Still don’t believe electric motorcycles are here to stay? Tell that to Honda-linked Mugen racing, which announced it would compete in the upcoming electric TTXGP event at the Isle of Man this year. “We are keen to use this excellent event to educate and prepare the engineers of the next generation for the use of future technology,” said Mugen’s Satoshi Katsumata in a press release. “We are very excited about adding to the long history of Japanese manufacturers on the Isle of Man.”
Mugen is better known for tuning racecars, but it does have a history of producing racing parts and building racebikes. The company was founded in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda, son of big man Soichiro Honda, and though the company has been closely associated with Honda, it has never been owned or controlled by the automotive behemoth. Still, the involvement of Mugen signals some kind of big-factory interest in electric roadracing, the first sign of such a commitment. Will it be in the form of the RC-E prototype Honda showed off at last year’s Tokyo Auto Show? Or something totally different?
We wouldn’t be surprised if some of the other big OEMs—or their performance divisions, like Yamaha’s GYTR or BMW’s M—jumped into the mix this year or the next. Building a competitive e-racer is expensive for a privateer, but a rounding error for a huge automotive concern, and the payoffs in publicity and green image gi-normous. And don’t be too surprised if some of these companies have Chinese names, either.