With performance claims like a 0-60 time of 3 seconds, 140mph top speed and a projected 120-mile street range, the Ion Horse from Kingston University and Ecotricity looks to be a promising addition to the electric motorcycle racing world. With power coming from Ecotricity windmills, the only CO2 emissions coming from the Ion Horse will be from its tires and the riders breath.
Photos: Amadeus Photography
Contrasting sharply with the MotoCzysz bikes, the Ion Horse gets around on rather humble and mature components. Forks and cheap cast wheels (bought used, they actually cost less than the tires mounted on them) come from a late model GSX-R, the frame is made of steel tubing, welded together in the style of Ducati and KTM, the shock conventionally mounted and made by K-Tech while fork internals are standard off-the-shelf öhlins items. And, though the swingarm is a one-off custom part, it’s nothing wildly different or new. Bodywork is from a last generation Ducati superbike and intake ducts are used to feed cool air to the batteries while motor and controller cooling is accomplished with fans and an oil cooler under the seat.
Overall weight is 485 pounds, which could very well be lighter than the “less than 500lbs” E1pc. Electric horsepower and torque numbers are proving to be somewhat equivalent to the strength of transmission shafts and gears in ICE motors, regardless, the Ion Horse has a Yasa DD500 motor capable of putting out 74bhp and 295lb/ft of continuous power. 14kWh is stored in bespoke lithium polymer cobalt cells, which are themselves housed in a Kevlar/nomex honeycomb structure.
They’ve averaged just over 88.4mph around the Isle Of Man course, good enough for second fastest behind the MotoCzysz E1PCs which went 99.6 and 98.2 mph. While 10mph is obviously a rather large gap, take a look at the enormous differences between the Ion Horse and the E1pc. There’s a side-stand hole in its Ducati-based fairings, it rolls on heavy factory GSX-R wheels, uses a steel frame and there are visible zip ties, tape and hand-written labels on the dash are a far cry from the ultra-polished high-tech, carbon-fiber framed and fancy suspended E1pc.