IOMTT: 100 mph Barrier Remains after 2011 TT Zero

06/09/2011 @ 4:45 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

The second running of the TT Zero at the Isle of Man TT, made for the Isle’s third electric racing occasion on the Manx island. With 2011 being the 100th year of the Isle of Man TT running over the fabled Mountain Course, all eyes were focused to see if the fitting 100 mph barrier would drop as the electrics made their race today. Heavily favored were the bikes from the Segway MotoCzysz Racing team, which brought a modified version of its 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc that was being raced again by last year’s winner Mark Miller, as well as the company’s new 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc that Michael Rutter would swing a leg over. Also on the Isle was MotoCzysz rival Lightning Motorcycles, an entry from Japan, and a bevy of strong university teams.

Though the race was quietly made, the MotoCzysz crew was here to make an impression, and did so with its one-two finish. With Mark Miller starting off first, the race saw Miller’s teammate Michael Rutter quickly catch up to the American, as the pair continued down the course in tandem. Though you wouldn’t know it from looking at the 18 second gap that separated the two at the finish line, the MotoCzysz bikes could be seen drafting off each other down the course, trading places on whom was in front of the other.

Rutter would ultimately cross the line with a winning time of 22’43.608, making for a 99.604 mph average lap speed — just shy of the 100 mph barrier. Miller would finish a close second, averaging 98.288 mph over the Mountain Course, which was an improvement over his time last year. In total eight bikes would start the race, though only five officially finished.

Coming in third was the ION Horse 2011 / Kingston team with a 88.435 mph average speed, which also won the prize for being the top university team, beating out MIT who finished fourth. Rounding out fifth was the Japanese team of Team Prozza. Crossing the line under human power was Lightning Motors, which ran out of energy at the latter part of the course, and saw a heroic effort by rider John Burrows to bring the bike across the line for the American team.

When told he had not broken the record, Rutter replied: “99.6mph – that’s the story of my life. I tried to conserve battery life and stay smooth. It’s a totally different way of riding, but I really enjoyed it. We only saw the bike on Wednesday, so I think if we had more time there would be more to come set-up wise.” Meanwhile teammate Mark Miller was happier about the record standing, vowing to break it himself next year.

Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • UlyssesRider

    What piles of Shiite! They can hype them up all they want but electric bikes are sorry but clean compared to the much faster, allbeit carbon emitting, fossil fueled bikes. MotoCzysz gasoline powered bikes, namely, the C1 really were interesting to me. I had really hoped that the would go Moto-GP racing. Then, something happened, I am not sure what, but I am no longer interested.

  • Richard Gozinya

    UlyssesRider, MotoGP changed the rules for displacement, so that the 990cc engine wouldn’t have been allowed. It was too expensive for him to develop a new engine to meet the arbitrary rule change, so he bailed on MotoGP.

  • Westward

    MotoCzysz still expressed interest in MotoGP, now with the engine change, I sure hope they were one of the entries for the new Moto1 class…

    Electrics are not going to make the traditional motorcyclist happy, but for the new and future generations, I hope they come to know nothing different…

    Electrics are the future, unless we discover something else more efficient and eco friendly…

  • BiteIsBigger

    Westward… Moto3 class, the 250cc series replacing the 125.

  • BiteIsBigger

    Supposed to have a question mark at the end of that statement.. Sorry.

  • The lack of competition at the sharp end of this small field does not bode well for the future of the TT Zer0 class.

    If Czysz had knocked off the 100+ mile per hour lap this year, I think it would have been the end of the electric class, at least for now; the 37.73-mile lap/race distance is, at this stage of battery evolution, too much for the electrics. I expect that TTXGP/FIM e-Power will shorten race distances even further, so that the gap between e-bikes and ICE-bikes can be closed up. As it is, I guess the IoM may bring the ‘Zero’ class back next year, just because putting up the 10k pound prize and then canceling the class before anyone has the chance to win it would seem churlish.

    What is a harbinger of things to come at the TT? Not one, but three demo laps for the Subaru car…

  • Bob

    I love how people automatically discount electrics just b/c they’re not as fast as gas bikes. They need a few years to develop! Duh. You think the first gas bikes in the early 1900’s worked flawlessy out of the gate?

    But anyway, congrats to the Motocysz team. Bummer they barely missed the 100mph mark.

