The 2011 TTXGP season-opener at Infineon Raceway got off to a less than enthralling start, with only four bikes showing up for racing on Saturday, and three bikes remaining for Sunday’s race. Nevertheless, the event was the first time we’ve gotten to see the Brammo Empulse RR in its race livery, and taking some laps in public. Though the racing wasn’t close, the shining star during the weekend was Steve Atlas taking the Brammo Empulse RR on an outright lap record for electrics at the Sonoma, California based track.

With a time of 1:55.15, Brammo is the team to beat currently, and there’s hope that Lightning, Mission Motors, and MotoCzysz will give the Oregonian company a run for its money later on in the season. Until those teams unveil their bikes in a race, Brammo retains the bragging rights to being the fastest on the track. Check out Brammo’s record run after the jump.

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

  • AlexOnTwoWheels

    Pretty good stuff! I’m excited for the day when we look back and say, “haha, a 1:55 was quick for an ebike back then!!!”. These electric bikes look fun to ride and I’m looking forward to the day quick ones are available for trackday riders like me. Very curious to know what Mission would have brought to the table if they’d had the balls to run a damp track.

  • Iaasic

    Good video! Love the HD.

    Anybody know the fastest lap time for the winner last year (Agni bike?) last year?

    Yup, Alex, I was there and was disappointed not to see the Mission bike on the track. The bike looks great, but until it throws down some lap times, it’s still vapor ware. Let’s hope we see Mission/Motocysz/Brammo at Laguna Seca in late July.

  • It’s looking like most of the TTX teams are getting ready for the TT. Hopefully there’ll be more teams on the grid once they’ve been to the Island.

  • Cord

    How does that lap time compare to petrol bikes? Anyone got laptimes for anything else?

  • matt

    Are there any vids of the race, these on board vids are nice, but it really does not show the bike.

  • Finally… the sweet taste of bragging rights! ;)

    We’ve still got a ways to go to close the gap to the gassers, but the gap is closing and the consistency of the speeds and lap times is definitely improving. We ran 6 of the 8 laps in Race 2 under the previous lap record and could have maintained this pace for several more laps if it was required. Currently about 5 seconds off a top XR1200 lap, 10 seconds off a good AMA Supersport lap, and just under 20 seconds off a good AMA Superbike lap. Sounds way off, but I think you’ll see this gap close down rapidly if we can get some solid competition out there race after race pushing the riders and bikes to go faster…

  • Frenchie

    For the sake of comparison, best laptime at Infineon from the HD XR1200 race: 1:47.061 (Chris Fillmore).
    Pole position: 1:47.775.
    Best laptimes ranged from 1.47 to 1.55 in this category.

    So over one lap, the Brammo Empulse RR is almost as competitive as the HD. Hardly a superbike but still pretty good after only a couple years racing electrics.

    Thinking about the TT, I compared the length of a race and average speed of WSBK and MotoGP with TTZero:

    race distance 60.7 km (37 3/4 miles)
    av. speed slightly below 160 km/h (100 mph)…at least as of 2010 (155.8 km/h, 96.82 mph Motoczysz)

    race distance 100 (125) – 120 km (MotoGP)
    av. speed 155 km/h (125) – 170 km/h (MotoGP)

    race distance 45 (STK600) – 60 (STK1000) – 90 (SSP) – 100 km (SBK)
    av. speed 160 km/h (STK600, 1000, SSP) – 170 km/h (SBK)

    In terms of race distance and average speed, TTZero is comparable to FIM Superstock1000 races.

    Now I have a simple question: for electrics the TT is pretty much full “gas” most of the time, on a short track where you typically spend less time full gas and more time accelerating out of a corner, would the electric bikes need much more power?

    i.e. say you need 1 battery to go round the mountain course (60 km, 160 km/h), what do you need to race 60 km with 160 km/h average speed (maybe a bit less) around Assen? 1 battery, 1.5 battery, 0.8 battery?

  • Mike J

    Sorry Frenchie but I’ve just got to take issue with your comparisons. 1.55.15 is nowhere near competitive with 1.47.775 around a 2.52 mile track; its’ not even in the same ball park. And as for comparing TTzero average race speeds to MotoGP and WSBK WSS average race speeds, that’s like saying the average speed of a Suzuki Bergman ridden flat out on the Interstate is comparable to the average speed of a BMW S1000RR being ridden round a go-cart track: the comparison is spurious.

    In terms of race distance and average speed, TTZero is NOT comparable to FIM Superstock1000 in any way because the races take place on vastly different tracks. If you want to compare TTZero to Superstock then compare it to the TT Superstock races held over the same course (like for like).

    As you point out Motoczysz holds the current TTZero race and lap record at 96.82 mph (TTZero being a one lap race). However the current TT Superstock one lap record is a whopping 129.746mph, held by Ian Hutchinson, and the Superstock race record is 127.612 mph (4 laps including a pitstop) also recorded by Ian Hutchinson in 2009.

