The first Voltron machine was built from an RG250 chassis and a pair of brushed DC motors. Fair to say it was not exactly a refined product, but like most things you have to start somewhere. Chris took it to the inaugural eFXC in 2011 where it competed in three rounds. What you learn from your first bike is immense, and lays the foundations for innovation. In 2014, Voltron Evo was launched with the help of Mike O'Hanlon at the Bird in Northbridge. Piloted by Danny Pottage, Voltron Evo went on to dominate the eFXC in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 Tim Boujos and Thyron Van Vuuren shared riding duties, and despite splitting the points between two riders AND sitting out a whole round, the team was still just a few points away from winning the series.
Voltron Motorcycles Pty Ltd was formed in 2015 as a joint venture between Mike and Chris, and was opened for business in late 2016 - primarily designing and building custom batteries for high performance EVs.
At Voltron Motorcycles, we believe the future of motorsport is electric, and are striving not just to make machines as good as gas bikes, but to supersede them.
It's always been about racing!
Racing improves the breed
The first motorcycle race happened when the second motorcycle was built (or so the saying goes). In 2011 the promoters of the Formula Xtreme road racing series included an electric class called eFXC, inspired by the TTXGP class at the Isle of Man (now known as the TT Zero). In 2011 three bikes showed up - Danny Ripperton on his electric Yamaha, Jason Morris on the hub-motored Catavolt, and Chris Jones on his electric RG250, dubbed "Voltron". Despite all three bikes having their own challenges and advantages, it was clear that a step change in the expectations of electric race bike performance was needed. In July 2011, Chris started to design the next electric race bike - one with enough horsepower to be competitive with gas bikes but be robust enough to survive the rigours of the track. It would take almost three years, even sitting out for two whole seasons of eFXC, but in 2014 Danny Pottage took to Queensland Raceway with a new machine - Voltron Evo. The bike was sporting a 9 kWh battery and checked in at a hefty 238 kg.
2015 saw more refinements to the bike, including a more shapely tank cover and a slightly lighter 6 kWh battery. It was placed lower in the frame without compromising ground clearance at lean, and the improved centre of gravity allowed harder braking. The other competitors in the series were starting to step up their game, with faster machines and competitive lap times. In the last round Danny Ripperton handed his machine to Brad Swallow, which made for a close battle to the line in the final race! Pottz delivered, and celebrated with arguably the best motorcycle burnout you've ever seen.
2014 - Voltron Evo's debut
2014 was really a watershed year for electric racing. The bikes got faster, the riders more competitive and the grids (a little) more busy. Danny Pottage successfully took a bike with no prior setup knowledge or baseline and made changes as he raced. Yes, as he raced - no time for tuning when the bike was 4000 km away on the other side of the country! Constant development is the key to going faster, and even by round three of the 2014 series, a lighter battery (6 kWh) was built in record time - allowing Danny to dominate the Wakefield Park circuit. Further refinement to the geometry and suspension made for a competitive baseline. To this Day, Pottz still holds the electric lap record for a motorcycle at Sydney Motorsports Park (1:42.801).
If 2014 was a watershed year for electric bikes, then 2016 was the year we proved electric is as fast as gas bikes - Thyron Van Vuuren (Taz) took the opportunity to steer the bike at Queensland Raceway in the second last round of the eFXC season, but we insisted that we race amongst the gas bikes. Our lap times were comparable with pro-twins, so it made sense to put us in with them - both to prove it can be done, and to prove that we were fast. I race one, Taz rocketed from the back of the grid to hole-shot before the first turn! The on-board video of race two makes for some fun viewing!
Both Tim and Taz steered Voltron in 2016, and the feedback we've received from these two very experienced riders has been invaluable. Tim now holds the electric race record for Mallala Raceway (1:15.723) while Taz lapped Queensland Raceway at a healthy 1:15.481. We have sat out for 2017 as we develop the next machine - faster, lighter, and more refined.
Voltron Motorcycles - Products
Voltron Motorcycles specialises in high performance electric motorcycles - we can build whole bikes or supply batteries and parts. We offer consultation to help build your machine, using some of our technology and know-how. If it's got to be fast and on two wheels, we can help!
Voltron Motorcycles have perfected the art of high voltage battery design. At 700 volts fully charged, the race pack is powerful, yet elegantly simple and incredibly safe; you would have to circumvent three safety features to put yourself in harms way (please don't). Our batteries use some of the most powerful lithium cobalt cells around; 35 C continuous and 60 C peak! With a specific energy of 158 Wh/kg they also offer respectable range. We can build any battery to any size, voltage and capacity.
At the heart of Voltron Evo is the synchronous, axial flux electric motor. Voltron Motorcycles is pleased to be able to offer motors manufactured by Phi-Power AG to Australian customers at competitive prices.
Yes, we'll build you a Voltron! Right now lead times are about one year from receipt of full payment. While they are primarily race bikes, we are able to road register them under the ICV scheme.
The founders of Voltron Motorcycles
Chris is not an engineer, but he does have a PhD in plant biochemistry and genetics. Scientist by training, scientific by nature - good planning and sound design, rooted in the fundamentals of the laws of nature. Passionate about electric vehicles and better ways of managing resources, Chris is also the secretary of the AEVA.
Danny Pottage (Pottz) was introduced to electric superbike racing via a rather slow 4 kW electric scooter race with Chris. On the promise of something faster, Pottz went on to help test, tune and race Voltron in 2014 and 2015. His enormous contribution to the handling of the bike is evidenced by the amazing performance we enjoy today.
Mike studied engineering at university, but he has a keener eye for a worthwhile investment. After selling his share of a pub he helped establish, he invested in Voltron Motorcycles and has become hopelessly addicted to the future. Mike has been involved with several business ventures, including his latest project, Switch.