Electric Vs. Gas – Chip Yates To Race WERA Series

SWIGZ.com Pro Racing superbike

Chip Yates and the SWIGZ.com Pro Racing team annouced today they will run their electric superbike in the WERA Motorcycle Roadracing series against the gassers. They will start in the Heavy Weight Twins series racing Ducati 1198’s and KTM RC8’s and see how things go. In February they plan to add 20% more power and try to run with the faster classes with 1000 cc inline fours. This is earlier than anyone expected electric to be going head to head with gas but it is a welcome development.

Last month TTXGP announced rules that set the maximum motorcycle weight for the Open Class at 250 Kg. Chip’s bike weighs 266 Kg which disqualifies his current electric superbike from running in the class. SWIGZ.com Pro Racing sent out a press release announcing they would not run in the TTXGP series and criticized TTXGP of promoting “Scooter Racing”. FIM later followed TTXGP’s lead with a 250 Kg weight limit for their ePower electric race series. You can read more about the situation here. You can read TTXGP’s response here.

This latest development will no doubt bring a good amount of visibility to the WERA race series. The SWIGZ.com team is claiming power levels exceeding MotoGP from their electric superbike. The weight of the battery pack needed to get Chip to the finish line and the placement of the batteries high on the bike may cause handling issues that keep it from behaving well enough to beat the gas bikes.

The bike will hit the track for the first time at Infineon Raceway December 15, 2010. The first WERA race they enter will be January 9, 2011 at Auto Club Speedway in California.

See the full press release after the break.


World’s most powerful and sophisticated electric superbike to make history taking on established gasoline race bikes on January 9, 2010 at Auto Club Speedway in California
Bike’s debut track appearance on December 15, 2010 at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma California for a private test and media day.
Bike will become the world’s most powerful road racing motorcycle, exceeding the power of a MotoGP bike

The world’s most powerful and sophisticated electric superbike will make history on January 9, 2010 at the Auto Club Speedway in California, as the first electric bike to go head to head against conventional gasoline powered race bikes in a professionally organized roadrace.

The extraordinary machine, developed by SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing in the USA, is the world’s most powerful and technically advanced electric superbike and which by February, 2011, will become the most powerful road racing motorcycle of any kind being actively campaigned.

Chip Yates, the bike’s rider and owner of SWIGZ Racing says: “We have to thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing for inviting us into their series to make history with this news. Our electric motorcycle will compete head on with real racing superbikes such as the Ducati 1198 and KTM RC8 as well as other established manufacturers, and we expect to work hard to show the world that electric technology can achieve laptime parity with gasoline superbikes. We’re not going on track to make up the numbers; we’re going out to compete in order to raise our game and catch up to these gasoline guys.”

The news comes in the light of the bike’s recent exclusion from the FIM and TTXGP Championships for electric motorcycles, which has imposed a significantly lower maximum weight limit of 250kgs for the 2011 season. “Our bike weighs in at 266kgs right now”, says Yates. “Clearly, these championships are more concerned with promoting scooter development, and our bike is so much faster than the electric competition that we feel far more inclined to push our bike’s unique technology platform forward in the ultimate competitive environment of gasoline bike racing.”

The SWIGZ Racing machine has a power to weight ratio that is slightly better than 600cc gasoline bikes, and will begin the 2011 season by competing in the WERA Pirelli Sportsman Heavyweight Twins Superbike class where its power to weight ratio puts it in the middle of the field. To be competitive against these heavyweight twin cylinder superbikes going forward, the bike will benefit from a more than 20% increase to its current 194 horsepower after this first race weekend in January.

Yates continues: “Our scheduled power increase will make our electric superbike more powerful than a MotoGP bike and will bring us extremely close to power to weight parity with the best 1,000cc Japanese superbikes. Those two facts are a simply outstanding reflection of the potential in electric power.”

Ahead of the WERA Pirelli Sportsman Series race weekend on January 9th, the bike has been invited by Infineon Raceway, a motorsports leader in green performance and sustainability, to be put through its paces at race speeds for the first time ever on December 15th. Chip and the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing USA team will enjoy the private use of the world-class Infineon road course from 8:30am to 4:30pm and media and the public are welcomed to attend.

SWIGZ Racing will soon announce additional race dates where the electric superbike can be seen competing directly against gasoline bikes in the WERA championship series, that will include Miller Motorsports Park, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and other major venues across the USA.

