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TTXGP Finals in Spain

Written by Jennifer

Saturday, 11 September 2010 21:01

2010 has been a very exciting year for the Werkstatt Race Team. It all started when Azhar Hussain, founder of TTXGP and CEO of Mavizen Motorcycles, walked into the San Francisco Motorcycle Club to promote his electric motorcycle race series.
The first round was to be at Infineon, with other rounds at Road America (Wisconsin), Mosport (Toronto, Canada), and VIR (Virginia). The World final would be in Albacete, Spain, for the Top 8 US finishers. Wow, racing in Spain? Hell yeah! I immediately scrambled to figure out how, where, and what to race. The Infineon round was in May, so designing an all electric race ready bike from scratch in just over three months when I’d never done so before seemed impossible. Eventually, I decided to lease a Mavizen electric race bike.
The season was awesome. I met a lot of enthusiastic people, and our team developed the bike as the season progressed. After four US rounds, I ended up in second place for 2010 in the rider category.
I also experienced events like blowing 900 Amp fuses, pushing the bike back to the pits after controller faults, and a motor throttle that stuck on while wide open at Mosport, almost high siding me at 80 mph. Being part of a pioneering era means lots of problems to overcome. By the end of the US rounds though, a lot of the issues had been addressed, and the bike was shipped back to Mavizen in the UK for upgrades in preparation for the race in Spain.
While in Europe, I spoke about my TTXGP experience at Cologne, Germany’s Intermot, the largest motorcycle show in the world. Intermot and the races were two weeks apart, so I had to figure out how to keep myself busy in the meantime. So I went on tour. I visited Belgium for the beer, the Swiss Alps for the twisties, Italy for the Moto Guzzi factory, Munich to see my family and then Spain for the ocean, the tapas and of course the racing. It was a great trip!
While my bike was back in England, Mavizen loaned it out to a Moto2 rider at Brand’s Hatch, who proceeded to crash it in the rain. So instead of installing improvements, all the allotted time was used to repair it. Sure enough, it was all shiny and new when I arrived the Thursday before the race.
Friday morning, we went to the track early to get our bearings. We were pitted with the other Mavizen teams in a big tent. We said our hellos to some familiar faces in the paddock, like Arvind Rabadia from Agni motors whose DC brushed motor propelled most of the TTXGP bikes, including mine. Alex Jones-Dellaportes was also there. He had been my electrical engineering support at the US races. We saw some new faces, too. Peter Linden is a Swedish superbike veteran and Swedish Royal Air Force fighter pilot who was also racing a Mavizen. Pete Ward was the rider and owner of the Electric Hussar team. Ward is employed by The British Army’s Queen’s Royal Hussars. Fierce competition! Ward’s bike had seen a lot of upgrades, like total loss water-cooling. Their system sprayed cold water directly on the motor, which allowed them to crank up the horsepower 15% higher!
After waiting in line to register for racing, I was informed that I had not been granted a license. What? The local sanctioning body required international race insurance, which I didn’t have. Here we go…No begging, pleading or pledging to sign my life away helped. I could try to get an AMA license, but I couldn’t even call them until the afternoon because of the 6-hour time difference. I decided that it would be a shame to have the Mavizen sitting idle in the pits, so I looked for a local competitor to test my bike. Peter Linden suggested a Norwegian racer named Torge. I found him in the paddock and asked him to give the Mavizen a try. He was all over it. He already knew the track. Within a few laps, he was circling at an impressive pace, and only about 15% slower than on his gas bike, and he loved it! Another instant convert to electric motorcycle racing…first one’s free! The smooth power delivery, not having to shift (electric bikes have no gears) and the silent flying sensation of e-bikes makes them very easy and enjoyable racers.
I had previously emailed the AMA regarding my license. At 3:00 pm local Spanish time, within 5 minutes of them opening their doors, I had an answer back. All I had to do was to fill out a bunch of paper work, send them my credit card information and I was good to go! Still, I had missed a whole day of practice.
My Dad had flown to Spain from Munich, Germany, to watch me race. Saturday morning, race license in hand, we went together to the track, less than 10 minutes from downtown Albacete. I got my first practice. It was slow at first, since it was early morning and the track was damp and cold, not to mention unfamiliar. The track was very flat and had lots of tight corners, and not too much of a straight away. It reminded me a little bit of Infineon, and of Miller. There was a turn 7, and a carousel, just a flat one. After a while I started to put the corners together and it began to flow for me. By the second practice I had dropped 8 seconds from my times. Still, I was far off the pace. Having had less practice than my competitors showed.
I was still having cut out problems when hard on the throttle, something they didn’t get around to fix while the bike was back in England. I was unsure what to expect every time I got on the throttle. Would it go fast or fall flat? The other Mavizens weren’t having that problem. It was frustrating. Eventually we got a hold of the chief engineer. He suggested taking off the heat safety switch, since it was the last race anyway and we didn’t have much to lose. Voila! That worked! On Sunday I would be able to wring the Mavizen’s neck with more confidence. I watched a lot of Youtube videos between my two only practices to get a better grasp on the track. I went over the corners in my mind again and again to see where I could go faster.
On Sunday we only got a 10-minute warm up session. I was still learning, trying to stick with competitors that were faster than me and learn something.
At 3:00 pm, the race started. I got a decent start and stayed with a couple of the racers in a pack for a little while, but I made some mistakes and just couldn’t make up the time before the checkered flag. I finished at the back of the pack, but still in the Top Ten. I had gone another 10 seconds faster than in practice, though. I really wished then that I had had that extra practice day! Still, it was a great race, and an excellent experience.
I was very impressed at the high level of competition. First place was Matthias Himmelmann with the Munich Team, who had a motor from an abandoned Siemens hybrid project. Second was CRP Racing, a professional race team that is also involved in MotoGP in Italy. Third was taken by Jenny Tinmouth, the UK TTXGP Champion. I was happy to see woman on the podium, even if it wasn’t me. She was very fast, gracious, and very shy. She also owns her own shop in the UK, so I felt immediate kinship with her.
Getting to race in Spain capped the whole year racing in TTXGP perfectly. I’m very glad to “Be Part of It”, as the TTXGP slogan goes. These electric motorcycles are becoming reliable. Once battery prices drop, electric bikes will be a very viable alternative to fuel bikes on the track and in the street. Seeing the development from the beginning of the year to the end of the season was mind-boggling! My Mavizen as it sits is already vintage- the 2011 model will be vastly different. The new bikes on the horizon are a far cry from the pioneering motley crew of home built machines in the beginning of 2010. Batteries, controllers and motors are getting better by the minute. Some bigger players are coming into TTXGP now. Next year will be exciting!
Werkstatt Mavizen was the only US team that made it to Spain. I can understand why. It’s a fairly expensive proposition. I would like to thank everybody that supported our racing efforts, especially Kilowatt Bar, Jeremy LaTrasse, Tony Wang, Luscious Garage, EPM Engineering, Oehlins, Carolina Motorcycle Rentals, and the many other individuals. Thank you all!

