In the ’60s, American East Coast Ford dealer Bob Tasca Sr coined the term ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ and sixty years later his grandson has set multiple drag racing world records and the family is still selling a huge number of Fords. Many claim the old adage is yesterday’s news, but Swedish Electric Motorcycle manufacturer RGNT has chosen to pick up the gauntlet and race toward the light. There is simply nothing like holding a world record to add instant credibility to your product and the hope that sales will quickly follow. So, this weekend the team will take ‘Aurora’ a modified RGNT No. 1 Classic SE and hit the ice in their first attempt to break a world speed record.
The Swede’s know a thing or two about doing motorsport on the slippery stuff, with Rally Sweden traditionally the only WRC round held on snow. Added to the world calendar in 1973, it would take more than three decades for a non-Nordic driver to win the event. And when they’re not dancing four wheels in the snow, rally cross, motorcycle speedway, and drag racing are all hugely popular ice racing events in the land of Volvo and Ikea.
Another hit on the calendar is the SMA-sanctioned (Svenska Motorsport Alliansen) Speed Weekend in Årsunda, held this weekend on a rock hard frozen lake in the east of the country. “The RGNT Ice Racer project, named Aurora, was initiated by a small group of RGNT employees, working out their plans on evenings and weekends. The team wanted the bike to not only perform great but also look great. As the magnitude and ambition level of the project grew, it became backed up by the entire company.”
The basis for the build is the company’s flagship model, the No. 1 Classic SE, a machine we took a deep dive into a year ago and found that it stacks up very well against the current crop of petrol-powered retro remakes. But building a production machine is one thing, breaking a world record is another and so, “from design to R&D, production and from engineering to marketing; setting the World Speed Record on Ice is now a joint effort of the entire 40-employee company, supported by sponsors and partners like Hedon helmets, Petrol Industries, Etteplan, Qt Group, NIRA Dynamics, Sigma, Jjuan brake systems and HERE Technologies”.
To get the bike ready to race a number of changes had to be made, and when you’re going fast in a straight line, there is no replacement for power! The hub-mounted motor puts out 21KW as standard, but it’s the 390NM of stump-pulling torque offered all the way through the rev range that really gets the heart pumping. With some tweaks to the electronics and a host of software changes, the power output is up to 30KW and torque is through the roof, with heat management already taken care of by the company’s proprietary technology.
Thanks to its ultra-lightweight of just 160kg in street legal trim, the RGNT doesn’t have to overcome the same mass as its other electric counterparts who are normally packing an extra 100kg. This meant the team could focus energy on aerodynamics without too much concern about the added few pounds. Designed and crafted in-house, the full front fairing maintains the classic lines of the production machine, while providing the protection needed for the bike and rider to punch through the air.
This will prove all-important at the upper end of the track as every mile per hour is a hard fought war against physics. Another of these obstacles to overcome is traction, with the ice offering no grip at all, a host of metal spikes have been screwed into the tyres to let them bite into the frozen surface. Here the factory design of a rear hub-mounted motor will greatly aid in planting the rubber to the road and the man with the job of piloting the copper wound wonder is Timmy Eriksson, who is an engineer at the company.
“Friends, family, and enthusiasts who like the idea of an action-packed race weekend on ice, are invited to join us. RGNT will host a team area where everyone is welcome for a chat, some fika, and a good look at the beautiful electric racer the team has built.” And for those in attendance and camping over the weekend, yes on ice, there is endless food, drink and live music to be enjoyed. The Swedes sure do embrace these harsh conditions with a joy and can do attitude, and stay glued to the comments section as we will bring you any word of Aurora’s success, as she looks to put her name up in those Northern lights.
UPDATE: On the weekend of 24/25 February 2023 the RGNT Aurora set the World Record on ice with an electric motorcycle. During the SMA Svenska Motorsport Alliansen sanctioned and licensed Speed Weekend in Årsunda, Sweden, RGNT-engineer Timmy Eriksson broke the current electric motorcycle speed record on ice (100.2 km/h).
RGNT now currently holds 3 official records for:
– Fastest electric motorcycle on ice (155.14 km/h)
– Fastest electric A1 motorcycle on ice (135.03 km/h)
– Fastest electric motorcycle production model on ice (114.3 km/h)