Official News & Releases

Buckeye Current Rallies to Compete in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Buckeye Current, the student electric motorcycle team at The Ohio State University, has completed its latest all-electric racing motorcycle. RW-3 will compete in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb June 28. This follows on the success of the team’s 2013 and 2014 Isle of Man TT Zero performances in which renowned rider Rob Barber piloted the team’s RW-2 and then RW-2.X vehicles to third place victories, achieving the title of the world’s fastest collegiate electric motorcycle two years in a row. After earning two podium finishes at the Isle of Man, the team was looking ahead to a new challenge.

This year the team had to create an entirely new bike to conquer Pikes Peak. RW-3 is designed to average 76 miles per hour through the course with a top speed of 125 miles per hour. The battery pack holds 7.8 kilowatt-hours of energy on board and contains 972 individual 18650 cylindrical battery cells. The bike features a student-designed and built electronics system, carbon fiber fairings, and a custom-designed battery pack. With such great student talent, the team was able to create a bike that they believe can not only win the electric class but set the record for all motorcycles.

Shortly after arriving in Colorado, the team faced a very serious setback. After multiple, successful runs on the bike, a slick patch on the track caused the RW-3 to crash, injuring Rob. In light of a great partnership with Rob “The Bullet” Barber over the past two years, Buckeye Current is deeply saddened to announce that he will be unable to race in this year’s Hill Climb. Rob is, however, now recovering well and is planning on supporting the team from the sidelines.

Buckeye Current is determined to press on towards its goal of conquering Pikes Peak, and the team is pleased to announce that not only is RW-3 repaired but the team has also secured the help of a replacement rider: Joe Prussiano, a professional race instructor at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp. Joe is a three-time Pikes Peak 450 Pro Class winner and has graciously stepped in to race in Rob’s absence. After a major rebuilding effort, the RW-3 has just passed through Pikes Peak official tech inspection and is ready to meet its new rider. The team is very grateful to Joe for his immediate response and is looking forward to race day with the team, sponsors, and fans cheering him on as he reaches the summit of this historic racecourse.

More About Buckeye Current
Buckeye Current is a student team at The Ohio State University based at the Center for Automotive Research. The team researches, designs, builds, and races electric motorcycles to not only create innovative electric vehicles but to educate both students and the community about green technologies. The team’s first bike, RW-1, set the East Coast Timing Association record for electric motorcycles at 144.3 miles per hour. Buckeye Current’s second bike placed third in the Isle of Man TT Zero, an international all-electric series, and their third bike placed third to defend that position in the following year. To read more about the team and to follow its progress please visit and the Facebook page (/BuckeyeCurrent).

Buckeye Current seeks funding partners to continue the innovative development and success of the team. In addition to supporting a student led endeavor, partnership with the team provides access to highly qualified students and public exposure on an international stage, all while contributing to the advancement of clean technologies.

Contact: Lauren Alman Buckeye Current Marketing Coordinator


RW-2 Takes Overall Podium, Best University Honors in TT Zero Debut

Despite falling short of the lofty goal of running a 100 MPH lap, Buckeye Current and rider Rob Barber were able to better the three other university teams as well as four non-collegiate teams to earn an incredible result.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment for a first-time, student-run team and places the Buckeye Current as the number one university team in electric motorcycle races,” says Giorgio Rizzoni, mechanical engineering professor and director of the Center for Automotive Research at The Ohio State University, where the team is based. 



Ohio State’s electric motorcycle team qualifies at prestigious Isle of Man race, Moves on to finals June 5

Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio State University College of Engineering’s Buckeye Current electric motorcycle team—along with UK native and world-renowned rider Rob “The Bullet” Barber—qualified to compete in the electric category on June 5 at the world-famous Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) races. Clocking in their qualifying race with a top speed of 91 mph, Buckeye Current is the only U.S. collegiate team to compete in the TT Zero (clean emissions) competition.

