PPIHC 2017 - Update 3

Testing at the higher speed track yesterday was, in short, amazing. We reached Pueblo Motorsports Park at 7:30am, and when 8:00am came and the track was hot we were the first bike out of the pit. The team got multiple 4-lap runs in on the 2.2-mile track, with almost an hour of charging needed in between each, until leaving a little before 2:00pm. The only reason the team left that early was because some of the bike’s systems were getting a little bit toasty; we experienced no technical issues in any of the runs. After continually cycling all of our powertrain components all day without giving them any time to cool off, we were able to validate that all of our cooling systems were meeting our performance goals. Even though the key powertrain components were nowhere near their respective thermal limits, we decided it would be best to not risk getting closer to damaging anything on the bike before the race. It was also around 95°F and we were set up on the pavement, so there was certainly no complaining when we decided to leave (and, of course, stop for ice cream).

Throughout the runs at Pueblo, we were slightly limited in power output due to the replacement fuse in the DC line being rated lower than the previous one, but RW-3x still performed incredibly well, even hitting the motor’s peak rpm at 4000. The bike is currently pulling about 95 kW peak with its fuse limitation, but with the new fuse and change in torque limits, Rob will be able to pull a whopping 140 kW, with almost 1300 ft-lb of torque at the rear wheel. This was also actually Rob’s first time out on a track on an electric bike with gas bikes running at the same time, too, and he ended up passing many of them! He’s definitely getting more and more amped for race-day, and that will only continue as practice on the mountain commences this Tuesday.

Last night into today we spent our strangely large amount of free time recuperating and getting ready for this incredibly busy next week. We knocked out a few of the slightly less pressing jobs that still needed to be done, like tweaking and finalizing the cooling system now that we know the set-up works well, cleaning up the wiring harness, adding a few more sensors to our datalogging network, and cutting vinyl sponsor logos to apply to the bike’s fairings before PPIHC technical inspection tomorrow.

Race week festivities start tomorrow, and we can’t wait to get on the mountain with a bike performing better than it ever has.