TTXGP Motorcycle Championship Bike Taken For A Joy Ride By Crazy Al
On Sunday 9th October 2011, I had the privilege of taking the 2011 eFXC / TTXGP Motorcycle Championship Bike for a joy ride. Yes, I was fortunate enough to take the Catavolt Electric Racing Bike for a joy ride. This was just after it clinched the championship and also after it set a lap record at Wakefield Park Raceway which obviously was done by expert racer Jason Morris. I’m going to share with you what it was like to ride this fantastic piece of engineering and race machinery. I will also give my opinion of the bike and how it compares to other bikes I have ridden.
It should be noted that I’m not an expert racer, but I do ride motorbikes on occasions on private property.
What Is It Like To Ride A Championship Winning Superbike?
Riding a championship winning superbike is an awesome experience. The first thing I noticed about this Electric Bike was that it was quiet. There was only a slight noise, I guess it could have come from a cooling fan, but I did not investigate. I was excited about having a go on this bike.
The other thing that I noticed with this bike is that there are no starting issues. Just flick a few switches and twist the accelerator and the bike moves. The acceleration on this bike is fantastic and instantaneous. Although, I did not ride the Catavolt at a fast speed (as I wanted to ensure I returned the Catavolt in one piece), I could tell that this bike was responsive with excellent low down torque, as you would expect from an Electric Motor. There are no gears to change so the left foot can rest on the foot peg – no tired ankles. Also, there is no clutch lever as there are no gears to change. This is because the motor is an EnerTrac Electric Hub Motor. This also means that the bike has no chain. This results in noise reduction as there is no transmission as such. The other thing I noticed was that there is no mechanical rear brake so the foot brake lever does not do anything. Instead, the rear brake is a regenerative braking system, activated when the right lever is applied. This also applies the front hydraulic mechanical brake. In terms of stopping power, the Catavolt is very good at stopping. I found the Catavolt easy to ride and easy to control as it was stable and smooth. In the video below, you can see me riding it slowly and steadily. I found the bike pleasant to ride which is a good testament of how Team Catavolt engineered the bike.
In the footage below where I ride the Catavolt, the noise you hear is background noise which is coming from other bikes and the commentary coming over the loud speakers where another race was being announced. You can hardly hear the Catavolt.
How Does The Catavolt TTXGP Championship Winning Electric Bike Compare To Other Bikes I Have Ridden?
I have ridden a number of motorcycles in the past including a
- Kawasaki GPX 250 four stroke gasoline bike (aka Ninja bike) road bike;
- Honda CR200 two stroke gasoline dirt bike;
- Honda XR600 four stroke gasoline dirt bike;
- Yamaha YZ80 dirt gasoline bike;
- ScootX200 Electric Scooter; and
- various other gasoline powered bikes.
With older gasoline powered bikes, there is always the anxiety of will the bike start, particularly, if the engine is old. old gasoline powered bikes can often have temperamental carburetors or fowled up spark plugs. They always require maintenance such as oil changes for four strokes or getting the correct oil mixed with the gasoline for two stroke motors. With trail bikes, I have on occasions got exhausted trying to start the bike using the kick start. With the two stroke bikes, if there was a faulty seal, then the motor would not start properly.
With the Catavolt Electric Bike, I did not experience any of the above mentioned problems. It was just a matter of getting on, having the switches on and twisting the accelerator and going.
The Catavolt Electric Bike was a lot easier to ride than any gasoline powered bike I have ridden. There were no gears to change and there was instant torque on start up and throughout the rev range I used. With these characteristics, it meant that I could focus on riding and enjoying the experience of riding this piece of fantastic engineering. With gasoline powered bikes I have ridden, I’ve always had to change gears so that the motor was in the right rev range. In my opinion, that adds to rider fatigue.
In my opinion, if I was looking for a road bike or a racing bike, I would seriously consider something like the Catavolt. The pleasant experience makes it easy to ride and enjoyable. In fact, I would not want to own a gasoline powered bike as the maintenance and ride ability is not as as good as the Catavolt. It is amazing that the established big bike makers whose names I will not mention are not able or willing to produce a bike that is fantastic like the Catavolt. I would avoid gasoline powered bikes as the electric equivalents are fantastic to ride and easy to maintain and tune. With instant torque and excellent responsiveness, I find it difficult to go back to a gasoline powered bike.
I would like to thank Team Catavolt principal, Jon Eggenhuizen for letting me have a go of this championship winning Catavolt bike. It is a fantastic bike and was a pleasure to ride.
This is Crazy Al Signing out.