Ecosse ES1 race bike prototype ready by end of '08

Design team win award for aerodynamic racer which looks remarkably like the New Zealand-built Britten

Expect to see the ES1 for real by the end of this year

A TEAM of electrical and electronic engineers have won a prestigious award for their involvement in the Ecosse ES1 racebike project and believe the first prototype will be ready for testing at the end of this year.

Amrit Sharma, a PhD student from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has won a gold medal for automotive design at the Young European Arena of Research Awards.

Mr Sharma won the award for mathematical models which show how air flowing over a bike can exert pressures on the vehicle, thus slowing it down and making it less efficient.

A team from the Control and Power Research Group along with motorcycle manufacturer ECOSSE Spirit are using the mathematical models to improve the design of the company’s ES1 racing motorcycle.

New designs tested by Mr Sharma’s model include rearranging the front and rear suspension, constructing the body from fibreglass, as well as moving the chain drive and altering where a rider’s feet and upper body are located. This creates a new shape for the vehicle, resembling a teardrop, which according to tests dramatically reduces the dragging effects of air flowing over the vehicle by approximately 50 per cent.