Dustbin! 2010 Agni E1 adopts ancient aerodynamics to modern racing

Dailies -


Agni-Dustbin.jpgFor the first time since 1957, a dustbin fairing will be employed in a major motorcycle race. The 2010 Agni E1 is using a 1950s-style all-encompassing aerodynamic fairing in order to make maximum use of its limited power and range.

Update: video showing this Agni, the MotoCzysz and a couple other TT Zero bikes in action is now embedded below. The Agni is using a stock GSX-R tail, what the hell is the point of a dustbin fairing if all you’re doing is creating a huge low pressure area behind the bike?! Also, the side-mounted Agni motors require air cooling, which the fairing blocks.

This photo was snapped during today’s second and last practice for the
all-electric TT Zero race taking place on Wednesday.

dustbins.jpgFairings like this were controversially banned in 1957 officially due to
safety concerns over instability at speed, but, according to some,
marketing also played a role in that ban. According to that theory,
manufacturers didn’t want to race bikes that didn’t look like production

Dustbins remain banned in all mainstream motorcycle racing, but were
brought back to the rule books of the TTXGP and FIM e-Power series (the
FIM stole the TTXGP’s rules
). TT Zero is employing the FIM rule book.

Craig Vetter is a huge proponent of streamlining, arguing that the
design could drastically increase fuel economy and allow the use of
smaller engines both on the road and in racing. Michael Czysz argues
that dustbins are old hat
, and similar effects can be achieved
through more advanced solutions, he also believes that streamlined bikes
could be dangerous because they shift the center of aerodynamic
pressure in ways that impact stability.

It’s notable that the enclosed Agni is hitting speeds 30mph below that
of the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc, which employs radical solutions to
aerodynamic efficiency all its own.

1957-Mondial-125cc.jpgCompared to this 1957 125cc Mondial, you can clearly see where Agni has
found inspiration for the shape of its fairing. Unfortunately, it
doesn’t appear that the bike is currently employing any means to
efficiently close the airflow being pushed aside by the fairing. This
creates a large area of low pressure behind the bike, which acts to pull
the machine backwards even as its electric powertrain tries to
accelerate it. Low pressure is incredibly powerful, it’s the force that
lifts planes off the ground. Should Agni wish to derive the full
benefits of streamlining, they’ll need to finish the teardrop shape with
a dramatically elongated tail section, as visible on the Mondial.

Video via Amadeus Photography

  • dp

    Suzuki advertising?

    Does this mean Suzuki might do an electric bike?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      It uses a GSX-R frame, they probably got it for free in return for the logos. But yes, every manufacturer will be doing an electric bike soon, including Suzuki.

  • http://www.emotorules.com Harry Mallin

    Scoop McScoopity. Nice catch, boys. I’d really like to see some more, detailed pics of this. The TTZero rules certainly allow streamlining (as do the TTXGP rules), but the amount of distance between the front of the front tire, and the bodywork, is limited to 50 mm. Team Electra from the TTXGP series had to shelve their beautiful dustbin fairing they showed off at last year’s mid-Ohio exhibition because it protruded too far.

    Looks awesome, but I wonder why they aren’t getting the speeds they should be. Better get Cedric on the case.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Dustbins are awesome. If they would have been allowed in the rulebook way back when, I am sure we would have some radically different production motorcycles than we have now.

  • http://www.emotorules.com Harry Mallin

    I spy with my little eye (thanks to @skadamo) a little logo on the nose (of the fairing, not the rider). And no, I don’t mean the Suzuki.

    • animated

      Is that a logo or a watermark?

      • animated

        Upon further inspection, that’s a decal for sure. Bug guts and all.

  • kaneda

    longer body => lower profile => laid back riding position

    lol, kaneda ftw :D

    seriously now, does the freedom in engine displacement and new fairing rules mean we’re about to see those kind of bikes ? because akira like bikes would attract huge crowds for sure :)

  • Tom

    Agree on the flow handling. You gotta get the air back together smoothly or you really didn’t do much, probably did worse. This only works with streamliners that are twice as long and low to the ground. But then of course you can’t get it around a course like the TT very easily. Regen brakes man, why is this so hard to understand?

