WORDS: Aaron Frank
PHOTO: The Isle of Man TT
The third time was indeed charmed for motorcycle designer Michael Czysz, as Michael Rutter rode the Team Segway/MotoCzysz E1pc electric superbike to its third consecutive victory in the annual Isle of Man TT Zero roadrace. This win was the sweetest yet, because Rutter’s average speed for a single lap of the Island’s 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course, in damp-but-drying conditions, was 104.056 mph—making this the first electric motorcycle to break the 100-mph barrier. The win represented a certain poetic justice, after Rutter and MotoCzysz barely missed setting that record—and winning the £10,000 prize from the Isle of Man government that went along with it—when they won last year’s TT Zero with a 99.604-mph lap.
This year MotoCzysz faced its stiffest competition yet, including the frst entry by a legacy OEM in the form of the Honda/Mugen Shinden entry. That eBike was piloted by TT legend John McGuinness, who finished second with an average speed of 102.215 mph. Rutter’s teammate Mark Miller finished third with an average speed of 101.065 mph, making a total of three electric bikes breaking the 100-mph lap barrier. That mark was first broken by an internal-combustion motorcycle in 1957.