Zero Spain Runs The Bassella Race Against Gas Bikes


Last weekend, as rumors escalated about Neal Saiki’s departure from Zero, Oriol Vila of Zero Motorcycles Spain was mixing with the gassers on a Zero MX Extreme in the Basella Race in Northern Spain.

The Bassella looks to be a mix of Hare Scramble-type course with some Endurocross-style obstacles consisting of boulders, logs and tractor tires thrown in to spice things up for the crowd. Zero Spain ran the “Amigos” class which is a 70 km (43 mile) distance so there was some battery pack swapping going on during the race.

At 7 mins into the race video you see a video edit that I believe was a track-side battery swap / camera cleaning pit stop.

Three things become immediately apparent when watching the video and looking at the pictures.

1) Zero Motorcycles can handle water crossings

Oriol Vila was in water over the motor with no rear fender. The Zero MX was getting seriously wet. The bike kept going and Oriol was not showing any signs of getting shocked.

2) Electric motorcycles will kill the competition in dead engine starts

Dead engine starts require the rider to start the bike only after the start flag drops. ICE bikes need at least a full turn of the crank shaft to fire up. It takes a second or two. Electric motorcycle motors don’t idle. Flag drops, turn throttle, nuff said. Watch the video to see Oriol take two rows of gassers before they even got their bikes started.

3) Electric motorcycles (the Zero MX specifically) are fast. Faster than a lot of guys on thumpers

The only place the ICE bikes had an advantage was in higher gears at the start of the race. Once things got rough, the Zero was overtaking 250’s and 450’s left and right.

Check out the pictures and videos of the race after the break.

You can see Oriol and the Zero MX deep in a water crossing and roosting out of turns. There’s a nice digger about 3 minutes into the video that destroyed the Zero MX rear fender. It turned out to be kinda nice for viewers because we can see how much roost the MX is churning up.

In the end, Vila finished near the end of the pack. I’m not sure why considering how many bikes he passed but regardless it was an excellent showing by Zero Spain.

Source: Zero Motorcycles Spain on FB

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4 Responses

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  1. Written by Domenick
    on February 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm
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    That was wicked. I love watching this guy race, very vocal. (Check out this earlier race http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iryu-tpITpg) Wish we knew why he finished so far down.

  2. Written by John Adamo
    on February 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm
    Permalink

    Ha, yeah, that is great! I’m sure he is compensating for the ice riders not being able to hear his bike.

    Nice battery swap footage at 5:20 into the vid you linked. Not sure why I love the pack swaps so much.

  3. Written by max
    on February 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm
    Permalink

    That loss of power at the higher gears seems much more costly then I imagined.

    Still, good to see you can ride them hard, but they’re really too quiet to compete ICE bikes on such a crowded event.
    maybe give the driver a whistle or something :D

  4. Written by Carlus
    on February 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Permalink

    Here Zero Spain, thanks for your information about our participation in this race, that is very precise. Only to give you more info, we can explain that Oriol was close to finish in between the 50 firts positions but we, the team, have a mistake on calculating the point of change of one of the 4 batteries needed to finish the 70 km of the race. He needed to push the bike -72kg- for some km. Thanks a lot.

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