Japanese tuning company Mugen announced it will field a two-rider team of John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey in the 2014 TT Zero electric race at the Isle of Man. McGuinness and Anstey will be riding the third-generation Mugen electric motorcycle, the Shinden San (Three). McGuinness rode Mugen’s Shinden in the 2012 TT Zero, and its […]
Brammo Electric Motorcycles Eligible to Race Against Gas-Powered Bikes in AFM
Electric Brammo motorcycles will share the grid with gas-powered motorcycles in American Federation of Motorcyclists competitions. The AFM, America’s oldest motorcycle road racing body, announced Brammo riders can compete head-to-head for championships against those riding internal combustion engine motorcycles.
The Brammo Empulse R, Empulse TTX and Empulse RR will be eligible for competition. The AFM has yet to define which classes they will be eligible for, except to say they will be determined by power-to-weight ratios. The key point however is Brammo’s electric motorcycles will be integrated into existing classes instead of being segregated into an electric-only class.
“What caught AFM’s attention about Brammo’s approach was that they were not asking for a separate class, but were instead looking to have a chance for their bikes to compete within the existing class structure and go head to head with gas-powered bikes of similar performance and power-to-weight,” says Berto Woodridge, president of AFM Racing. “We believe this to be a historic moment in motorcycle racing and are happy to have made it possible.”
The AFM currently runs three categories, each with multiple classes based on engine displacement: Production (essentially a superstock category for production motorcycles available in the U.S.), Superbike (open to production-based non-limited edition models available anywhere in the world) and Formula (an open class allowing unlimited modifications). It will be interesting to see how the three Brammo models will be classified. Pictured below, for example, is Eric Bostrom riding a Brammo Empulse R alongside AFM racer Alan Cunningham on a Suzuki he rides in a 500 Twins class.
“This announcement is a true milestone in the history of electric motorcycle racing as an opportunity for our bikes to compete amongst their gas powered counterparts on even terms rather than just as an exhibition or in a single race,” says Brian Wismann, Brammo’s director of product development. “It’s going to be a challenge to be competitive as the gas bikes have about 100 years of development time on us, but we’re excited about the chance to pit the Brammo Empulse against the best efforts from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.”