Saroléa SP7 Electric Superbike Debuts Ahead of IOMTT

04/28/2014 @ 6:56 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Saroléa SP7 Electric Superbike Debuts Ahead of IOMTT sarolea sp7 635x423

After a 50 Year Hiatus, the Belgian brand Saroléa is making a bit of comeback, albeit this time in electric form. Already making its intention to race in the 2014 Isle of Man TT, Saroléa has now finally debuted its racing machine, the Saroléa SP7.

An amalgamation of retro-styling and high-technology, the Saroléa SP7 boasts a carbon fiber chassis, a 174hp (130 kW) motor, and a 422 lbs bulk. All of that is wrapped into a café racer styled machine, which with all the modern equipment has a certain juxtaposition that is both visually pleasing, and visually glaring — we will let you decide which sensation dominates your senses more heavily.

Set to make a proper debut at the Isle of Man in just a few weeks’ time, Saroléa will be an interesting entry to watch. Will the Belgian brand be a serious contender on the Mountain Course? Or, will this whole exercise prove to be just an elaborate product launch for yet another electric motorcycle company that doesn’t quite understand its target demographic?

Time will tell on that debate, of course. Until then though, Saroléa is full-steam ahead on its racing plans, with Robert Wilson signed-on to race the SP7 in the TT Zero event at the Isle of Man TT.

Wilson is a relatively green rider at the Isle of Man TT, competing in his first TT in 2011. That being said, with a 120 mph lap under his belt that rookie year, the Scottish rider certainly is no slouch on a motorbike.

Wilson will have his work cutout for him in 2014 though, as the Saroléa SP7 has potent competition from the likes of Team Mugen, and the Shinden San. With the Japanese electric superbike sporting nearly 100 lbs more of battery hulk, and two extra years of Isle of Man experience (not to mention a certain John McGuinness, and his teammate Bruce Anstey), there is a fierce playing field afoot.

For 2014 Saroléa likely hopes to gain helpful data from its three practice sessions, finish the race, and ensure a strong debut for the SP7. Selling a bike or two probably wouldn’t hurt either.

Source: Saroléa (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. Gutterslob says:

    How does one pronounce Saroléa? Everything I try makes it sound like either a bread, cake or cereal company.

  2. Starmag says:

    Looks good (for an electric).

    That seat looks a little hard.

  3. cmedrive says:

    I would think aerodynamics would play a large part in the TT Zero. It looks as though there is very little to move the air around the rider but maybe that’s the just the angle of the photo. I like the design though, simple and retro with a ton of tech built in. Very cool!

  4. Campisi says:

    I’d like to hear about the black magic that’s gone into their batteries in order to give them enough energy for a TT at a mere 422 pounds.

  5. soulbrother#1 says:

    the largest parameter in aerodynamic considerations is frontal surface area. all the swoops and really “fast looking” curves and crap is really just details on a much lower order of magnitude.

    The Mugen may look more aero- but looks to have a frontal area at maybe 30 to 40% larger.

    this little thing (if it can hold enuf electrons) might just be pretty quick

  6. Bob says:

    Looks like a 1:1 chain gearing!

  7. zootcadillac says:

    @gutterslob

    sarro-ley-a

    Nice retro style but a bit too slab-sided for my tastes. I guess that’s the price of battery banks.

  8. I like it. It’s got almost a steam-punk thing going for it.

  9. L2C says:

    On Velocity channel last year, the TT Zero was covered but none of the electric bikes were featured in a story. I was a little disappointed by that because clearly its an important and evolving segment of motorcycling. We did get to see glimpses of John McGuinness’s Honda Mugen and some other bikes, but nothing up close and personal.

    Hopefully the producers for Velocity will do a better job this year because I would definitely like to see some coverage of the Saroléa SP7 and some of the other bikes racing in the TT Zero this year. That SP7 is very cool.

  10. William Roberts says:

    I love how these are rated for hp. 174 hp not a hope.

    id love if before the zero tt you could surprise the teams and make them dyno the bikes.
    id say not one would go much over 100 hp.

    its fine to wack up the power for a dyno run but when you have to cover 32 miles at more or less full throttle there not near those figures.

  11. Woody says:

    Looks kinda steampunk.

  12. Campisi says:

    “its fine to wack up the power for a dyno run but when you have to cover 32 miles at more or less full throttle there not near those figures.”

    I’m sure they’d much rather have 130kW available and just tell the rider to hold off when they don’t need full power than dial the motor back that far and have him hold it wide open the entire race. Motors aren’t like engines, they don’t really have much of an efficiency penalty for high-output capability.

    In fact, I suspect having the rider hold back for much of the race is exactly their plan. The Zero SR is a dozen or so pounds lighter than this with a ten kWh nominal-capacity pack. Assuming fancier cells and more aggressive use of them, the Sarolea probably has somewhere in the neighbourhood of fourteen kWh available for race distance. Wilson is likely to hold the motor well shy of its peak power for the majority of the race, saving full power for isolated cut-and-thrust work.

  13. protomech says:

    William:

    You’re right in a way. With pack sizes somewhere between 15-20 kWh and a 20 minute lap, the bikes are averaging 45-60 kW (60-75 hp) for the entire race distance. Gas bikes will also average less than peak power too over the race distance, but the electrics are still significantly limited by available energy.

    However, the bikes that are doing ~110 average are also doing 150+ through the Sulby straight in qualifying. They have plenty of power, but given the energy limitations they can get a faster laptime by using the energy to go a little faster for a long period rather than using it to go very quickly for a short period.

  14. dan says:

    I’ve always thought a retro electric racer would be cool, hats off to Saroléa. That being said am I the only person that thinks having an exposed primary right next to the foot rest is a bad move?

  15. Al says:

    The power they give is the ‘peak’ power of the motor…the ‘continuous’ power is what should be given because that is the power that is usable at ALL times.
    Peak power is the Max power that the motor can put out BUT only for short periods of time because of the heat generated (despite cooling…)
    The peak power is roughly 3 times the continuous power output hence roughly 45kw of power usable at all times and 130kw until the motor gets too hot so the cooling system (in all E-Power application but esp. in racing) is of utmost importance.

  16. William Roberts says:

    Sorry for not replying sooner.

    the 600’s are pretty flat out most of a lap. And at 120 hp. Thats a high average. The 1000’s do a faster lap so must use more. A hell of alot more than the electrics average. And can do it for more than one lap