2012 Isle of Man SES TT Zero
During the 2012 Isle of Man TT, John McGuinness will be experimenting with something new – electric-motorcycle racing.
Besides running the solo races on Honda TT Legends and Padgetts machinery, the 17-time TT winner will also compete during the single-lap SES TT Zero race aboard the all-new Mugen "Shinden" EV bike.
This week, McGuinness got his first on-track experience with the Mugen EV bike, the Brit lapping the Motegi circuit in Japan.
John McGuinness says: "I am honored to be asked to ride the Mugen Shinden, which, originating from a company with such pedigree and from a country where over the years the best racing motorbikes have been produced, could prove to be a major milestone in the history of the SES TT Zero event.
"The bike was, as you would expect from a company such as Mugen, a well-designed and well put together proper race bike. As soon as I got underway it felt natural and I almost forgot it was fully electric, while I was also learning the Twin Ring Motegi circuit for the first time.
"Now, having ridden the Mugen Shinden I am looking forward even more to competing in my first SES TT Zero event. This was a trip of firsts; my first time riding an electric bike, my first time around Motegi and also the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition to visit the Honda Collection Hall, which is in the circuit complex. All in all, a really satisfying trip."
Satoshi Katsumata (Team Mugen Principal) says: "We are very happy with the performance of the Mugen Shinden at this first major test for the bike.
"The package performed as expected and, despite some unseasonal weather on day one, we were able to run through our planned programme and collect some very valuable data.
"Of course having a rider with such experience as John McGuinness, and the unique TT-specific feedback he is able to give us, is a tremendous boost to the team and the whole Team Mugen TT programme."
The Mugen Shinden will undergo further development based on data from the Motegi test before being shipped to the UK for further testing before its public debut at Isle of Man TT.
The team will be one of a number of outfits looking to become the first electric bike to lap the iconic 37.773-mile mountain circuit at an average speed of 100mph.