Following the long-awaited return of former EVT legend, Lennon Rodgers, the team has a revived interest in the electric motorcycle scene! Lennon led the team’s efforts at the Isle of Man TTZero race back in 2011, where EVT’s converted BMW bike received the best time out of all the first year teams.
As an additional project to go along with the Opel conversion, the team has started working on a motorcycle that will compete in the Pikes Peak hill climb event. The Pikes Peak event will have significantly less demanding energy requirements than the Isle of Man race, making it a good initial goal for getting started with electric motorcycles again. The winning electric bike actually outperformed the gas powered bikes at last year’s race:
The project has been headed by Jimmy (sophomore) as the Motorcycle Team Lead, along with Lennon’s mentorship. Lennon, Jimmy, and the motorcycle team has decided that modifying a commercially-available Zero bike would be the most feasible option for getting started with the motorcycles again. A list of potential modifications for modifying the bike focused on the improved cooling and thermal considerations, better aerodynamics, and improved controls. Alterations to the suspension and upgrading the wheels were also under consideration.
There were a few delays before finally bringing in a bike, but Lennon was able to help us acquire the new 2016 model Zero FXS. Earlier work throughout the semester focused on developing Matlab simulations and modeling for the race in order to confirm that this would indeed be the best platform for modification.
While we still haven’t decided whether or not we will be preparing this bike in time for the upcoming 200th Anniversary race this June, we can finally get to work now that we have the bike in the shop in time for IAP!