The 2015 Saroléa SP7: The Electric TT Racer
Electric Racing Leaps Forward With The Sarolea SP7 Racer!
This year’s all-new and all-electric Sarolea SP7 has finally surfaced and although things may not look strikingly different from last year’s model on the surface, trust us when we say that it’s an entirely different machine altogether.
If you’re not familiar with the Sarolea brand, they’re of Belgian origin with a history that stretches back as far 1850, graduating (like many other marques) from weapons to motorcycles. It was one of the oldest manufacturers of motorcycles, until World War II placed unnecessary sanctions on the factory, eventually leading to its downfall in 1963. Now, it has been revived for the 21st century, flying the flag for electric motorcycle racing.
Last year’s model turned heads at the Isle Of Man Electric TT, coming in fourth and narrowly missing the podium by a mere 0.3 seconds. This year’s offering is a little different; it may look similar but there are a few differences.
Firstly, the SP7 has a new and improved rider position, with a lower center of gravity and superior aerodynamics but that’s not all. Using date from 2014, Sarolea have managed to boast a faster 0 to 60 time of 2.8 seconds and a staggering top speed of 168mph.
This improvement is mainly due to the application of lightweight carbon fiber and titanium parts, a revised and slimmer body shape and fiber optic control system. 3D printing has come into its own and helped Team Saroléa shed 22lbs of unnecessary weight.
The in-house built motor has also had an overhaul, dropping by 30hp down to 150hp. The 2014 model had 180hp to power the bikes 441lbs, delivering a top speed of 155.4hp. Shedding the excess weight and reducing the output will hopefully allow the SP7 to handle better on the track. So far, the team have demonstrated an improvement during testing but whether the gamble pays off on race day remains to be seen.
Scottish born Robert Wilson will once again pilot the Sarolea SP7 at this year’s TT, hoping for a podium finish. With a successful result last year, a wealth of data and a revised motor, the carbon fiber beast is sure to do well.
Compared with the lackluster Formula-E series, electric motorcycle racing is garnering attention all over the world and many motorcycle marques are eager to cash in. So far, the Sarolea, Harley Davidson Livewire, Zero FX and Yamaha PES1 are unlikely to convert regular petrol heads into electric riders but as the interest into electric motorcycles escalates, who knows what the future will bring?