A team of students at the Netherlands-based University of Twente has unveiled the Delta-XE, an electric superbike that looks as good as any purpose-built race bike you’ll find on a Sunday grid.
The Delta-XE is a product of the university’s Electric Superbike Twente program. Comprised of students designing and building an electric race machine, the program’s stated goal is to “achieve MotoGP lap times with a fully electric superbike.” A new series of students takes over the program each year; the Delta-XE is the school’s fourth superbike iteration.
Electric Superbike Twente claims a power figure of 150 kilowatts (equal to around 200 horsepower). Energy comes from the custom, permanent-magnet AC motor and a 13.5 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack containing 576 cells. This setup is controlled by a Cascadia MotionPM150DZR controller.
The bike’s tubular steel chassis was designed by Dutch firm Bakker Framebouw and features a trellis design mated to a conventional double-sided swingarm. The front suspension duties are handled by an upside-down front fork from CeraCarbon Racing featuring an Öhlins cartridge setup with ceramic-reinforced carbon stanchions. An Öhlins TTX GP monoshock handles the work out back. Special HEL Performance monoblock calipers control the binders on Marchesini aluminum front and PVM magnesium rear rims. Total weight is a claimed 485 pounds.
The whole package is wrapped up nicely in a carbon-fiber fairing (from a Suter MMX 500 two-stroke racer) and a bold, tasteful graphic treatment. The bodywork does a great job of hiding the electric motor, which gives the Delta-XE its legit superbike vibe. From the high-end photography and up-close video released, it’s easy to see how much attention to detail was given to the Delta-XE. It’s a tight, tidy race bike.
While it appears the student-led prototype has yet to be tested in the real world, the team claims the following: a 300 km/h top speed, 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds, and 0-200 in nine seconds. Electric Superbike Twente’s plan is to enter its new superbike at events sanctioned by the Electric Road Racing Association.
The Delta-XE was displayed in public for the first time at the inaugural Dutch Innovation Days, just two days after its public online introduction. The next step is to get the prototype onto the track for testing in advance of entering into electric motorcycle competition. MotoGP lap times may be a lofty goal, but these students deserve an A+ for execution.