The TT Zero event for the 2014 Isle of Man TT is about to kick-off in about an hour, so we thought we’d show the electric superbike that everyone in the paddock is talking about, the Mugen Shinden San. The third iteration of the machine from Mugen, this year the Japanese tuning brand has two riders, John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey.
With Bruce Anstey on fire this TT fortnight, and McGuinness off his pace in the previous sessions with a wrist injury (and sitting out today’s Supersport TT race), it seems like anything can happen before the starter’s flag drops.
Assuming the two-rider format remains, Mugen has said to Asphalt & Rubber that both riders will likely run the same electronic maps during the race, which should rest the race’s results squarely on the riders. In order to do this, Mugen must feel confident with its energy management and overall racing package.
Part of that confidence likely comes from Mugen’s partnership with Mission Motors, and Mugen says Mission’s input has been very valuable to their racing program.
Our spies tell us that this isn’t the first year that Mission Motors has been involved with the Shinden electric superbike, which casts an interesting light on all the rumors about Honda’s involvement with the project, and could make for a strong racing pedigree for the soon-to-be-released Mission RS superbike.
An interesting note to come from our chat with the Mugen team is that the Shinden San uses no regenerative braking, with the bike’s magneto setup used only to simulate engine braking. It’s not clear if this is a new feature for the Shinden electric bike, but clearly Mugen feels that the tradeoffs between energy, weight, and heat justify this decision.
Cracking the electric lap record in the first qualifying session, and topping the second qualifying session with 115.6 mph and 113.64 laps, Mugen has not only set the fastest laps ever around the Mountain Course with an electric motorcycle, but John McGuinness’s lap, the faster of the two riders on Monday, quietly broke the 20-minute mark for electric motorcycles at the TT.
Sporting new fairings for 2014, the Mugen Shinden San should have less wind resistance during its 37.773 mile trek. Mugen quotes a 10hp boost over last year’s machine, with the overall weight claimed to be the same. What upgrades Mugen and Mission have made to the Shinden San over the Shinden Ni is up for conjecture, though we doubt the two teams have been sitting around for the past 365 days.
There is some amazing kit on this racing machine, including an carbon fiber chassis. Petrol head or electron geek, we think you’ll enjoy the hi-res up-close photos below.
Photos: © 2014 Richard Mushet / Mushet Photo – All Rights Reserved