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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