Poor Michael Czysz.
When he uncrated his bike on the Isle of Man, the motorcycle-newspaper-of-record, MCN, mercilessly took the p1ss - as they say over there - for the 'd1g1tal' mix of letters and numbers in the nomenclature he uses for his drivetrain.That was funny but kind of a cheap shot; Czysz who seems to be rich, clever, handsome, and a pretty quick rider in his own right obviously has a knack for getting under Brits' skins, too.
Yesterday, the team got a breathless press release out of the TT Press Office in which its sponsor was repeatedly identified as 'Sedgeway', not Segway. Which is funny in itself because when you consider that the owner of the Segway company died when he accidentally rode (drove? strode?) one of his ridiculous vehicles down an embankment into a river. It's likely the last plants he crushed were sedges.
Now, MCN's Guy Procter has taken aim at Czysz's claim that his bike produces 200 horsepower:
MotoCzysz's '200bhp' E1pc will undoubtedly win the 2011 TT Zero race barring mishap, but its 142.8mph top speed tells a different story to its press bumf, its practice performance reveals. The speed, recorded along Sulby Straight, reveals a motor putting out a peak of around 80bhp, rather than the 200bhp regularly mentioned in connection with its D1-11 VDR D1g1tal Dr1ve. 80bhp is all you need to hit 142-ish on a sportsbike like the E1pc.
Depending on how much juice was left at lap's end MotoCzysz will no doubt be able to turn up the wick a bit, but whether it can discharge 200bhp's-worth of juice for more than a moment, controllers handle it without melting and battery capacity render its theoretical power useable in a race rather than a dyno run is the far side of doubtful. If it really did have 200bhp it could actually play with it should be clocking 180mph+ easy. Perhaps more worrying for the spectacle is the fact the second-fastest electric TT competitor appears to be boasting around 30bhp, as revealed by Kingston University's 96.1mph Sulby Straight peak.
Based on the TT's official numbers from yesterday's practice, Czysz' new bike averaged a speed quite a higher than 100mph for much of it's lap. But Michael Rutter completed the lap in the low 90s. Having gotten close to the target ton-up lap last year, nothing less than that will constitute a moral victory this year. As MCN's already noted, simply winning the race is a foregone conclusion.
I am sure that in the 'Sedgeway' pits, they're desperately trying to parse their batteries' life over the course distance to average 100+. Can they do it? Sure. Can they do it in the limited time/testing they have available? That's the drama...