    • Thomas

      While a longer wheel base may add some stability,if the motorcycle has reduced air resistance it will go further and faster on less.Check out Allert Jacobs Honda 125,he added his own body,dropped the over all gear ratio,switched to a 4 speed manual with a clutch,the body and hardware added 88 lbs,the bike weights 43 percent more at 319 pounds,his fuel mileage doubled,his best is 1.1 liter per 100 Km 214 mpg USA at 55 mph cruise speed ,he averages 199 mpg AMAZING !!! Thats why I’m such a big fan of enclosed motorcycles,aerodynamic body panels,etc,the performance ,safety,but in just about every case it can double the mileage or have a big increase in mpg or range in the case of a electric powered motorcycles .PS,despite the short body and wheelbase,he does not claim to have any cross wind stability problems,so we might be able to learn something from his design and setup.Like wise Monotracer owners rarely ever complain about crosswind problems[much longer wheelbase] So a little work will have to be done in figuring out the best overall settings and body design to minimise crosswind stability problems.

  • http://www.vunblog.blogspot.com/ John van Houten

    Thanks for the article, but I have to say that these TTZero videos suck (frustrating to watch). I want to see these bikes in action, not in slow motion. I’d also prefer to hear the bikes go past instead of listening to soothing music.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I agree, the videos do stink, but they’re the only material out there right now. They’re being filmed and edited trackside by an amateur videographer, maybe in the future the TT will see fit to actually get us some live streaming coverage of their race online so we can fully appreciate it.

      • Mike J


        There seems to be an inability by some to appreciate just how difficult live video coverage of the TT would be. The Course is 37 & ¾ miles long with literally hundreds of corners. They have enough problems at the North West 200 and that is only 9 miles. Most of the NW200 live stream comes from the course helicopter and that can only just keep up on the inland part of the triangle.

        At the TT the course is so long and of such sustained high speed that one helicopter would not be able to keep up. They would have to employ multiple helicopters, as well as multiple live ground camera teams; the logistics for live broadcast would be horrendous.

        And on top of all that you have the added complication of the TT’s staggered starting system meaning the key riders in any race are rarely together on the road.

        So cut them a bit of slack re live coverage. There should be some decent highlights coverage available after the race on Wednesday, and if you can find a way to bypass the ip address identifier (outside the UK) ITV 4 have nightly highlights packages of every race available via the ITV Player for the next 30 days.


    • Thomas

      check your cable listing’sI just saw some great coverage of the TT here in American,incredible real time video,amazing.Both air and ground,multiple camera’s,really well done

  • TheFrench

    Damn, John Surtees style

  • emd

    To achieve the almost impossible task of taking us to the future of technology and at the same time sending us back 50 to 60 years. A truly incredible achievement.

  • dp


    Cedric Lynch barefoot in a Suzuki shirt

    Further evidence of a future Suzuki electric bike?

  • david

    you’re right Wes, I learned that the point in aerodynamics is not to push the air around the bike or the car, is somehow to put it back together in a clean way behind the vehicle.
    Look at the Aptera…

    PS: I think I know where you found those 2 pics of the Mondial and the starting line…

  • Loslobros

    You don’t need an elongated tail to make the streamlining effective. The tail (there should be bodywork behind the rider, true) can be truncated; see also: ‘Kamm tail’, the backends of most modern cars and ‘Ecomobile/Monotracer’, or even ‘E-Tracer’ to get a better idea.
    None of which stops engineers exploiting regenerative braking, lightweight hub-motors, etc., if feasible.

  • NathanS

    More specifics on the motor please. The agni motor is supposed to be a revolution in design, I wonder what the major modifications for the MotoCzysz bike were.

    I also wonder if someone is going to move towards an AC Induction motor like in the Tesla Roadster.

  • Ed Gordon

    I thank the contributor who enabled me to watch those competitors in slow motion. I gained a lot of detailed inspiration from the slow-motion pictures. About aerodynamic “Rear Closure”:
    1 How much difference in turbulence is there in reality between the Agni bike and the Moto-Cszys?
    2 Craig Vetter has a design for a “Head-Forward” TTXGP rule-compliant full streamliner
    3 Royce Creasey has a design for a “Feet-Forward” TTXGP rule-compliant full streamliner
    4 Both have full “Rear Closure”

  • arun kumar

    I think it is a good awareness one to promote the electric vehicles to the audience.

    E1 Car Dubai UAE

  • Thomas

    Hopefully this will be the start of both racing and production bikes using advanced aerodynamics.,we’ve had our heads stuck in the mud since the 1950′s and its about time we move forward,,anything that can make a motorcycle go faster,use less fuel,less juice,go just as fast with a lot less power,add a little safety where their was none,[even less emissions]is a big improvement and it will only get better over time.PS add that tail section,then you will see just how well it works!!!