2012 MotoCzysz E1pc: the most aerodynamic road racing motorcycle ever

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According to its designer, Michael Czysz, the bike you see here is, “Possibly the most aerodynamic road racing motorcycle to date.” If everything goes well, on Wednesday June 6 it could become the first electric motorcycle to set a 100mph average lap around the Isle of Man’s 37.7-mile Mountain Course.

Photos: Michael Czysz

“In 2009 the goal was simple — build an electric bike…and we barely accomplished that,” explains Michael. “Although we had the most energy and torque, we had the least knowledge.” The 2009 E1pc looked amazing, but broke down early on in the race.

“In 2010 we focused on an integrated electric drive system; we debuted the MotoCzysz D1g1tal Dr1ve.” That bike won the TT Zero and the Laguna Seca round of the TTXGP.

“In 2011 we focused on better handling dynamics and very purposefully, suspension; we debuted a twin spar CF frame (with flex), CF oval front forks and a F1 style push rod suspension.” Riding that bike, Michael Rutter missed the 100mph average by just .4mph.

This year, MotoCzysz will face stiffer competition than ever. Honda is, for the first time, making an entry in the electric racing arena, doing so under the “Team Mugen” disguise. Lightning, holder of the 215.960mph electric motorcycle land speed record will be there too.

How will Czysz meet those threats? “We’re capable of building an eGrand Prix machine with sufficient torque/HP, handling and reliability, so what was next?” Asks Michael. “More, for longer. Adding range is simple, add more batteries or…do more with less! Racing, the automotive industry and the world in general desperately need to recalibrate from using more to using less, more efficiently. Nowhere is this more critical than when creating an electric racing machine.”

“More than 80% of the energy on the E1pc is used simply to push air and the faster you go the more energy it takes, a lot more,” continues Michael. “If your latest eGP bike just completed a 100mph run and you wanted to design one to achieve 125mph, you would have to double the size of your battery.  To double is a huge number, add another box 2′x2′x1.5′ in size and +200lbs in weight or, you could try to move less air.  If we could achieve 25% less drag (a very, very difficult achievement) we could reach our 125mph target with no extra battery.”

So why not just fit a dustbin? They’re legal in TT Zero. “Dustbin design is regressive, dangerous and primarily deals with the wrong end of the problem,” explains Czysz. “What is needed to create an aerodynamic motorcycle is in direct contrast with the current fashion trend of motorcycle design. Think less RC8/RSV4 tail and more…well every bad ‘futuristic’ concept bike you saw in the ‘80s tail. Think less Olsen twins tail and more Kim and Khloe Kardashian tail.  Want more speed? Add some Kris Jenner tail in too.”

Michael has long explained to us that it’s closing the airstream behind the motorcycle, not pushing it out of the way, that’s the major challenge for bikes.

“Free of extraneous conflicts like exhaust pipes, large radiators, etc, electric motorcycles could deliver on that like no bike before, the disappointment is that they don’t.”

“A GP motorcycle with its significant travel/pitch, roll angles and constantly moving rider is a very dynamic vehicle and far more difficult to apply aerodynamic aids to than, say, a formula car. Unlike in Formula One, our pursuit is simply focused on drag and does not need to also include down force.”

“It is the intent of our design that all the aero manipulation result in no significant force applied to the chassis; practically this is impossible. By accelerating air past the skin of the bike we also create low pressure. If the same amount of air can pass an opposing  but equal cross-section of surface area at the same speed then the added forces are counteracted and neutralized. Thus, riding directly parallel to the direction of wind – everything is perfect, however if the wind shifts or the road bends, an imbalance will occur and a side force will be imposed. This is the risk of streamlining and the real danger of the dustbin.”

We’ll bring you more details of the E1pc and full race coverage over the next week.

  • GoFasterPB

    What’s the over/under on how long it takes the aftermarket to sell knock-offs to the sport bike custom crowd?

    • David

      I’d (maybe) buy it

  • Coreyvwc

    EFFF, hello 22nd century.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    Awesome.

    Go! Go! Go!  

     

     

     

  • je

    It has wings.. wheres the redbull livery.

  • http://lightsoutknivesout.tumblr.com/ Scott Pargett

    Very interesting, cool stuff.

  • http://www.racetrackstyle.com Racetrack Style

    “Flash”, “Hermes”, or “Mercury” comes to mind when looking at those wing panels below the seat.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      +1

  • jason

    Stunning. Absolutely cool, amazing. A new standard in beauty.
    Please don’t crash it!

    BTW: how do you pronounce the name?

    • Coreyvwc

      Moto “sizz”

    • bluemilew

      Step 1: become a Slav.
      Step 2: say Czysz.

      It’s the only way.