(This article was published in UrbanMoto Magazine, Issue #65)


Wrapping up in Virginia: 2nd in US TTXGP!

Written by Jennifer

Sunday, 22 August 2010 00:00

Just came back from Virginia’s VIR TTXGP, the last round in North America for 2010, and only the finals in Spain left. That’s it for North America, and what a year it has been! Taking part in the first ever Electric Motorcycle Racing Grand Prix was one for the history books. Looking back, it has been amazing, all the things that happened, all the people I have met. It went by in a whirlwind, prepping and developing the Mavizen, traveling, racing. I was blown away and impressed by the passion of everybody involved. By all the people that helped fund this effort, $20 and $50 at a time, and got us through the season. By our corporate sponsors, see  the list to your left, please give them some love. By the support of the spectators. By the growing interest by the public in only four races. By the dedication of my competitors. And by the driving force by the man with the vision, the founder of TTXGP, Azhar Hussain.Thanks everybody for a great season!

But enough of the lofty stuff, here’s the race report:) VIR was hot and humid, tough to be racing in that heat, but lots of water and air conditioned facilities we could sneak in to coole down made it all bearable. I had the suspension reworked again by Superplush to make it work better with the forward weight bias, and kept tweaking it during practice and qualifying, and I finally, finally got it to work right. Thanks James! The machine is really a pleasure to ride, what a blast! It feels like I am now riding the bike rather than it riding me! I dropped 10 seconds between Qualifying and the Warm Up Sunday morning, and another 9 seconds in the race! Wish i had had just one more practice with the bike handling like it does now, I bet I could’ve shed another 5 seconds which would’ve put me in the dice for second…

At the start we all piled into Turn One, and I somehow got pushed wide, so at the exit I found myself heading straight into the lawn. I had the choice of either going straight and getting out of the race, or to lean it over as far as I could in the hopes of making it without going down. Apparently part of my tire was already hanging over the grass, but I made it. I scraped the ^*(%^ out of the bike though and lost a little time but I had a good dice with Mike Hannas of Electric Race Bikes for the next few laps, until we got separated by a lapper that he passed in the straight and I had to get him in the corner, and I could’t make it up. Still, I had a great race, and I am still in 2nd place overall in riders points! And 3rd in constructors points. Woohoo!

