Over the last few years, there’s been lots of talk about electric motorcycles and the TTXGP and “electric racing” and “way of the future,” et cetera…frankly, I’m not yet impressed.
With price tags being as high as $60,000 to buy one of your own, I simply do not see how this is the way of the future. At least, not yet. Even electric and hybrid cars are still not cost efficient. I’ve seen a few electric bikes up close and personal so far. I’ve chatted it up with a few designers, engineers, and riders of these electric bikes.
Most recently was this yellow thing that is to be raced in this years TTXGP. I’m not even sure what it’s called…but “thing” seems to fit the bill quite nicely.
I can’t help but to think that the creators of these electric scooters and bikes like this had a dream…a big dream! A dream to be #1 in the world of electric motorcycle racing. So they broke open their piggy-banks, checked under all the couch cushions, opened up the lint-trap in the dryer, and rifled through the ashtray in their cars for change. Then they drove to 7-11, picked up a 32oz Corona, and stopped by Home Depot and lured Enrique the Fabricator into the back of their van, drove him to their dungeon…and they came up with this:
I mean seriously…I’m all for creating new ideas, new technologies, new facets to the way things are done. I believe in forward motion, and I’m actually pretty “Green” myself…but seriously? I looked over the bike pretty thoroughly, mentally critisizing every flaw I could find in it…like the fact that it weighs over 500 lbs. And that the batteries on the bottom are situated in such a way that anything more than around 30 degrees of lean angle would cause them to deck out on the ground…maybe less when the suspension is under load. Or the fact that the frame looks like it was composed of an old discarded Erector Set simply welded together.
That being said, I do believe in function over form. I’d have been pretty stoked on the home-grown look and design of this bike….if it worked. But it didn’t. I mean, it DID complete a few laps around the track, sure. But not without it’s problems. I was actually pretty surprised when I’d heard that an electric bike had an oil leak. Kind of an oxymoron, no?
Long and short about the yellow beast: sorry, try again. A for effort though! I love seeing new things being tried out, and I love the fact that someone is willing to kidnap guys like Enrique and force them to slave labor to make something out of nothing. I couldn’t do it! Keep at it and don’t just settle. If it ain’t right the first time, do it again. I look forward to what you guys might have in store. And good luck to the pilot, Garrett Willis. You’re gonna need it! I really hope you prove my presumptions wrong!
Coronas sure are tasty though! Wait..you’re not old enough to drink yet…
I’m not here to bash on electric bikes…hell no! I’ve seen a few that have more serious potential. While they’re still far from perfect, and the price tags are absolutely ridiculous, the designs seemed to have a little more thought behind them. In fact, one in particular, they took a proven chasis and stabbed an electric motor into it. How’s that for ingenuity? If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is! I think it helps to have funding from corporate giants when trying to make something new… and with a name like Brammo, who wouldn’t want to throw lots of money at a project!? You’d have to be crazy not to. It’s like Acme, except, Aron Gobert played the role of Wile E. Coyote in this particular shot.
The Brammo seemed to get around the track nicely. It looked good. In fact, didn’t it finish 3rd last year’s Isle of Mann TTXGP? I can’t seem to find any real official results on the race in the 47 seconds I spent trying to google it…I guess not many people really care about such things, eh? I don’t blame them…these bikes don’t even make any noise when they ride by. *yawn*
Maybe that’ll be the next evolutionary step in electric bikes! You know, cause you could have a completely silent electric bike that does a 1/4 mile in 7 seconds flat, or you could have a monsterous supercharged EX500 with no mufflers on it do the same 1/4 mile run in 17 seconds…guess which one is gonna sound faster! Yeah, they need to fit these new-fangled electric contraptions with bull horns that emit engine noises. “Vroom vrooooom!” Or at least supply an optional factory clothes-pin to stick a playing card in the spokes like we used to do with our BMX bikes. Wouldn’t that be great? You’d feel like a kid again!
The last bike I want to mention is the Mission Motorsports One. Of all the electric bikes I’ve seen thus far, I liked this bike. In fact, I even wanted to RIDE this bike. Alas, I never got the chance, but I did get to see it in action up close and personal. Wait a sec…did I just say that I liked this bike? The bike was absolutely HIDEOUS. It looked like Starscream right after he mouthed off to Megatron and got his face kicked in. Kinda like the Motoczysz. But also like the Motoczysz, the guys at Mission built something from the ground up…and made all it’s forms about function.
I genuinely thought this thing had—still has—potential. If you’re a millionaire.