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EV-0 RR: the battery-powered racebike with zero carbon emission 600cc

By • Mar 22nd, 2009 • Category: ! Daily Info & Reviews, Vehicles

EV-0 RR:  the battery-powered racebike with zero carbon emission 600cc

Why don’t most of us get all fired up about electric bikes? Umm… probably because almost all battery-powered electric bike contraptions looks a bit… dweeb-ish. Unlike blenders, mixers, washing machines or other similar appliances, motorcycles have to be about more than just the utility factor – they also have to get the blood racing in our veins, they have to make our hearts beat faster.

Right now, electric bikes need to be sexed-up a bit and that’s exactly what the UK-based Xenophya are trying to do with the EV-0 RR, which they’ve designed for Evo Design Solutions Ltd. The bike will be raced at the first Time Trials Xtreme Grand Prix (TTXGP) at the Isle of Man, on the 12th of June this year.

According to Mark Wells, Senior Partner at Xenophya Design, their brief was to create evocative and exciting images which would get sponsors to buy into the concept. ‘The images represent how the race bike might look, although it is still in development and as with all race bikes it will evolve considerably during the design process, but based on the positive feedback so far I think we have managed to fulfil our brief,’ he says.

‘We really feel the trick with zero emissions vehicles, at this stage in their development, is to give motorcyclists (and petrolheads in general) what they know, and more importantly, love. This is why the illustrations we have made for the EV-0RR are very ‘MotoGP’ in proportion and stance. Everything from the General Motors EV1 in the 90s, to the Prius and the Seymour Powell ENV Hydro bike and even the Mission One TTXGP entry, are so desperately trying to communicate their innovation and ‘electricness’ through semantics,’ says Mark.

‘I don’t look at a bike and get turned on or off by the measurement of g/km of carbon dioxide are emitted, I really don’t care. I love two-strokes for the way they only deliver power in a small powerband. Equally I love big inline-fours because of the ‘point and squirt, world goes backwards’ experience. I get excited by bikes; that’s my passion, so give me a bike. If that bike has a torque curve like a table top (as an electric motor will) then I’m interested in it irrelevant of whether it runs on fresh air or by burning endangered tree frogs from the Amazon…,’ he adds.

The EV-0 RR features a monocoque chassis, single-sided front and rear suspension and twin electric motors. We do think the bike looks good and it could actually be quite fast as well. Will it find a place next to the Ducati 1198S, Desmosedici RR, MV Agusta F4 CC and 2009 Yamaha R1 in our dream garage? Er… to be honest, no. What in the world would we ever do without all that noise that comes out from those Yoshimura, Akrapovic and Racefit can

EV-0 RR:  the battery-powered racebike with zero carbon emission 600cc

Equipped with a carbon fiber monocoque frame, two electric motors and a double-wishbone single-sided front end, a motorcycle based on these designs will race at the Isle of Man on June 19. The engineers behind the EV-0RR claim it will have the power, weight and speed of a 600cc sportsbike, providing the stiffest competition yet for the Mission One electric motorcycle at the inaugural emissions-free TTXGP.

Unlike that the utterly conventional in all but power-source Mission One, the EV-0 RR takes full advantage of the packaging freedom delivered by the electric powertrain. The two electric motors are positioned at the bottom of the bellypan with the batteries located just above them, optimizing mass centralization. Surrounding them is the structural carbon body, which forms most of the fairing. The riding position — with a faux “tank” and normal relationship between seat, bars and pegs — may look conventional, but has been optimized both for rider control and aerodynamics. The “tank” is retained despite the lack of gas to fill it to give the riders’ knees something to hang on to.

The single-sided rear geometry is based on that of a Honda VFR400RR NC30, while the front is modeled after the modified Yamaha GTS1000 that Steve Linsdell raced at the TT in 1995. Steve joins ex-Lotus designer Peter Williams, A1GP chief mechanic Steve Fyldes and Rick Simpson on the engineering team behind it. Between them, the team is has experience creating both the Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8 and the outlawed ground-effects-equipped Lotus 79 Formula One car. Steve’s 21-year old son, Olie Linsdell, will be the rider.

That single-sided front end provides the EV-0 RR a clear advantage over traditional competition, reducing tire wear and increasing stability. The former likely won’t prove too useful since the TTXGP only runs one lap of the bumpy 37.7-mile Mountain Course, but the latter should be a huge help, especially considering the rest of the carbon-framed bike is unproven.

The team has GPS mapped every inch of the course and is employing MotoGP-spec controllers to precisely tailor power delivery for each section. Since battery technology is something that will be largely equal across all teams — development in batteries takes place at a rate and a budget that’s beyond any vehicle manufacturer’s ability to influence — winning is largely going to be down to discovering the correct balance between weight, power, capacity and speed. We’d expect the winning bike to run out of charge just as it crossed the finishing line, so the EV-0 RR team’s mapping and power control could give it more of an advantage than its radical chassis.

The inaugural TTXGP will be the first race of its kind, an open-formula prototype competition with only one rule: no harmful emissions. Designed to foster innovation in green two-wheeled transportation, we can’t wait to see the vehicles that will be rolled out to race on June 19.

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