2014 Isle of Man TT Motul Team AwardTeam Mugen Shinden rounded off its record-breaking week at the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races fueled by Monster Energy with the Motul Team award for technical excellence.
The Japanese outfit enjoyed a stunning TT experience culminating in their lap record of 117.366 (19:17.3) around the TT Mountain Course on Wednesday 4th June in the SES TT Zero Race, the race’s first sub 20 minute lap.Competing with the all-electric racing bike, Shinden san, the third version of the TT racer produced by M-Tec Co Ltd (M-Tec) is named after the Japanese God of Electricity.For 2014 Team MUGEN elected to run 2 riders for the first time, with previous Team MUGEN rider, 20 times TT winner John McGuinness joined by 9-time TT race winner, Bruce Anstey, enabling the team to be able to collect double the data from previous years and to run different qualifying strategies for comparison.Throughout qualifying, Shinden san were the leading pair and were faster than MotoCzysz’s Michael Rutter’s 2013 lap record with every completed lap, including the first sub-20 minute lap by an electric bike, but saved the best for the race itself.Having been narrowly beaten into 2nd place in 2013 (by 1.6 seconds) M-Tec were determined to maximise the performance of Shinden san which entailed revised aerodynamics and bodywork, more powerful and lighter motor, improved battery capacity, and the latest Showa factory suspension.Boasting specs including 100KW power (approx. 134hp) and 220Nm torque Shinden san arrived in the UK after impressing in testing in Japan, and continued to raise eyebrows with its performance in its UK testing at Castle Combe circuit, after which the bikes and team set off for the Isle of Man.Pre-event testing was borne out in the first qualifying, with McGuinness immediately breaking the previous lap record, and recording an incredible speed of 164.9mph at the Sulby Straight speed trap. Anstey had to abort his first practice lap early due to a mechanical failure, giving McGuinness an early advantage.However in the second TT Zero qualifying session on Saturday 31st May, Anstey came back, responding with yet another (unofficial) lap record of over 113mph. Not to be outdone, McGuinness hit back with a best qualifying speed of 115.6mph on Monday 2nd June.Onto race day itself and McGuinness started from first position on the road. Anstey started from 4th on the road and quickly overtook the 2 bikes between him and his teammate and set off in pursuit. But McGuinness was not to be denied, and from a gap of just under 5 seconds at the first checkpoint he steadily increased his lead, crossing the line to earn his 21st TT victory to record a lap record time of 19 minutes 17.3 seconds, an incredible average speed of 117.366 miles per hour, beating the previous record by over 7.5mph and 1 minute 20 seconds.Anstey followed home with a 115.048mph lap of his own to complete a fine EV debut in 2nd place and the team then received the news that they had also won Motul’s technical excellence team award, which they collected ahead of Friday’s PokerStars Senior TT Race.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.