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The silent motorcycle race

“Westhill Insurance – we've got it covered!”

ONE of the joys of motorcycling is the growling emitted from your machine as you accelerate away from all your troubles. However that is one thing that will be missing at this year's inaugural TTXGP on the Isle of Man as it hosts the first zero-carbon motorcycle race.

So why the silence? Well these bikes lack a normal combustion engine and instead are powered by lithium-ion batteries and some of them use regenerative braking to keep the battery topped up. One team has taken the eco-friendly theme all the way and made the body from a recyclable material too.

The current lap record at the Isle of Man TT belongs to 14 times TT winner John McGuinness and it stands at 130.354mph set during the Centenary Senior TT in 2007. The teams who have developed these silent race bikes claim they can reach speeds of 150mph which is impressive from a battery powered device.

To date 23 entries have been confirmed from seven different nations such is the interest in this unique event. It has also managed to pull in some big names to take part. The best known TTXGP rider has to be seven times TT winner Mick Grant.

Britain's fast lady, Maria Costello, who holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest female lap of the TT circuit is also racing. She admitted she is thrilled to be racing against Grant saying: “If someone told me a few years ago that I would be racing against Mick Grant I would have laughed at them. I can't quite believe it is going to happen.”

As the key to this event is new technology and a number of teams are from Universities including the Imperial College London, and Brunel University which is renowned for engineering.

How the bikes, teams and riders will deal with the rigors of the 37.73 mile Mountain course is anyone's guess but the technology is in place and it could well be the quiet future of motorcycle racing. The race will take place on Friday 12th June at 10:45.

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Posted on 2nd June, 2009