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Monday, June 15, 2009

KTM SR 85 deuce high performance quadricycle

With Austrian motor bike manufacturer KTM having already announced plans for a production electric enduro bike, we wonder what the chances of seeing the sr85 high performance quadricycle concept in production might be?

Looking like a Formula Ford race chassis minus the nose cone with the power to weight ratio perhaps matching that of a super bike, even if the SR 85 never finds itself road registered it would make a great choice for a one make single seater race series or track day car like an Ariel Atom.

The advantage of making the SR 85 an Electric Vehicle means the EV motor can pack a huge punch in a small and light weight package. For example the 3 phase AC induction motor in the Tesla Roadster has 248 horsepower (185kW) and 276 ft/lbs (375 nm) yet the motor only weighs 70 lb (31 kg) and can fit inside a backpack. The down side of going EV is battery size and weight.

With the relatively short range required for 10 lap circuit races it would be possible to run small li-ion battery packs of similar capacity to those used on the bikes that contested the TTXGP on the Isle of Man. The recent winners of the TTXGP, Team Agni, used 63x 70 AH Kokam Lithium Polymer batteries giving 16 kWh. According to the Kokam spec sheet the total pack weight would have been between 107 – 122 kg. If A123 M1 Li-ion nano phosphate battery cells were used a 16 kWh battery pack would also weigh about the same, 123 kg, almost the same weight as a cast iron block combustion engine.

If the Lithium metal-air batteries IBM are working on come to market we might be looking at super lightweight battery packs. With energy storage of more than 5,000 watt-hours per kilogram, they would reduce the weight of a 16 kWh pack to an almost unbelievable 3 kg.

The organizers of the TTXGP have announced plans to run the event again in 2010 and to include a class for electric cars. Perhaps we will see entires along the same lines as the KTM SR 85.

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