Next year will see a lot of improvements implemented on the Mavizen, issues that arose while testing it on the race track. That’s ultimately what racing is about apart from being really fun: R&D, research and development. The bike is already in the UK now, where it got shipped to directly from Virginia. The Mavizen factory will work on a better controller, stream lining, and other things before we go to race against the UK teams in Albacete, Spain on October 24th. I’m trying to get to the Intermot on October 11th in Cologne, Germany, as well, which will have a huge electric vehicle display called E-Motion, which should be really exciting. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the world is up to. Intermot is the biggest motorcycle show in the world, and I’ll be sure to take lots of notes and pictures, or if you happen to be in Europe, stop by!

Btw, we are having a 16 Year Anniversary Party/Oktoberfest at Werkstatt on September 24th before we leave. Sweet 16! It’ll be German food, music, and a raffle with some cool prizes and hopefully some electric motorcycles on display, we’ll let you know. Hope to see you there!



Podium in Canada!

Written by Jen

Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:18

All the hard work finally paid off: 3rd place finish and podium at Mosport in Canada! And what an eventful 3 weeks between the races it has been…to be followed by a great finish…read on…

We had been developing the Mavizen the minute since it got back from Wisconsin. At one point the bike was reduced to the frame and the batteries. Every other component was being worked on. The rear tail was nixed and replaced by a custom made tail by Shubrey design. The partners in Shubrey Design, Liam Shubert and Brad Reynolds made a custom carbon fiber tail to replace the aerodynamically inefficient stock RC8 tail. The suspension was being reworked by James Sidall at Superplush Suspension. And the wheels were sent out to Carrozzeria to fit a 160 wheel for the rear and a 120 for the front. That was a custom job, and they turned it around at an amazing speed, so we had the new and lighter wheels back a few days before we left.

Making the the fairing from scratch was a lot more work, Shubrey Design having to design the plug, make the mold and fabricate the fairing and I didn’t pick up the bike with the mounted tail until 5am the morning of July 4th after Liam and Brad had worked all night to finish it. I left to drive to Toronto a few hours later after putting some finishing touches on the bike, namely some modifications on the rear wheel to ultimately fit it properly to the bike, getting all the bondo dust off from the tail fabrication and dialing in the suspension, and generally getting it ready for the next race.

The drive to Toronto was long and grueling, 2700 miles, which we did in just over 3 days. Driving, driving, driving, and sleeping, and not much else. We got to Toronto early Wednesday, in time to see Germany loose against Spain at a big screen in a sports bar in a Toronto mall. We then left to go to the track on Thursday morning in sweltering heat. We were the first motorcycles to ever have a garage at Mosport, due to the need to plug in. It was so humid that the floors were wet in the garage but it was great to have shade.

Unfortunately my brushes had not yet arrived from the UK, where they had been sent for testing to figure out brush issues we had at Wisconsin, so I had to sit out practice. A friendly Canadian however lent me his electric bicycle to take around the track that evening so I could at least get the lay of the land. The Canadians were as excited as the US spectators about the electric bikes, and a lot of racers and spectators came to check them out over the weekend.

The next day it rained, hard, and there was no practice in the morning. It was warm though, and not too miserable. Being in a garage was again awesome. Slowly all the other competitors trickled in and we caught up on the modifications and developments we had made since the last race. We did get to do the last practice of the day and I was glad to have seen the track at least by bicycle. Two of the downhill corners are blind, and you need to be turning in even before you see the end of the corner, which is a little nerve wrecking at first but once you get the track down, the flow of it is a blast! It’s like going down a luge, then having to negotiate a very tricky double apex corner that you really need to make into one apex, followed by a looong uphill straight, all the time trying to avoid the concrete patches right on the racing line that make both your tires slide.

