Chip Yates, aboard that battery-powered machine (the yellow bike), hopes to be able to take on the best superbikes in the world. He'll be racing in the WERA series in the US in 2011...
The 9th of January 2011 could be the day of reckoning, the moment of truth, for electric sportsbike evangelists. Swigz Racing, who claim to have developed the ‘world’s most powerful and technically advanced electric superbike,’ are saying that their machine will be the most powerful road racing motorcycle of any kind being actively campaigned anywhere in the world. And yes, that includes MotoGP bikes.
The Swigz electric racer, which will be unveiled on the 15th of this month at the Infineon Raceway in California, will race for the first time on the 9th of January 2011 at the Auto Club Speedway, also in California. Swigz claim that their machine will go head to head against conventional petrol-engined racebikes in a professionally organized roadrace.
‘We have to thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing for inviting us into their series. Our electric motorcycle will compete head on with real racing superbikes such as the Ducati 1198 and KTM RC8 as well as other established manufacturers, and we expect to show the world that electric technology can achieve lap time parity with petrol superbikes,’ says Chip Yates, the bike’s rider and owner of Swigz Racing. ‘We’re not going on track to make up the numbers; we’re going out to compete in order to raise our game and catch up to these petrol guys,’ he adds.
The Swigz bike was excluded from the FIM and TTXGP championships on account of its weight. The bike weighs 266 kilos, whereas the weight limit for those championships is 250kg. ‘Clearly, these championships are more concerned with promoting scooter development. Our bike is so much faster than the electric competition that we feel far more inclined to push our bike’s unique technology platform forward in the ultimate competitive environment of petrol-engined bike racing,’ claims Yates.
With about 194bhp, the Swigz racebike’s power-to-weight ratio is already better than that of most 600cc supersports machines. And by January next year, Yates believes development work on the bike will boost power output to around 210-215bhp. ‘Our scheduled power increase will make our electric superbike more powerful than a MotoGP bike and will bring us extremely close to power to weight parity with the best 1,000cc Japanese superbikes. Those two facts are a simply outstanding reflection of the potential in electric power,’ says Yates.
In 2011, Swigz Racing’s battery-powered wonder will race at various rounds of the WERA championship series, at circuits like the Miller Motorsports Park, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and many others. Whether it can really take on the best superbikes in the world on equal terms, or whether it’ll merely turn out to be damp squib remains to be seen.
The Swigz bike undergoes testing...