RACER SPOTLIGHT: Pete Nicolosi

Pete Nicolosi

Pete celebrates placing third and second during the 2015 race at Sonoma, CA

Technician at Hendrick Honda in Charleston, SC is eMotoRacing’s current 2016 series leader!

As eMotoRacing gets ready to hit the track this weekend at Willow Springs Raceway, we wanted to spotlight one of our racers, Pete Nicolosi.

Pete has been racing with us for all three seasons, and has steadily improved his game — in 2014 he finished 6th in eSuperSport, and then in 2015 he jumped up to 2nd place.  Currently he is our 2016 series points leader, and as he heads to California this weekend with his Brammo, he has his eyes on the prize.

Pete races alongside several other top-notch zero-emissions motorcycle riders in our third season, and we’re thrilled to have him as a participant in the US’s only zero-emissions motorcycle roadracing series.  When he’s not racing, he enjoys working as a technician for Hendrick Honda.

eMotoRacing runs 10 tracks in the season, with 2 rounds per track.  A rider’s 10 best finishes count toward the National Championship, and a minimum of two race finishes are required to qualify.  Current series point standings can be viewed HERE, under “eSuperSport by eMotoRacing” at the bottom of the page.   For our 2016 racing schedule, click HERE.

Connect with Pete via Facebook: CLICK HERE

Connect with eMotoRacing via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eMotoRacing/

Pete Nicolosi - eMotoRacing

Pete starts the 2016 season off right!

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Results and Updates from Race #1 of the 2015 Season

Results from Roebling Road, GA

Round One = Saturday the 21st

  1. Arthur Kowitz = error in lap time recording – sensor issue
  2. Bob Berbeco = error in lap time recording – sensor issue
  3. Peter Nicolosi = best lap time 01:34.061
  4. Murrae Haynes = best lap time 01:37.389
  5. Scott Signorini = best lap time 01:39.571
  6. Ned Heidel = best lap time 01:39.458

Round Two = Sunday the 22nd

  1. Arthur Kowitz = best lap time 01:30.097
  2. Bob Berbeco = error in lap time recording – sensor issue
  3. Peter Nicolas = error in lap time recording – sensor issue
  4. Murrae Haynes = best lap time 01:34.573
  5. Ned Heidel = best lap time 01:38.696
  6. Scott Signorini = best lap time 01:40.430

Coming up next is NOLA Raceway on March 27 – 29 — see you there!

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2014 Season Finale – Results and a Year in Review

Wrapping up the Season

This past weekend marked the end of eMotoRacing’s first season, which ended up being a successful one.  Overall there were 21 contestants, which included riders previously experienced in racing gas-powered motorcycles, as well as teams who focused on building electric bikes.  The battlefields included 10 notable tracks, each of which presented their dangers and advantages.

The eMotoRacing series became the first sanctioned racing series to not only allow, but encourage, full-fairing streamlining since the concept was disallowed by the FIM back in the 50’s.  eMotoRacing will continue on in to the 2015 season with the goal of promoting innovation in the zero-emissions field through the excitement of green racing.

We would like to thank the participants, sponsors, and dedicated race fans which made this amazing first year possible.  Sign up below to receive email updates on the details of the 2015 season as they unfold.  Tracks and dates are still being firmed up.




Daytona Results, October 18 – 19, 2014

The placing from both Friday’s practice and Saturday’s race were the same:

  1. Arthur Kowitz, Brammo
  2. Andrew Cowell, Brammo
  3. David Sadowski, Brammo
  4. Murrae Haynes, Brammo

Daytona Finish LineThe Daytona Beach News-Journal and several Central Florida news stations covered the electric motorcycle action, which was held during Biketoberfest.  One of the highlights of Biketoberfest is the continuous rumble of gas-powered bikes pouring into the Greater Daytona Beach Area, so race fans were intrigued by the quieter, yet zippy electric bikes which hit up to 120 mph.

Series founder, Arthur Kowitz, also took 1st place in the Vintage Superbike Heavyweight class, and then hung his gas-powered racing hat up in favor of going all electric for the 2015 season.

