Fielding two entries this year, Mugen has retained the services of John McGuinness, and the team has also added Bruce Anstey into the mix.
Mugen has also announced an a new electric race bike for the Isle of Man TT, which is named the Mugen Shinden San, “san” meaning “three” in Japanese — a pretty obvious naming scheme considering its predecessor was called Shinden Ni, or Shinden 2.
There are no details on the Shinden San at this point, beyond the fact that Mugen says the race bike will have more power and speed. A formidable entry last year, McGuinness finished second in last year’s TT Zero race, with a 109+ mph lap under his belt. This year, you can count on the 110 mph mark being a target for both McPint and Anstey.
The addition of the Kiwi to the Japanese squad is a big next step for Mugen, which has brought two bikes the past two years to the race, but only used one machine for qualifying and racing (the other being kept as a spare, after some hemming and hawing from other teams).
A man with nine TT wins to his name, Anstey is a serious competitor to McGuinness, and the two riders are fierce competitors on the Mountain Course while riding the petrol bikes. Friends off the race course, we still expect there to be a close fight between the two Mugen entries come race day.
That perhaps is a saving grace for the class, as rival team MotoCzysz is not expected at this year’s Isle of Man TT. With MotoCzysz and Mugen being the two entries that have essentially propelled the TT Zero event forward – pushing the lap times significantly further ahead each year – many wondered if 2014 would be a one-rider race.
It doesn’t look like that will be the case now, but hopefully some other entries will come out of the woodwork and continue to support this iconic event — further establishing the Isle of Man TT Zero race as the measuring stick for electric race bikes.