2010 – A new era of motorcycle road racing

May 27, 2010

Almost two weeks ago on May 16 I made it out to visit the northern California Infineon Raceway in Sonoma County to catch up with the vibe of contemporary motorcycle road racing.

Not only was I informed that a girl had won the first leg of the 600 ccm Super Sport class but that there was also the first TTXGP (zero carbon, clean emission Grand Prix) scheduled. The event for electric motorcycles based on the technology of tomorrow.

Let’s talk about the girl first.

 Elena Myers is 16 years old and the first female motorcycle racer to win a race in the 76 year history of American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Pro Racing. She cleaned up in the 600 ccm Super Sport series. 25 wild guys were chasing her around the track but she did not cave in.  I was surprised to see that there are still only two women involved with pro-motorcycle road racing, something I would have expected to have changed over the past 25 years. Granted their materials, bikes and equipment is fundamentally different and a lot more expensive in comparison to what we had in the eighties but nevertheless: there are still no girls involved in this sport! Therefore Elena’s win in this class is a milestone in the history of motorcycle road racing and maybe she will be able to break into the Moto Grand Prix scene to give Valentino Rossi a run for his money.  She is young enough to follow her dreams. I cross my fingers for her.    



Another interesting event that weekend was the first TTXGP race with electric motorcycles. The first  zero carbon, emission free GP was carried  out in 2009 on the Isle of Man.            

What was strange to me in this event was that there was no noise, only a high frequency humming which goes a little under the skin after a while.  A motorcycle race without sound, the spectators carrying on with their conversations in the Grand Stands and watching the bikes almost silently go by. Before the race I visited the manufacturers of these electric bikes in the paddock. All I saw was a mess of cable and computers sticking out as you can see in the pictures. The mechanics are computer geeks, there is no oil anymore, there is no gearing – there are no carburetors. One day I go deeper into the technology of electric bikes but for right now I just stick with the pictures worth more than a thousand words...

In conclusion I can say that my weekend was good. It gave me new ideas and inspiration to move forward. Maybe I can organize a ride on one of these electric race bikes and zip around out there on the Infineon Raceway to get a taste of the wild air of the future.