Press Release | November 16, 2021
Electric motorcycle brand Voxan and its new Wattman land-speed racer are continuing in their pursuit of FIM Land Speed World Records.
Starting on Monday, November 15, the Voxan Wattman, piloted by six-time World Champion Max Biaggi, will set out for some “ultra-high-speed” testing at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At 15,000 feet (2.84 miles), it is one of the longest runways in the world.
The Voxan Wattman was ready to stretch its legs on the massive Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia in the summer of 2020, but the trip was canceled due to the pandemic. In an abrupt plan B, Max Biaggi and the Voxan took to an airfield runway in France where they set 11 world speed records. The team is now eager to take the next steps on the promising electric-powered machine, which will run in two separate categories: partially streamlined and naked.
A new Voxan-Saft battery design allows the Wattman to now compete in the sub-300-kilo category. The pouch cells used in the battery make it possible to increase the power by nearly 80 times, compared with around 10 times for standard products. The Wattman utilizes a Mercedes EQ Formula E powertrain that delivers 320 kW with 1360 Nm on tap.
There is no official word in the release regarding specific speeds Biaggi will be aiming for, but it does state that “Once the new Wattman is ready, further world record attempts will be made—certainly within the first six months of 2022,” which suggests a trip to Australia’s Lake Gairdner for the annual DLRA meet, which typically happens in early March. CN
Here is the press release from Venturi/Voxan Motors…
Monaco (November 15, 2021) – Electric motorcycle brand Voxan, owned by high-performance electric-vehicle-specialist Venturi, presents the new Wattman. With world champion Max Biaggi at the controls, the brand is setting out to conquer yet more world speed records.
The Voxan Wattman was initially due to make its attempts on a Bolivian salt flat in July 2020, but the pandemic made travel impossible, and so it was on the runway at the Châteauroux airfield in France that the team broke 11 world speed records a year ago.
Asphalt proved to be an interesting surface, so the Wattman—modified accordingly—will continue its schedule on another strip. This time, the venue will be the Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA), where, from Monday, November 15, the first ultra-high-speed tests will get underway.
The Wattman is now under 300 kilos in weight, allowing it to compete in this category. The weight difference is primarily down to a new Voxan-Saft battery design, which is both mechanical and electric. Saft, the French subsidiary of TotalEnergies, specializes particularly in high-performance, very high-power batteries. The pouch cells used make it possible to increase the batteries’ power by nearly 80 times, compared with around 10 times for standard products on the market. They are assembled in modules, enabling cooling to be managed with a recently patented process, resulting in an ultra-compact construction.
The bike continues to rely on the Mercedes EQ Formula E powertrain, which delivers power of 320 kW (compared with 270 kW for the previous version) and offers torque of 1,360 Nm.
Other notable differences compared with the previous Wattman include the motorcycle’s dimensions: to improve stability and air penetration, the wheelbase has been increased to 1,957 mm (from 1,800 mm previously) and the seat height is now 685 mm (up from 610 mm). In the event of significant crosswinds, the team will now have the flexibility to add a fairing that cuts wind resistance.
As for the tires, longstanding partner Michelin has worked on designs specifically tailored to this challenge. The front 120/70-17 is a tire from the MICHELIN Power GP range, which has been modified to tolerate extremely high speeds. For the rear 190/55-17, Michelin has relied on technology that has been proven in MotoGP to develop a tire with improved grip. The challenge was to channel all of the extraordinary torque delivered by the Wattman’s electric engine, allowing the motorcycle to accelerate as fast as possible without skidding.
Once the new Wattman is ready, further world record attempts will be made – certainly within the first six months of 2022. As they did last year, Max Biaggi and Voxan will seek to beat the clock with two types of motorcycles in two separate categories: “partially streamlined” (traditional sports bike) and “naked” (roadster with no streamlined elements).
About Voxan Motors
In 2010, the iconic motorcycle manufacturer Voxan Motors was bought by Venturi. Its President, Gildo Pastor, immediately refocused the constructor on a new core business: electric engines. Three years later, Venturi unveiled the Voxan Wattman, a symbol of the brand’s rebirth and its radically new technical direction and styling. In 2019, the teams began work on a new, high-performance version of the Wattman, specially designed to set new world speed records. The following year, with Max Biaggi in the saddle, the new Wattman set 11 speed records (in the “partially streamlined electric motorcycle over 300 kg” category), becoming the world’s fastest electric motorcycle.
For more information, visit www.venturi.com
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