Season Results

For a participant to have placed in this season, they had to have raced at least twice.

Race Class eGrandPrix

Series Points Races Run Rider Number First Last City State
2000 2 9643 Shane Turpin Salt Lake City UT

Race Class eSuperSport

Series Point Races Run Rider Number First Last City State
9835 20 8154 Arthur Kowitz Ormond Beach FL
7175 12 1012322 David Sadowski Melborne FL
5540 14 1736 Andrew Cowell Bolivia NC
4000 4 E10031 Eric Bstrom Newberry Park CA
2549 4 1012339 Robert Berbeco Indianapolis IN
2505 4 18603 Peter Nicolosi Daniel Island SC
2489 6 10877 Murrae Haynes Santa Fe NM
2124 4 18225 Ricky Orlando Frederick CO
1535 2 185 David Roper Hicksville NY
1199 2 18227 Shelina Moreda Petaluma CA
1180 2 1012403 Ely Schless Ashland OR
1180 4 6216 Scott Signorini Flagler Beach FL
1180 4 1012395 Jeff Clark North Hills CA
998 2 1012448 Tim Johnson Calgary AB
700 2 1012463 Daniel Grabowski Chester MD

 

 

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Race Results – Barber Motorsports Park

Race Results, Saturday Oct 11, 2014

1. Arthur Kowitz
2. Pete Nicolosi
3. Bob Berbeco
4. Murrae Haynes
5. Jeff Clark DNF
6. Ricky Orlando DQ
7. Andrew Cowell DNS

Notes:
Jeff Clark broke drive belt leaving the line at start of race.
Ricky Orlando finished second on track, but a scoring transponder issue disqualified him.
Andrew Cowell had issues on another bike, in another race, that put him out for this race only.

Race Results, Sunday Oct 12, 2014

1. Ricky Orlando
2. Pete Nicolosi
3. Andrew Cowell
4. Arthur Kowitz
5. Murrae Haynes
6. Bob Berbeco
7. Jeff Clark DNS

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RESULTS and HIGHLIGHTS eMotoRacing at MMP in Utah!

RESULTS and HIGHLIGHTS eMotoRacing at MMP in Utah!

~By Arthur Kowitz

Starting Line at Miller MotorsportsThe 9th annual BonnevilleGP at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah hosted eMotoRacing’s round 8 for the year, and what a season it has been.
This was one of our best events to date, with two e-races and several highlights.

Shane Turpin of Salt Lake City, won AHRMA’s premier “Sound of Thunder” class with his Brammo Empulse RR. Starting from the rear of the field, Shane whistled his way through the field of gas-burning, booming modern Ducatis etc.
The irony of a near silent racebike winning ‘Sound of Thunder’ was lost to no one, as fans of all generations cheered his impressive performance…he was dazzling and that Brammo was rocket fast!

The University of Calgary, Canada, “Team Zeus” debuted their beautiful orange and white prototype e-racebike, ridden by Tim Johnson of Calgary, Canada. These enthusiastic engineering club members were pleased to meet all their challenges, finish both races, and enjoy the spectacle of this AHRMA sanctioned racing event.

Eric Bostrom won both eSuperSport races on his factory backed, immaculate…and fast, Empulse TTX…. eBoz, with his trademark big ol’ smile, was fast and fluid all weekend.

Andrew Cowell of Bolivia NC, rode his Brammo Empulse R with the style and flair we have seen from him all season. Andrew is an accomplished motorcycle artisan, and runs the trackside machine and repair shop out of his big box trailer at all AHRMA events.

Ely Schless of Ashland, Oregon, was a podium finisher in the former TTXGP series on his purpose built prototype. For this weekend’s eMotoRacing event, Ely raced a six speed 2014 Brammo Empulse R, reminding himself how much fun this class can be.

Murrae Haynes, up from New Mexico, is a MSF rider instructor, AHRMA race school instructor, and AHRMA Battle of the Twins regular on his Buell. This weekend. Murrae planned to race a borrowed Empulse. After five laps of practice, he was excited enough to buy a new Empulse R to race in this series. His lap times were more than competitive, putting him on the podium with his new bike.

