The motor brake of an electric motorcycle is completely different from that of a traditional motorcycle. On an electric motorcycle this function is electronically regulated and can be set according to the rider's riding style. The same bike can therefore be adapted to a rider who wants a lot of motor braking and to another who wants an almost 2-stroke bike.
We asked Matteo Ferrari, the first winner of the MotoE World Cup, to explain how he uses the MotoE motor brake on track.
"With the MotoE, the motor brake is very progressive because there is no gearbox and it is essential to use it properly to brake hard. Last year, with the bigger tyre, the rear was able to slide more than in the first year under hard braking. But this meant that when the rear tyre started to slide, your mind reacts as it would with a conventional motorbike, where the sliding gradually decreases and allows you to ride the bike into the corner. With the MotoE, the motor brake is progressive and increases more and more during braking, so when the rear tyre starts to slide, you expect it to come back in, but the more the bike slows down, the more the motor brake increases and the more the rear tyre slides."
“That was the problem I had in the race in Jerez when I crashed at turn six. In that incident, the mistake was braking too hard, it’s strange saying it, and when the rear tyre started to slide, I could no longer recover it. If I had been able to keep the bike straight, the motor brake would have helped me but having started sliding sideways, the bike never recovered.
There is a countermeasure, but it isn't easy to put it into practice, and you have to be quick. Since there is no clutch as on normal bikes, the only thing you can do is turn the throttle. So while you're squeezing the brake lever with two fingers, you have to turn your wrist just enough to give a few throttle to speed up the rear tyre and make it stop slipping. This technique saved me from going wide or having a high-side when braking many times. Of course, it is not automatic because we all come from other categories where you use the clutch in similar cases. With these electric bikes, while you are hard braking trying to overtake another rider, you have to think about accelerating to keep the bike straight; it's no picnic!"
The details of the motor brake of the MotoE
To be updated on MotoE World Cup, subscribe to Epaddock's Whatsapp broadcast and receive all our news on your mobile phone in real time: find out how here.