We are still about three weeks away from the official unveiling of the Mugen Shinden Nana, the seventh iteration of the Isle of Man TT winning electric superbike, but news is starting to trickle in about this racing effort.
In case you didn’t know, Mugen is looking to make the 2018 Isle of Man TT its fifth-straight victory at the iconic road race, and the chances are very good of that result happening.
This is because with scant competition coming from the other race teams, Mugen is set to race itself again this year, but for 2018 it will be with not one, not two, but three riders on the grid for this year’s TT Zero race, as the company confirmed via Twitter.
Who that third rider will be is going to be a bit of news, but we do know that they will join John McGuinness and Lee Johnston on Team Mugen.
Last year we saw Guy Martin on the Japanese electric superbike, though it is anyone’s guess as to whether the mercurial Martin will even race this year’s TT at all.
Likely his best chance at winning an Isle of Man TT race though, the new Shinden motorcycle might be enough to lure Martin back to the Manx race.
It is not clear what changes Mugen has made for the Shinden Nana (“nana” means seven in Japanese), though likely more power and less weight are on the cards, as battery densities for lithium-ion batteries continue to improve.
We expect an evolution, not a revolution on the design (you can see last year’s Shinden Roku above), but you never know…the boys at Mugen might surprise us.
What surprise we do need though is more professional entries in the TT Zero race, as there is a sizable performance gap between the sophisticated Mugen squad, and the other less-so efforts from boutique brands and universities.
Gone are the days of the head-to-head battling we saw between Mugen and American superbike company MotoCzysz. Each year we hope someone will fill the void left by Michael Czysz’s departure, and every year we are disappointed.
Source: Mugen (Twitter)