2011 MotoCzysz E1pc vs Chip Yates’ electric superbike

Dailies -



MotoCzysz has just released specs on its new bike for this year’s Isle of Man, giving us the opportunity to see how it stacks up to the other heavyweight electric contender. While Chip Yates won’t be racing at the TT (he’s doing the Pikes Peak Hillclimb on June 26, instead), he is campaigning the only comparable electric motorcycle. But, with only 200bhp to Yates’ 240, just how comparable is the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc?

Photo: David Folch (2010 model)

Here’s video of Czysz’s new motor undergoing dyno testing at their Portland, Oregon shop. The team plans to enter two bikes in this year’s TT Zero: the all-new 2011 E1pc, ridden by Michael Rutter, while last year’s winner, Mark Miller, will ride a heavily upgraded 2010 model.

Let’s take a look at the traditional performance yardsticks: power, torque and weight. If acceleration can be expressed as a motorcycle’s ability to overcome weight (friction and aerodynamic resistance are discounted here because they’re too damn complicated), then the amount of work a motor is capable of delivering and how fast it can perform that work, compared to weight, is as accurate an illustration of straight line performance as we’re able to arrive at using a calculator and our rudimentary math skills. While Czysz is packing less power and torque than Yates, he’s managed to pack that power into a drastically lighter package. Currently stated as “under 500lbs” we’re using a weight of 495lbs or 224kg as an estimate for this comparison.

In Pikes Peak race trim, the bike Chip made in his Orange County, CA garage puts out 240bhp, 400lb/ft of torque and weighs a rather hefty 265kg. That gives it a power-to-weight ratio of .905bhp to kilo. Torque to weight is 1.509 pound feet for every kilo.

Czysz hasn’t released a torque figure, just saying that the 2011 bike is up 30 percent over the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc at the rear wheel. That could very well be due to gearing, but for the purposes of simple comparison, we’re going to assume a 30 percent boost on last year’s 250lb/ft: 319lb/ft. The 200bhp figure is official though, giving the estimated 224kg electric racer a power-to-weight ratio of .893bhp to kilogram and a torque-to-weight ratio of 1.424.

Chip guarantees speedy pizza delivery.

So the Chip Yates bike has a clear advantage, right? Well, all other variables being even, maybe in a straight line over limited distance. Because of his drastically smaller budget, Chip is buying in battery packs where MotoCzysz is designing and building their own. Where Chip has had to put a giant Pizza delivery box on the back of his modified GSX-R750 to hold just 11.5kWh, Czysz was able to fit 12.5kWh close to the ideal center of gravity on last year’s bike. Again, this year’s E1pc will pack more, we just don’t know how much. Chip can complete 6-lap WERA club races whereas the E1pc is designed to lap the 36.6-mile TT Mountain Course, likely averaging in excess of 100mph this year.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s compare those electric superbike specs to a traditional ICE superbike. The current Yamaha R1 makes 180bhp, 85lb/ft and weighs 206kg (wet). That gives it a .874 bhp-to-kg ratio and a .412 lb/ft-to-kg. Why is it faster? Well, in a drag race, it’s not. Chip bested many ICE literbikes in his record-breaking 190mph Mojave Mile run. But, that R1 would still hand either electric its ass around a course like the TT’s; the energry density of gasoline is still drastically superior that of even the latest lithium-ion batteries, meaning the the R1 is free to use more of it’s power for much longer.

That energy density disparity is the next big challenge. MotoCzysz claims they’ve made some significant gains this year, while Yates has publicly challenged his team to increase his bike’s efficiency so it will be able to do more with less. His goal is to be able to complete an AMA Pro race distance using batteries only. Czysz is also claiming a 20 percent increase in efficiency at 100mph for the 2011 bike.

TT Zero takes place on June 8th, look for live coverage here. Pikes Peak is on June 26th, I’ll be there.

  • HammSammich

    That’s a lustworthy pic of the MotoCysz…I’m excited to see video of this year’s run. Wasn’t there a reward up for grabs last year if they could have broken the 100mph average barrier? Does that still apply this year?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, off the top of my head it’s 10k Euro. That pic is from our review: http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2010/10/riding-the-2010-motoczysz-e1pc/

      • HammSammich

        Okay, so it’s not going to fund the development of the 2012 bike or anything, but it’s a nice accomplishment, nonetheless. Thanks for the link, can’t believe I missed that…maybe during the period after you made HFL subscription, but before I purchased mine…

    • http://www.davidfolch.com david folch

      Thanks bro,
      Wes’ just reusing my pics without asking me first. I’ll have to punish him southern style.
      You hear me prick ?

