John McGuinness to Ride Mugen/Honda in TT Zero

03/02/2012 @ 10:12 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

When it was announced that Mugen would be racing at the Isle of Man TT in the TT Zero event, a bevy of speculation began to hit the newswires. Of course, the biggest topic of conversation was that Mugen’s entry was really a front for Honda to race its electric bike unofficially against the privateer efforts of teams like Lightning, Mission Motors, and MotoCzysz.

With the entire electric motorcycle racing community believing there to be a connection between Mugen’s entry and Honda’s recently debuted RC-E electric race bike concept, it seemed that an established motorcycle OEM would finally have some sort of presence in electric motorcycle racing this year.

Of course if Honda is involved with the TT Zero race, then surely the company would tap its main man, seventeen-time Isle of Man TT race winner and King of the Mountain, John McGuinness. McGuinness hasn’t been shy about his desire to get on an electric bike after watching MotoCzysz’s Michael Rutter and Mark Miller narrowly miss the 100 mph average speed mark at last year’s TT.

Confirming his entry in the TT Zero race during a video shot in what looks to be the Morecambe FC locker room (yeah, we have no idea), McGuinness also lets it slip that he will be in Japan next week testing the Mugen/Honda electric bike — boom goes the dynamite. Video is after the jump, skip to the nine minute mark.

Honda RC-E Electric Superbike Concept:

Source: YouTube via TTXGP Matters; Gallery Photos: Honda
Title Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Bill

    Wicked awesome! I am not totally sold on electric bikes because of the range and recharging issues, however the idea of racing electrics where range can be controlled and batteries swaps could be commonplace, yeah that’s cool.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Exciting news, but not totally unexpected…especially if the Mugen effort is indeed an under the table Honda effort. Now…when can we see the bike!? :-)

  • “Now…when can we see the bike!? :-)”


  • Hey Paul, how about: “when can I see the bike?” *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

  • Not everyone Jensen. Although, I am certain I am the only one. :D

    He says in the video that the test is March 9th. And Mugen’s press release promised more info “soon.” March 9th then I guess.

  • MotoCzysz

    Game On!

    (Paul, don’t make that check out to Mugen/McGuinness just yet ;-)

  • talkriver

    Mugen unveiled the Electric machine “Shinden” today at Suzuka. Its motor ouputs 90kw.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Thank you talkriver! Interesting…

  • Laurence

    Great news and John is a fantastic rider but – with the greatest respect – he isn’t the lightest of riders. With limited power, wouldn’t the laws of physics suggest that a lighter rider would be an advantage? But I still can’t wait – things are finally getting serious for electric bikes!

  • Don’t worry MC – the cheque remains blank.

    There is another ‘big’ announcement still to come re TT Zero for 2011 with another top rider / bike combo which is very interesting. Overall the entry for Zero 2012 is very, very good.

  • finance

    Hey learned something newthis week now I’m happy for now. Best!