Projects

Map of Isle of Man Mountain courseIsle of Man Mountain course.

The course is 37.733 miles (60.72 km) and the start/finish-line is on the A2 Glencrutchery Road in Douglas. The racing circuit is based on a everyday used public roads on the Isle of Man including the primary A2 Douglas to Ramsey Road, A1 Douglas to Peel Road, A3 Castletown to Ramsey Road and the primary A18 Mountain Road. The highest point of the course is on the primary A18 Mountain Road between the Bungalow and Hailwood's Rise at spot height 422 meters (1,384 feet) above sea level.




Qualifying practice lap

On Tuesday 9th June 2009 TTXGP competitors took grid position at the start/ finish line for the first of the two qualifying laps. The rules required that in order to qualify the lap must be completed in fifty minutes or less. The competitors were signalled to start at ten second interval.

Robert Barber starts qualifier lapOur rider Robert ‘Bullet’ Barber was the fourth to be signalled to start. Rob was the first to reach and pass the Sulby speed trap at an amazing speed of 102 MPH. Which was about 10 mph faster than the next.

Our rider Rob made history when he finished first and turned the fastest lap of the 37.733 mile, Isle of Man mountain course at 26 minutes, 41 seconds which was a good 5 minutes 6 second faster than the next team. His average over the course was 84.819 mph.

“ This is an amazing bike. It felt so good going round the course and handling of the bike is just perfect, it felt just like the handling on my petrol race bike GSXR600.” says Rob Barber.

The second qualifier was on Wednesday 10 June 2009. After raising the standard from the first qualifier Rob was confident with the bike’s handling and was very excited for round 2. The competitors were signalled to start as soon as they were ready. We were the first approaching the grid so Rob was the first off from the start/finish line.

Rob was quite slower through the Sulby speed trap with a recorded speed at 98 mph. But with a quality rider, such as Robert Barber his recorded lap time was 26:30.17 amazingly, about 11 seconds faster than his recorded lap time of yesterday and round 3 minutes faster than the next competitor. He averaged 85.417 which is 0.6 mph faster than yesterday and around 8 mph averaged speed faster than the next rider.

Race day Friday 12th June 2009.

Without making any alteration to the bike we made our way to scrutineering where the bike is inspected and weighed. The bike weighed in at 201kg around 10-15 kilograms lighter than we expected.

Rob took grid position in 12th and awaited for the signal to start. The team riders were all signalled to start with ten second intervals.
As he did throughout week in practise Rob was quick off the line and was riding very fast, He was catching up and overtaking the riders infront. He went through Sulby speed trap at 97.8mph and is overall average speed was 87.4mph from a standing start .
Rob finished 1st and to amazement to all of the teams and the spectators around the isle of man, his lap time was 25 minutes 53 seconds. About 3minutes ahead of second placed rider.

Another outstanding moment for team Agni came when we reached our target before the race of beating the 50cc lap record.

“This is was fantastic, best experience of my life. I was 100% behind this, right from the start” Rob Barber.

 

 


Isle of Man TTXGP Teams take practice laps at Jurby race track, 2009.

Test of the Team Agni Race BikeWe bought a donor Suzuki GSXR 600 in April 2009 and started working on converting the bike to electric. With the batteries not yet installed we made our way to the Isle of Man on Thursday 28th May 2009. We finally completed all the battery and electrical connections on Tuesday 2nd May, the day of the first practice at Jurby airfield.

On Wednesday 3rd June 2009 we had our first test with Kokam’s lithium polymer batteries installed in the Suzuki GSXR 600. The team rider, Robert Barber, had never ridden this particular converted bike or any other electric motorcycles before. This first test run at Jurby was ridden without the bikes fairings on and Robert looked very comfortable taking the corners at high speeds.

He was reaching speeds of around 95MPH with lap times averaging 1minute 29 seconds on a 1.7 mile circuit.

“ The bike was really handling great from start till end, the combination of Agni Motors, Suzuki chassis and Kais suspension works extremely well” said Robert Barber, Team Rider.

