The world’s craziest motorcycle race, the International Isle of Man TT kicked off this weekend. Held since 1907, the race takes place on the tiny island between England and Ireland. It’s considered the ultimate test for motorcycle riding zealots.
The race attracts grown men who dress like Power Rangers and ride what look like futuristic missiles that go well over 200 miles per hour. It’s so dangerous that, to date, there have been 240 deaths in the history of the race.
What is little known is that in 2009, the race added the Isle of Man TT Zero, specifically for an electric class of motorcycle. In 2009, the fastest electric lap averaged 87.4 mph. By 2013, speeds had reached 109 mph.
The coolest part of this is that it’s making electric motorcycles look cool – and that goes a long way in mainstreaming them. Start-ups like Zero Motorcycles and Mission Motors are selling real, practical electric bikes that are becoming more and more popular.
The only downside is that just like EVs, electric bikes are so quiet that there’s concern some people won’t notice them on the road. In fact, officials at the TT are considering requiring noisemakers during the race.