If you think the world of motorcycle is exciting, the world of electric motorcycle is even more. Let’s face it, electric motorcycles are in their infancy and I suspect more than a few of us wish we could have seen the early days of motorcycle development. The good news is that we can see see the pioneering days of electric motors right now and how its taken by surprise a few traditional makers.
The Isle of Man TT Races are part some of the biggest international event of the year. Motorcycles racing on street roads at speeds most would only dare on a play station. This famous international bike race event started in 1907 and the TT Zero Challenge class was first run in 2009 as a time trial. It covers 60 kilometers (38 miles) across a mountain course on the public roads on the island. The TT Zero aims to race a zero CO2 clean emission power unit. A few of the early contenders, such as Lightning Motorcycle and MotoCsysz made history there. The latter won’t race there this year. If you need to get charged, remember our article on the Netflix movie “Charge”? The early comments were very funny.
Speaking of Lightning Motorcycle, they managed to put 21 seconds in front of the best Ducati last year at Pikes Peaks. It looks like Honda won’t sit idly this year with the Mugen Shinden San team prepping up for the TT Zero electric race on the ultimate Isle of Man.
Will Honda be the first electric motorcycle OEM?
Honda is taking a strong stance with its third purpose built electric Mugen Shinden, which translates into God of Electricity in Japanese, or 神電 参 for those of you familiar with nihon go. The 10-hp increase from last year’s version is not mind blowing, but the 162.26 ft. Lb. of torque should be plenty of performance. The bike is heavy, at 529 Lb., but should average 115 MPH, blowing the 100 MPH previous barrier. The electric Mugen Shinden introduces a new compact oil-cooled power plant putting out 100 kW (134 HP) developed by Mission Motors.
According to the press release, Mr. Shin Nagaosa, President of M-TEC Co., Ltd., announced the Team Mugen is ready for this year’s Isle of Man TT Zero Challenge class. It competed for the first time at the Isle of Man TT in 2012 with two consecutive second-place. They are now aiming for a victory in 2014 with an all-new challenger. Just how serious is Honda about electric motorcycles? M-TEC originally created its in-house TT Zero project to initiate young engineers in the emerging technologies “that are fast becoming prevalent in all forms of modern motorsport” This speaks volume about how Honda recognizes the potential of the electric drive with motorcycles. We certainly hope that by publicly claiming electric motorcycles are raced and winning, this will spark other’s attention and get the rest on-board. After all, we would benefit from electric motorcycles and their tremendous torque.
The Mugen Shinden specs
For those of you who followed the early days of the rebirth of electric vehicles (EV), Mission Motors was an early contender in the world of electric motorcycles. It matched the high expectations as much as the new Tesla Motors startup. Today, the company morphed into a consulting firm and is now one of the supplier and sponsor for the team. It designed the new oil-cooled 3-phase brushless motor with an increased power output and reduced size, and weight. The battery capacity new control systems have also increased, although Honda isn’t disclosing how big it is.
·Machine Name : SHINDEN SAN
·Overall length / width / height (mm) : 2,125 / 680 / 1,130
·Wheelbase (mm) : 1,485
·Ground Clearance (mm) : 130
·Seat Height (mm) : 840
·Total Weight (kg): 240
·Tire (Front) : 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
·Tire (Rear) : 200/55ZR17M/C (78W)
·Frame : CFRP twin-spar type
·Motor Type : Oil-cooled, 3-phase, brushless motor
·Maximum Output (kW [ps]) : 100 
·Maximum Torque (N·m [kgf·m]) : 220 [22.4]
·Battery Specification : Laminate-type Lithium-ion
·Battery Output Voltage (V): 370 or more
.Frame: carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CRFP)
Famed motorcycle John McGuinness winner, known as the fastest Isle of Man lap with 20 wins, also holds the 131.671-mile per hour lap record and will be riding with teammate Bruce Anstey. So far Honda has two made.
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