Ohio State students from multiple disciplines designed and built the electric motorcycle—the “RW-2”—at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research. A feature aspect of the second-generation vehicle is an innovative student-created electronic management system governing the rechargeable battery packs that “fuel” the vehicle. A 10-student team serves as the engineer and pit crew for rider Barber.

The Ohio State team started this international collaboration after approaching Barber in 2011 with a request for him to ride the progenitor to the RW-2, the RW-1, that year. Barber said yes, but the RW-1 didn’t make it to competition. Barber never forgot about the spirited team from Ohio State, and contacted them in early 2013 to see how things were progressing. Team Buckeye Current was thrilled to be in a position to offer Barber the 2013 TT rider spot, and he happily accepted, offering the team his paddock space and amenities. 

Qualifying rounds for the TT Zero emission competition took place June 1 and 3. Race teams had to complete one 37.7-mile lap along Isle of Man streets in less than 45 minutes at an average speed of at least 50 mph. Buckeye Current and Barber logged the fourth fastest lap during qualifying, at an average speed of nearly 92 mph. For students, competing in the Isle of Man TT, it’s more than an adrenaline rush; it’s a unique opportunity to solve real world engineering challenges.

“Being enveloped in a professional race environment has been a learning experience like no other and demands high-level problem solving,” said Julia Cline, Buckeye Current co-team leader and a third year electrical and computer engineering major. “By participating in the races, we are exposed to the highest caliber teams, an experience you can’t get solely in the classroom. This is a new experience for all of us, but we have performed at a very high level.”

The Honda/OSU Partnership, a bilateral collaboration between Ohio State and Honda of America Manufacturing supporting initiatives in education, research and public service, and Advanced Electronics Energy, are Buckeye Current’s largest sponsors. RRW Engineering, Aaron Equipment Company and Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc., among many others, have also provided support to the team.

About Buckeye Current

Launched in 2010, the Buckeye Current team’s vision is to enhance the development of clean, electric powered motorcycle technology; teach students about electric vehicles; promote electric vehicle events; and provide students with an engaging educational work environment through real-world experiences. It is one of five motorsports teams based in the College of Engineering’s Center for Automotive Research. Closer to home, on Aug. 18, the Buckeye Current team will run in the TTXGP in Indianapolis.

Follow Buckeye Current’s race experience on the team’s blog at and on Twitter at

About the Center for Automotive Research
The Ohio State Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is the preeminent research center in sustainable and safe mobility in the United States and an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering. CAR research focuses on: advanced electric propulsion and energy storage systems; advanced engines and alternative fuels for reduced fuel consumption and emissions; intelligent transportation and vehicular communication systems; autonomous vehicles; noise, vibrations and dynamics;vehicle chassis systems; and vehicle and occupant safety. More info:

About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

This release was originally written for and distributed by Ohio State News.

Isle of Man Becoming a Reality

Buckeye Current have been featured once again by OSU's Center for Automotive Research.

Getting to the race marks the accomplishment of a three-year team goal to compete in an international or national race and enables the students to apply their education in a real-world setting. In order to prepare for the Isle of Man, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and other students designed and built the motorcycle, named the RW-2, at The Ohio State Center for Automotive Research. RW-2, Buckeye Current’s second generation vehicle, features an innovative student-created battery management system.

RW-2 is scheduled to make its first practice run around the Mountain Course just after 8:30 PM local time (3:30 EDT) Friday evening. Two TT Zero qualifying sessions are scheduled to run: the first on Saturday at 4:15 PM local (11:15 AM EDT) and the latter on Monday at 3:45 PM local (10:45 AM EDT). The TT Zero Challenge is a single-lap time trial currently scheduled for Wednesday at 10:45 AM local, (5:45 AM EDT).

A special thanks to our sponsor and chassis supplier, The Honda/OSU Partnership, and to our battery supplier and partner, Advanced Electronics Energy.

Follow coverage of the races on the Velocity channel in North America, and on ITV4 in the United Kingdom. Live sector-by-sector timing with radio coverage by Manx Radio is available with free registration at