We had some controller issues that led to the throttle sticking on and subsequently the chain coming off from the bike flexing and swapping back and forth from trying to slow down my ride under involuntary full acceleration, scarcely avoiding a crash, but thanks to having a spare controller and the Honda CB125 Cup camp that supplied us with two new chains that we linked together to make it work, we were up and running again by that evening and ready for the race the next day. I had been offered to run against fuel bikes in the 600cc Women’s Cup but unfortunately couldn’t get the bike back into shape in time.

The next morning I had a superb practice, no glitches with the bike and running like a bat out of hell I really started to understand the track and went into the race with full confidence. In the 18 laps in 2 practice sessions that I had under my belt I had shaved off over 20 seconds to a 1.58, and having no problems with the bike I rode the Mavizen to my and its first podium. 3rd place!

I could barely believe it finishing the race and rode the Mavizen up to the podium where interviews and media blitz followed and I was handed a big old trophy and a bottle of champagne to spray! Now that I know how it’s like to be on the podium I’m going to try for it more often :)

Next round is in Virgina, and from there the bikes are getting shipped to Albacete, possbily with stint to the Intermot where I might have a speaking engagement. What better excuse to go on a vacation by racing in Spain and going to an international motorcycle show in Germany…stay tuned!


Racing Road America

Written by Jen

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 10:21

Last week we did the second leg of TTXGP, racing in Road America. I flew in from San Francisco, while the bike was transported by Electric Motorsports. The Funhauler seized a couple of brake calipers in Reno, so the trip got delayed and the bikes (there were 4 competitors on the trailer) didn’t arrive until Friday afternoon! Half the paddock was sitting in the pits wondering if the bikes were coming in for the last practice that day! But since it rained hard in the morning, nobody was too sad about not riding. The bikes arrived in time for the last practice, so I had time to acquaint myself with the track. 4.3 miles, 3 long straights. Seems like you are leaving the county and back by the time you are all the way around the track! It’s a beautiful track though, and great for the spectators, too! The green cushy grass is awesome for camping, which is what I did.

The next day in qualifying I started with the first lap, and started to get on the throttle, but getting out of the last corner onto the front straight, the bike cut out. First I thought it might be just a reset problem, but it wouldn’t reset, so I got towed back in. Turns out the solenoid was fried, possibly from all the problems we had before. Fortunately Electric Racebikes had another one that we could buy, so we everything was fixed by the second and last qualifying session. Since I didn’t qualify, I had to do the rain session, me and one other competitor. Pouring rain, really slick, but at least it was warm. I qualified with a dismal time, but at least I was on the grid!

The next morning we had no practice before the race, and I was a little wary since I didn’t know the track that well. The race started and I kept up with the front group, when…the bike cut out. Argh! We thought we had fixed that, but electrics are tricky. This time I got it to reset right away, but of course everybody was gone already. So I was faced with the same situation of having to pass everybody back, and I again placed in 4th.

The brushes and controller are back in England now for improvements. Liam Shubert is developing a race fairing for the Mavizen, of which I will probably only have the tail, but I think that will give us at least another 10mph. James Sidall is re-valving the shocks, since they are *still* way to stiff, we keep going down and down, but since we had so little track time, it is taking a while to develop. Either way, by the end of the season, the Mavizen will be a kick ass bike, ready to rock on the street and on the track!

Ah, the joy or research and development, yet I am very proud to be part of it. So I’ll be back with new and improved parts for the next race, so look out, boys and girls!

I had a great weekend, I am now 3rd in points overall, everybody was super nice and helpful, and congratulations to Zoe Rem on 2nd place and Michael Barnes on 1st! The next round is at Mosport, Canada, where I’m planning on being on the podium for sure.


How I Became an Electrician

Written by jen

Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:20

Racing a motorcycle is something I know. Running a race team is something I know. Fixing a motorcycle is something I know. Plug an electric motorcycle into a wall socket is something anybody can do. But what if you race your electric motorcycle and every track has different outlets?

When you are at home, you can plug the bike into a drier plug, or when I’m at my shop, I can plug it into my MIG welder outlet. But race tracks are all different. There is no all-American standard. And usually, there are no driers to be found at the track. There is always some sort of 220V, but you never know what plug you are going to find. And since I am traveling all over the country to race TTXGP, and I need to keep the Mavizen charged and in good health, I needed to learn how to hook the charger into all kinds of different outlets.