  • Bjorn

    I wonder if Ulysses rider ancestor slagged off Gottlieb Daimler’s 1885 Einspur Motorcycle? “Nowhere near as good as a horse, only makes 1/2 a horsepower & can only go 7 mph an hour; what a pile of shite.”
    Ebikes have nearly cracked 100mph lap on only their second outing at the TT while it took from 1911 until 1957 for petrol engine bikes to lap the mountain course at over 100 mph. They are a new technology, so of course they look feeble compared to 126 years of development.
    I have to laugh when people shit on new technology in comparison to existing ones. If people didn’t strike out in bold new directions there would be none of the things we take for granted today, like 300+kmh stock motorcycles, mobile phones with more computational power than was used to put men on the moon and microwave popcorn. New stuff rarely eclipses the old, for a while and then it just becomes part of life.
    I don’t necessarily want an Ebike, but they will be a part of our motorcycling future despite the harsh words of hidebound old conservatives like UlyssesRider.

    And yes I am aware that it is not an accurate comparison between the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc and Gottlieb Daimler’s 1885 Einspur Motorcycle, but I’m sure most if not all readers are smart enough to understand the point I’m making.

    Enjoy the future.

  • I’m at the TT, I witnessed the TTZero race and have closely examined the TTZero racing machines, then I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Czysz and his father Terry.

    Never, never have I been so impressed by the quality of machinery but most importantly the PASSION Michael has for his Motorcycles. Well done Tony Rutter and Mark Miller, form finish!

  • Westward

    @ BiteIsBigger

    Yes… To your question…

    As for the MotoCzysz team effort, Rutter said he was conserving energy, I wonder, if he just went for broke would it have lasted…

    I think/hope it would have…

    Too bad Mission Motors did not try it’s hand and at IOM…

  • Isaac Chavira


    Well said sir, well said. I think eSBK’s are amazing machines! I am willing to bet than within 5 -10 years of development, they’ll surpass ICE bike. I too love the high wind of an I-4 or the snarl of a twin but you have to give these guys props for doing something different. Not to mention at the rate they are doing it.

  • Isaac Chavira


    Why SPAM the blog with a link to itself?


  • Bjorn

    Thanks for the compliment Isaac,

    For Ebikes to surpass ICE bikes will take a leap in power storage and reduction in recharging time of an order of magnitude . I’m impressed by your prediction of 5-10 years and wonder if you are aware of advances in battery technology that are not yet public knowledge. Or is your prediction just an educated guess based on the current rate of the evolution of technology?
    Ebikes are already competitive with ICE bikes for commuting and given time and the advances I mentioned, they will be competitive across the board.
    It all comes back to the energy density of fuel Vs electricity. I’m not a physicist, but I don’t believe there is any theoretical restriction that precludes a similar (or better) density of energy for electricity over fuel. Any physicists out there in Asphalt Rubber land who can enlighten me?
    I’ve always had a bit of an issue over the lack of bark from Ebikes, but the sound of them whizzing around the IOM circuit touched a little Star Wars nerve inside me and I think I believe.

  • Robert Williams

    It’s hardly fair to diss the efforts of the electric bike teams. They are pushing the technology every day whereas the designers of gas bikes must be a bit jealous as 90% of possible improvements were made to their class some 50 years ago. Besides really if they use the same chassis the only difference between the two are the engines and how they carry their enery source with them:

    Engines – Due to many things (including laws of thermodynamics) electric motors have for some time been superior to gas combustion engines in weight, max power and efficiency. Only chemical rocket engines surpass them.

    Energy source – No question, oil rules. It can hold > 100x more energy per volume than the current best battery or flywheel. But that is hardly something to crow about since humans just suck the stuff out of the ground, it’s not the result of a string of geniuses and hard working inventors like the development of electricity over the last three centuries. Maybe it will be 50 years until electricity can be stored as well as crushed plants but it will happen.

    Personally I’d love to be an engineer where I have to come up with ideas and solutions that no-one in history has thought of rather than how can I crank an extra 0.5% out of a 100yr old combustion engine design.

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  • matt

    I thought Rutter broke the 100mph during one of his practice runs on Tuesday. I know it does not count, however it did happen. Did anyone else see that?

  • Robert R

    Breakthrough in Battery Technology could revolutionize electric vehicles:

  • Jeram

    @ Robert R

    I think that technology is useless…

    what on earth are they going to do with billions of tons of used sludge each year, it did not mention in the article that it would be reusable!

    Nano tech capacitor ‘batteries’ are the future…

  • shallwedance?

    I told you Rutter would win it

  • Bjorn

    @ Robert R. Thanks for posting up the link Robert that is a fantastic development. If the weight is not to extreme, then Isaac Chavira’s prediction of Ebikes achieving parity with ICE bikes in 5-10 years may well be realistic.

    @Jeram. The fluid known as “Cambridge crude” is rechargeable and apparently can give comparable range to an ICE. The pumping out and changing of the fluid is simply to give the kind of fast change-over of batteries that people want so they can continue to drive big distances without time consuming recharging stops.

    Another link

  • Chris

    UlyssesRider – well, DUH!