2016 Isle of Man TT Zero: Five Starters, Five Finishers

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Electric motorcycles are a recent addition to a historic race on a tiny island neatly centered in the Irish Sea between Scotland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Wales.  Its 75,000 inhabitants cluster in villages that look like movie sets of rustic, pre-war England. Manx cats come from the island, tailless little creatures with long back legs that look almost rabbit-like. Bonus fact: Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb (the Bee Gees) were all born on the Isle of Man. Having so few people to share the 688 miles of roads could make speeding a huge temptation.  The two-lane roads are twisty and narrow, though, and even without an official speed limit on many thoroughfares, speeds rarely average over 50 mph.  …

Motorcyclist Hums with Electric Bike News

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants Leave a Comment

One tenet of the CAFE Foundation’s outlook is that electric automobiles will be a major source of the new technology that will make electric aviation a practical reality.  Large-scale production numbers for cars mean lower prices, ubiquitous motors and batteries, and demonstrated performance.  Motorcycles offer another source for equipment that could see aircraft applications, since cycles share some of the same criteria for success, including light weight, compactness, and high output of both power and torque – especially true in the ultralight and light sport aircraft range. The motorcycle community’s normally lukewarm assessment of the prospects for battery-powered two-wheelers is heated up considerably in the November issue of Motorcyclist, and that bodes well for electric aircraft. Normally crowded with Harley, …