I realized I had to become my own plug technician. I called Peter Athenas, friend, electrician, and owner of the Kilowatt (which also happens to be my favorite watering hole in the City, and they show MotoGP on TV, check them out!) and he clued me in on how to attach different plugs to the charger. He helped me figure out how to do it, what to pay attention to, and how to make sure I get the right plug.

So now I call myself an electrician. Or at least a plug technician :) So if you have an electric motorcycle, and need somebody to fix it, and you also need to figure out how to plug it into the wall…call me. I’ll hook you up.


ZoomZoom Trackday

Written by Jen

Sunday, 23 May 2010 19:40

Phew. I’m slowly coming off the race high. Racing the Mavizen was nothing short of awesome although I placed just outside the podium. I did pretty well in this first round considering the obstacles, but you’re never fast enough. My lap times could certainly improve a little. So I decided to see if I could get some track time with ZoomZoom, my favorite trackday provider. We have done a couple collaborations together in the past, a trackday on Easter, and we sponsored a women’s trackday a month ago or so. I was really impressed with their program, their high level of instruction on the track and off, in the classroom at the track. There seems to be a talk about every which topic ongoing all day, and the instructors are always available to help improve your lap times.

So I packed the Mavizen, the charger, and a few tools, and headed to the track. I found myself a 220V plug, and my friend Anton Bertaux wired in the right adapter. The bike had to charge for a couple hours, so I took Jeremy LaTrasse’s Honda 929 out to get warmed up. I grabbed Craig Sanders, one of the instructor I knew from racing the FZR400 years ago and had him follow me around and give me few pointers.

When the Mavizen was ready to go, I talked to Shawn Reilly, owner of ZoomZoom, super nice guy, and president of the AFM to boot. He’s super fast, but he patiently followed me around for a full session, and then pulled me aside afterwards and gave me the rundown on how to think differently about lines, now that I had a bike with power. Turns out my strategy of connecting the dots on the track to the shortest distance deprived me off being able to get on the gas sooner. 

To demonstrate, he made me do a two up ride, which is something that ZoomZoom offers, and that I highly encourage everybody to do if you want to learn. It did scare the bejeezus out of me since he braked so much later into the turns and got on the gas a lot sooner, but I started to understand what I need to work on. Well, I basically need to rethink everything I learned racing little bikes and put all this new knowledge to good use to deal with bikes that have horse power. I learned A LOT last Friday. Just when I thought I was pretty good.

I’m off to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks, hopefully to kick some butt with the Mavizen in TTXGP. I think I’ll do pretty well. The Mavizen is very powerful, and the rider just got better. Cross your fingers for me!


I took 4th place in TTXGP!

Written by Jen

Monday, 17 May 2010 14:14

Where to start? It was a very exiting weekend! Let me start off with Friday: first time on the track, scrubbing in tires, bike feels awesome, but when I opened the throttle hard after a couple of laps, the 500A fuse blow. Drawing too much amps! Patrick, the BMS guy, builds another fuse, this time 900A, but it was still not enough, and it blew again. Practice ended at 6.10, so we packed up the Mav, went back to the city, and put it on my dyno to see if it would blow an even bigger fuse, and it seemed to be fine.

Of course, we had the TTXGP fundraiser party to go to that night as well, and when I rode the bike into the SFMC at 9pm, the party was already in full swing! A lot of people came by to get a close up look at the Mavizen and to support our racing effort. Special thanks to Laura and Jimbo for doing the catering and special cocktails, and Johnny, Paige and Mary for selling loads of raffle tickets to raise funds for our electric endeavor. The party was a blast, and we made it to bed at a reasonable time:)

Up at 6am the next morning, for the mandatory meeting at 9 and first qualifying seesion at 11, but we missed the first one due to a cracked brush holder! But were able to get out for the second qualifier, and the bike ran great for a while, but the temperature switch was set conservatively, so the motor was limited in power output when it got warmer, so I couldn’t go more than maybe 50mph! But Alex, the Mavizen tech, and Ardvin, CEO of Agni Motors figured out what was going on and loaded up a new map, changed some brushes etc, while I was picking up my Mom from the airport. She flew in from LA to watch the race. It was great to have her be here for this historic event!

