Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs

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By now you’ve surely read about MotoCzysz’s new eDD and it’s “suitcase” chassis design. Recently Asphalt & Rubber got a chance to take a peak into the Portland, Oregon based company’s service bay and take a closer look at the 2009 E1pc D1g1tal Superbike, with a specific interest in its quick-release swappable batteries and unique chassis design. We’ll be covering these innovations in a two-part series, starting today with a never before seen look at the MotoCzysz battery packs. More and photos from Peter Lombardi Kustom Photography after the jump.

As the only bike to arrive at the Isle of Man with swappable battery packs, the MotoCzysz E1pc was the only bike at the TTXGP that seemed capable of the presumed switch to a two-lap race in 2010, which would allow for racers to pit and exchange spent batteries for fresh ones. While the design certainly would have proved a benefit had the organizers of TTXGP had their way, the real purpose of the E1pc’s quick-release batteries was to aid in on-track research and development.

Needing a way to get a full day’s worth of testing out of his electric motorcycle when at the race track, Michael Czysz and his team incorporated a system to quickly change out battery packs; thus allowing for there to be fresh packs waiting on the charger, ready to be swapped out while the E1pc was taking laps. Of course, the more time the bike was out testing, the more data that could be gathered and learned from.

Despite a raison d’être far removed from the proposed two laps of the Mountain Course, MotoCzysz’s swappable battery design carries over with it practical applications into track and short circuit racing, especially with the refinements found in the new eDD suitcase chassis. While the first generation battery packs take only the turn of a safety screw and a jostling of the hand to be released from the E1pc’s frame, “they weren’t fully integrated” as Czysz explained to us. However, the next iteration of MotoCzysz’s battery design inserts into the frame with a mere push of a finger, and extracts with the pull of a lever. Total swap-out time, just a few seconds compared to the original minute and a half or so.

Based on a beveled cleat design, the 2010 battery packs build on where the 2009 packs left off. Instead of having manually to unplug the battery’s leads to the controller, the 2010 packs use what Czysz calls “super sockets”, which attach the battery packs into the suitcase and make all the necessary electrical connections upon their insertion. Speaking of connections, the E1pc has less electrical cabling than your standard ICE motorcycle, which is a counter-intuitive fact when dealing with an electric motorcycle. “All the energy is being put into what we call the spine, there’s basically a low-voltage connector and high-voltage component, and that’s it,” says Czysz. “You’ve got two wires in this entire bike that are high-voltage. You cannot have a wireless bike, but we have only two wires that are roughly 8-10 inches long.”

Another counter-intuitive advancement with the 2010 E1pc is the fact the bike sports more batteries by volume and more power by density, but remains 200mm narrower than the 2009 race bike. Helping achieve this feat is the eDD’s new chevron shaped battery packs, which allow for a more compact design element, and push the batteries closer to the front wheel, thus allowing for a longer swingarm design, while maintaining appropriate clearances with the front wheel and forks. The new LiPo battery cells take on a double entendre, and slim down what Czysz calls a “fat” bike when viewed from the rear. With the chevron packs in place, the 2010 E1pc is slim like a 500cc GP racer, and more narrow than the MotoCzysz C1…despite the fact the 2010 E1pc frame is actually wider than its predecessor’s.

Grabbing hold of one of the old battery packs, one is surprised at the weight found in these elements of the E1pc. Judging from just my grip, I’d place a single pack at roughly 15lbs or more. Multiple this by 10, add in the cells found under the tail section, and it’s easy to see where the bulk of these motorcycles reside, and where the biggest improvements can come from for future advancement. Check out the photos below of the 2009 MotoCzysz E1pc, courtesy of Peter Lombardi Kustom Photography.

Photos: Photo: © 2010 Peter Lombardi / Peter Lombardi Kustom Photography