Buckeyes Go Fast, Set New Records, Target Isle of Man

Just got this news from Kyle Ginaven, my buddy from the Ohio Buckeye race team (Technical Team Lead, actually) and fellow ElMototian.  CONGRATS, guys!  (And, oh.  Is it just me, or is that one of the Scariest Badass Looking Bikes on the frikkin planet?)

Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Sets Speed Record

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team set an East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) speed record for electric motorcycles, July 8, 2012. The record speed was 144.352mph at the East Coast Timing Association Ohio Mile Track located in Wilmington, Ohio. The team now holds the title of fastest collegiate electric motorcycle.

The record, an increase of over 30mph on the 112.349mph record in 2011, was primarily the result of upgrading the vehicle’s battery pack. The student-led team utilized FlightPower’s lithium cobalt oxide batteries loaned to them by Lawless Industries, completely designing, building, and testing the battery pack with the goal of achieving maximum high speeds. The record was completed in the Modified Electric A3 class by crossing the finish line of the one mile straight track at top speed. Jennifer Holt, a professionally trained motorcycle driver and Ohio State graduate student, steered the team to victory once again as she did for the 2011 record.

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(photos: Aaron Bonnell-Kangas)

“The latest ECTA speed record is a fantastic achievement for the team, and an important learning experience for the design of the new electric race motorcycle,” says Marcello Canova, the team’s faculty advisor and assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “Most of all, it shows the skills, ingenuity, and resilience of this student group, able to build an electric bike from ground up in less than two years and achieve two speed records.”

The next goals for the team include building a new motorcycle— the second in its series of race vehicles— surpassing the 150mph mark (as only few professional teams have done so far), and competing in the famous Isle of Man race competition. The students are midway through the design process of the new vehicle, improving on what they have learned during the past two years. “As the team begins its second electric motorcycle design and build, members now have a much clearer idea of the end goal and the hurdles that they will have to face right up until the starting gun fires,” Kyle Ginaven, co-team leader/technical team lead.

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle also holds the title of being the first electric vehicle to compete at the ECTA Ohio Mile Track.

Kyle (AKA Nuts & Volts) also put together a great list of speed records:

Track/Street Top Speeds – Outright/one way speed

  1. Lightning 2011-218.6mph
    2011-Bonneville – source
  2. Chip Yates-200.7mph
  3. Kent Riches-179mph
  4. Lightning 2010-176mph
    2010-Bonneville – source
  5. MotoCzysz 2010 bike-163.6mph
    2010-Bonneville – source
  6. Mission Motors Mission One-161mph
    2009-Bonneville – source
  7. Mugen 2012 bike-158mph
    2012-IOM TT Zero source
  8. MotoCzysz 2012 bike-154mph
    2012-IOM TT Zero – source
  9. Brammo Empulse RR 2012 bike-147mph
    2012-Portland International Raceway Test Session – source
  10. BEMRT Ohio State RW1-144.5mph
    2012-ECTA, Wilmington, Ohio -source->to be posted soon
  11. Mission Motor Mission R-134mph
    2011-Laguna Seca – source
  12. Norton Electra-127mph
    2011-ECTA, Maxton, North Carolina – source (bottom of page)

Drag Top Speeds

  1. Lawless Rocket-201.3mph
    2012-Virginia – source
  2. KillaCycle-174mph
    2008-Bandimere Speedway, Colorado – source
  3. The Predator-162mph
    2012-Arizona – source
  4. Lawless ANGUS-160.37mph
    2012-VMSP –source
  5. Current Eliminator V -159.85mph
    2007-Arizona –source
  6. Lawless AGNS-147mph
    2012-VMSP –source
  7. ThunderStruck Motors Tron-139mph

Check out the thread here.

You can read some very interesting stuff on Kyle’s blog, here: GoElectricFast

The Buckeye Facebook page is here, and their website is here..  The Buckeye Build Thread on ElMoto is here.  Here’s the latest update from that, just so you can get a feel for some of the behind-the-scenes tweaking and fretting:

And we go faster. Ran a 144.5 mph this morning at ECTA. We found out that we had a battery current limit of 200A set on the controller for our second run (131mph) yesterday so that is why motor current and peak power became limited. A little headwind today helped out, but it appears gearing was our limiting factor. We had a peak battery power of 392V, 235A (92kW), so about 13% more power. However this peak occurs closer to 130mph due to our gearing limitations. Our front sprockets are specialty made (custom spline) so may not be worth getting as we change our focus to our next build, but we can get a 38 tooth rear fairly easily. This would give us a 1.52 ratio (38/25) which is 5% taller than our current setup 1.6 (40/25). This change has potential to get us over the 150mph so we may consider this upgrade for the September ECTA if we have batteries available to us.

Second run we had the rider be less aggressive on the throttle in order to try to keep voltage sag as minimal as possible, but once she reached ~100mph at the 1/2 mile mark the controller went into a ‘hardware over-current’ limit and the bike coasted through the sensor at 69mph. Odd thing is we didn’t have close to 300Arms or 300Adc which were our phase and bus current limits set the controller in the morning. Either way we need to contact Tritium and figure out why this occurred and how we can improve the system.

Still lots of great data from this controller. Its funny how after a run our team is pulling out chargers and laptops to figure out how we can go faster while the rest of the ICE teams pull out wrenches and mess with dirty parts to improve things.

Pictures and videos coming soon


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