Buckeye Current, the electric motorcycle team out of Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research, has defended their 3rd place and Fastest Collegiate Race Team titles at the 2014 TT Zero. Rob Barber piloted RW-2.X, the team's latest design, through the brutal course averaging 93.531 mph and a lap time of 24:12:230. It was neck and neck between Current and Sarolea, a professional Belgian race team, with Barber beating them by .37 seconds. The collegiate team cemented themselves as a formidable competitor among the professional field with back to back podium finishes, despite building the bike on a shoe string budget.
The first practice lap was critical in seeing where we stand in this year's competitive field. The team geared down for a conservative lap speed in order to validate the suspension and handling while logging valuable data. Rob Barber piloted RW-2.X into second place averaging an impressive 89.07 mph. He reached a top speed of 105 mph, showing the effectiveness of the improved suspension and the bike’s ability to carry momentum through the course. Rob said it handled beautifully.
Here is a video filmed and produced by our own Victor Brechbill to send the team off right!
Despite the success of the first lap, the team unfortunately discovered that two of the battery cells had failed throughout the course of the race. Instead of running in the remaining two practice laps, we took the time to troubleshoot the issue, replace the batteries with spares cells and reconfigure the battery pack to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Last year, Buckeye Current shocked the racing world with a ground shattering 3rd place finish in their inaugural effort at the 2013 TT Zero. The student formed, student run team applied their engineering education to create the cutting edge, all electric motorcycle RW-2 that dominated the brutal Snaefell Mountain Course at the Isle of Man, averaging 90.43 mph. This cements Buckeye Current as the fastest collegiate electric motorcycle team. The team looks to carry this momentum to the 2014 TT Zero.
Buckeye Current was founded as the Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team by students in 2010 through the Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research in order to provide students experience with electric vehicles and to construct a fully operable electric motorcycle to compete in races on both the national and international level. The team's first motorcycle, RW-1, set a speed record for electric motorcycles at the East Coast Timing Association at Maxton, North Carolina, at 112 miles per hour before resetting it at Wilmington, Ohio, at 144 miles per hour.