The Isle of Man TT Races are some of the most prestigious motor-cycle races in the world and are held every year on – you guessed it – the Isle of Man. But one of this year’s contestants in throwing a curveball, giving spectators a sight they’ve never seen before at this race – a “wind-powered” superbike.
Designed by wind entrepeneur and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, who has also created an electric supercar, the Ion Horse electric superbike was built at Kingston University and cost GB£150,000 to make. It is hoped that the bike will become the first electric bike to complete a lap of the circuit with an average speed of over 100mph, claiming a cash prize of GB£10,000. No electric bike has managed this since the electric-bike race was founded.
Speaking about the bike, Vince said: “Following hard on the heels of our wind powered car, the Nemesis – comes Ion Horse our wind powered bike. The guys at Kingston have built an amazing machine and we expect it to take the TT by storm. It’s another great demonstration of how transport of the very near future will be – powered by renewable energy, made in Green Britain – and with zero pollution.”
The bike’s features are classified, but according to Ecotricity’s website, the bike “has features unseen on an electric bike before. Its lithium polymer cobalt cells power the bike from 0-60mph in three seconds, with a top speed of 140mph. These include a unique new direct drive system expected to give the team the competition edge, whose exact details are being kept closely under wraps.” The bike’s energy will come from Ecotricity’s fleet of 52 windmills.
Kingston University London Ion Horse team manager Paul Brandon said: “The Ion Horse is the culmination of years of cutting-edge technology coming together for one purpose – to take the TT’s 100mph lap record. But it’s also a design showcase for what electric bikes could be like, and thanks to the support of Ecotricity, completely powered by wind energy.”
The TT Zero race is on Wednesday June 8,2011 and will see electric superbikes from all over the world compete around the Isle of Man’s twisting 37 mile road circuit.