In some ways, Buckeye Current is the scrappy underdog of the electric motorcycle racing world. The student team has definitely shown speed, though. In 2013 and 2014, its bikes took consecutive third place finishes in the Isle of Man TT Zero with Barber in the saddle.
This year the squad's sights are set on Pikes Peak with a new bike called the RW-3, and the aim is for a possible overall motorcycle record. Utilizing a frame from a Honda CBR1000RR, the students created the 7.8-kWh battery pack, carbon fiber fairing, and electronics system. The team estimates the cycle is making over 134 horsepower and is capable of an average speed of 76 miles per hour up the hill climb.
Following Barber's crash, the RW-3 had to be rebuilt, but it has now passed tech inspection to race up the mountain again. Scroll down and check out Prussiano's first ride of the RW-3 on America's Mountain.
Buckeye Current, the student electric motorcycle team at The Ohio State University, has completed its latest all-electric racing motorcycle. RW-3 will compete in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb June 28. This follows on the success of the team's 2013 and 2014 Isle of Man TT Zero performances in which renowned rider Rob Barber piloted the team's RW-2 and then RW-2.X vehicles to third place victories, achieving the title of the world's fastest collegiate electric motorcycle two years in a row. After earning two podium finishes at the Isle of Man, the team was looking ahead to a new challenge.
This year the team had to create an entirely new bike to conquer Pikes Peak. RW-3 is designed to average 76 miles per hour through the course with a top speed of 125 miles per hour. The battery pack holds 7.8 kilowatt-hours of energy on board and contains 972 individual 18650 cylindrical battery cells. The bike features a student-designed and built electronics system, carbon fiber fairings, and a custom-designed battery pack. With such great student talent, the team was able to create a bike that they believe can not only win the electric class but set the record for all motorcycles.
Shortly after arriving in Colorado, the team faced a very serious setback. After multiple, successful runs on the bike, a slick patch on the track caused the RW-3 to crash, injuring Rob. In light of a great partnership with Rob "The Bullet" Barber over the past two years, Buckeye Current is deeply saddened to announce that he will be unable to race in this year's Hill Climb. Rob is, however, now recovering well and is planning on supporting the team from the sidelines.
Buckeye Current is determined to press on towards its goal of conquering Pikes Peak, and the team is pleased to announce that not only is RW-3 repaired but the team has also secured the help of a replacement rider: Joe Prussiano, a professional race instructor at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp. Joe is a three-time Pikes Peak 450 Pro Class winner and has graciously stepped in to race in Rob's absence. After a major rebuilding effort, the RW-3 has just passed through Pikes Peak official tech inspection and is ready to meet its new rider. The team is very grateful to Joe for his immediate response and is looking forward to race day with the team, sponsors, and fans cheering him on as he reaches the summit of this historic racecourse.
More About Buckeye Current
Buckeye Current is a student team at The Ohio State University based at the Center for Automotive Research. The team researches, designs, builds, and races electric motorcycles to not only create innovative electric vehicles but to educate both students and the community about green technologies. The team's first bike, RW-1, set the East Coast Timing Association record for electric motorcycles at 144.3 miles per hour. Buckeye Current's second bike placed third in the Isle of Man TT Zero, an international all-electric series, and their third bike placed third to defend that position in the following year. To read more about the team and to follow its progress please visit current.osu.edu and the Facebook page (/BuckeyeCurrent).
Buckeye Current seeks funding partners to continue the innovative development and success of the team. In addition to supporting a student led endeavor, partnership with the team provides access to highly qualified students and public exposure on an international stage, all while contributing to the advancement of clean technologies.