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Timing belt powers winning electric motorbike

23 April, 2011

A 240km/h electrically powered motorcycle that uses a timing belt to drive its rear wheel, was on show on Contitech’s stand at the recent Hannover Fair. The Münch TTE-1 bike, powered by a 90kW synchronous three-phase motor, has been dominating electric bike races in recent months.

Two high-performance belts link the 12,000 rpm motor to the rear wheel. “One is used for the primary transmission of the motor, with a power transmission ratio of 2:1; the other is in the final drive as secondary transmission,” explains the bike’s driver, Matthias Himmelmann. “Both can be adjusted to suit the racing track.”

The 36mm-wide Conti Synchrochain belts need to withstand more than 160 bending cycles per second as well as high operating speeds. “Chains can`t cope with conditions like this,” says Rolf Marwede, head of the ContiTech’s polyurethane belt business in its Power Transmission Group. “In test runs, the high temperature in the drive made them fail after just a few rounds.”

Depending on how it is used, the electric motorcycle has a range of up to 150 km, and an operating time of up to four hours. In 2010, it won two Grand Prix series for electric motorcycles.

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