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Motorcycle racing team gets set to go on test runs at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Tyler Joswick / Asst. photo editor

On your mark, get set, go!

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Racing Team has been busy at the Center for Automotive Research putting the finishing touches on its electric racing motorcycle. But before the first race, they are pairing with the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for several test runs.

“We’re a race track and a driving school in Lexington, Ohio, outside of Mansfield,” said Jesse Ghiorzi, media and communications coordinator at the Mid-Ohio School. “Since 2006, we’ve had a motorcycle school for performance track racing.”

The motorcycle school at Mid-Ohio is for more advanced riders who already have a motorcycle license, Ghiorzi said. There are three skill levels of riders; novice, intermediate and advanced. A rider must have ridden at least four days at Mid-Ohio’s track or another professional track in the past year to be considered past the novice level, he said.

Ghiorzi was at CAR to promote sustainability and green racing with the American Le Mans race series, which was based on the French style of racing. While at CAR, Ghiorzi met Sean Ewing, co-founder and team leader for BEMRT.

“We started with a bike and tore it up,” said Ewing, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering.

“AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) helped us out and got us a frame. They were a huge help,” Ewing said.

The team, which was founded about six months ago, has collected about $150,000 in donated items and cash, according to Ewing.

“One of the reasons racing is so important to the general public that doesn’t care about it, is that that is where technology gets tested. Stuff gets tested on the race track, then you’ll see it in production,” Ghiorzi said.

Ewing said the bike itself is pure electric and after a full two-hour charge, it should go about 37.4 miles.

Top speeds will not be reported until further testing is completed.

“You can only go as fast as your batteries allow,” said Mike Dean, head of the communications branch of BEMRT and a second-year in mechanical engineering.

Ewing said they use lithium polymer batteries, which, according to Apple, pack in a higher power density than nickel-based batteries, providing longer battery life.

The team meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and hopes to compete in the Isle of Man-TTZero race in late May, the North American TTXGP (Time Trial Extreme Grand Prix) and the FIM E-Power circuit, Dean said.

“The team ranges, we take everyone. If someone has the drive, we get them involved,” Dean said.

BEMRT will be testing their race bike at Mid-Ohio’s race track this month.

“In Ohio, we get a lot of power from coal; a lot of profits go overseas. I want electric to take off because it’ll keep money here, in the USA and Ohio,” Ewing said. “I think the new American muscle will be the electric motor.”

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