Talking to a few of the Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing mechanics this afternoon in the Isle of Man TT paddock, unfortunately it looks like the the team’s electric entry, the Kawasaki-Zytek ZX10ev, is going to be a scratch for the 2012 SES TT Zero race.
When asked why the Kawasaki-Zytek entry would not be racing, the team cited the bike not being ready for the 2012 Isle of Man TT, intoning that the Kawasaki-Zytek ZX10ev’s first laps ever would be on the Isle itself. Considering that the Kawasaki electric racing effort has been in the works for over a year now, the news is a bit surprising that it hasn’t been as extensively tested as its
Honda Mugen counterpart.
Using a modified Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R chassis, the drivetrain comes from Zytek Automotive, one of the most respected electric/hybrid drivetrain specialists in the automotive field (Zytek basically invented the KERS systems used in Formula One). One of the more interesting aspects of the ZX10ev’s design, Zytek’s 100 kW motor (134 hp) has been mated to Kawasaki’s six-speed close-ratio gearbox, likely to be one the few motorcycles in the TT Zero with shifting capability.
With only a 11.8 kWh battery pack on-board, Kawasaki & Zytek must have been feeling confident with the advantage given by the gearbox, as the entries from the other heavy-hitters would surely have more battery on their bikes. As the team only officially debuted its entry a week ago, there surely must have been some sort of unforeseen technical issue with the Kawasaki-Zytek ZX10ev for it to scratch so close to the first TT Zero practice session.
Bournemouth Kawasaki’s rides James Hillier, who was scheduled to ride the team’s electric bike as well, has been looking good so far in practice session, and could have given Lightning, MotoCzysz, and Mugen a real run for their money.
Right now the Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing team is hoping the bike will at least make the trip across the Irish Sea, so it can at least be displayed in the team tent, with there being a slim possibility a demonstration of some kind could be preformed with the machine. More news as we get it.