Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Electric Motorcycles Race Against Gas For 8 Hours!

Zero motorcycles lined up on the grid of last month's Hollywood Electrics race at M1GP

Zero motorcycles lined up on the grid of last month's Hollywood Electrics race at M1GP

Come watch Gas2 author Susanna Schick (that's me) and the rest of the Hollywood Electrics team take full advantage of the Zero XU's swappable batteries as we take on the gas bikes in the 6th Annual M1GP 8 Hour Endurance race at Grangé Motor Circuit, Saturday, April 6th.

Hollywood Electrics will be entering a 5 rider team fielding a Zero Motorcycle with an all-electric drive train. Team riders will include Nathan Barker, Jeff Clark, TTXGP racer Jeremiah Johnson, landspeed record holder Brandon Miller, and Susanna Schick. Brandon Miller is currently seventh in the overall points for M1GP, so this promises to be a strong team.

Hollywood Electrics also sponsors a race class in the M1GP series, which you will see me competing in on my Zero FX. For this race, Hollywood Electrics is supplying the team with an XU, even though all of the team members have their own electric motorcycles. My FX is almost in my garage, pending some upgrades.

The last time I raced was in the M1GP 24 Hour Endurance Race in 2011, on an all-girl team on a 6 (yes, SIX) hp 2-stroke Honda built for a much smaller rider. I swore I'd never do it again. But this time it's different....Like any addict*, I know this time it will be awesome. For one, it's only 8 hours.

Second, it's an electric bike that's built and serviced by people I know and trust, so it will most certainly deliver the promised 27hp, if not more. Come on out to Apple Valley to see an electric bike compete in an endurance race against gas bikes for perhaps the first time in history. Today Grangé, tomorrow Baja...

Susanna gets some insight from team captain Kitty Brooks before heading out. Photo courtesy of  Arin McKinzie Smith

Susanna gets some insight from team captain Kitty Brooks before heading out in the 2011 M1GP 24hr. Photo courtesy of Arin McKinzie Smith

From the team press release:

The 8 Hours at Grangé started back in 2008, under CMRRA as M1GP's first-ever race event (before M1GP continued mini road racing in Southern California after CMRRA closed its doors). Since then, it's been an exciting race event year after year with many returning teams who enjoy the atmosphere, great track and the design of the race. This year's 8HR (the 6th annual - AKA 8H6) will be a tribute race in memory of the late Kenny Anderson, who won this race with his team back in 2010 (8H3). The proceeds from the race are going to the Anderson family. We are also racing to help team Spirit of 12 raise additional funds in his honor at gofundme.com.

Jeremiah Johnson, racer and owner of Be-Ev said: "I've done quite a few endurance races in my career and I am really excited to race an electric motorcycle in an endurance race to show what today's electric motorcycles are capable of. It is great to be a Hollywood Electrics racer and have these opportunities with Zero Motorcycles. It is also a solemn honor to race a tribute to young Kenny Anderson. He was a hard charging Young Gun and I can't think of a better way to honor a fallen racer than to race."

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