Plans are continuing for a future electric bike championship, to support MotoGP at a handful of events.

MotoGP Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli is investigating the practicality of what would start as a single-spec series.

Although yet to be given the official go-ahead, it 'looks like' happening in 2019.

"We are not considering an electric engine for any of the three grand prix classes we have now," Cecchinelli told Crash.net. "We are considering a separate, single-spec series, to be held at a small number of MotoGP events.

"We are in the process of investigating if it is practical to do that. And, if so, who could be the partner.

"But first we have to realise if there is even the chance to make a reasonable race with an electric bike, in the targeted timeframe, which is a couple of years. So we are talking about more or less 2019. Is there a chance to be on track then? It looks like yes."

Why start an electric bike series and why make it single spec?

"We are interested for a number of reasons," Cecchinelli said. "One is because we have to live in the real world and realise what is going to happen [within the motorcycling industry] and it is sensible to start in the simplest possible way, which is a spec series.

"I would consider this the 'less dangerous' test possible of something that we must do.

"We hope that if we start with a spec series this would encourage other players to come and knock on our door so we can make an open category after, for example, three years. Even the potential winner of the [spec bike] tender may be happy to have competitors."

Asked for his personal opinion of electric motorcycles, the former Ducati MotoGP track technical director replied:

"I rode some electric bikes. Not of the kind we could consider [for racing] because they were in the dual-sport category. A reference production model would be something like the BMW 1200GS.

"I was really surprised. I really enjoyed it. It was surprising to me how easy it is and that you don't feel that they weigh a lot.

"What I liked most was the connection between the throttle and the torque, actually the handlebar grip and the torque because there is no throttle! I liked that and I liked the acceleration from zero. That is unbelievable.

"Not only the 'push', which is strong, even in the bikes I tested that were not even close to the strongest possible. But the quality of the torque delivery was for me surprising. Something completely different.

"How 'ready' it is. From 0 to 20 away from traffic lights is a point where an internal combustion engine is normally not at its best. So you really appreciate the quality of the delivery in that situation.

"As for myself, I really don't enjoy the electric bikes being so quiet! That's my personal taste and I think it will change in the next years. The future generation of racers will not like noise, because they will not be used to it."

 

By Peter McLaren

 

 

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some electric cars or bikes offer battery swap service. it's instant charging in another sense.

ZeFrenchAngle:
BryCB: Think they really need to start playing with this idea to ensure the future of bike racing (and all motorsport) as at some point, hopefully a good few years down the road yet? the internal combustion engine will become a thing of the past.[\blockquote]

Interesting point this.

Two things in the way of "electric everywhere" : the first one is the wide availability of charging stations, including on motorway services, etc... - of the MotGP countries that I know, the UK & Germany are way ahead of my country France, Belgium, Holland or Spain.

But by far the biggest problem is the non-instant nature of charging : if you run out of petrol, you stop, fill up in 5 minutes, pay, and you're back on the road. With electric you might as well book into a hotel ! OK, an exaggeration, of course, but the point is still there : recharging an electric car/bike is a VERY LENGTHY pit stop !

So, until science solves that issue, I think we are a long way from

They will have ipods with large speakers, emitting engine sound of choice.

Electric motorcycles - the answer to a question no-one asked.

They may ease the pollution problem in the cities, but only by moving it to the location where the batteries are made and where the electricity for re-charges is generated. The nett effect of electric vehicles is MORE pollution.

Also, for touring, or just go-where you-please riding, or for transport in areas such as Africa or the Australian outback, electric would be just too restrictive.

Electric racing is just putting tinsel at the entrance to a dead-end.

So it's a "No" from me. I'm out.

Tetley: Electric motorcycles - the answer to a question no-one asked.

They may ease the pollution problem in the cities, but only by moving it to the location where the batteries are made and where the electricity for re-charges is generated. The nett effect of electric vehicles is MORE pollution.

Also, for touring, or just go-where you-please riding, or for transport in areas such as Africa or the Australian outback, electric would be just too restrictive.

Electric racing is just putting tinsel at the entrance to a dead-end.

So it's a "No" from me. I'm out.[\blockquote]

racing push the evolution of technology.. in 20 years who knows maybe we will have 1000 miles per one charge, or quick charging etc etc.

Guna4699: My personal opinion will be E-bikes are going to be the future for sure with oil resources fast depleting everywhere & looming WW3 is going to consume oil like none before, solar powered street vehicles are going to be a revolution but atleast let the racing stay what it is now.

Dynamics, power and speed can be replaced with even lighter E-bikes but vital part of motogp excitement comes from that natural sound of bombarding internal combustion. Who wants to watch silent bikes rushing down the straight passing by the station spectator in the blink of an eye like a ghost. Even if it is in future only, who wants to see it. I prefer them to be the roaring beast.
[\blockquote]

put playing cards on the spokes ala old time bicycle noises...problem solved.

I love the photo with this story...they must be the exhaust pipes from the electric bikes' conventional generators :) Still, nice to see Dorna looking ahead.

I was in China this year. There were electric scooters everywhere. Millions of them, much more common than internal combustion. They're scary when you cross a street. Silent and fast. If you haven't been to China, or Asia, a word of explanation.They seem to have road rules...just vague guidelines that are optionally adhered to...

I predict there will be proprietary vehicles with plug in batteries. Alternatively, there could also be "standard" battery packs that are changed over at a battery station, fitting a multitude of vehicles. You'd pay for the charge and depreciation component over the nominal life of the battery. Don't buy one with the Betamax version...get VHS.

Most predictions are wrong...

Jem: Most of the comments are a bit "off topic" ....
When we went from four stroke to two stroke, we thought that they were the future of motorcycles. Who knows, we may have a few years of electric bike racing and then find that piston engines were not so bad after all.[\blockquote]
Electric bikes are still a novelty. Most comments are therefore less well-informed. E-bikes are hardly mainstream at this point. They're evolving. Having said that, props to Dorna for looking ahead.

When we went from 4 stroke to 2 stroke, it was a no-brainer. The 2 strokes blew the 4-strokes into the weeds, same capacity. That comparison doesn't work with electric to 4-stroke. Early days.

My personal opinion will be E-bikes are going to be the future for sure with oil resources fast depleting everywhere & looming WW3 is going to consume oil like none before, solar powered street vehicles are going to be a revolution but atleast let the racing stay what it is now.

Dynamics, power and speed can be replaced with even lighter E-bikes but vital part of motogp excitement comes from that natural sound of bombarding internal combustion. Who wants to watch silent bikes rushing down the straight passing by the station spectator in the blink of an eye like a ghost. Even if it is in future only, who wants to see it. I prefer them to be the roaring beast.

you just pull into the station and swap batteries . . solved

but there are other problems with eletric vehicles like scaling. we cannot provide but a small fraction of our electricity needs in a clean way
with eveyone driving eletrics the demand will skyrocket and the only way to provide it would be burning ff . which doesnt make a whole lotta sense.
it is more efficent energy wise to just use ff in the vehicle instead of burning it to make elect then using the elect in your car.

but elect. bikes are cool, have ridiculous acceleration and are nearly silent

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