Voxan, owned by Monaco-based Venturi, has unveiled its new Wattman high-speed electric motorbike as it sets out to conquer even more world records with world champion Max Biaggi at the controls.
The Voxan Wattman was initially due to make its attempts on a Bolivian salt flat in July 2020, but the pandemic made travel impossible, and so it was on the runway at the Châteauroux airfield in France that the team broke 11 world speed records a year ago.
Asphalt proved to be an interesting surface, so the Wattman – modified accordingly – will continue its schedule on another strip. This time, the venue will be the Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, where, on Monday 15th November, the first ultra-high-speed tests got underway.
The Wattman is now under 300 kilos in weight, allowing it to compete in this category. The weight difference is primarily down to a new Voxan-Saft battery design, which is both mechanical and electric. Saft, the French subsidiary of TotalEnergies, specialises particularly in high-performance, very high-power batteries. The pouch cells used make it possible to increase the batteries’ power by nearly 80 times, compared with around 10 times for standard products on the market. They are assembled in modules, enabling cooling to be managed with a recently patented process, resulting in an ultra-compact construction.
The bike continues to rely on the Mercedes EQ Formula E powertrain, which delivers power of 320 kW (compared with 270 kW for the previous version) and offers torque of 1,360 Nm.
Other notable differences compared with the previous Wattman include the motorcycle’s dimensions: to improve stability and air penetration, the wheelbase has been increased to 1,957 mm (from 1,800 mm previously) and the seat height is now 685 mm (up from 610 mm). In the event of significant crosswinds, the team will now have the flexibility to add a fairing that cuts wind resistance.
As for the tyres, longstanding partner Michelin has worked on designs specifically tailored to this challenge. The front 120/70-17 is a tyre from the Michelin Power GP range, which has been modified to tolerate extremely high speeds. For the rear 190/55-17, Michelin has relied on technology that has been proven in MotoGP to develop a tyre with improved grip. The challenge was to channel all of the extraordinary torque delivered by the Wattman’s electric engine, allowing the motorcycle to accelerate as fast as possible without skidding.
Once the new Wattman is ready, further world record attempts will be made within the first six months of 2022. As they did last year, Max Biaggi and Voxan will seek to beat the clock with two types of motorcycles in two separate categories: “partially streamlined” (traditional sports bike) and “naked” (roadster with no streamlined elements).
Monaco Life with press release