Motorcycle design is getting curiouser and curiouser now that it is free from the restricted shape and function of the combustion engine and straying down Electric Avenue.
Testing has started on the White Motorcycle's Concept WMC250EV, with the aim of getting it up to electric land speed record levels.  It is a rare looking beast, with features like a strange aerodynamic basking shark. Its hole front duct reduces front end lift, allowing two wheel drive from the two electric motors in the front hub. It also has a pair of motors driving the rear wheel through an enclosed chain – it's hoped that this will increase traction on the slippy salt flats.

So far, when the bike was tested in the wind tunnel, the huge aerodynamic frontal duct helped it achieve a reduction in drag of 70% compared to conventional road bikes – not bad!
It has already reached 170mph with no problem, but it has Max Biaggi's Voxan Wattman world record of 228.05 in its sights and it aims to achieve 250mph to beat it!

The WMC250EV started off with a 100kW powertrain but the final machine will sport a 250kW powertrain offering 335bhp. The team around it have high hopes so far.
The designer and rider of this bike, Rob White says about his brainchild:
"I am delighted with the progress that we have made and the high level of interest that the project has attracted. This is a bespoke motorcycle and for it to run straight out of the box is fantastic. My confidence that we will be successful is building all the time."

How Is it Designed To Perform On The Salt?
The large nose duct will reduce the bike's frontal area and lower the aerodynamic pressure from the front right through to the back. This means that the huge airflow won't be able to lift the front wheel off the ground so easily as it would on a conventional bike. The two wheel drive comes in handy here giving the bike double the grip on the slippy salt, enabling it to reach greater speeds without the danger of skids.

As a record breaking machine this is a potential winner and some of its design features may have practical applications for production bikes of the future. Like all innovations designed for things like the space race, they often end up filtering into ordinary life.

White Motorcycle Concepts, is a Northamptonshire based company which seems to be aiming at a totally different type of machine. The efficacy of these is going to be proven, hopefully, in the land speed race.

The WMC250EV is showcasing three new ideas which make it very different from conventional motorcycles. It has V-Air, D-Drive and F-Drive technology.
  • V-Air is a new approach to reducing drag and increasing aerodynamic efficiency in motorcycles, something which has not been particularly successful up until now. The new design of this motorcycle, however, appears to reduce drag by almost 70%, without changing the ride for the rider. Downforce is increased without any damage to stability.
  • D-Drive is a front wheel kinetic energy recovery/deployment system. This can be found already in four wheel drive hybrids but it hasn't been seen in motorcycles before. It is however possible in this new bike due to its front end stability. Traditionally a motorcycle rotates around the rear wheel while the front wheel can lift off the ground making it impossible to use the front wheel as a drive wheel. In theory, the new machine's front end stability and drive being applied to the front wheel as well as the back, means that this is possible on this bike.
  • F-Drive is based on a quest for efficiency and aimed at supporting the introduction of e-motorbikes. It will include an enhanced efficiency final drive to be incorporated in future motorcycles and possibly be retro fitted to existing bikes.

The project is fundamentally committed to sustainability and when it ran on simulation software, the WMC250EV used 50% less energy than its current equivalents, giving it double the range of any competitor on the same charge.
The finished machine will be revealed in June 2023, so a little while yet, but it sounds like a really interesting concept to race off the drawing board and onto the salt.

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Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 07 October 2021 in Motorcycles



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