Posts Tagged ‘TTX02’

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Azhar talks about the Wiki

June 1, 2010

TTXGP CEO, Azhar Hussain, recently gave an interview to the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Assoaciations (FEMA) and, among other subjects, had some comments to make about the Technical Rules Wiki:

Azhar Hussain: Because the space for innovations is so incredibly huge, we also decided to rely on a Wiki to come up with the rules for the TTXGP 2011.

FEMA: Who makes the rules for the TTXGP races?

A.H.: Usually within a racing organization there is a committee setting the rules. In popular racing series, like MotoGP and Formula 1 the rules serve to keep the races exciting but also to tap development costs. The more sophisticated the rules, the smaller the space for innovation. A small space for innovation in turn leads to a reduced risk of spending money for research and development as well as reducing the goals for wider applicability.

High recognition within the racing community is usually an important condition to become part of the rule setting committing. The result is insiders making the rules for insiders, output from outside is not captured and new ideas can hardly take form and the series becomes remote from wider social, commercial and technical objectives. In order to avoid such phenomena we came up with the idea to create a Wiki to decide on the rules for the TTXGP in 2011. We invite contributions atwiki.egrandprix.com.

FEMA: A Wiki is an online platform that allows people to post and to edit and to comment texts or ideas on certain topics, just like Wikipedia. Does that mean that the rules for the TTXGP next year will be decided upon by whoever gives his or her input?

A.H.: In our sector, development and innovation takes place incredibly fast. In order to not miss anything, we invite everybody to participate setting the rules for the TTXGP 2011. Everybody who is interested in motorcycles, battery technology, electronics and mechanics is invited to join. We think this is the best way to keep track with recent developments. Finally a committee of experts will evaluate all the suggestions made and tailor manageable rules and standards. That’s how we try to keep our room for innovation as open as possible.

The rest of the article is filled with great information and insights on the world of electric motorcycles and electric motorcycle racing, as well.

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Azhar Hussain on MotoGPod

February 1, 2010

I was not picked as moderator for the TTXGP Technical Rules Wiki because of my expertise in the finer points of motorcycle racing history or because of my intricate knowledge of the inner workings of a motorcycle drivetrain. Azhar picked me precisely because of my “outsiders eyes” and the fresh viewpoint I brought into a sport that is filled with strong opinions and well-set ways.

Because of my involvement in this project, however, I have been diving into some of the history of motorsports and trying to get familiar with some of the knowledge that comes naturally to those of you who have followed the sport your entire lives.

When I want a good long look into the vastness of my own ignorance about motorcycle racing, I tune into MotoGPod, a podcast of motorcycle racing news and discussion moderated by Jim Race, Jules Cisek, and Bob Hayes, three guys who could probably talk for hours in my presence without me interrupting them with anything constructive to add to the conversation.  Last week’s show, however, was a rare exception to that rule.  Jules Cisek interviewed Azhar Hussain about the Wiki project.

His interview begins at 1:10:00 into the podcast.  “We encourage anybody who knows anything to come and be a part of it.”

Give it a listen, if for no other reason than to hear him say that I have “a legal mind” and that I’m looking through the rules and keeping them “intellectually credible.”   It’s my new ring tone.

Azhar makes some great points on this podcast, including:

  • if it’s a good idea and we can put it in, we will.
  • what’s really driven this is that technology is moving too fast for any single individual or any group of individuals to know what’s going on.
  • we want to include the people and countries who have been excluded from the motorcycle racing rules creation process
  • TTXGP can only exist if we stay at the leading edge of technology

Lots more in the 12 minute interview.

Find the podcast here:

Thanks, also to Jim Race and Jules Cisek for registering as users on the Wiki.  Looking forward to your contributions to the project.

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AGV Backmarker on the TTXGP Technical Rules

January 21, 2010

Mark Gardiner, who also writes the AGV Backmarker column for RoadRacerX.com had some great insights about the technical rules wiki of TTXGP:

A Czar neutralizes potential revolution…

As I noted a few weeks ago, Azhar Hussain—the man who created the TTXGP race on the Isle of Man last year—is now promoting a number of zero-emissions races and also selling a TTXGP production racer called the Mavizen TTX02 http://www.mavizen.com/. Someone was quick to give Azhar the nickname “The Czar.” While I suspect he takes secret pleasure in that tag, it also alluded to the potential conflict-of-interest in that situation. Obviously in that dual role, Azhar could have structured or at least interpreted the TTXGP rules in ways that would give his Mavizen motorcycle an advantage.

Such a conflict of interest and the prospect of competing at a disadvantage might scare potential race teams away from TTXGP, especially now that the FIM has announced a rival ePower championship.

But I have to admit that Azhar has at least temporarily silenced his critics by declaring that the TTXGP rules will be crowd-sourced. He’s appointed an independent moderator of the rules “wiki.” I suppose this is an alternative to either a rules dictatorship or the often-fractious rules committee.

It will be interesting to see how it works in practice. Frankly, at this early stage in the zero-emissions racing world, I’d like to see the simplest rulebook, one that would encourage the most diverse grid.

With that in mind, here are my (complete) suggested rules: Chassis design—two wheels that are in-line when the machine is traveling in a straight line; power train—no internal combustion of fossil fuels.

That’s an interesting take on how to simplify 20 or so pages of technical rules, Mark.  Come on and join the wiki and share those thoughts in the TTXGP laboratory.  If nothing else, it will stimulate some conversation.

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TTXGP on Plugbike by Me

January 21, 2010

That may be a confusing headline, but basically the story is that I wrote a guest post on John Adamo’s excellent blog, Plugbike.com, about Azhar Hussain’s recent appearance on KRON-TV in San Francisco.  I’m not going to dilute the post by quoting it here.  Please go to Plugbike to read it.

“TTXGP gets Mugged on ‘The World According to Gary.'”

Here’s a quick link to the video of the interview, in case you want to avoid reading my brief commentary:

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