What happens when quiet clean electric motorcycles show up at an annual motorcycle get-together? While one might think the hard core bikers would shun electric bikes, there is a lot of interest among both riders and the general public. It’s a new and exciting technology which some think have a bright future in motorcycling. The standard questions everybody asks include how fast, how far, how long to recharge, and how expensive.
This year at AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days electric motorcycles are making a big appearance due to the TTXGP race in June. The TTXGP race series is now known as eGrandPrix, and focuses on zero tailpipe emissions motorcycles, and is meant to inspire development of green vehicle technology. There is a long history of transportation technology development and testing on race tracks, and the eGrandPrix aims to increase the pace of electric vehicle technology. Due to improved battery technology electric motorcycles can now perform at previously undreamed levels.
The first race was run on June 12, 2009 on the Isle of Man. In that race the winning motorcycle made it through the tough Mountain Course on the Isle of Man with an 87 miles/hr average time over one lap. The TT Mountain Course is a rugged 38 miles of roads circling the Isle of Man.
The AMA Vintage Motorcycle days is part race and part swapmeet. It is held at the Mid-Ohio track near Lexington Ohio. It includes dirt bike races and track racing in addition to the people camping out and hanging out among the vendors. One purpose of the event is to showcase historical motorcycles. In June 2009 the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) announced a FIM series of races for electric bikes in 2010. This year the eGrandPrix riders are doing exhibition laps meant to showcase the technology, perhaps in future years with FIM backing there will be regular electric motorcycle races as part of the event.
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