UPDATE: Neal Saiki comments about using the Mavizen chassis.
Zero Motorcycles has announced their entry into the 2010 TTXGP series, where they will race against Team Agni, and competitors using the CRP Racing and Mavizen platforms. Early reports peg Zero as also using a Mavizen TTX02 platform, essentially a KTM RC8 chassis gutted of its ICE components. Despite using the Mavizen/KTM chassis, the race bike will be powered by Zero’s Z-Force battery packs and motors.
As the divide between the TTXGP and the FIM widens, these few weeks should be interesting to see what manufacturers go to which series, and in what level of involvement. Zero Motorcycles, who did not compete in the TTXGP this year, is a new edition to electric road-racing, but is no stranger to the electric racing scene.
When we last talked to Neal Saiki he stated that he would prefer to race in a production-based racing class. As Zero prepares and develops its long rumored Zero SS streetbike, we’re curious to see how this announcement fits into this previous sentiment and the long-term plan of bringing an electric sportbike into Zero’s product line-up.
Responding to our inquiries about this change, Neal Saiki, Zero Motorcycles Founder and CTO, explained to us that “we are wading into racing. Buying a Mavizen rolling chassis is the easiest way to get started. We want to highlight our battery technology and we will have the highest power density of any of the race bikes.”
Zero Motorcycles’ Press Release:
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (December 1, 2009) – Zero Motorcycles announced today the creation of its first street racing team and its plans to enter the upcoming 2010 TTXGP electric motorcycle series. Zero has indicated that its race-ready motorcycle will be using the same Z-Force powertrain technology that is currently used in its production electric motorcycles. Few additional details have been released on the development of Zero’s race bike, but it has been hinted that many of the design cues will come from the production Zero S street motorcycle.
TTXGP is the world’s first zero carbon and zero emissions motorcycle race series. The inaugural TTXGP race took place on the historic Isle of Man TT course in June 2009 and will return again in June 2010 with the addition of a new race class. The first TTXGP race in the 2010 season will be the TTXGP North America Championships at Infineon in Sonoma, California on May 14 – 16.
“Electric motorcycles are powerful, exciting and available now. There is no race that highlights electric motorcycle technology more than the TTXGP and we are excited to support their efforts with our own racing team,” said Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “We have identified a series of strategic partners for this program and will be making announcements shortly about their involvement.”
Zero Motorcycles is not a stranger to competitive racing. Recently, Zero Motorcycles took first place in a sanctioned motocross race (finishing third overall in points for the series), in France hosted by the French Federation of Motorcycles. The Zero MX beat out more than 200 450cc gas motorcycles in fierce competition.
Zero’s Z-Force technology includes its patent pending Z-Force power pack which is capable of delivering a tremendous amount of energy from a highly compact and lightweight system. It also includes a newly announced Z-Force Air Induction system that allows Zero to fully leverage their power pack’s capabilities by dispersing excess motor heat. This development also paves the way for Zero to increase performance in upcoming models.
“We’ve spent four years developing the Z-Force electric power train technology for high performance dirt and street riding. We’re excited to take it to the track and compete. We expect to gain valuable information through the competition of our motorcycles and plan to apply that knowledge to the development of future products,” added Neal Saiki, Zero Motorcycles Founder and CTO.
Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking about how they design, manufacture and sell high performance electric motorcycles, they are on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize their industry by combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology. The result is an electric motorcycle line that’s insanely fast and environmentally friendly.
Photo: Jason Yu