Aerodynamic concept bike targets speed records

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:
(Credit: Will Broadhead/WMC)

A new UK-developed electric motorbike which features a central duct for aerodynamic efficiency is targeting land speed records in the coming year.

The prototype WMC250EV is a high-speed demonstrator vehicle conceived by Rob White, founder and CEO of Northants-based White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC). At the core of the bike’s design is the V-Air ultra-low drag system, build around the striking central Venturi duct that runs the length of the bike, underneath the rider. In wind tunnel tests, this system reduced WMC250EV’s aerodynamic resistance by up to 70 per cent compared to an equivalent high performance road bike.

According to WMC, the concept bike is claimed to be capable of speeds exceeding 250mph and an attempt to break the Motorcycle Electric Semi Streamliner British record is lined up for later this year. If successful, the team will then travel to the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia where WMC will attempt to break the world record in July 2022.

“If you want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that you’ve just invented a new aerodynamic concept that means you can go faster for a given power, the best thing to do is go as fast you can,” said White.

“That’s why we created WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator, the most radical version of this concept, to challenge for the world land speed record. It is electric, as that is the pre-eminent zero emissions power source at the moment, but as the aerodynamic concept provides efficiency benefit, it could just as easily be hydrogen or any other future power source.”

This efficiency means that the V-Air concept also has the potential to significantly reduce emissions of production motorcycles and other vehicles. WMC is developing a real-world application in the form of a 300cc three-wheel hybrid scooter – known as the WMC300FR – that includes V-Air technology and reduces drag by 25 per cent. The company claims this delivers an 18 per cent benefit in fuel efficiency from aerodynamic improvements alone. The company further claims that when coupled with a small hybrid system, the performance is close to 500cc levels, but with 50 per cent less CO2 emissions.

“While this technology allows you to go faster, it also allows you to go much further for the same amount of energy. This has a direct and tangible benefit on C02 reduction,” White said.

“What we’ve managed to do is create something for the world market sector where people can use these vehicles in a city where the population is most effected by C02 output and pollution – and we’ve managed to cut C02 by 50 per cent through aerodynamics and hybridisation.”

WMC has been granted a UK patent for its V-Air concept, with Europe, the USA and Japan expected to follow by the end of August.

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