Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs

03/02/2010 @ 3:38 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

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

  • Pretty amazing looking. I’m guessing he didn’t want a video camera running… because that’s what I want to see — the swap.

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs – http://bit.ly/b1CT4M #motorcycle

  • Love the photo with the C1 in the background! Not many companies can say they’ve built both a gas and electric “superbike”. Beautiful attention to detail as well. Check out the silver paint fade accross the carbon fiber chassis…

  • Joe R

    So have they given up on the original C1? With Motogp going to 1000cc in 2011 maybe they can get back to the orginal concept.

  • @brammofan
    We’ll try and get some video of the new packs. (hint Michael, hint, hint).

    Both bikes have amazing attention to detail. I didn’t realize the E1pc had a carbon subframe until I saw the fade too.

    Your guess is as good as any at this point, as far as I know this is the closest we have to answer: http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/motoczysz-c1-motogp-2012/

  • sry 4 the lack of tweets lately, but check out some pics i did at Motoczysz w/ Jensen Beeler @Asphalt_Rubber http://bit.ly/9m97fC

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs – http://bit.ly/b1CT4M #motorcycle

  • Awesome crazy Electric Superbike – Pics by @peterlombardi on @Ashphalt_Rubber – Michael Czysz – Portland Or. http://bit.ly/a2AJvF

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  • The bike is beatiful, and it’s the first battery pack that can appeal a regular motorcyclist. But …. Is the battery pack suitcase a stressed member?. Very strange.

    If not, where is the swingarm linked?

  • Nice article. Can’t wait to see one of these beauties in action.

  • GeddyT

    It does seem like the “suitcase” is a stressed member, which I find odd as well. Even though the structure is boxed and almost like an I-beam, it still seems to be made of awfully thin metal. At first I thought it was just a hollow box, which had me REALLY scratching my head at how they expected the bike to not twist itself into a pretzel, until I saw the pics with the sheet running down the middle of the suitcase separating the two banks of battery packs. My only theory at the moment is that maybe this central dividing wall is thicker and stronger than I’m seeing. (To me it just looks like thin sheetmetal with a pattern of holes drilled out.)

    In the article for the modular system they’re selling, it was mentioned that some kind of top plate would be included to which you can mount a front end. It would be interesting to see what this looks like, as from what I can see from the pictures of the modular package, it would be crazy not to wrap a perimeter frame around it to link the swingarm pivot to the steering head.

  • A&R gets never before seen look at MotoCzysz battery packs http://tinyurl.com/ykwmxrn

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs – http://bit.ly/b1CT4M #motorcycle

  • Awesome article by AR and pics by @peterlombardi RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs – http://bit.ly/b1CT4M

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Hands on with the MotoCzysz Battery Packs http://bit.ly/b1CT4M <– This is SO cool!

  • Skadamo

    The suitcase is definitely a stressed member. I asked Czysz if the eDD could be put in a gaze chassis for example and he said…

    “If a team wanted to incorporate a MotoCzysz eDD into an existing frame it may be possible but the eDD is a frame, so I think most would feel this is redundant and not entirely space efficient”

  • Skadamo

    “gaze” is obviously what Steve Jobs would have named the GSXR. iPhone auto correct error.

  • Ralph

    So cool concept… well actually it’s reality but still!
    Gotta hand it to Czysz. Way forward thinking.

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Have you see the great shots that @peterlombardi did for us? (here: http://bit.ly/b1CT4M) More coming! #motorcycle # …

  • RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Have you see the great shots that @peterlombardi did for us? (here: http://bit.ly/b1CT4M) More coming! #motorcycle

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  • Wow, Jensen. Beautiful article. Looking forward to part two. Amazing access to MC and a great post.

  • nige

    i just love looking at the future. Great job Motocyzs