Arthur Kowitz of Ormond Beach, Florida, the series founder, sponsor, and current points leader broke all convention by putting on the track a fully streamlined Empulse TTX that attracted curiosity and kudos all weekend. This sleek, bullet-shaped bike had a brake failure on Saturday, but stormed back Sunday with a 5 second per lap improvement and a strong second place finish.
How fitting that this ground-breaking streamlined roadracer debuts just a few miles from the famed Bonneville Salt Flats!

Moment of Triumph! Team Icon Brammo at Miller Motorsports

Moment of Triumph! Team Icon Brammo at Miller Motorsports

Except for the Streamliner’s brake failure Saturday, every competitor finished every lap of both races under full power!

Big smiles, high fives, and hand-shakes were order of the weekend.

RESULTS:

Saturday
eGrandPrix
1st….Shane Turpin

eSuperSport
1st….Eric Bostrom
2nd…Andrew Cowell
3rd…Murrae Haynes
4th…Ely Schless
5th…Tim Johnson
6th….Arthur Kowitz, DNF

Sunday
eGrandPrix
1st…Shane Turrpin
eSuperSport
1st…Eric Bostrom
2nd…Arthur Kowitz
3rd….Murrae Haynes
4th …Ely Schless
5th….Tim Johnson
6th…Andrew Cowell, DNS

 


About Arthur Kowitz: Kowitz was a pioneer and competitive privateer in AMA Superbike racing from the class’ inception in 1976 until 1982. A quarter-century later, he rode his venerable Kawasaki Z1 to the 2008 AHRMA Vintage Superbike Heavyweight Championship. In 2013, he competed on an electric Brammo Empulse TTX in the FIM eWorldCup Series at Laguna Seca Raceway and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

About Team “ZEUS” of the University of Calgary: “ZEUS” stands for “Zero Emission Ucalgary Superbike”, and the team is comprised of engineers, business and physics majors. The team raced their Generation I bike, which uses an Agni 95-R motor mounted to the frame of a 2004 Suzuki GSX 600, which was straight from the factory, and then stripped of its gasoline engine components.  To check out more about Team ZEUS, hit their website or facebook page.

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VT Bolt Riding Impressions

VT Bolt Riding Impressions
– July 2014

~By Arthur Kowitz

A zero-emissions bike hand-built by a team of engineers dedicated to perfection.

A zero-emissions bike hand-built by a team of engineers dedicated to perfection.

The Virginia Tech Bolt II Racing Team boldly rolled onto the New Jersey Motorsports Park roadrace track after a two year build and modest trackday testing…bringing with them some high expectations.

NJMP is a modern racetrack that poses the challenges of several tight and twisty sections, a few infield straights, plus a long front straight.

As the eMotoRacing series founder, promoter, and a series competitor, I was extremely excited to see the VT Team at our event.
Even though the competition in the ebike classes is a field of smaller bikes with limited power, roadracing rewards many things besides raw power.

The 3 day event consisted of a full practice day Friday, and a bit of practice Saturday morning followed by the race in the afternoon. Sunday’s schedule was like Saturday.

I watched the VT Team in practice from the seat of my Kawasaki Superbike, which was in the same practice group as the Bolt…it was clearly a struggle for the Bolt rider to keep roll speed up in any of the corners. Once momentum is lost in the corners, the speed potential of the ensuing straight is ruined. The Bolt was obviously fast, but lap times were slow.

Late in the day Saturday, after a 3rd place finish, the VT Team asked me to ride their bike and see what a rider with 40 years of racing experience could share with them.
I agreed.

Upon looking at the bike, it was clear that the front tire was not heating up…a quick tire temp check revealed a malfunctioning front tire warmer (whose job it is to pre-heat the tire before going onto the track, until racing action keeps it hot). Also noteworthy was that the rear tire was up to temperature, but not having power applied very hard while leaned over.
A quick visual inspection also revealed excess weight that could be trimmed. Items such as the thick and beefy rear brake rotor, which is barely used on a roadracer. Extra weight costs every time we accelerate, brake, turn, or even adjust a racing line.

My first laps on the Bolt were emphatic…3 things leaped out at me.

