If you’re a MotoGP fan like me, you may remember six-time motorcycle world champion, Max Biaggi. Since his MotoGP and Superbike adventures, Max has been working with the Monaco-based company Voxan Motors to break the land speed record for two-wheelers. Voxan, owned by electric-racing pioneer Venturi has been working on a highly aerodynamic motorcycle called the Wattman.
The Wattman has been entirely built from scratch. The long-stretched frame, long wheelbase and low rider position are all aimed lowering the center of gravity while reducing drag. The battery system and powertrain have also been developed exclusively for this bike, using Formula-E expertise.
Conventional cars and motorcycles often use shared platforms, battery tech and powertrains in order to lower cost, but in order to develop a record-setting electric motorcycle, Voxan has worked together with Venturi’s battery engineers at Ohio State University.
They pieced together a unique battery consisting of 1,470 cells, with a weight of 140kgs (308 lbs), a capacity of 15.9 kWh and a nominal power of 317 KW. The total weight of the battery is about half the weight of the vehicle itself. The powertrain, or engine if you like, is a modified version of the electric engine in the Venturi VBB-3, which holds the speed record for electric vehicles (at 576 kmh/358mph).
The bike has no front-brakes, and is cooled by ‘dry-ice’, or carbon dioxide compressed to solid state, giving the bike additional advantages in aerodynamics and weight.
After having set no less than 11 speed records (find the full list here) in November 2020, the Italian pilot is looking to smash his own records once again this summer. According to Motorcyclenews.com, Voxan was looking to use Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flat as a location for its new attempt, but COVID-19 restrictions have made this impossible. Instead, the Voxan team will be looking to break the records closer to house at the Châteauroux airfield in France.
Biaggi surely isn’t getting enough of ultra-high speeds on two wheels, commenting on the new attempt he said: “Attempting to set new speed records barely a year after posting the very first is exhilarating! Eleven is great but… it’s not enough! I want to keep on developing electric mobility.
Voxan and Biaggi are not the only ones trying to break records. British firm White Motorcycle Concepts is looking to smash the current record with smart aerodynamics and two wheel drive.