Monaco-based Voxan hopes to break 12 electric motorcycle world speed records. The subsidiary of Venturi (luxury electric car brand) and a Formula E race team was planning to set new world speed records in time for its 20th Anniversary early this year.
These world speed record attempts were originally planned to happen last July on the planet’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the unlikely prospect of travelingto Bolivia, the company was forced to postpone the attempt until 2021.
Now, with hardly any flights, an opportunity has arisen. Gildo Pastor, President of Venturi, has opted to set up at Châteauroux airport, in central France, whose runway meets the criteria laid down by the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation). The group is planning to attempt to beat the records over three days starting on October 30, 2020.
Piloting the bikes, called Wattmans, will be two-time World Superbike (WSBK) Champ and former MotoGP rider, Max Biaggi. The contenders are a semi-streamliner and non-streamlined Wattman. A third decked-out semi-streamliner has also been prepared in case of side winds. Unfortunately, the team will not use the fully-streamlined Wattman that was prepared for Bolivia.
Each machine is capable of producing 270kW and will attempt to break records for the ¼ mile, 1 mile, and 1 km – each time from both a standing start, and a flying start.
In six of these categories, no official attempt has ever been made before, and so six new records are guaranteed. In the remaining six categories, there are records to be beaten. In the semi-streamliner category, the speed for the ¼ mile is 87 km/h. For the full mile, the number to beat is 329 km/h.
“This will be our third time riding on the runway at Châteauroux airport,” said Biaggi. “The performances in testing in June and August gave us confidence. We are more than ready. This weekend, if the track is dry and the side winds are light, we will be able to beat several records. I can’t wait to bring these titles back to Monaco and the team!”
Besides an electric power source, the Wattmans use a front double wishbone is to create a narrow profile and maximize aerodynamics. There front disc brake is very small. Instead, it relies on a rear brake and lots of run off to slow it down. Finally, it uses a dry ice cooling system instead of a conventional radiator to save weight and reduce aerodynamic drag.
This isn’t just for bragging rights. Voxan is also preparing a street legal version in the future for those with a serious need for speed.