  • JRl

    So it sounds like the machinery underneath the skin is relatively unchanged? I love the fact that Michael and his team continue to push boundaries in this sport. Instead of continually adding more batteries/better motor(s), they’re focusing outside the box. They’re trying to make a better performing motorcycle, not just a faster EV.

  • Your_Mom

    He makes great points about the aerodynamics which is an untouched frontier relative to bike design. Closing the hole punched through the air is nigh to impossible with motorcycles being as short as they are. I am quite pleased to see this work and am wondering if they have published anything? Perhaps an SAE paper?

    • Jhon Alexander

      Closing the low pressure zone behind the bike isn’t “impossible” really. many factors contribute to why it’s hard. One is the rider, you’re not always riding fast in a straight line in the tucked position. Most of the time is spent in and out of corners with the rider shifting in and out of the bike directly into the airstream. Second, in order to diminish the low pressure air directly behind the bike you’ll be adding all the not so pretty cladding and features as stated in the article. Unfortunately, you have to sacrifice aesthetics for function. If Motoczysz wanted to go even further they could. As an example, they could completely go nuts with the rear section and greatly reduce drag and buffeting even further, but it could possibly end up adding weight. Bike manufacturers already know all this, but it has to come down to economics. they need to sell bikes and that comes at a cost. Pointy, hard-edged tails and fairings look super cool and modern, this is a large part of what gets them out of the dealership. but aerodynamics and cooling will consequently take a bit of a hit.

  • skullvulture

    Did he actually wind tunnel design this or computer model it? I find it incredibly hard to believe a company his size could find 25% less drag than HRC or the other big manufacturers. He makes it sound like a frontier in motorcycle technology. Teams have been wind tunnel testing for years. Sounds like more marketing, “See I’m still the coolest,” than anything else.

    • wwalkersd

      He didn’t say they reduced drag 25%. He just used that number in an example.

  • jonoabq

    My bike is awesome up to about 80/90mph…then it starts to feel like I’m riding a huge wiffle ball. I’d love to have a high speed plastic wrap like this to bolt on.

  • Ax

    Very cool what designers can come up with when they don’t have to worry about potential buyers thinking it looks “weird” or “too different” and can concentrate on pure function.

  • tbowdre

    This reminds me to love my gigantic BUELL 1125R fairing. At 5’6″ I can practically tuck my entire body behind the fairing

    • smoke4ndmears

      I know! It’s awesome. The front is wide enough that it takes significant rain to get my hands wet.

  • rohorn

    Before & after Cd, please.

    I wonder what would Wunibald Kamm say about the value of tail sections (or diffusers without the benefit if ground effects) aft of such a dirty (aerodynamically speaking)body.

  • cookinginpawleys

    How do those wings affect steering effort when initiating a turn? Is more effort needed to lean the bike over, and if so, is it a steady amount of force to get the bike leaned over?

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    “Nice effort guys, the drag has been reduced 12%! Now add some go-pro’s all around.”

    #facepalm

  • smoke4ndmears

    Already cracking 100mph in practice!

  • DAVID

    that’s a big claim. I have to think the factory motogp folks have spent a lot of time and $ in the wind tunnel.

    • Coreyvwc

      i think GP has some more modest restrictions on Aero packages. Plus it’s MUCH more stop and go than the TT so Aero efficiency “shouldn’t” be as important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Lewis/714754146 Thomas Lewis

    Comparing this to a standard top of the line production bike,yes,but a purpose built enclosed motorcycle would surely have less drag .The world’s fastest bicycle,at 82 mph, does it with the help of a enclosed aerodynamic body..I would love to see a new racing class,motorcycles with enclosed bodies,both electric and combustion engines.We already know about the increased mileage,longer range of electrics,the safety benefits.Safety you say,hey if we can build a 1000 Lb race car with a carbon tub around the driver,capable of protecting him in a 200 mph crash,we surely could protect a driver in a enclosed motorcycle in a 60 mph crash.If a few manufactures got together tomorrow they could build a enclosed motorcycle,with the safety and comfort of car that could travel from NY to LA on 45.00 dollars worth of gas,or a electric on a few dollars worth of electricity.Early GP moto bikes were banned from using aerodynamic fairing’s,body panels etc,and at the time,it made sense.But in 2013 it doesn’t,we now have the technology to overcome a lot of the handling issues,these early racer’s encountered.Hopefully other’s will agree,now is the time to start,taking a serious look at enclosed motorcycles,trikes not only for racing,[their is none,except with bicycles]but as commuter vehicles.To manufactures like BMW,lets dust off those concepts and lets do it now.

    ,

  • yipY

    This is what happens when creativity leaves reality behind,gets bored,jumps the fence and runs away over hill and dale(and gets lost).Czysz has got the same misguided approach that John Britten had,in that attempting to reinvent the wheel at every opportunity leads you down paths of dodo design evolution.This is the ideal bike to ride on the road dressed like Gundam to scare the children.