British Superbike team Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing and electric powertrain innovators, Zytek Automotive, have joined forces to develop an electric motorcycle to take part in the Isle of Man SES TT Zero race on Wednesday 6 June.
The bike will be ridden by Bournemouth's BSB rider James Hillier.
The project, which is being supported by Kawasaki Motors UK, will see a Ninja ZX-10R chassis powered by a Zytek Permanent Magnet oil cooled KERS motor.
At a proven 100kW (the equivalent of 134 horsepower) the design has previously been used in a Hybrid Le-Mans 24 hour racing car, and uses technology similar to the Zytek KERS system used in the 2009 Formula 1 season.
Hillier's previous TT career on a conventionally powered Ninja ZX-10R saw the Hampshire rider achieve eighth place in the 2011 Senior race, having been named “best newcomer” in 2008.
“I am really excited by the challenge of piloting the electric powered Ninja through the myriad corners and ascents that includes the famous 'mountain' part of the TT circuit,” said Hillier. “As a test of contemporary and possible future two-wheeled technology there could be no better stage than this”.
With a machine that differs from many of the other entries by making use of the original Kawasaki clutch and transmission gears, the team expects Hillier will benefit from a very wide spread of torque, giving the machine rapid acceleration from the traditional standing start race format, as well as the ability to match the motor power with the prevailing race conditions and a geared top speed in excess of 200mph.
Zytek Project Manager Des Hill said: “I watched the TT Zero race last year from the Gooseneck corner at the start of the steep 'mountain' section and, frankly, many of the entries were very slow.
“Using Direct Drive and no gearbox they simply didn't have the torque to pull away from Ramsey Hairpin and accelerate up the mountain in same way as a conventional engined bike would.
“By using the Kawasaki six speed transmission we won't have just built an electric motorcycle, but a machine with the performance nearing that of a conventional racing machine”