At the 2013 Isle of Man TT, when it comes to the TT Zero race, there are really only two entries being talked about: MotoCzysz and Mugen. Rumored last year to be a black hat electric superbike project for Honda, Mugen of course denies such involvement, though admits that company’s share a very special and close relationship.

Whether you believe that an association exists or not, the paddock gossip says that Mugen (or Honda) has spent nearly $4.3 million on its electric bike project, and that sounds like a number that is well within the ballpark. With John McGuinness at the helm, Mugen is taking the TT very seriously, and looking at the 120 hp Mugen Shinden Ni, you can see that the Japanese squad has spared no effort in giving McPint the most potent weapon possible.

Eyeing a 110 mph average lap speed for this year’s SES TT Zero race, Mugen hopes to upset MotoCzysz’s quest for a fourth-straight victory. Mugen says that the Shinden Ni is 44 lbs lighter than last year’s race bike, and while the outside of the bike looks only slightly different with its more aerodynamical fairings and reshaped fuel tank, looking at the up-close photos below, we can seem internal changes as well.

To my untrained eye, the motor looks to be completely new from last year’s unit, and virtually all the pieces seem to have been refined from the original Mugen Shinden (hopefully our more learned readers will chime-in on what they see). Eye candy and carbon fiber porn await you in the gallery.


















Photos: © 2013 Richard Mushet / Mushet Photo – All Rights Reserved

Richard Mushet is a British photographer who has been known to cover motorcycle racing in it’s many forms. You can view his site here, and follow his Facebook page for more frequent updates over here: MushetPhoto.

  • Sargent

    Why would that bike need a horn button?

  • Wildlife mainly. The ICE bikes are so loud, they usually scare the animals off the course, not so much the case with the electrics though.

  • Faust

    This looks simply amazing…..

  • TRL

    Interesting to watch the change in sponsor logos on the electrics. Seriously Apple how long do we have to wait?

  • Gutterslob

    I’m wondering what the Migen’s hiding underneath considering it’s so bulbous compared to the Motocysczcss (sorry, could never spell that). Something really trick, or just a lot of cooling and cabling?

    The weave on the carbon swingarm and frame look cosmetic – might still be real carbon, but its purpose is just to cover up stuff. Whether it’s hiding the real carbon weave pattern underneath, or just covering a more conventional material, I cannot say.

  • That carbon is not for show. It’s a full carbon frame.

  • Gutterslob

    ^ I realize that. I just meant the top-most weave (or top-coat, in paint terms) is probably just a cover. Look at pic 09. See that slit?

  • Gildas

    To Gutterslob:
    On all composite structural parts this is that standard layup:
    – The outer layer is the one you don’t see, the gel coat: it protects the fragile lamination below.
    – The second part is the visible multi directional weave, let’s say it’s the monocoque that holds everything below it together.
    – Normally there is a stabilization/impact layer (mat or Kevlar) but I imagine that for competitive use it’s omitted.
    – Then come the unidirectional layers, core(s), inserts etc. This were the magic happens, you can have anything form fiberglass S2 to exotic aramides with unidirectional carbon being the dominant partner. Anything from 1 to 10 layers +.
    – Inside visible multi directional weave.
    – Re Gel coat.
    All of this can be from 4 to over 50m thick depending on constraints. Furthermore all resins are bespoke AND doped with additives to the gill.

  • Gildas

    Having said that, the top of the swing-arm does look look like a cheap “yo! carbon” sticker and you have a “for metal” M6 bolt going into it… So either there is an insert there or the swing-arm is a alloy/carbon mix :)
    But I’m perfectly ok with that: alloy’s handle compression better than most fibers (unless you really go overboard) and fibers are better at torsion, bending and pulling stresses.
    But “full carbon” sounds cooler to the kids.

  • Nishant K

    To me it still is a Mission Motors Drive train bike… saw the bike carefully last year and most of the parts were similar to the ones used on Mission…might be the Honda CRZ drive train that they supplied for hybrid. :D

  • For the knights who say ‘Ni’! :)

  • Gutterslob

    Lots of shrubbery at the Isle, so they should be fine even if they go for the two-level effect.