With every passing moment, more and more manufacturers (new and old) are creating electric vehicles to be ready for the inevitable ‘electric’ future of the automobile industry. While various car manufacturers have already got a few products out in the market, the bike industry also is slowly catching up. But the big question is, would we ever see electric bikes in MotoGP?
MotoGP is one of the most popular sports in the world. And believe it or not, many fans buy tickets to a race only to experience the sheer noise that the bikes make! The entire arena (stand/venue) echoes with the exhaust notes of these powerful machines. Now imagine silent races. You’d be able to hear what that fat boy sitting two rows below you is saying to his grandfather. That wouldn’t be thrilling. Or would it be? Here’s what the representatives of leading teams of MotoGP have to say about it.
“If there is electric class, it’s okay, but I’m 53 and I would miss the sound of a proper engine. This is my personal opinion,” said Livio Suppo, speaking shortly before leaving his post as Repsol Honda team principal.
Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti then quipped: “I’m 60, so it’s even worse for me! I need the noise.”
“I’m 45 years old and like fuel as much as Paolo and Livio!” added KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer. “So I’m happy we arrived in MotoGP now, with the fantastic sound of these engines and I hope we can stay there for a while.
“I don’t see that electric engines can take over the MotoGP main class in the next 15 years, also my personal opinion.”
“Electric bike development will go on. There are fantastic projects coming up and fantastic vehicles to use on completely different places than we are used to using motorcycles at the moment.
“We can come closer to cities with electric bike engines. But I just don’t see them ready to take over all our fuel-burning love of motorcycles. Let’s wait for the future.”
Aprilia Racing Manager Romano Albesiano said, “As you know, Aprilia is part of Piaggio Group and we just presented the electric Vespa. So we spend a lot of resources in this field. But talking about sporting motorcycles, honestly I don’t believe that there will be an electric category with a level of performance that even gets close to what we see now in MotoGP.”
Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis says, “I don’t think I really have much more to add, except my age! I’m younger than some and older than others,” smiled the Englishman, before highlighting the level of manufacturer backing for the electric Formula E single-seater car championship.
“From Yamaha’s side, I think our industry at the moment is still a little bit behind the car industry. But I think it’s interesting for us to see the number of manufacturers that are switching to Formula E.
“It’s exceeding my expectations, honestly speaking. Because if you look at racing itself, the emotion that you get from noise and raw power – we’re all petrol heads here I think. It will probably never take over the MotoGP class, but it might replace another class.”