It's been a while since we've seen exciting wheel-to-wheel electric motorcycle road-racing action, but we're glad to say the drought has ended. It was just one simple camera attached to the Brammo Empulse R ridden by Ricky Orlando, but it captured an epic battle that played out on the asphalt of Sonoma Raceway during the fourth round of the newly-founded eMotoRacing series.
Wait, what? New e-moto racing series? Yes, let us quickly explain. Disappointed that the FIM eRoad Racing World Cup didn't include any events on this side of the Atlantic for 2014, and a desire to have a series with more rounds and a lower cost of entry, one Arthur Kowitz took it upon himself to start up eMotoRacing. Working with the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), the realtor/racer put together a 10-date calender with events all across the US at some of the country's best tracks in just a few short months. How awesome is that?
Things started off a bit slow, with only a pair of riders showing up for the first couple rounds, but participation has picked up, with five bikes at each of the most recent races. Mr. Kowitz tells us he expects the grid to soon become more crowded, with interest coming from university teams and other individuals. In fact, as he makes the return trip from California to his Florida home, he's bringing a new Brammo Empulse TTX to the South East for another competitor.
Back to this particular race, though. The annotated video begins at the very start of the contest and we can see Eric Bostrom, Shelina Moreda and Arthur Kowitz on their respective Brammos all lined up in the row ahead of Ricky Orlando's camera carrying machine. When the flag is dropped, Bostrom is off like a shot, leaving behind his electric compadres and the gas-powered bikes with which they concurrently race to battle amongst themselves. Orlando gets past Kowitz early and is soon trading places with Moreda – braided hair flapping in her helmet's slipstream – through multiple laps.
Spoiler alert: if you don't want to read how it ends, skip down immediately to the video, but come back later for the rest of the story. We don't see Bostrom again, who goes on to handily win the contest, but Kowitz makes a surprise reappearance on the last lap. It seems that early in the race he had hit a patch of clay absorbment on the track, put down to suck up some leaked oil, and gone off into the grass. He then spent the rest off the race trying to make up for the miscue, slowly making up the distance, picking off back markers along the way.
After studying the situation, Kowitz chose his moment.
Finally, he had the Moreda-Orlando scrimmage in his sights. After studying the situation, Kowitz chose his moment and slid by Orlando on his left. Then, on a straight bit, he gathered up a sack of speedy electrons and cruised by Moreda on her right. Not one to easily give up a podium step, Miss Moreda fought back through the final series of turns but the wily veteran kept the door firmly closed.
Scroll below to experience all the action for yourself. The next eMotoRacing round is set for the June 6th weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. You can learn more about the series at its website and get updates and see fresh photos by following them on Facebook.