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Debbie Lee and Pouyan Keshavarzian pose in the shop.
Michael Grondin/the Gauntlet

Engineers build a racing motorcycle

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For the past three years, a group of University of Calgary engineering students have spent their spare hours building electric motorcycles. They call themselves Team Zeus. For their latest bike, the Zephyr, they’re doing some fundraising to cover the final costs.

U of C students designed and built the Zephyr on their own. Before they can finish their work, Team Zeus needs $4,000 to buy four 1,000-watt batteries for the bike so they’re ready for the race track this summer.

“The goal is to have it assembled by the end of June,” said Debbie Lee, a co-ordinator with Team Zeus. “In the next few months, we’re going to be concentrating so we can bring it to race.”
After a few test runs, the team plans to race the Zephyr this summer. If all goes well, the bike will have a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour.

“The goal is to race the bike in a professional racing circuit,” said Pouyan Keshavarzian, one of the leaders on Team Zeus. “We’re in close contact with the president of the Calgary Motorcycle Racing Association to possibly test the bike once it’s done.”

The team has a Kickstarter campaign for anyone interested in donating.

A small group of engineering students formed Team Zeus in 2011. The team quickly expanded into a Students’ Union sanctioned club, which now has 30–40 active members from a number of faculties.

Before the Zephyr, Team Zeus built the Mule, which was more of a rough prototype used to hone the team’s skills. They built it with less than $1,000 and it can reach speeds of around 40 kilometres per hour.

Team Zeus has received funding from corporate sponsors and the U of C.

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