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MotoGPod Interviews Werkstatt

May 6, 2010

Jim Race of MotoGPod.com interviewed Jennifer Bromme of Werkstatt racing.  Link to the interview is here.

Jim interviewed Jennifer shortly after she found out that the Mavizen TTX02 (serial number 001) was in the air, on its way to San Francisco.  In the days ahead she will be having an Ohlins suspension installed on the bike, attending a party on May 14 at the San Francisco Motorcycle Club with the bike and the TTXGP people and anyone else who cares to attend, getting in some practice at Infineon on a bike other than the Mavizen, and getting as many sponsorships and grass roots investors as she can.

According to the interview, the first chance she will have to actually ride the Mavizen on the track will be during Friday’s practice at 3:00pm.  Crazy.

Jennifer also said that she will be updating her new blog with as much information as she can: http://www.werkstattsf.com/blog-section/index.html

Information on how you can become a part of this effort and help this team reach its funding goals: http://www.indiegogo.com/Be-Part-of-History-and-the-Electric-Motorycle-TTXGP

It’s a great interview, and it’s only 28 minutes long (a Jim Race record?).  Definitely worth a listen.

Werkstatt's Mavizen, ready to load onto the jet.

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Real World Implications for TTXGP Rules

May 5, 2010

MoTec Advanced Central Logger

Discussions on the Talk pages of the TTXGP Technical Rules Wiki have recently touched on the subject of transmission of information from the team to the bike and from the bike to the team.

A new rule was added that imposes a €10,000 fine on any team transmitting information to its bike.  This rule may be a bit of bait, drawing in an outraged Wiki editor to change it, but it has remained live and unedited since it was drafted, on April 26, 2010.

Perhaps people who read that rule determined that it was so conceptual that it would not become relevant for many years.

According to a recent article on Plugbike.com, however, at least one of the TTXGP North American teams is pushing the envelope on the application of this rule.  According to the article:

The MoTeC Advanced Central Logger (ACL) can store data from the race and also allow the rider to switch between multiple power maps to tune power delivery and KERS / regenerative braking on the fly.

Obviously this technology will grant the SWIGZ team an advantage over other bikes if track conditions change during a race. If it starts raining, Chip can switch to a a less aggressive power delivery map. Or, if his tires start to fade, he might want to do the same. Chip explains that this removes concerns from the rider’s mind and will lead to fewer mistakes.

That all sounds amazing but here is the kicker: As Chip exits the apex of a corner he can wack the throttle open and the ACL will analyze lean angle of the bike, depth of discharge of the battery pack, time left in the race, effectiveness of KERS and any other factors and put down the right amount of power for optimal acceleration.

While this advanced technology is currently controlled by the rider, it is a short, conceptual hop to having such a device controlled by the team, who may have a better idea than the rider about what current threats exist in the drive to win the race.

Will race scrutineers be able to recognize devices that have a potential to violate the rules?  Given that the Technical Advisory Panel is comprised of some of the leading experts in their fields of electrical and mechanical engineering, it would be a dangerous gamble to play in the minutes leading up to the race.  OR… someone could go on to the wiki and discuss the need to delete this portion of the rule and proceed with doing away with it.

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Werkstatt Blogs the TTXGP

May 3, 2010

Werkstatt Racing just began blogging: My TTXGP Adventure.  A must-read for TTXGP fans, and it already has some background about the time that the first considered racing in the TTXGP — not going to spoil that here — go to the blog!

Also, Jennifer Bromme has reopened the opportunity for folks to help sponsor the team.  Her announcement, below:

“Hi everybody,

Thanks again for your help! In light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico I think it is getting more and more important to show that we need to move to alternative vehicles. We need to show that electric vehicles are a viable means for transport and that they are not a niche anymore but competitive and mainstream!

Please let everybody know about the TTXGP Electric Race Series which will show that it is possible to wean off oil without compromising fun!

We opened another fundraiser on indiegogo: http://bit.ly/cwL2sS.
Please take a minute and pass this on to others that would be interested in being part of making this amazing race a success, and be part of history. Get Jennifer Bromme to race a state of the art electric motorcycle at the TTXGP. We still need grassroots funding, every little bit helps! I have also attached a video stating the mission of Mavizen, which I think sums it up pretty good. Thanks!

Jennifer”

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Werkstatt Racing Announces Fund Raising Party on 5/14/10 for TTXGP Effort

May 1, 2010

I’ll be there.  How about you?