And then race day! Butterflies. We had one chance in a 20 minute warm up to test the bike. This was my first full session with teh bike, and it ran awesome! Full power, great throttle response, great handling. Patrick had built a second charger at home overnight so we could recharge the battery since the time between practice and race was only 90 min. By the time the race came around, it was almost all the way charged.

We line up on the grid, and, number one board, sidewaaaays, green flag, off we go! I decide to pick the outside line, get around the corner, and then the bike dies. No power. OMG, I can’t believe it. I sit there for a few seconds, clicking the bike on and off, hoping it’s not the fuse again, and after 30 seconds the controller resets and the Mavizen comes back to life! Wow! Ok, now I got some catching up to do. After a lap or so i start seeing the tail end of the pack. Faster! Don’t brake to soon! Go deeper! I’m screaming to myself in my helmet. One by one I start picking people off. I’m in the hunt now, single minded on catching people, it’s a rush! By the half way mark I got past 5 people. I look down at my Amp hour meter to check what I have left. 38Ah. Uhoh,. that’s too much! I was supposed to use no more than 33Ah. I need to scale it back a little, conserve energy, back off a tiny bit to make it to the end of the race which is 6 more laps! 

I stayed in fourth in the end, it was great. It was the best I could do with my 30 second handicap. The cool thing was that I could hear people screaming in the grandstand when I passed other bikes because the Mavizen is so quiet, and I could hear bits and pieces of the announcement when I passed a loud speaker. I have to say, I am really getting used to the quietness of the Mavizen. I do miss the revving of the engines at the start a little bit, it always gives me the goosebumps, but I’m starting to get used to the whirring of teh electric motor too. It does sound cool in a different way.

So now it’s Monday, the excitement is over for a little bit, and we’ll be racing at Road America in 3 weeks. Hopefully I can squeeze in a track day before Wisconsin, get a little more track time on the Mav. I can’t wait, it’s a really fun bike!


Pre Race Report

Written by Jen

Thursday, 13 May 2010 18:35

Just got back from the track, but I didn’t ride the Mavizen. I did ride my apprentice’s Triumph 675, which I expect to be somewhat similar to ride to the Mav. I stayed in high gear a lot, trying to simulate the missing engine breaking, and to be smooth on the throttle, which will conserve the motors and the charge.

The Mavizen is being worked on as I write this, there is some essentials that need to be installed yet, but it should be ready to rock tomorrow. The tech from England, Alex, has just arrived, and Patrick, who is local, is working on the battery management system. If it was an IC engine, I would say that we will be burning the midnight oil, but hey, there is no oil, so what do you say?

Anyway, back to work, more updates tomorrow, and don’t forget the TTXGP fundraiser party at the SFMC tomorrow! Link to the right. Cheers!


Starting to get the Mavizen ready

Written by Jen

Sunday, 09 May 2010 20:36

So I got the Mavizen at Werkstatt now. Got back late from the Quail Motorcycle gathering, and dropped the Mavizen off at the shop. Hard to believe it’s actually here! And even harder to believe what all needs to be done before the race in the next three days…

Started up the bike, it kinda hums at low rpm, but it gets pretty loud when you revv it up! That’s good, because if it was totally quiet it would be hard to get auditory clues on where you are in the powerband. It’ll be interesting to see how long it will take to get used to the sounds of an electric motorbike.

Started to do the race prep today, the chassis is bone stock as delivered from KTM. This is a prototype after all, serial number 0001, and there are no factory specs, so we have to go through it and make it race track worthy. MotoLiam came over to see if he could make us some protective covers for the wires coming off the engines. We rerouted them a little for now to keep out of the way of the ground when leaned over. Then we took the forks off so we can put the Oehlins goodies in them, James Sidall of Superplush Suspension is going to dial them in for us.  And I bought the team shirts to be printed tomorrow.

We pondered a few technical aspects this afternoon, too, e.g. the strength versus drag issues of roller chains versus Xring chains. And we fussed over the aerodynamics of the fairing. Part of the stock fairings job is to hold the headlight, and the radiator, and to get the heat away from the radiator, and to look stylish, but they are not the most aerodynamic thing in the world! With the electric motor you don’t need all that, but aerodynamics are very important, so we could redesign the whole fairing from scratch. It’s fun to re-engineer things and make them better. That’s part of what I like about this whole adventure, the re-shaping to perform in uncharted territories, the experimental aspect of it. There are no precedents. We don’t have much time before this first race, but hopefully we can do some improvements before the Road America round.

