The Bonneville Salt Flats is not the only location for land speed record racing. In the eastern U.S. land speed racing is governed by the ECTA (East Coast Timing Association), whose annual meet was held earlier in September. Today the Ohio State University Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team announced they had participated in this years ECTA event setting a 112.349mph (180.79kph) ECTA record for electric motorcycles.
The ECTA speed racing event was the Buckeye team’s first racing event in its 11 month history. The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team is a student-led team at the Ohio State University, based out of the Center for Automotive Research. They are led by Marcello Canova, faculty advisor and mechanical engineering professor, and Sean Ewing, team captain and fourth year electrical engineering student. Ewing was also one half of the 2010 Square Wave Racing team which raced in the 2010 TTXGP North America season. A team from James Madison University also raced an electric motorcycle in the ECTA event attaining a 92.083 miles/hr speed.
The ECTA holds their events on a disused former WWII era Air Force base in Maxton North Carolina. They use the extra runway for time trials, giving a race length of one mile.
“We’re very happy with our record of 112mph. And with further tuning, our motorcycle can reach even higher speeds with its current load of lithium polymer battery cells,” says Sean Ewing.
“The ECTA record is an outstanding result, especially considering that the Electric Motorcycle Race Team has barely one year of life. The result obtained at Maxton represents a reward for the hard work and the commitment shown by the team members through the year, but also a great starting point to launch the team into an exciting new season,” says Marcello Canova, faculty advisor and mechanical engineering professor. The team plans to continue work on the motorcycle, improving battery management function and maximizing torque for next season.
Their race bike is a converted 2007 MV Agusta F4. It uses a Remy HVH250 electric motor, and a 460VDC (peak charge), 35Ah battery pack consisting of 784 Lithium Polymer Cells. Remy is an automobile parts manufacturer based in Ohio, and among their product line is high powered electric motors meant for hybrid vehicles. Remy’s motors are used by other electric motorcycle race teams including MotoCzysz and Lightning Motorcycles.
The 112 miles/hr speed record is of course nowhere near breaking the existing record held by Lightning Motorcycles (215 miles/hr) nor the FIM record held by Chip Yates (196 miles/hr).
The team’s stated mission is to develop an electric racing motorcycle for TTXGP and FIM e-Power competitions, and to qualify to participate in the TTXGP final championship race. Their first shot at it is the 2012 season, and the ECTA result is a good start.
ECTA Altered Motorcycle records
Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team sets ECTA speed record