Werkstatt Racing (www.werkstattsf.com) is pleased to announce a fundraiser party for their upcoming TTXGP effort. The fundraiser will be held at the historic 106 year old San Francisco Motorcycle Club at 2194 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 on Friday 5/14/2010 from 7:30PM to 10:00 PM. The public, the motorsports media, and other TTXGP participants are
invited. TTXGP racer Jennifer Bromme will be in attendance along with the
Werkstatt Mavizen electric superbike. Come and have a sneak peak at the future
of superbike racing in the historic setting of one of America’s oldest private
motorcycle organizations. Donations to the Werkstatt TTXGP racing effort will be accepted on site.

Background: Werkstatt Racing owner Jennifer Bromme has committed to race in the first ever TTXGP race in 2010 through a special arrangement on a Mavizen (www.mavizen.com) .

The premier TTXGP event runs in conjunction with the AMA Nationals at Infineon Raceway on May 14-16, 2010.

Werkstatt Racing is a woman owned motorcycle company in
San Francisco that is dedicated to blazing trails in electric motorcycle
racing.

More information on Werkstatt’s fundraiser for their TTXGP
entry can be found at:

http://www.indiegogo.com/Be-Part-of-History-and-the-Electric-Motorycle-TTXGP

and

http://www.werkstattsf.com

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TTXGP Racing Schedule for Infineon

April 28, 2010

From the official race site at Infineon comes the schedule for the West Coast Moto Jam for the weekend of May 14-16.

For you TTXGP fans, here are the events for the electric motorcycles:

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)

Also, if you were one of the generous people who donated to the Werkstatt Racing team’s effort to get the Mavizen TTX02 to the race, then you should have received word that Jennifer Bromme is planning a party on Friday night to celebrate the success of that drive, and that she, the team, and the bike will be present.  If you didn’t donate to the cause, the word on the street is that there is still time to do so, and that your dollars are still welcome.  More information at http://www.werkstattsf.com/ and here, when it becomes available.

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FIM e-Power at Le Mans: Should all but one bike have been disqualified?

April 26, 2010

Watching this video of the first FIM e-Power race at Le Mans, I noticed that only one of the bikes had a flashing red light on the rear of the bike.

According to the Road Racing FIM e-Power International Championship Regulations, Section 2.4.8:

Power Indicator

When the vehicle is in a powered on state, there must be two clearly visible indicators, one light on the instrument panel and one light on the rear of the vehicle.
The rear light must be red and visible from at least 10m away, from the side or rear, and must flash between 1 – 2 times /second on a 50% duty cycle.
Perhaps it is just a play of the lighting in the video, but at 1:18, the red flashing light of the black and silver bike is clearly visible.  I see no other bikes with lights.
The TTXGP rules contain this requirement, put in place because of one of the inherent differences between electric motorcycles and those powered by internal combustion engines: there is no sound associated with a “live” electric bike at rest.
Should all of the bikes but the one with the clearly visible light been disqualified from the e-Power Le Mans race?  I’ll leave that for the racing experts to debate.

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On the Wiki: Transmitting Data from Bike to Team; Team to Bike; Bike to World

April 26, 2010

Another captivating discussion is occurring on the TTXGP Technical Rules Wiki today.   Morris Packer, owner of Morris Motorcycles and the chief of one of the teams racing in the UK series of the TTXGP, has changed a rule concerning the transmission of data (such as battery charge level) from the bike to the team.  Meanwhile, User:Payo, who is also behind the Open Moto X team, has added a provision to the rule banning all transmission from the team to the bike (a/k/a “PTW” for “powered two wheeler.”)

The current version of the rule, following these edits, (but which, by the time you read it, may have changed), is:

Electronic Transmission/Receiving

Transmission (data sent from PTW to the team)

Transmission is allowed at all times, including all available technical data and all data recorded of any device onboard vehicle and/or rider. Teams are required to log all transmissions and copy all transmitted content, and if requested by race officials hand over copies in digital format. The race officials may use the collected data to resolve protests and disputes. Each team may decide if their surrendered data should be held private or released as Creative Commons. Any teams that intend to transmit real time data publicly should pre-announce this at the riders meeting.

Receiving (data sent to the PTW from the team)

It is illegal for the PTW to receive data sent from the team. Teams suspected of infringing this rule will be fined 10,000 EUR (13,000 USD, 8,700 GBP) and disqualified from the subsequent TTXGP race.

Don’t forget to check out the Talk page of the rule, where the real debate is occurring, including the innovative idea of an open-sourced database of all information collected from each bike and each team:

Maybe we should extend it so that after each race team are encouraged (by yet another statement of principle!?) to submit their data to an open-access TTXGP database. The source of the data could be anonymised if teams are sensitive about it. This would give anyone wanting to investigate ways to improve the performance of PTWs and associated technology (including other race teams, commercial R+D departments and academics) access to a really big (and therefore hugely useful) data set.

If you’re a race fan, a team, a manufacturer, or a rider, why aren’t you registered on the wiki and joining in on the genesis of electric racing rules?

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