    In fact there are no current TT ICE classes that have records below the 100mph mark. Even the 125s (at 110.52) have lapped the IOM considerably faster than the current TTZero lap record. The closest current IOM lap record is the Junior Classic Manx GP at 101.933 mph, set by Roy Richardson on a 1960s 350 Aermacchi!

    Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of electric bike racing and hope its here to stay. I just don’t think that spurious performance comparisons that fudge the massive current performance difference between ICE and Electric do electric any favours in the long run.


  • Ken C.

    Wow. I love that the bike is so quiet that you can actually hear Steve Atlas scraping his knee pucks.

  • Frenchie

    Obviously comparing TTZero with WSBK and MotoGP was just a way to point out that TTzero race distance is respectable and indeed comparable to some short-track races.

    The obvious difference between road racing and track racing leads to my last question, how would the power consumption be influenced by racing on a short track instead of a road track?

    For an apple to apple comparison at Infineon, the XR1200 race lasted 11 laps, compared to 8 laps for TTXGP category.
    Pole position in XR1200 was 1.47.8, out of 15 riders, the 12th qualified in 1.55.0, the 13th in 1.56.1 so my point is that electric bikes could qualify at the back of the pack of a XR1200 race, and still be in front of a couple riders on fuel bikes.
    The electric bikes are competitive in the way of “yes, they could qualify with those bikes on a XR1200 race”, not in a way of “they could smoke them all and get the pole easy peasy”.
    In my opinion it’s already impressive in itself.

    Going back to the TT, the 125cc lap record is 110.52 mph, set in 2004 on a Honda by Chris Palmer, give it a couple of years and the electric bikes will be much closer from that.
    In Supersport, the last 10 guys to finish the race do between 105 and 112 mph.
    110 mph is a reasonable goal for the forthcoming years, this is just the very begining of racing electric bikes and the progress can be quick because there are still so many things to understand and then optimize.
    Considering most (all?) of the riders in 2010 were amateurs (just like the slower guys in supersport), significant progress can also be expected when professional riders will give it a try.
    It seems to be happening for 2011 so we’ll see about that very soon!

  • seth

    Im loving this new site haha

  • Frenchie

    Just to understand the kind of progress we’ve witnessed in 2 years of TTZero:


    1 12 Robert Barber AGNI X01 0:25:53.5 87.434
    2 18 Thomas Schoenfelder XXL Racing Team 0:29:4.93 77.841
    3 26 Mark Buckley Brammo 0:30:2.64 75.35
    4 1 Thomas Montano Mission Motors 0:30:33.26 74.091
    5 14 Paul Dobbs Htblauva 0:36:10.63 62.575
    6 24 Stephen Harper Brunel X-team 0:56:27.89 40.092


    1 3 Mark Miller MotoCzysz EIPC 0:23:22.89 96.82
    2 1 Robert Barber Agni 0:25:21.19 89.653
    3 4 James Mcbride Man TTX 0:25:32.13 88.653
    4 2 Jenny Tinmouth Agni 0:25:39.50 88.228
    5 9 George Spence Peter Williams 0:34:59.19 64.705

    The winner from 2009 only gained 32s in 2010…BUT the race was 2min31s shorter!
    This is massive, the average speed of the winner was 9 mph higher than the year before.
    Also the entire competition significantly improved because out of 5 finishers, 4 were faster than the race time of the year before.
    Plus the top4 was much closer, separated by less than 2min20 instead of 4min40.

    I’m not trying to do statistics with only 2 years of racing, but we can reasonably expect steady improvement of the performances in the very beginning of electric motorcycle racing.

  • Gabe

    Seriously….I’m with Seth.

  • Aw, can’t hear to motor whine. I’m coming around to that sound…though, maybe like Ducati and Ferrari, when power gets to a respectable level, they can start designing the motor housing to have acoustically appealing resonation? I mean the basic principal from a trash truck and M3 in terms of power-train is not that different yet one is like music, the other…is not so great. So, differentiating the acoustic signature of a premium electric vehicle from public transit might be a good idea.

    Yeah, not a high priority, but would be nice.

  • Damo

    I will get killed for this, but I can;t wait for the day I can go to the dealer and buy a fast and silent eBike. My neighbors hate me when I fire up the RSV Mille to go to work at 6am :)


  • Kyle G

    Dont be so sure until you try life without :) it’s a completely different experience all together
    What I mean is try it out, see, hear, and feel for yourself then make the decision, i hope you’re surprised

  • Dan

    Many of us former racers have suffered hearing loss and for that reason alone I say, “Bring on the Electrics!”

  • Impressive lap. I’d love to try the brammo sometime, rolling on the power coming out of the corners should be super smooth.

    Most people still seem to think electric racing is about tree hugging hippies taping car batteries to a rickety wooden frame and taking 3 days and 5 charges and some pushing to do 1 lap around a gokart track. When I show them these videos they are impressed at the professional level and the proper high-speed motogp-like racing. Keep ’em coming!

    What we need now is closer racing. That would make it a lot more interesting for the media.