Engine tuning company Mugen Motorsports announced it will compete in the TT Zero electric motorcycle race at the 2012 Isle of Man TT.
Though not officially a Honda company,Mugen was founded by Hirotoshi Honda, son of Honda founder Soichiro Honda, and the company is best known for its work as an engine tuner and parts maker for Honda vehicles. The Mugen entry to the TT Zero represents possibly the closest connection so far between a traditional motorcycle OEM and the relatively new realm of electric motorcycle racing.
“We are keen to use this excellent event to educate and prepare the engineers of the next generation for the use of future technology,” says Satoshi Katsumata of Team Mugen. “We are very excited about adding to the long history of Japanese manufacturers on the Isle of Man.”
Mugen has a history of racing success, tuning four Formula 1 Grand Prix race winners. Though Mugen is better known for its work with Honda’s cars, it does have experience working with motorcycles, as illustrated by the Mugen-modified Honda CBR250R pictured above. Mugen has also fielded a team in the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, so motorcycle racing is not new for the tuning house.
Electric racing is another matter however, especially considering the TT Zero’s single-lap time trial format. Nevertheless, Mugen will enter an all-new electric motorcycle. Given the company’s close association with Honda, we’re hoping Mugen’s electric racer will look like the Honda RC-E electric sportbike concept unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
Honda RC-E Electric Sportbike Revealed at 2011 Tokyo Motor Show