Ripperton R1 Electric Superbike at Eastern Creek Raceway
With the 2012 Australian Electric Racebike series fast approaching Daniel Sailer unveiled the latest modifications to the Ripperton R1 Electric Superbike at Eastern Creek International Raceway this weekend. For 2012 the Ripperton R1 is fully liquid cooled, boasting two large radiators mounted either side of an intricately engineered 7.5kW Lithium Polymer battery pack.
A work of engineering art
To say that this bike is a work of art is the ultimate understatement. Daniel has worked extremely hard to ensure that every part on this machine is the lightest, functional and most reliable component available at the time of building. As well as looking amazing, this also means that the machine weighs in at 141kg. That's a whole 40kg lighter than a dry R1! The workmanship in this machine alone is astounding. Given that the battery pack weighs 50kg, the whole chassis, including motor and all electric components only weigh 91kg. True testament to Daniels' minimalist vison for his creation.
Daniel was crazy enough to offer me a ride on the machine. First impressions, this bike feels 'very' light. Looking at the tiny motor, I was skeptical about how powerful such a small motor could be. Five seconds later my 'ev grin' was back with a vengeance. There is no doubt about it. This is a motorcycle. Acceleration is continuous and the motor supplied an amazing amount of torque for the size.
Battery Swap System
Daniel has consistently been designing with the removable battery system in mind. The new pack, which will be the third iteration of his quick swap design, is a completely removable unit, similar to a conventional battery power tool. Having the battery removable in this way means that the racer can swap battery packs in approximately fifteen seconds. 'This would get the rider half way around the Isle of Man circuit, making a pit stop at Sulby Bridge. Not having to carry the full load would mean that the rider could take advantage of the lighter machine over the course. The bike could be ridden faster to offset any time penalty for the swap." Daniel said.
One major lesson that was learned in the 2011 racing season was the importance of keeping these motors cool. With an effective cooling system the motor can be run over three times as hard without any problems. A 12kW motor with a good liquid cooling system becomes a 40kW motor with increased reliability. Heat is definitely the enemy of the electric motor. Keeping it cool increases the performance considerably.