TTXGP: Brammo Sets Track Record at Infineon

05/15/2011 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

The California sun gods were in our favor this morning, as the rainy heavens over Infineon Raceway parted long enough to dry out the Sonoma track, and allow racing to commence under cloudy skies. After a thrilling ambulance race (Infineon Raceway had all its four-wheelers out drying the tarmac and racing line), Race Direction deemed the course fit for racing, and the slower-paced electrics were first on the card to try out the dryness of the track. Fielding three bikes for Race 2, we saw a return of Brammo, Moto Electra, and VOLT to the starting grid, as Ely Schless and his Proto Moto was a scratch for today’s event.

With such a large spread in the field, things sorted their way out much like on Saturday, with Brammo taking the early lead and never looking back. Thad Wolff made an impressive showing, but was no match for the faster Brammo Empulse RR. Meanwhile in the Formula TTX75 class, Kenyon Kluge rode to a solo victory with no other competitor fielding a 7.5 kWh machine.

Perhaps in response to some remarks by an unscrupulous blogger, Brammo put to rest any doubts about its efforts, as Steve Atlas set a track record for electric motorcycles on the Empulse RR. With a 1:55.150 race lap time, the Brammo team shaved nearly 19 seconds off his overall race time from yesterday. Breaking the record for electric motorcycles at Infineon with authority, Atlas posted 1:55 and 1:56 lap times throughout the race, setting a new bar in the TTXGP series.

Talking to Brammo’s Brian Wismann, he explained that the team swapped out the 180 Dunlop rear tire from yesterday, for a 160 tire. Brammo had been testing on the 160, but was unable up until today’s race to find one in the Dunlop truck that would hold air on the team’s rims. Dunlop was able to find one for today’s race though, which allowed Brammo to run a gearing setup they were more familiar with, and was much faster on the Empulse RR. In fact, all three bikes were quicker Sunday when compared to their Saturday afternoon times. Absent from the race was Ely Schless, who withdrew after completing the first race, having motor heating issues.

As with yesterday, the bikes of Lightning and Mission Motors were also scratches, both citing a lack of time to get their race bikes together in time for the first race of the TTXGP season.

Pos. No. Rider Team Time Diff.
1 58 Steve Atlas Brammo 17:25.021
2 37 Thad Wolff Moto Electra 17:54.069 29.047
3 19 Kenyon Kluge VOLT 19:22.377 1:57.355
Not Classified
DNS 18 Ely Schless Proto Moto
DNS 15 Mike Hannas Lightning
DNS 80 Michael Barnes Lightning
DNS 17 Steve Rapp Mission Motors

Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Gavin

    Anybody have the lap times from today?


  • Yes, for whom?

  • Ron

    This is an interesting class to watch for about a half a lap. I would really like to see this class grow with other teams, but with 3 silent bikes on the track, and the race pretty much over after the first turn, nobody watched. I hope this isn’t too discouraging to the manufacturers and teams. I would like to see them on a shorter track, maybe Super Moto?

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  • Iaasic

    I made the trek out to Infineon raceway to find out the Brammo bike would be doing laps. Disappointing.

    Today was a setback for the blossoming e-motorcycle industry. Two of the bigger racers bow out? I mean wtf? Did Mission need more time to work on photoshop images of its bike? C’mon guys, race a damn race already.

  • Gavin

    Lap times for the winning Empulse would be nice to see…wanted to see how they compared to yesterday’s ride. Where were the 19 seconds gained?


  • Richard Gozinya

    That’s pretty cool, but until they go up against Lightning, Zero/Agni, and MotoCzysz, Brammo’s basically just running laps.

  • Gavin:

    Lap 1 – 3:46.871
    Lap 2 – 1:56.619
    Lap 3 – 1:55.688
    Lap 4 – 1:55.150
    Lap 5 – 1:55.533
    Lap 6 – 1:55.771
    Lap 7 – 1:56.665
    Lap 8 – 2:02.723

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  • Dr. Gellar

    Iaasic hit the nail dead in the head. I too made the trip to Infineon today, and I feel exactly the same. Only 3 participants today?!? Really?!!? Yikes…even MotoGP has more competitors than that! :-p I only hope that the Isle of Man TT Zero race next month and the combined TTXGP/FIM e-Power race at Laguna Seca in July will have far better turn-outs.

    Props to Brammo though, not just for showing up with a top-notch effort and winning, but for once again having the hottest trophy/umbrella girls of the event as well!

  • Gavin

    Thanks Jensen:

    What is nice to see from the 2 races: From Saturday to Sunday…

    Improved times in all laps. Very good, consistent times in the middle 6 laps (4 of them in 1:55, 2 in 1:56). And it is great that Brammo is basically running a modified production bike—yes heavily modified, but still Brammo is just about ready to get a version of this bike out to the public…I don’t see that yet from any other company. Hopefully that changes…Competition is a good thing.

    It’s fun to see the bike run some laps, it is much more fun to ride them ourselves around town and out in the mountain twisties :)

    It will be interesting to see if the gear box Brammo is bringing to electric motorcycles can improve the first lap time.

    The only small area of concern for me is the final lap time. Lost 6 seconds each day on the final lap. I was concerned that it was Steve conserving the battery…but it could also have been just slowing a bit on the final lap as nobody was close. I guess it isn’t a concern if Brammo was running 12 laps at practice on Friday.

    Hoping to see more entries in Seca and maybe Brammo upping the Power from 85% to in the 90%…a lap at 100% would be fun too :)

    Thanks again for the updates and info.


  • These awesome people are doing something new. Completely new. They are not buying an R6 and building a racebike from a proven design with readily available kit parts and tuning knowledge. They are conceptualizing, engineering, testing, and racing a completely new form of motorcycle on a shoestring budget compared to factory backed or well funded privateer ICE race teams. Pure prototype racing.

    To expect cubic-dollar infused participation and effort at this point is silly. I marvel at the level of design, engineering, and quality these teams have managed to pack into their programs already. Ask Kenny Roberts what it takes to create, manage, and fund an engineering program and prototype motorcycle race team for international competition.

    The improved performance over last year is a great stepping stone. Kudos to everyone involved in the TTXGP at Infineon. Can’t wait until Laguna Seca to see all of the biggest players on track at the same time. I completely agree with Dr. Gellar “Props to Brammo though, not just for showing up with a top-notch effort and winning, but for once again having the hottest trophy/umbrella girls of the event as well!” And even bigger props to Asphalt and Rubber for doing an incredible job of covering the scene!

  • KLS

    I hope that Brammo plans to use a 160 or similarly-sized rear for the production bike. When they first started taking “pre-orders” I pushed them for a smaller-section rear tire than the 180/190 on the prototype. MAYBE an R1 can use a 190 (although not much on the street) but it just adds unneeded weight and drag on the announced e-bike.

    That’s not to diminish their success on the racetrack. The difficulties with the other teams demonstrate that it’s an enormous task to prototype, build, test and race a brand-new machine.

  • Rockstarartist

    Forget Brammo’s track record! Who is that umbrella girl and what a cute round tush she has!

  • Oh her? She’s….someone’s daughter.