  1. This bike is very FAST
  2. The front brake rotors are bad…they chatter, eliminating any potential feel of the tire on pavement…unsuitable at a racing pace.
  3. The throttle transition from off to on was overly abrupt…a struggle to keep steady throttle.

Until the brakes are fixed, there will be no hard braking done while the bike is leaned over…which wastes much time as it requires braking to be done upright, hence shortening the straightaways and lengthening the corners.

Also important, when the bike is leaned hard into a corner and steady throttle needs to maintained, the bike wants to either go hard or decel hard making cornering clumsy and slow.

The Team took this feedback and reduced the regenerative braking by a whopping 75% to soften the abrupt throttle…much better, and now rideable. However, unsure if it is a side effect of the adjustments or if it existed before, a pronounced lag of a second or so exists upon opening the throttle, making it lazy off corners, and the coresponding lag of a second when cutting the throttle.

Heading down the track at 130+mph toward the sharp 90 degree right hand turn at the end, closing the throttle and waiting a second or 2 until the motor starts to drop power is unnerving. This condition seems to worsen a bit as the bike heats up…it could be that I was pressing harder on track and becoming more demanding.

Crisp and accurate operations are not only essential to control the bike, but give the rider confidence that he can do what is needed at any time…racing is a head game, and confidence rules.

There are several ways to steer a motorcycle: turn the handlebars, adjust throttle, apply footpeg pressure, apply (front or rear) brakes, adjust lean angle, and alter body position. With throttle adjustment and brake application untrustworthy, the other techniques would be used to maintain control. Too many compromises.

This is a big, fast bike…which suits me fine. My daily streetbike is a Kawasaki 1400 Concours which feels similar in size, heft, and power. I have hustled that Kawi around many mountain roads over the years and am comfortable doing so. Although the Bolt requires heavy force to turn the handlebars while cornering, it feels steady and stable. Once the throttle response issues are corrected, I believe it will corner fine with appropriate technique.

Now, to power and speed…the absence of a tachometer is detrimental. The motor feels as if it is just hitting its stride when it is time to shut off throttle for the next corner. Run the bike on a dyno…graph the power/rpm relationship, and gear it to maximize the rpm range. Otherwise the rider is guessing. I think it is over-geared and will accelerate better, cover ground faster, and have higher top speed with shorter gearing…but I’m still guessing without a dyno chart and tachometer.

Lastly, once the rider gets onto the bike, the sequence of powering up is too chancey…it would benefit from lights that prompt the process, avoiding any contactor or powering up issues.

In my opinion, it is a resounding success when a handbuilt prototype can go to a track, compete in battle, keep running all weekend, and improve from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon. Expecting perfection the first time out is lofty, but unrealistic.

Yes, we did grid up Sunday afternoon for the weekend finale. Most of the ebike field had left the event early for various reasons, so I was relegated to mostly racing 750cc gas bikes…OK with me.

Green flag is dropped and I jet away with all that power. Nice. As there was only a few bikes on the track, I could concentrate on the Bolt…each lap was a second faster than the one before, down to 1:48, which would have won the Saturday race. The VT Team was happy, I was happy, the Bolt was still in good shape…a good day at the track.

Riding and racing the VT Bolt was a challenge and a joy…hopefully I can do it again.

This bike has real potential.

~Arthur Kowitz

UPDATE: Check out the final results HERE!


About Arthur Kowitz: Kowitz was a pioneer and competitive privateer in AMA Superbike racing from the class’ inception in 1976 until 1982. A quarter-century later, he rode his venerable Kawasaki Z1 to the 2008 AHRMA Vintage Superbike Heavyweight Championship. In 2013, he competed on an electric Brammo Empulse TTX in the FIM eWorldCup Series at Laguna Seca Raceway and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

About Team Bolt as described on their website: “The BOLT team is dedicated to evolving electric vehicle technology through design, construction, and demonstration of a high performance electric motorcycle and as a competition based team strives for nothing but the best performance on the track. By challenging the standards of performance the team expects to increase the visibility of clean emissions motorsports while proving the viability of the technology itself.”

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