Monday, June 6, 2011

Isle of Man - Day 10 - Qualifying #2

With Erick's arrival from Boston (he graduated last weekend), the entire team is now on the island. It's been an intense weekend with motor rebuilds, dyno time and conversations with the ManxTTX team about their experience with the same motors. We've learned a ton about the motors and how they fail, and every new piece of understanding increases our chances of keeping the motors running optimally through to the end of the race on Wednesday.

Our day started with another run on the dyno to confirm our motor settings.

Back at the garage, Radu noticed that the motor gaps were off. Each motor has a core (or armature) that spins between two sets of magnets. If the gaps between either side of the armature and its respective set of magnets are different from each other, then the motor isn't going to run well. Radu's discovery this morning led us to believe that running the motors on the dyno cause them to heat up too much and allows the armature to shift in the housing. If it shifts too much, the armature will contact the magnets on one side, leading to complete loss of power (in the best case) or full motor failure where the armature is destroyed beyond repair.

We discussed our options...

...and decided that the best course was to re-shim the culprit motor to get the armature centered between the magnets again.

Randall worked more on stickers.

Lennon took the bike out for a quick spin to confirm the fix. With a larger sprocket on the back wheel, he got noticeably more acceleration out of the bike. To get that though, we had to give up a bit of top end speed. The qualifying lap today would help us determine the best sprocket choice for the race on Wednesday.

Allan had his Supersport (gas bike) race early this afternoon, then he came back to Ramsey to pick up eSuperbike. We all piled in and followed him back to the start/finish line.

Through inspection and in parc ferme, we put tyre warmers on and got the chance to chat with folks about eSuperbike.

Motoczysz, last year's winning team, had both bikes out today.

It may have just been for the cameras, but it looked like Michael Czysz was introducing the rider to the controls on the bike for the first time here.

Unlike last Saturday, the bikes were started from the official start line out on the track today. Lennon took eSuperbike up to the starting grid and Allan took it from there.

The team.

The bikes start just before the grandstand and the pits.

Ready and waiting for the start. The bikes go off one at a time on the course, so everyone lines up single-file to wait for their turn.

Sitting and waiting for your bike to come back around the track is pretty stressful. You go through all of the possible scenarios of what can go wrong from the motors to the batteries, the chain to the rider to the weather. In the first two years of the electric racing, lots of bikes broke down along the way. You just hope that you won't be another one of them.

And then your bike comes into view.

So how'd we do? Allan finished with a time of 28:50, or an average lap speed of 78.5. That's faster than Saturday's run, but still a bit behind the top three teams.

It might have been all the bugs that slowed him down. =)

So we're qualified twice over, and still tweaking the bike for a bit more overall speed. We collected quite a bit of data today which we'll go over with Allan tomorrow and use to decide the final settings for race day on Wednesday. As always, it's a battle of how far we can push the motors and still be certain to get all the way around the course.

I got a request for more landscape pictures of the island. It really is beautiful here. Most of these are taken from moving cars, but they give an idea of what it's like here. I think of it as being on a 25-mile-long ship in the middle of the ocean, since the weather changes so quickly, you get plenty of breezes off the water, and the sun feels strong because of the clear air.

The harbor in Ramsey. The boats are built to sit on dry land when the tide goes out.

We've seen lots of coastline, especially with the mountain road closed for racing (the mountain road is the faster way to get between where we're staying and the capital city of Douglas).

Lots of motorcycles around, of course. They've arrived by the ferry-load for the last week from all over Europe.

Sheep in the fields.

Another type of local fauna during the TT: traffic police with speed radar guns.



  1. Hey guys, might want to ask IOM TT to get your bike name right on TT Live.

    They are calling it a 2011 BMW... which I guess is correct on some level that won't promote your bike :D Rock on!

  2. SO excellent pictures of racing which you share here above. Every thing looking wonderful. I am so impressed by that.
    avchd player