June 11, 2010 -- Even though this motorcycle looks like one of Tom Cruise's many toys in the "Mission Impossible" movies, this bike is a real-life bad ass electric machine: and now it's a first place winner in the world's toughest motorcycle race.
Popular Science reported "the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc won the Isle of Man TT Zero electric motorcycle race yesterday in its racing debut, lapping the United Kingdom island at a record 96.820 mph, just shy of the 100 mph goal the team was aiming for . ... It's the first time an American-made bike has won a race at the Isle of Man since Indian debuted a two-speed gearbox in 1911 and only the second time an American rider has finished first there."
Since its inception in 1907, the Isle of Man race has been the motorcycle race for manufacturers and motorcycle developers to show off their best machines, and for riders to show off their best skills. The island's narrow, winding back roads have proven fatal for many riders over the years as they take turns and jumps at over 100 mph.
The incredibly advanced technology used to create this electric super racer could not only change the world of racing bikes, but also how all electric vehicles are developed.
Developed by a tiny Oregonian company, the E1pc racing bike packs 10 times the battery power of a Toyota Prius and reached a top speed of 140 mph in a practice run. The world's fastest motorcycle, BMW's S1000 RR, a gas-powered superbike, was clocked at 194.6 mph in May.
Popular Science gave an excellent explanation of how the entirely battery-powered bike works, from the inside out:
"The batteries (on the E1pc) are huge, visually dominating the bike and occupying the space traditionally reserved for an internal combustion engine. There are 10 individual lithium polymer cells that each weigh 19.5 Lbs and were hand-assembled by a company that typically builds batteries for NASA.
There are no wires connecting the batteries to the bike or any exposed terminals. Instead, posts on the batteries lock into receivers on the bike's frame, at once making the electrical connection and supporting the batteries' weight ... (allowing for) the batteries to be swapped out in just a couple of seconds."
Wired reported that the custom-built, oil-cooled motor (shown above) generates 100 horsepower (continuous) and 250 pound-feet of torque. That's faster than some small gas-powered cars. Talk about head spinning.
To see the full gallery of photos taken of the MotoCzysz E1pc at Amadeus Photography, click here.