Zero partners with Agni for inaugural US TTXGP

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Zero_Agni_TTXGP.jpgZero Motorcycles CEO Gene Banman has exclusively revealed to Hell For Leather that his company will be partnering with Agni Motors to create a new motorcycle to enter the first American TTXGP race on May 16. The partnership makes a lot of sense; Agni’s Cydric Lynch essentially invented the modern archetype for electric vehicle motors, while Zero has enormous expertise in constructing very lightweight, very strong frames. In addition to the new racer, Agni motors – the same ones that were used in the 2009 TTXGP winner — now power the 2010 Zero DS and Zero S.

Update: the race bike will not result in a road-going model and will use a single motor of an entirely new Agni design. Gene says the bike itself will be “heavily based” on the S/DS platform.

The air cooler on the 2010 S/DS is needed due to the new 450w controller, without it that motor would overheat during heavy use such as climbing long inclines at full throttle.
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Zero’s proprietary frames are made from aircraft grade aluminum — the
company’s founder, Neal Saiki, used to work for NASA – and are among the
lightest motorcycle frames in the world. The Zero X and MX frame weighs
just 13 pound while the one holding the DS and S together is 18 pounds.

Agni won the TTXGP race on the Isle of Man last year with two of its
motors housed inside a GSX-R frame while the Mavizen TTX02 is also
powered by two of those motors, but houses them in a KTM RC8 frame. Even
Michael Czysz used the Agni motors, three of them in the E1pc.

The Agni 95 reinforced permanent magnet brushed motor in the 2010 Zero S
and DS develops 39lb/ft of torque (peak) and 19lb/ft (continuous). That
was good for an indicated 70 MPH top speed during our test ride
yesterday. Look for our review in the next couple of days and check out
Fox Car Report Live
at 3:30 EST where I’ll be appearing alongside Gene
Banman to discuss his new bikes.

  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    I had recognised the Agni motor in the 2010′s. Interesting departure from Zero’s original plan to engineer everything from the ground up. Did Gene say if the air cooling was required by the Agni or was there a heat issue with the original S and DS motor as well?

    Thanks for the update! Looking fwd to the review.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Just that the extra air allows it to make a bit more power. I’ll ask more specifically this afternoon.

  • Brett Vegas

    Having run the brigg&stratton, the Perm, and the lynch(before it was agni) I can say the lynch is the better motor. Not by leaps and bounds, and some of its design is a little wacky(both the perm and the briggs use a cast two part case, the agni has a weird three part case), the rotor-to-magnet gap is very close and precise on the agni(nearly as good is the perm). That said, any of them will burn up past a very defined limit(~150a continuous). The rotor is an array of radial busbars, with interconnects soldered on the ends. Heat them too much, they fly. Also had one rotor ‘potato chip’ from excess heat(grunk,grunk,grunk). They may be pushing taller gearing with the agni, but I’d bet that the older bikes had some heat issues also. If anything the agni is a better motor at dealing with heat.

    That agni is helping other companies and racing themselves is a bit weird, but they probly want to see a real race happen, even at the risk of losing the #1 spot. Cedric Lynch is a strange fellow, but definitely an icon.

  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    OK, Perm made the old motor. Never mind my “ground up” comment.

    Cedric Lynch a strange fellow? In his world we are probably all strange. :D

    http://www.tubechop.com/watch/15475

    Really hope to meet him at Infineon.

  • drivin98

    Let us know when that clip makes it to YouTube. My TV doesn’t tune to Foxnews.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.com damien

    @drivin98

    ditto.

  • Brett Vegas

    Well, I don’t think Cedric would deny being off the wall. Yes, that vid made me definitely think ‘What an odd fellow’. You have to be odd to think up just tossing all that wire-winding nonsense and start over. I put him up there with alan cocconi(he is the dude that built the motor for the EV1, and the tesla car) and Nicoli Tesla as far as kooky genius types. I have met Alan, and he is a strange bird, but of course tesla puts everybody else to shame for pure weirdness.

    I ran a Perm on my old bike, a great motor. The cast steel case seems like it dealt with heat better than the aluminum briggs(mars).

    Agni is likely happier selling motors than winning races, though if they do both that ain’t bad either.

    I do wonder who is going to get Cocconi to build a bike scale motor.His High voltage AC induction motors are badass. Cost a mint, f*ck it, its racing. Can’t see DC being
    able to get too much better…