Moto Electra has found a new, innovative way to combine old and new technologies in its electric race bike. The Virginia-based Moto Electra has been an active participant in electric motorcycle racing for the last few years, competing against much larger, better funded teams with a race bike using an electric motor and 1950s Norton Featherbed frame.
That melding of old and new has produced surprising results, including podium finishes in the TTXGP and victory in a race featuring both electric and gas-powered motorcycles.
The plucky team has taken another technological step forward by equipping its race bike with an Apple iPad as an information console and communication system. Built into the top of the Norton fuel tank, the iPad provides performance information including speed, lap-times and acceleration information, as well as monitoring vital functions such as battery charge level. The iPad can also produce a noise simulating a combustion engine as a safety feature for the otherwise silent-running electric motorcycle.
The iPad is installed with a communications app by IceWarp, one of the team’s supporters. The IceWarp app allows the rider to communicate with his support team using simple swiping movements.
“Moto Electra shows that green electric technology is perfectly compatible with proven designs that have been around for decades,” says Brian Richardson, manager of Moto Electra Racing. “Our machine is built around a Norton Featherbed frame, patented in 1949. The high-end technology we designed with IceWarp’s support helped us both preserve the magic of this era and enhance the old design with exciting new capabilities.”
Moto Electra will showcase its iPad-equipped race bike at the Isle of Man Clean Tech Road Show which kicks off with a stop Sept. 17 in Boston and Sept. 20 in Foster City, Calif.