Quiet and green, bike race boasts tech innovations 

Other than the toned ruckus and its no-carbon diet, there’s one significant difference between the first electric motorcycle race in the U.S. and the traditional gas-powered events: power.

Twelve racing enthusiasts who have been building their bikes to compete in the TTXGP eGrandPix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma will, on top of speed and safety, also be worrying about whether their battery juice will last.

“You can’t regenerate at all while you’re racing,” said Werkstatt Racing shop owner Jennifer Bromme, a San Franciscan who has been racing for 20 years but will compete with an electric motorcycle for the first time. “The gas tanks don’t run out before you cross the finish line.”

The 30-minute race, about 25 miles — 11 laps — with 12 bikes that produce zero carbon emissions and top out at about 150 mph, is the second one in the world involving these types of motorcycles, and race organizers say the historical aspect is just as appealing as pushing electric vehicles.

“The kind of technology we will see on the track is really going to be at the baseline, and we expect a much faster development time with competition,” TTXGP U.S. Director Jeremy Burne said. “Being green doesn’t necessarily mean being slow.”

The first competition was at the Isle of Man in 2009. The winning motorcycle from that event will compete at Infineon with a different driver.

Bromme has been prepping her Mavizen TTX02, serial No. 0001, built by a company whose owner, Azhar Hussain, is the founder of the race series.

“Only a handful of people in the world have it,” she said of the Mavizen TTX02. “It’s also different because you don’t have any gears. It’s like an automatic.”

The race is Sunday, with practice Friday and qualifying Saturday.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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Kamala Kelkar

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