A motorcycle manufacturer which started primarily building cruiser-type motorcycles broadened its range last year to include electric motorcycles. The latest news in this revolutionary chapter is Victory Racing team will not only compete in the Isle of Man TT Zero race again, but do it with an all-new electric race bike called the Victory RR.
The Victory RR has been developed over the past year using data gathered during last year’s TT Zero and will be ridden by William Dunlop.
“One way we continuously push ourselves in performance is through our Victory Racing initiatives,” says Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles. “The Isle of Man TT is one of the most challenging motorcycle races in the world, so of course we have to be there.”
Victory’s international R&D development program is well underway and the Victory RR bike serves as a test bed for technology that will be used in the brand’s future products.
“Our electric Empulse RR race bike placed third on the podium in the TT Zero race last year, which we were thrilled with,” notes Brian Wismann, Victory Racing’s team manager. “Using the data we gathered on our laps of the TT course has helped us to develop a new battery module as well as improving the powertrain. “
This effort could be important to riders, whether they follow racing or not and regardless of any current degree of interest in electric motorcycles. Technology moving from the track to consumer motorcycles is called the ‘trickle-down effect’ with many features found on street bikes toady starting on competition models. These would include ride modes, traction control and others.
“This year with a new machine and new technology behind us we continue to have high expectations,” Hultgren adds. “We are working to develop the best platform for our racer, William Dunlop, who is familiar with the view from the podium.”
Some enhancements have been made to the electric motor, which was developed in partnership with Parker Hannifin and being called the Parker GVM. It boasts world-class specific power in regards to the power to weight ratio, producing a peak of over 170hp from a package that is only eight inches in diameter and five inches long.
With peak efficiencies topping 97 percent, it is clear to see why Victory gets excited about the potential of this powertrain for future products.
The all-important area of battery technology has been the focus of advancements as well.
“The newly developed battery leverages the lessons learned from our entry in last year’s TT Zero event,” Wisemann says. “The battery is a ground-up new design with the help of our technical partners at Brammo and necessitated a big change in the chassis design, from an extruded aluminum twin spar to a steel trellis frame. The biggest difference in the battery itself is an improvement in both the overall energy/capacity we’re carrying onboard the bike, as well as a marked improvement in the energy density of the battery itself. As you know, lithium-ion battery technology is improving every year and with the Victory RR we are leading the way to batteries that will provide more performance, greater range and less cost in future vehicles.”
For those who follow motorcycle racing, the first practice for the TT Zero is scheduled for Friday June 3 at 8:40 p.m. A second practice takes place on the Monday June 6 at 4:25 p.m., and the race itself begins Wednesday June 8 at 4:20 p.m.
“Compared to the electric motor we used in the TT Zero event last year, this year’s version features an even further optimized winding configuration based on the data gathered from last year’s bikes,” Wismann says. “Coupled with the increased energy on board in the battery, William Dunlop will have access to more of the power available from this motor than in 2015.”
For the gearheads out there, the Victory RR specifications;
- Length / Width / Height (mm.) - 2089 / 680 / 1218
- Seat Height (in.) - 32
- Weight (kg) - 240
- Front Tire - Metzeler 120/70 R17
- Rear Tire - Metzeler 200/60 R17
- Frame - Trellis Steel and Composite Monocoque
- Motor - Parker GVM Water-Cooled, 3-phase, IPM AC
- Max Power (kW / HP) - 130/ 174
- Max Torque (Nm) - 240
- Battery - Brammo Power Lithium-Ion
- Battery Voltage (Vdc) - 370 or more