There’s a new race series in town … errrr, in town and countryside. And, one of the most powerful electric racing teams in the world is joining the FIM’s E-Xplorer World Cup race series. Mugen just announced it will campaign the series in 2022.
It’s big news, because Mugen saw a lot of success in its previous attempts at the Isle of Man TT. Mugen won the 2014-2019 alternative-energy TT Zero racing series; usually, Mugen captured both first and second in the event.
The industry scuttlebutt said part of the reason for Mugen’s success was help from Honda. Supposedly, Honda was partnered with Mugen, and the Shinden race bike was really developed by Big Red, with Mugen simply serving as a front.
Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t, but Mugen certainly has close ties to Honda, and that makes its participation in the FIM’s E-Xplorer World Cup race all the more intriguing. Mugen will likely be campaigning a machine based on the E.Rex electric bike it showed off on the Japanese show circuit in early 2017, which certainly looked like a Honda dirt bike.
FIM E-Xplorer World Cup
That’s because the new FIM series is kind-of a dirt bike series. Kind of.
You can see a promo video for the FIM E-Xplorer World Cup above. The footage is all dirt bike action, with classy breaks for wine and cheese. Hrm. Not exactly your standard moto racing experience, then. The video’s description says “the series fuses action-packed racing, technical innovation, sustainability and exploration, and will see 10 teams and 20 rider – one male and one female – compete in five global events spanning a mix of urban and natural outdoor locations.” So, there will likely be supermoto-style riding on paved sections as well.
All very cool, and frankly, this is probably a big part of the future of motorcycle competition. The times, they are a-changin’, and gasoline is out of style.