Roads: Guy Martin makes Mugen debut in Japan

Published: 19 April 2017

John McGuinness and Guy Martin had their first rides on the Mugen Shindens they will ride in this year’s Zero TT race at the Isle of Man TT in Japan last week. 

The duo, who are also team-mates in the Honda Racing squad, completed a full day of testing at Sodegaura Forest Raceway in Japan on th Mugen machines.

23 times TT winner McGuinness has two electric bike TT wins to his credit in 2014 and ’15. Martin has only ridden an electric bike once after taking over the Victory machine in 2015 when William Dunlop was injured in practice.

McGuinness was still suffering from the effects of dislocating his left thumb during a shakedown outing on the new Honda Fireblade  superbike at Castle Combe last week. That left Martin to carry out the lion’s share of the riding on the first of three days of testing of the new Shinden 6.

“It is very smooth to ride.” Martin said after his maiden Mugen outing.

“I wasn’t expecting anything with the Mugen but I knew it would be heavy and it is. There is a lot of weight to get stopped, a quarter of a ton, and this circuit is very stop/start.”

When asked as to how well he was able to communicate with his Japanese team the fast talking Lincolnshireman said.

“We have a good translator.“

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“Everything at Mugen seems to be run with military precision and everyone knows what they are doing. When they ask me what I think and I tell them what needs changing they do it.”

“I like the new seat height and the new aerodynamics.” McGuinness explained after completing several afternoon sessions. His test had been delayed until a new and bigger was found to suit his injured hand.

 “Because the bike is more narrow it feels lighter and the new motor feels strong.”

In addition to the new motor the bike is slightly lighter, has four pot instead of six pot front brake calipers, enjoys new battery technology and runs more software that automates the motor.

For the full story on Guy's first Mugen test and how he became the first rider to crash the exotic electric machine, pick up today's MCN

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