Rising from the ashes of Vision, the new 2018-2019 Bath Zero team undertook the challenge of rebuilding Bath Zero Emission Motorcycles. Their aim was to build Phoenix stronger than before. To restore their reputation as not only the best undergraduate team, but also to build one of the best electric road racing motorcycles. To return to the Isle of Man TT and complete what they set out to do before.
All-new custom frame design
Learning from their mistakes, Bath Zero aimed to design and manufacture an all new custom electric motorcycle. No longer using current production Ducati motorcycle frames but constructing a custom frame to optimize motor position and maximize battery space for the all-new battery modules.
Design concepts and major design processes were completed early March-June 2018 with geometries inspired/based upon the Ducati 998. Once the next academic year started the build began. In the following 6 months, the team manufactured the all-new battery modules, the new frame, and hundreds of various components all within the university workshops.
Thanks to Bath Zero’s determination, drive and perseverance, along with many sleepless nights, Phoenix, Bath Zero’s most capable bike, was complete and ready for the daunting task of returning to the Isle of Man.
Isle of Man TT
Things didn’t look promising at first, the weather was pitiful; foggy, mist, and lots of rain resulted in the first 2 practice sessions being postponed and eventually cancelled. Eventually, a gap in the weather appeared and practice began, though there were only 15 minutes before roads re-opened. With the fastest lap ever recorded at the Isle of Man TT being over 17 minutes, it was impossible to complete a full lap, and the bike could only reach Creg-Ny-Baa before being stopped.
Our incredible rider, Matt Rees, praised how promising the bike felt though issues were apparent within the rear swinging arm. After many dyno runs, attempted fixes and head scratching it was discovered that the rear swinging arm was flexing under the huge torque output by the motor. The solution was to weld an aluminium box section across the cantilever as additional support. It wasn’t perfect but did the job.
Despite the limited riding time Matt had with Phoenix, the duo performed extraordinarily at the race reaching a staggering top speed of 164mph, and averaging 95mph around the course. The team came 4th overall in the race, making it the fastest student competition team that year.
Our sponsors played a huge in our success this year, providing us with cutting-edge motorcycle technology and industry-leading components. We really appreciate all the support.