VICTORY ISLE OF MAN TT ELECTRIC SUPERBIKE
A few laps in the USA on Victory's ex-Brammo electric superbike
Three laps on a track you just met isn't much time to explore the performance of an Isle of Man TT electric superbike, but I have to say Lee Johnston’s third-place machinerun by Victory and the Brammo crew at the Island this past June— made it exceptionally easy to go as fast as I could, so to speak.
Such is the glory of a well-set-up racing motorcycle. Well, that and the fact that there is no gearshifting or clutching required on this single-speed electric machine.
Like the best new gasoline superbikes that offer auto-blip, noclutch downshifts, this electric
TT racer allows the rider to fully concentrate on braking and steering during corner entry, freeing up loads of brain power normally lost on trying to clutch and blip the throttle smoothly.
And “throttle” response (shall we call it a “torque selector”?) was linear and easy to manage. I remarked later to Johnston that I kept wanting to feed power in earlier and earlier, but he offered words of caution: “The thing can give you a wicked highside because the torque can make it break away so quickly.”
Testing location was High Plains Raceway east of Denver, a track with lots of elevation changes and plenty of bumps. No surprise this TT real-roads racer was a grippy magic carpet ride (thanks, K-Tech/Öhlins) given the speeds and road conditions at the Isle of Man.
It added to the overall serenity of this quiet, eerily smooth superbike. I’ve never had so much braking feedback get through. It was like I could feel the pad molecules vibrating on the discs.
The bike later was run at a dragstrip by Lee Johnston himself, and it clicked off a midio-second run at about 140 mph. Not bad for an EV with one gear.
I reached about the same peak speed I reached on the track’s longest straight.
Track performance felt comparable to that of a modern internalcombustion street-legal superbike without all the commotion. There is plenty left to be done in the development of electric technology, but for three laps this bike was fun to ride fast.