Searching for the holeshot | Creators of WMC250EV land speed record challenger seek backing

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Back in the summer of 2021, a Northamptonshire-based team of engineers whipped the covers off a new electric land speed record competitor called the WMC250EV, aiming to revolutionise the way we think about aerodynamic motorcycle design. 

Penned and built by White Motorcycle Concepts, the electric bike was the first project for the fledgling UK firm and stood out from the crowd thanks to the huge hole running through the entire motorcycle, known as a V-Duct. 

Early computer and full-sized wind tunnel tests confirm the bike’s drag to be around 70% lower than a Suzuki Hayabusa – with the carbon fibre duct allowing air to flow through the machine rather than just round it, as well as providing more front tyre load at speed.

WMC250EV on the runway in testing

Less extreme applications of the V-Duct have already been put into production by the firm in a series
of hybrid three wheelers, based around the Yamaha Tricity 300.

Since those early days the WMC250EV has been seen at countless shows, and even tackled the 1.16-mile hill climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. However, it is yet to challenge for a planned land speed record in the ‘sub-300kg partially streamlined electric’ category. 

This accolade currently sits with the Voxan Wattman, which achieved 283.182mph in November 2021 in the hands of double World Superbike and four-time 250 Grand Prix world champion, Max Biaggi. It was powered by the same Mercedes-built electric motor as the one used by the Venturi Racing Team in the Formula E world championship series.

WMC250EV's designer Rob White with Guy Martin

“We’ve tested it aerodynamically up to 200mph on an interim powertrain in the UK on runways and also in the wind tunnel at MIRA Technology Park,” company founder and CEO Robert White said. 

“We’ve got good correlation between the CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and the wind tunnel data and the bike’s behaving well up to 200mph with around about 95-100kW (around 134bhp) of power that we’ve got available.”

That ‘interim powertrain’ consists of a two-wheel drive set-up with two 20kW motors in the front and two 30kW motors in the rear. The plan now is to go much further, with more power, which is why more support is required. 

WMC250EV being examined by Guy Martin

“We need to move over to high voltage, so 800-900 volts, up to 250kW (around 335bhp) of power output,” he continued. “Therefore, you need a package of safety around that, which requires constant communication, similar to that which you would have in F1. 

“With that comes a bespoke battery from a bespoke battery manufacturer – there’s probably four or five of those in the UK.

“We’re after a massive discharge rate to get as much energy to the wheels as possible within the weight limit, and that’s all very expensive,” White said. “We need some investment, but not just for the battery. I’ve got experience in running high performance vehicles in their extreme both at Le Mans and in Formula One and it needs an R&D supporting package that goes with the potential of the bike. 

WMC250EV ridden by creator Rob White

“It needs data engineers to be following every single step of the way as we move up through the speed ranges to make sure that we don’t have a catastrophic accident.”

Despite the challenges, the WMC team remain positive, with the boss adding: “If we can get the power, it should do well over 250mph and it could challenge for a world record, which would be phenomenal.”