About WERA Motorcycle Roadracing, Inc: WERA is one of the oldest (37 years old) and largest (over 3,000 licensed racers) national sanctioning bodies conducting motorcycle races at road courses across the United States. Headlined by the WERA/Michelin National Challenge Series, WERA sanctions races at iconic U.S. venues including Barber Motorsports Park, Virginia International Raceway, Miller Motorsports Park, and Road Atlanta to name a few. In addition to the WERA/Michelin National Challenge Series, WERA’s professionally organized roadracing championship series include the Pirelli/WERA Sportsman Series, the Bridgestone/WERA National Endurance Championship, the Grand National Finals, and seven regional championship series across the United States. (www.wera.com)

About SWIGZ.COM: Designed and built in Orange County, California, SWIGZ® is the world’s first dual hydration sports bottle allowing athletes to carry two drinks of their choice in a single bottle during workouts. SWIGZ® sports bottles can be purchased at www.swigz.com.

About Chip Yates: Before turning pro fairly late in life, Chip Yates was a Boeing executive in charge of transitioning advanced aerospace technology and patents to other industries such as automotive for racing and OEM applications. He personally holds 7 U.S. patents on automotive drivetrain and other technologies and is an engineer with a master’s degree in business from USC. Chip has raced in the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike series and the FIM World Supersport series and owns SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing, an extreme-performance electric vehicle consultancy in Orange County, California. www.chipyates.com

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Posted on December 9, 2010 at 11:41 am by John Adamo · Permalink
In: Racing

9 Responses

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  1. Written by M
    on December 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Beating the gas bikes! Is really a big jump.
    I think he lives in an other world.
    From my knowledge of batteries is that not possible with his complete drive train.
    Just a small and simple calculation
    Battery pack = 11Kwh and with a battery pack is the charging current max 1C so if he use the Kers system 1 hour he has 22kwh of energy in total. But that is totaly not possible. A race is 20 min and during the 20min the braking time is max 5 min.
    = 1/12 of 1 hour. Result 1Kwh extra energy during a race with a kers system directly connected to the battery pack. To finish the race with 1 battery pack I calculated the max average discharge is 7C. —) 11 + 1 = 12kwh X 7C = average continues power 84Kw = + friction + heat + … = 100HP

    A motogp has 240 HP and 145 kg weight. Hmmm where is the link with motogp level ?????

  2. Written by LFP
    on December 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    M- You’re living in the 90s.

    Modern Lithium Polymer batteries (ie, NanoTech cells from hobbyking) handle 10c charge continuous, and burst charge of >20C.

  3. Written by M
    on December 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    yes of cours you can go up to 20C = 3min full power. What will you do with the rest of the race laps? Installing pedals and pedal the bike to the finish. It are just the laws of Maths! Can you brake them?

  4. Written by M
    on December 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Understand you wrong charge up to 20C
    That’s not possible
    Just imagine from 1/10 from a second from 10C discharge to 10C charge that is 20C difference. I know what the battery will do!

  5. Written by travis
    on December 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    You don’t even know what batteries he’s using M. Just sit back, stop talking and watch him race. I’m skeptical too, but you’ve got a LOT of assumptions that aren’t even close to right.

    10-20C discharge is no new thing, very easily done with LiPo. Now with the KERS, yes you need more than 1C charge rate to make it useful, but if his voltage is high enough (its well over 300V), the current will be low and it should charge with no issues. Quite a bit of energy can be recovered if you build the system correctly.

    You have no clue what voltage, what pack configuration, what batteries he’s using, efficiency of the drivetrain nor the gearing he’s using.

    You are basing everything you know off of what you’ve had experience with, but I can assure you, these batteries aren’t your normal batteries. He’s been searching and searching and testing batteries a lot this year.

  6. Written by David Herron
    on December 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Hm.. Chip had told me earlier that his KERS gave a 5-10C charge rate and that he had to search/test a lot of batteries to find any which could handle fast recharge under race conditions. It will be way interesting to see the bike next week when he comes to Infineon. BTW I am on a little mission to call attention to what’s probably an unintentional innacuracy in his press release. In October Team Electra raced their electric bike against gas bikes and beat them, in a sanctioned race. Hence, whatever awesome thing Yates ends up doing he won’t be the first electric bike to beat gas bikes. See: SWIGZ.COM Racing in WERA claiming exclusion by TTXGP and e-Power

  7. Written by M
    on December 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

    You will see.
    High trees catching a lot of wind!

  8. Written by M
    on December 11, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Give me 1 battery of single cel 40Ah that can handle 20C discharge continues?
    If you use smaller cells the ballancing is 1 big problems and heating also. If he use a battery pack with small cells like RC he need every race a new battery pack!
    He is not racing RC models!! BIG difference.

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