  • zipp4

    Any word on aero/bodywork changes? I believe last year Michael chalked the minimalist pillion to the fact that they ran out of time and didn’t see it necessary… I could be mistaken though.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Nope. That rear seat is actually for aerodynamics and to offer the rider an alternative, more aerodynamic riding position for long straights.

      • Sean Smith

        Which is a really nice way to say “Yeah uh, well like… We don’t have a wind tunnel and we know that no tail is more aerodynamic than a bad tail, so we’re not gonna mess with it.”

        Motorcycle aerodynamics are more even less science than cylinder head porting and Michael’s probably isn’t hurting anything at all.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    An engine note only a dentist could love.

    Weight is far less of a factor in acceleration for motorcycles as speeds increase. At a point it’s more about the horsepower vs. aerodynamic drag. For acceleration you’re ignoring aerodynamics for a practical reason, but you’re overstating weight in the process. Don’t get me wrong, less weight is always good and weight plays an enormous role in every other dynamic.

    That said, clearly MotoCzysz is the future while Yates is a very successful hotrodder.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Of course, but not knowing cD figures for either bike, there’s no possible comparison.

      • Myles

        Couldn’t you assume they both have the same cD?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Then the Yates bike is faster. But look at it, it’s in no way as aerodynamic.

        • Debrando

          No,because one has a pizza box and the other does not.

      • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

        There’s not much of a comparison with the guesstimated info either.

  • protomech

    “Again, this year’s E1pc will pack more, we just don’t know how much.”

    Is that known or an assumption? TTXGP limits their top tier to 12.5 kwh, I don’t know if FIM e-power has a similar limit. IOM TT Zero has a 300 kg weight limit but no limit on stored energy.

    Definitely true that more advanced batteries will contain the same energy in a lighter, more compact pack.

    Btw – add 80 kg to both bikes for rider and gear. Chip Yates – 0.696 bhp/kg; Czysz – 0.658 bhp/kg; R1 – 0.629 bhp/kg. Similar aero profiles will exact a similar power toll to cut through the air as well, giving an edge to more powerful bikes at top speeds.

    bhp/kg is as odd a metric as using power to weight as a sole point of comparison between bikes : )

    • Myles

      Really really good point. The rider makes up a huge (compared to a car anyway) percentage of the weight on a motorcycle.

      • T Diver

        They should use kids. No?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      MotoCzysz says more. He’s racing this at the TT Zero, there’s a possibility for reduced battery capacity (and less weight) if he races at FIM e-power or TTXGP.

    • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

      “TTXGP limits their top tier to 12.5 kwh, ”
      It does? Do you have a citation to that rule, because I helped draft them, and I thought the only limitation to the TTXGP class was the weight.

      • protomech

        I decided to actually read the TTXGP regulations. Oops, you’re right.

        TTXGP competitors are limited to 250kg.

        Additionally, TTX75 competitors are limited 7.5 kwh of stored energy and 250kg weight. (not sure why that’s re-stated).

        Almost all TTXGP competitors that disclose details on their packs have built 12.5 kwh batteries. I don’t know why that capacity seems to be common; hopefully it will increase as battery advances allow (with corresponding increases in power and/or range).

        • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

          Mission is claiming a 14kWh battery on the R

  • http://www.davidfolch.com david folch

    Just thinking of organizing a real life comparison’s feature of these two bikes gives me a giant headache…

  • Sean Smith

    I don’t think Chip should take this the wrong way, but he should seriously consider both hiring a designer to fix his paint and then hitting up all the pizza companies until someone comes on-board with some cash. I head the guy in charge of Papa Johns is into hot-rods and go-fast stuff.

    Seriously though, hire a designer. Please Chip. You’re bike is ridiculously awesome, just kinda ugly.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      Agreed, the color-scheme isn’t so bad but damn that typeface is as pretty as a fiat multipla.

    • Scott-jay

      I believe Chip’s ‘pizza box’ is aerodynamic, compared to empty space behind rider.
      Can’t know anything about effects of its weight (not an aero issue), with or without pizzas.