Second test run was on Thursday 4th June, with the bike’s fairings now fitted. To the amazement of the track marshals, TTXGP competitors and “petrol heads” standing by spectating, Robert Barber achieved the quickest recorded lap time of 1:25, which was a whole five seconds faster than the rest of the pack. He was reaching speeds of 100 to 105MPH. Robert was able to get the bike down so low in the corners that his elbows were knocking down cones and his knees were picking up grass from the side of the track. He did a total of 23 laps from a 98% charged battery, equivalent to 39.1 miles.

“ The first test at Jurby was successful. We made some small alterations and were straight into a good pace on our second test run; we were five seconds faster than anyone else” said Robert Barber, Team Rider.

Our third and final test at Jurby was on Friday 5th June and our plan for this test was to check the endurance of the bike on a full battery charge, before we go ahead with our qualifying and main race. Cedric asked Robert to try a few techniques which would help him conserve some battery power. Robert did 24 laps in one continuous run which is an equivalent to 40.8 miles.

“ The Team Agni bike is remarkably similar to my Suzuki GSXR 600 race bike. The only difference is that this bike doesn’t have engine braking or a clutch” said Robert.


TTXGP

We are very honoured to be participating in the TTXGP electric motorcycle race in the Isle of Man on 12 June. We believe the age of electric vehicles is now arriving.

Cedric Lynch built his first electric competition bike (mostly made from plywood) in 1981; this is a feet-forward type with the rider lying down as if in bed, so as to minimise the frontal area because the power you could get from the batteries allowed under the rules was about half a horsepower averaged over the length of the race. The best that can be said about its handling characteristics is that it is possible to ride it, but it did cover a distance of 46 miles (74 km) on two small car batteries. Arvind Rabadia has also competed in a number of electric vehicle races between 1984 and 1991 and was the winner of the lightweight vehicles category in the competition held in October 1991 in Strasbourg, Mulhouse and Colmar in France, using a feet-forward bike specially built for the competition.

The bike we are converting for the TTXGP is a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 600 fitted with two Agni 95 Reinforced motors and Kokam lithium-polymer battery of 63 cells of 70AH each, total about 16 kilowatt-hours of energy. This will give 40 to 50 horsepower averaged over the length of the race, which should be good for about 200 km/h (120 mph) top speed. Riders for this race are required by the rules to be fully-qualified racing motorcyclists. Our rider is Robert "Bullet" Barber.


Scooter Conversion

Scooter ConversionWe have converted a scooter to electric power and have it in regular use at our factory. It is a Kinetic Blaze (a former Italjet model that is now made in India) on which we have removed the original 165cc petrol engine and belt drive, and fitted an Agni 135 motor with chain drive with a ratio of 17:69 (using ANSI 35 chain, ⅜ inch pitch). The scooter has six Exide Powersafe 12V 42AH lead-acid batteries meant for computers' uninterruptible power supplies. It has a Curtis 1209B controller, which does not have ideal characteristics for this application but is easily available in India. In order to reduce rolling resistance we have replaced the rear tyre by a radial-ply car tyre; we tried fitting these tyres on both wheels but then the feel of the steering was not acceptable. We think that with non-standard steering geometry it would be possible to get good handling with car tyres on both wheels, and this would give very low rolling resistance and also very low tyre costs because the tread life would probably be over 200,000 km (120,000 miles).
The top speed of our converted scooter is about 90 km/h (55 mph) and the range is about 25 km (15 miles) at top speed and 100 km (60 miles) at 40 km/h (24 mph). The range at top speed is limited by the poor aerodynamics of the vehicle; a practical electric vehicle for high speed will need to have very good aerodynamics to get good range on a battery that most people would be willing to pay for.

Cedric Lynch's everyday transport when he is in the UK is an electric motorcycle with streamlined body, that can do 250 km (150 miles) per charge at 80 km/h (50 mph); unfortunately its appearance tends to provoke laughter, and something would have to be done about this in making any production version.