And we snuck in a long bicycle ride to the beach and back – cross training for the race :)


The Mavizen arrived at Quail

Written by Jen

Friday, 07 May 2010 13:45

Quick update: The Mavizen has arrived at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering! It will be on display there tomorrow. This is a last minute thing, just like about everything in this undertaking! I won’t be able to test ride the bike until practice because I need the charger and some other parts, which will arrive Thursday night with the technical support from the UK. Then off to practice Friday morning, then back to San Francisco for the fundraiser party, then get some sleep, and back to the track on Saturday. And then the race, at 11am on Sunday. That’s racing though…

I am really excited, can’t wait to at least sit on it, and as soon as we get it back from Quail, we need to do the suspension with the suspension parts we got from Ohlins (thanks again, Doug) and we are going to try to streamline the fairing a little better to get more range! Also, since there might be an issue of electric parts dragging when leaned over, Liam Shubert (Moto Liam) offered to make some carbonfiber protectors for us! 

And last but not least, we need to still raise a lot of money, so please consider helping us out to be part of this, you can donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Be-Part-of-History-and-the-Electric-Motorycle-TTXGP

More updates when they occur…


The Mavizen Ships!

Written by Jen

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 15:17

We just got word that the bike was shipped from the UK after frantic last minute improvements and a possibility that there would be no air freight because Eyjafjallajökull has erupted once again, closing down airports in Northern Ireland and Scotland today. The Mavizen however made it out in time and is now in the air on its way to Werkstatt. Here is a picture of the bike when it got loaded this morning. It’s Ferrari red, which makes it go faster!

Also, here is a schedule for the race weekend:

Friday, May 14
3 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. TTXGP Practice
5:40 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. TTXGP Practice

Saturday, May 15
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. TTXGP Qualifying 1
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Fan Walk hot pit lane / Opening Ceremonies
4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. TTXGP Qualifying 2

Sunday, May 16
9 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. TTXGP Warm-up
11 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. TTXGP Race (11 laps)


My TTXGP Adventure

Written by Jen

Sunday, 02 May 2010 18:50

So as some of you might have seen on publications like Wired Magazine, hellforleathersmagazine.com and Emotorules.com, I am going to race at the TTXGP on May 14th-16th, in a little over a week, at Infineon with an all electric motorcycle, the Mavizen, and subsequently at three more races across North America. If I finish in the top 8 I will get to go race against UK and European teams in Spain.

Being part of this inaugural electric race on US soil is incredibly exciting, and feels like being part of the future while making history at the same time. The technologies are rapidly evolving and nobody knows which concept is going to stick yet, but being part of the pioneering into uncharted territories is nothing short of awesome!

It all started in January when Azhar Hussain, owner of TTXGP and of Mavizen, came to the SFMC to promote the series. I was immediately intrigued. Electric motorcycle racing? First ever international championship? I’m in! I wanted to build one and participate, what better way to combine my love for racing motorcycles with being part of change and doing my part!

Alas, time was too short to build one from scratch, so we decided to rent a Mavizen, which combines the 09 race winning Agni power train with a well handling, proven chassis, the KTM RC8. What a package! So after a lot of back and forth, initial fund raisers etc, we committed to have the Mavizen sent here for me to race on May 16th in conjunction with the AMA races at Infineon.

So this is where you come in:

We need your help! The batteries alone are $15,000, plus shipping, rental, entry fees etc, and all in all we will have to come up with a lot of money. We are not a Factory team, so we have to pay for all that ourselves. So we are hoping that you are as excited as we are about being part of this historic race, and we are asking if you can chip in whatever you can! Even the smallest amount is going go make a difference! Of course, there are a few perks, too, depending on your sponsorship level! We’ll have exclusive t-shirts commemorating the event, professional pictures, your name on the bike and on this website, etc.

Be part of history! Go to INDIE GO-GO and check out how you can help. Watch the video by Mavizen, with Azhar talking about his mission of making the world a better place, and participate! If anything, come by the shop or the race track and check out the bike. It will arrive on the 10th. Here is a link to discount tickets for the TTXGP races.

See you at the races!


And Away We Go…

Written by Jen

Sunday, 02 May 2010 13:56

Welcome to the official home of Werkstatt Racing’s TTXGP experience!

Bookmark this page for regular updates as Werkstatt becomes a part of history at the first eGrandPrix in the US!