At the 2013 Isle of Man TT, when it comes to the TT Zero race, there are really only two entries being talked about: MotoCzysz and Mugen. Rumored last year to be a black hat electric superbike project for Honda, Mugen of course denies such involvement, though admits that company’s share a very special and close relationship.
Whether you believe that an association exists or not, the paddock gossip says that Mugen (or Honda) has spent nearly $4.3 million on its electric bike project, and that sounds like a number that is well within the ballpark. With John McGuinness at the helm, Mugen is taking the TT very seriously, and looking at the 120 hp Mugen Shinden Ni, you can see that the Japanese squad has spared no effort in giving McPint the most potent weapon possible.
Eyeing a 110 mph average lap speed for this year’s SES TT Zero race, Mugen hopes to upset MotoCzysz’s quest for a fourth-straight victory. Mugen says that the Shinden Ni is 44 lbs lighter than last year’s race bike, and while the outside of the bike looks only slightly different with its more aerodynamical fairings and reshaped fuel tank, looking at the up-close photos below, we can seem internal changes as well.
To my untrained eye, the motor looks to be completely new from last year’s unit, and virtually all the pieces seem to have been refined from the original Mugen Shinden (hopefully our more learned readers will chime-in on what they see). Eye candy and carbon fiber porn await you in the gallery.
Photos: © 2013 Richard Mushet / Mushet Photo – All Rights Reserved
Richard Mushet is a British photographer who has been known to cover motorcycle racing in it’s many forms. You can view his site here, and follow his Facebook page for more frequent updates over here: MushetPhoto.