Ion Horse: ’120 miles within legal speed limits’

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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.

Ecotricity

  • Devin

    It cost 150,000 GBP to build, I wonder what it costs to repreduce it a second time. 120 miles range is not bad, add another 50% to that and you are in the range of many ICE bikes.

    I like how they mad-scientisted a pretty competitive bike together in short time.

    So excited for the Amarak though. I want to know what it can do.

    • James

      120 mile range is also better than some.

      • HammSammich

        Yep, depending on how I’m riding, a 120 mile range is on par with my Bonneville.

    • Sean Smith

      That range beats a Hypermotard by 40 miles, or in electric speak, it’s one whole Brammo Enertia better than a Hypermotard.

  • protomech

    Very cool to see the garage-built competitors lining up against the big buck bikes like the E1PC.

    Wonder who they got their battery cells from. Sounds like Lithium ion not LiFePO4, which is LiFeBATT’s specialty.

    120 wh/mile is highway speed operation – 70-80 mph.

  • protomech

    Also from the race report:

    “We ran to the winner’s enclosure to congratulate George and discovering that he still had 25% left in the batteries. This meant that if we hadn’t had the dash problem [digital dash died just before race] he could have been running the same times as the Motoczysz bikes – very frustrating for us all!”

  • T Diver

    Pretty cool. WTF is with the helicoptor in the background though? I thought you folks were broke. Liars.

    • http://www.xenophya.com Xenophya

      The photo was taken in the rugby club field /temporary camp site next to the paddock. The helicopter is one of the 2 operating at the IOMTT.

      Paul and the chaps from Kingston Uni did a great job against the money and might of the MotoCzyzs team.

      Had their instrument panel not failed on the start line they would have known they still had another 30% power in reserve and could have given it a bit more over the mountain.

      • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

        Where you two there this year? Lucky.

  • robotribe

    At this rate, maybe we’ll see an EV bike with this performance at a price competitive with similar performing ICE bikes even sooner than I thought.

    Good thing I like my current bike as much as I do; it may just tide me over till the inevitable EV transition.

    • Sean Smith

      I’m pretty sure that we’re in a golden age of motorcycling. Pretty much any 5 year old 600 will be fast enough to be fun forever and will likely last that long too.

  • jonoabq

    Get the price in the ballpark of an ICE motorbike and I’d get one for a commuter. It’s like a moped, but with a dick.

    • HammSammich

      Hmmmm…I couldn’t see that in the pictures. I’m not sure I’m interested in riding a d!ck. I’m not judging mind you…I just don’t think it is right for me.

    • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

      Back in the day, I used to ride a moped with a dick. I never could find it (I’m mechanically inept, I guess) but almost every time I was riding, someone would say, “look at the dick on that moped.”