Posted on 20 April 2009.
Brian Wismann, team manager for Brammo Inc., created the concept behind the company’s new electric racing motorcycle. Wismann said the bike will have a top speed of at least 100 mph.
In June, representatives from two Ashland electric vehicle companies will travel to the Isle of Man, midway between England and Ireland, to race against each other — and about 20 other competitors.
Brammo Inc. and Barefoot Motors each are developing an electric motorcycle they plan to race in the Time Trials Xtreme Grand Prix, scheduled for June 12. Only clean-emission motorcycles will be allowed to race in the TTXGP, the world’s first carbon-free grand prix.
Brammo engineers are developing a motorcycle based on the company’s Enertia model. Adjustments to the motorcycle’s battery pack, motor and bodywork will allow the new model to go about twice as fast — hitting speeds of at least 100 mph, said Brian Wismann, Brammo’s team manager for the race.
Barefoot Motors, which makes electric all-terrain vehicles, is creating a motorcycle for the race by updating the technology it uses to make its four-wheeled vehicles. The company doesn’t plan to start manufacturing motorcycles, however.
The Isle of Man course, a 37.7-mile route with more than 200 turns, is notoriously dangerous. More than 200 people have died during races or practices on the course since 1911, when it first was used for competition.
Brammo has hired semiprofessional rider Roy Richardson, who has competed on the course before.
Barefoot Motors has hired professional rider Chris Petty, who also has raced on the Isle of Man before. Schless, a licensed American Motorcycle Association rider, has created the company’s bike to be as safe as possible, said Bob Acheson, finance manager for the company.
Both companies will post updates from team members before and after the race on their Web sites, brammo.com and barefootmotors.com.
Although Brammo and Barefoot Motors are practically neighbors, both companies are planning to travel thousands of miles to essentially spy on — and compete against — each other and similar companies.
“This is only one solution to building a bike for this race,” Wismann said. “One of the reasons we’re going is to see what our competitors are up to.”
Since both companies hail from Ashland, the competition between the two will be especially intense, Bieschin said.