Electric motorcycles brand Voxan with headquarters in Monaco is working on breaking the world motorcycle land speed record with Max Biaggi.
The project has been announced in April by the brand’s owner, the Venturi group and the six-time motorcycle racing world champion Max Biaggi will attempt to exceed 330 km/h on the Voxan Wattman in August 2020 in Bolivia.
He recently took part in testing the bike’s ergonomics at Venturi’s headquarters in Monaco, as well as a 3D scan, a key phase in the vehicle’s development.
With assembly planned for early next year, in recent weeks the Venturi-Voxan engineering team has been focussing on the aerodynamics of the new Voxan Wattman, designed specifically to break the world electric motorcycle land speed record. Adjusting Max Biaggi’s position on the ergonomic model and taking his measurements and 3D scans are crucial steps in developing this one-of-a-kind motorcycle.
During the work sessions, Max Biaggi provided valuable feedback to Venturi-Voxan’s design engineers. Using this new data and working closely with the bike’s designer Sacha Lakic, they can now make adjustments to the model, design a 3D mock-up of the bike to exact technical specifications and identify the best and most reliable technical solutions that comply with FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) regulations. This preparatory phase is a decisive one, since the bike’s aerodynamics are a key factor for success in reaching the record-breaking land speed target of 330 km/h.*
* The current world land speed record for “electric motorcycles propelled by the action of one wheel in contact with the ground, partially streamlined, under 300kg” is held by Jim Hoogerhyde on a Lightning SB220 (327.608 km/h).
In their words
I’m pleased to see the project progressing so well and so fast. I have full confidence in my team of engineers as they tackle the challenge I set them. They’re used to developing innovative vehicles and are leveraging the experience they gained designing powertrains for our Formula E race cars. I’m proud of their hard work and dedication and I know that they are just as committed as I am to making this project happen. Roll on 2020, when I hope to watch my friend Max Biaggi beat the world land speed record on the Voxan Wattman. We’re dreaming big for 2020, which also happens to be Venturi’s 20th anniversary as a specialised producer of high-performance electric vehicles.
Gildo Pastor, President of the Venturi Group
A lot was learned during this first work session with the Venturi-Voxan team, especially when we were adjusting positioning on the model. It’s nothing like the typical racing posture. I literally have to become one with the bike, lying down on it close to the ground. I had to learn to get used to it and work within the technical constraints that we have. I feel surrounded by an incredibly motivated Venturi-Voxan team. This is certainly going to be an unprecedented experience and I truly hope to earn Venturi another record.
Max Biaggi, Rider of the Voxan Wattman
We love what we call “impossible challenges” at Venturi. We have already succeeded in quite a few of them: the world land speed record for electric vehicles with the Venturi VBB-3 (549 km/h, 2016), the longest unassisted distance record for an electric vehicle (14 900 km, 2010), the first crossing of southeast Africa without assistance (5 800 km, 2012) and the first electric polar exploration vehicle that operates at lows of -50°C (Venturi Antarctica). Now we’re setting our sights on high-performance electric two-wheelers and are proud to be developing a motorcycle like the Voxan Wattman. The technology on this extreme version of the Wattman road bike will be unveiled soon.
Franck Baldet, Chief Technical Officer, Venturi-Voxan
We did this work with Max so that we could adjust the controls (steering, seating, foot position etc) to basically design the motorcycle around him. In the next phases, we will model the bike’s bodywork to computer test the aerodynamics then move to the mechanical design of the chassis and motorcycle as a whole. This electric motorcycle land speed record is a real technical challenge. We want the Voxan Wattman to beat the current world record and even one day perform better than its combustion counterparts.
Louis-Marie Blondel, Head of Development for the Voxan Wattman
Beyond the intense and raw pleasure of riding a motorcycle, not many people know how complex it is to design this object. The Venturi team has the skills and the know-how to carry out this major project. This first work session with Max allowed me to better visualize the complex details related to the ergonomics and the aerodynamics of the vehicle. It also allowed me to better understand the future proportions of the machine. Guided by the aerodynamics, the style of the motorcycle will be such that the driver and the bike will form a compact silhouette, racy and very elegant. 22 years ago, the first Voxan motorcycle (thermal) was born under my pencil and now the silhouette of the Wattman is coming to life day after day.
Sacha Lakic, Product Designer of the Voxan Wattman