Segway MotoCzysz wins the IOM electric motorcycle race at 99.513 mph average speed


June 10, 2011

Michael Rutter at Braddon Bridge during the 2011 Isle of Man TT Zero race

Michael Rutter at Braddon Bridge during the 2011 Isle of Man TT Zero race

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The continuing progress of electric motorcycle racing was illustrated this week when MotoCzysz won the TT Zero Race at the Isle of Man for the second year running. In achieving a new lap record for electric motorcycles of 99.513 mph, the Segway-sponsored MotoCzysz E1PC went within a whisker of claiming the GBP10,000 prize for the first electric bike to lap the 37 mile circuit at 100mph at the same time as demonstrating yet another quantum leap in electric bike performance from last year's 96.820 mph average and the 2009 winning average of 87.434 mph.

The MotoCzysz was clearly the fastest electric bike of the week, with last year's winner Mark Miller finishing second to his team-mate Michael Rutter, giving the American brand a 1-2 result. To cap things off, the MotoCzysz was also the fastest through the speed traps, with a top speed of 149.5mph.

The small field also included four University outfits competing for the GBP5000 University Prize, with third place outright and the first university team home going to the Kingston Ecotricity ION Horse ridden by George Spence, though considerably slower than the MotoCzysz at just 88.435mph. Allan Brew on the MIT machine was second in the university class and fourth outright.

The times might have been even faster for the winning machine had experienced TT rider Rutter not backed off to conserve power, and there's also little doubt that the bike has considerably more performance available for shorter circuits thanks to its recently commercialised d1g1tal dr1ve.

Rutter thought that the bike could have gone even quicker but held back to conserve power, though there's clearly a huge performance gap between electric bikes and the fastest petrol-engined road bikes which lap the circuit some 28% faster. Viewed another way, it's 54 years since the first 100 mph lap of the circuit by a petrol-engined bike.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

I have known doubt this is the future. Good acceleration, no vibration, very low noise, the ability to top it up from home and most important of all, low maintains. The only two down sides I can see, you cannot fuel it up as fast as a combustion engine. In addition, the battery has a very short life span and is very costly to replace. Pity that.

Gerard Sharry

yes i agree on the speed of topups, too slow ,itd be quicker just to exchange the batteries...a bit like \"better place\" is already doing for the e car market here in Australia

Peter Wade

This story was 3 yrs ago, todays ZERO TT race will avg approx 115MPH over 37 miles, that's fantastic. 15% increase 3 yrs, another 3 yrs maybe 125 MPH, then they'll have to race the petrol 600s to start, then 1,000s when they get good enough. I CAN easily see the day, when electric bikes will compete and then have to be constrained to keep parity.

As per engine size regs today for racing. It'll be MAX electrical energy per race....LOL Great I can't wait, as I love most every type of racing I've seen/competed in.

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