Voxan Motors, the manufacturer of Voxan Wattman electric motorcycle, is taking on a new challenge. Voxan wants to set the world land speed record for electric motorcycles.
The company had initially planned to make an attempt in July 2020. But due to COVID-19, there has been a delay. Now, the effort will occur in July 2021 at the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia. Six-time motorcycle roadracing world champion Max Biaggi will be at the helm for the dash across the white surface.
Although the record attempt delay is disappointing, it did not stop the company from unveiling its electrically powered streamlined bike. The bike is an entirely new concept and is not based on any existing motorcycle. Started in 2018, the bike is a totally from scratch, clean sheet of paper design. And, it is quite swoopy.
Louis-Marie Blondel oversees the project’s development and personally test rode the bike.
“We were keen to move fast. So, we focused on two main points: drag (aerodynamics) and stability at high-speed. We were aiming to have the smallest possible projected area but with a long wheelbase and a large rake so the rider would be positioned as low as possible. We then identified a target speed, based on the existing record, which was originally 203.56 mph (327.6 km/h), but which was set at just over 204.48 mph (329 km/h) by Ryuji Tsuruta, riding a MOBITEC EV-02A in the autumn of 2019. That made no difference to our roadmap, as we were already aiming for a minimum of 205.05 mph (330 km/h).” – Louis-Marie Blondel to autonomousvehicletech.com
Voxan Wattman uniquely engineered
Just by looking at it, you can tell the Voxan Wattman is no ordinary machine. Special design criteria make the purpose-built machine ready for its land speed record attempt. Up front, the bike uses a double-wishbone front suspension rather than a telescopic fork. The setup keeps both sides of the wheel clear and reduces aerodynamic drag. It also provides for a longer wheelbase for more stability.
There is no front brake. Voxan’s Technical Director Franck Baldet says that a front brake is not necessary. Baldet says that there will be plenty of room to slow down. But more importantly, he says that using a front brake on the salt can unbalance the motorcycle and cause a crash. Using the same line of thinking, the bike will not use a parachute.
Interestingly, the bike has no conventional cooling system and no need for a bulky radiator. Instead, the bike’s electrics are cooled by dry ice contained in a tank mounted under the seat. This keeps the bike narrow for a better aerodynamic advantage.
According to Voxan, the land speed record machine is rated at 367 hp. They believe that that amount of grunt will allow them to set a new land speed record for electric motorcycles come next July.
All photo credit: Voxan