set of carbon fairings very similar to last year's Empulse RR
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The unpainted Victory RR prototype uses a set of carbon fairings very similar to last year's Empulse RR
Victory works hard to secure its legacy as a pioneer in electric motorcycle racing
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Victory works hard to secure its legacy as a pioneer in electric motorcycle racing
Victory has equipped the electric RR with top-of-the-shelf superbike gear, including Ohlins suspension, Brembo Monobloc brakes and OZ wheels
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Victory has equipped the electric RR with top-of-the-shelf superbike gear, including Ohlins suspension, Brembo Monobloc brakes and OZ wheels
Aiming higher than last year's third place finish, Victory's RR electric superbike comes to the 2016 TT Zero with the highest nominal horsepower in its class
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Aiming higher than last year's third place finish, Victory's RR electric superbike comes to the 2016 TT Zero with the highest nominal horsepower in its class

Victory Motorcycles is returning to the TT Zero at the Isle of Man with a new electric racer. After achieving a third place finish in its debut last year, the American team will field the 170-hp Victory RR superbike in an effort to reach the top of the podium.

The acquisition of Brammo from the Polaris Group meant a lot more for Victory than just the addition of a market-ready electric model. Brammo brought in a very strong R&D team in the field of electric motorcycles and also provided access to one of the best electric racing bikes, the Empulse RR. Victory didn't waste any time before unfolding its strategy, as the road legal Empulse was promptly added to the company's lineup, while the RR version of the electric streetbike equipped Victory Racing's TT Zero team.

The electric class of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) has been dominated since 2014 by the all-conquering Team Mugen. Victory joined the TT Zero last year with high hopes, a competent bike and two riders that know well how tackle the Mountain Course – five times podium finisher William Dunlop and Lee Johnston. However misfortune struck at the eleventh hour, as the team's main rider was injured during a Supersport practice session.

Victory's inaugural TT Zero participation did result in a third place finish courtesy of Johnston, while Dunlop's last-minute replacement rider, Guy Martin, managed to come in fourth despite having no testing time on the Empulse RR, nor any prior experience with electric motorcycles.

Victory works hard to secure its legacy as a pioneer in electric motorcycle racing
Victory works hard to secure its legacy as a pioneer in electric motorcycle racing

For its return to the 2016 TT Zero Victory has once again secured the expert services of William Dunlop. He will probably lead the team alone as no partner has been announced, while Lee Johnston will compete with Belgian team Sarolea.

The new Victory RR electric superbike is based on last year's Empulse RR, but a substantial overhaul has almost completely transformed the motorcycle. The most obvious change is the application of a steel trellis frame in place of the aluminum twin spar that was used until last year – and is still found on the production model.

It's under the hood where things get very interesting with a significant power hike from 150 (112 kW) to 174 hp (130 kW). This is actually the kind of power that the Empulse RR was making at the 2013 TTXGP world championship, before being detuned in order to last the Mountain Course's grueling 37.73 miles (60.72 km) race distance. With the help of its partner Parker Hannifin, Victory has restored the Parker GVM liquid-cooled electric motor to its former glory – a feat that obviously required more battery power.

Brammo's original swing arm is coupled with a new steel frame and an Ohlins TTX 36 shock absorber on the Victory RR
Brammo's original swing arm is coupled with a new steel frame and an Ohlins TTX 36 shock absorber on the Victory RR

"The newly developed battery leverages the lessons learned from our entry in last year's TT Zero event," says Brian Wismann, Victory Racing team manager. "The battery is a ground-up new design with the help of our technical partners at Brammo and necessitated a big change in the chassis design – from an extruded aluminum twin spar to a steel trellis frame. The biggest difference in the battery itself is an improvement in both the overall energy / capacity we're carrying on board the bike, as well as a marked improvement in the energy density of the battery itself. As you know, lithium-ion battery technology is improving every year and with the Victory RR we are leading the way to batteries that will provide more performance, greater range and less cost in future vehicles."

Weighing-in at 529 lb (240 kg) and producing a maximum torque of 240 Nm (177 lb-ft), the Victory RR can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds, with a top speed around 160 mph (257 km/h).

Practice sessions for the TT Zero will start on June 3, and the single-lap race is scheduled for June 8. Once again the class favorites are Team Mugen's two brand new 163-hp Shinden Go superbikes, ridden by Isle of Man legend John Mc Guinness and Bruce Anstey. These two held the top two positions of the electric race for both 2014 and 2015, so Victory will have to fight fiercely if it's to improve on last year's result.

Source: Victory Motorcycles

6 comments
mhpr262
If they don't win, there is still the 240hp motor of the Lightning LS 218 ... btw how is Lightning doing at the moment? I haven't heard anything from them in a long time. Is there any chance of a serial production of the bike in the near- or midterm future?
Daishi
I read that Michael Czysz (of (MotoCzysz) is returning to IoM TT Zero after his battle with cancer. They won 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 before they took 2 years off (which was the same 2 years Mugen began to dominate). I'm not sure if the updated MotoCzysz E1pc is still competitive against the current lineup but I'm excited to see their reentry in the competition anyway. MotoCzysz vs Victory might be a close call for "2nd". I'm not sure if anyone is taking out Team Mugen.
Uimhir1
Daishi, I am sorry to inform you that Michael Czysz passed away on May 9th.
chidrbmt
Thanks Uimhir1,for the sad update. Motorcyclists lost a huge enthusiast thinker & builder with Czysz's passing. Somehow I missed that.
Alexander Lowe
It would be very interesting to see this sort of cutting-edge technology in a machine that wasn't restricted by the design rules applied in racing. Batteries still can't beat the energy-density of fossil fuel, but the conventional motorcycle shape prevents them from fully exploiting better aerodynamics - basically, devices to make the frontal area smaller and limit drag.
VegasGeorge
Yeah, very nice! But, the Harley copy model will have to have playing cards in the spokes to make an appropriate amount of noise.