In less than 24 hours, the TT Zero race will be underway at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, which means that riders Lee Johnson and Guy Martin (who is substituting for the injured William Dunlop) will be putting the Victory Motorcycles electric race bike through its paces on the 37.773-mile Mountain Course.
If Victory’s entry looks familiar, it should, as it’s based off the Brammo Empulse RR. Brammo has made some improvements to the machine for Victory though, namely a reworked motor, new battery pack, and aerodynamic touches.
The Parker GVM internal permanent magnet motor features new windings, which trades 173hp for 150hp, in the name of system efficiency. The quoted peak torque figure is still 162 lbs•ft though.
Battery capacity is up 20% as well, with 17 kWh of juice on-board. So far, that’s been good enough for a timed 105 mph lap by Lee Johnston – not enough to shake Team Mugen from its leading position, but certainly a strong showing for the team’s first outing on the Isle of Man since 2009.
As expected, aerodynamic tweaks have been made to the Victory race bike since we first saw it. The biggest change is the front fairing extensions, which have been riveted into place and extend the bike’s frontal surface area.
Another item of note is the tail section cover for the electrical kill switch, which seems to be built out of a rapid prototype plastic. The tail section itself is made out of carbon fiber, and differs from the previous unit on the Brammo Empulse RR.
Overall, the American-made Victory bike looks much more svelte than its Japanese counterpart, which should translate into better handling characteristics on the TT course.
With 120 mph the goal to beat this year, the TT Zero entries are getting properly fast, especially when you consider that they don’t have the benefit of a flying lap.
About on-par with the Lightweight TT machines, and closing in on the speed of the Supersports, it’s amazing to see where these bikes have evolved to in the past few years.
The debate now becomes, when will an electric drivetrain be the quickest around the Isle of Man TT? In the next 10 year? Maybe less? Only time will tell.
Photos: © 2015 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved