“The race only goes as planned for the winner, for everyone else it is either quit or back to the drawing board.” -MC
1st practice (Tuesday)
The shipping crate containing the motorcycle arrived as planned. Unfortunately we fell behind on the first practice day due to the support crate being delayed which we only received just before technical scrutineering. This practice marked only the second time the E1pc would be on track and the first time to run a full race distance- not ideal!
The overall mode at the TT was one of very piqued interest. As the eBikes left the starting gate there was plenty of comments on their noticeable lack of acceleration and sound- then our bike left, it looked significantly faster then the competition off the line and down bray hill and seemed to surprise a great number in attendance. Unfortunately only a few miles after the start we lost two engines and the bike retired.
2nd practice (Wednesday)
We replaced all three motors Tuesday evening thanks to the generosity of the Agni team and prepared the bike for qualifying. Like Tuesday we still had the bike in a very conservative state of tune. The current to the motors was limited below manufactures recommendations and the batteries were only charged to a mild state as well as fiercely protected from a state of low discharge.
We started in nearly last place, minutes behind the first bike and again Mark Miller shot down Bray Hill with class leading speed. Within the first 5 miles Mark reported he had passed every other motorcycle except for the Agni machine which left the starting gate first. Mark rode thru the Sulby straight speed trap at a conservative 92.8mph and only trailed Agni by 11 seconds at the Ramsey hairpin mile 24 (approx. ¾ race distance).
Somewhere near Cronk ny Mona (approximately 1 mile from the start/finish the voltage dropped below our LV target and the controllers faulted and stopped. After sitting for 5mins Mark flipped the switch to see if he could ride her home thus rebooting the controllers and came limping up the final hill where Mark showed great heart and commitment by helping the E1pc across the line for what had to be the ugliest but to us, the most heart felt finish in the TT.
Jurby Practice (Thursday)
I rode the closed circuit in the same low state of tune to confirm yesterday’s results which though were ugly were results none the less and gave us data to calculate and configure from. The afternoon went flawless and after a front shock and spring change, saw me lapping all the other eBikes at the test.
Race evening (Thursday night)
We estimated we needed about 30%-40% more power to finish the race at full throttle for the current limit we had set and used all week which was 70% of the E1pc full potential. We had a plan and things were looking very good for Friday- based on the calculations we were very very optimistic.
Here is the breakdown:
Fuller state of charge (to manufactures recommendations) +9% energy
Lower low voltage limit (to manufactures recommendations) +26% energy
Deployment of secret weapon (to my two sons delight) rear battery pack +15%
Totaling 50% more energy density onboard for race day
For added measure we even reduced the current by 10% to conserve the motors as we felt we had extra speed in hand.
Race day (Friday AM)
All the work was done. Like most of the other teams must have experienced too, the last 5-6 months was a living hell, 100% consumed by the motorcycle. We had jumped into very unfamiliar waters and been promised lots electrical wizardry from several “experts” but in the end received very little. Everyone who worked on the MotoCzysz project from the painters to the machinist from my father to my sons were affected, the team worked increasingly harder picking up the slack left by the “experts”. But it all was about to be justified, it was all about to righted- Nobody, I mean Nobody was going to show up on race day with 50% more ability!
Race Day (race time)
When I saw Mark Miller I told him one thing “You can go100%!” He looked at me astonished; this is not the “Rain Race” scenario I have been feeding him for the last 2 months. “Are you sure?” he asked. I answered “100%”.
Race Day (only minutes later)
I don’t even know where but we experienced another motor failer and just like that our race was over…back to the drawing board.
The MotoCzysz E1pc
I was repeatedly told the MotoCzysz E1pc surprised everyone at the TT ( now that I write this I am not sure if the motorcycle was the surprise or the poor results). It was the most integrated electric motorcycle in the paddock, with more torque and power than any other bike and the chassis was up to the challenge. It was the only motorcycle with hot swap batteries and should have been challenging for the win. However this was not a show event but a go event and simply came before we were fully ready. A few days at the IOM has identified where I need to put my efforts moving forward.
The Secret Weapon
After the embarrassing qualifying practice my two sons were very quiet and clearly worried by our results. It was at that moment that the greatest Daddy moment in my life occurred. I knelt down between them and told them don’t worry and then leaned in and whispered “I have a secret weapon”. This was immediately followed by complete confusion and puzzlement. “Secret weapon?” Max (the more reactionary one) asked with one of those scrunched up, head tilting, puppy dog faces, then complete silence. “More batteries” blurts out Enzo (the more contemplative one) followed by an even louder “More Batteries” from Max then Enzo says “More batteries, so you can go faster…longer?!” followed by Max screaming “MORE BATTERIES FASTER LONGER” shhhh shhhh I say but it is all over, they are jumping around hugging each other and me and chanting “secret weapon”…”secret weapon”…”secret weapon”.
Congratulations to Team Agni
If we learn nothing else from this event it is to follow your heart and never give up. That is what Cedric Lynch has done as he has been working on electric vehicles for over 25 years. We want to give a heart felt congratulations to the entire Agni team for their record setting inaugural TTXgp win. Every team that participated deserves recognition and should be congratulated, even the teams that made such a strong effort but for whatever reason came up short and did not make the start should even be appreciated.
What a racer- Fastest American on the Isle!
Mark never saw the bike until the night before and never rode it until he took off down Bray hill, throttle WFO. You cannot imagine this if you have never lapped the IOM- insane and very trusting. He made my wife burst out in tears when she saw him pushing the MotoCzysz over the finish line. Next year Mark.
As hard working as anyone on the team my Father gives his all and his heart to these projects- this time he gave a little too much heart. Terry Czysz suffered a heart attack just after the bike was crated ready to ship to the IOM and that is why he was unable to attend the race with the team. He is doing great and will NOT miss next year’s event.
RIP rider John Crellin
I was particularly drawn to the Tork team from India as they said they learned everything about building bikes from watching me on YouTube and in the end took a brilliant third place- now I need to watch their videos!
John Crellin was team Torks rider and one of the riders I rode with at Jurby the day before the race. He was tragically lost to the mountain the following day. Rarely does one experience such high and lows as in racing. RIP John Crellin-