Fastest electric motorcycle tops 200 mph for world record

Aug 28, 2011 by Nancy Owano weblog
Fastest electric bike tops 200 mph for world record

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Lightning Motorcycles SuperBike recently set a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats as the world’s fastest electric bike, vrooming in at over 200 mph. Lightning Motorcycles set its newest speed coups at a record-breaking 215.960 mph with a best speed of 218.637 mph. Until this month's triumph, no electric motorcycle had ever topped a speed of 200 mph.

The speeds also signify how Motorcycles broke its own 2010 record of 173 mph. The bike has a Remy HVH250 electric propulsion motor, and an Ener1 battery pack. The pack provides mileage of over 100 miles on the freeway and a combined city/highway range of 150 miles. Lightning Motorcycles is taking orders on its website for the SuperBike, with a base price set at $38,888.

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The price is not likely to deflate the interests of serious electric bike enthusiasts who, to parrot the Lightning Motorcycles company motto, believe that choosing to ride an should not be a compromise. The company has focused on refining the technology of their electric bikes for best performance.

The company--the result of founder Richard Hatfield getting together with engineers who shared his belief that clean tech transportation can deliver high performance--continues to work out technical challenges. Its key goal is placing electronic motorcycle technology in parity with gas-powered motorcycles.

Lightning Motorcycles is especially happy with its choice of the Ener1 lithium-ion battery pack used in the record-breaking run.

The driver of the SuperBike was Paul Thede, the owner of Race Tech. Thede, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic University, is known as a motorcycle suspension guru. He developed the Lightning SuperBike's suspension system. For Thede, breaking the 200 mph mark on an electric motorcycle was special not just for the numbers, he said, but because it is a step toward "green" technology.

Explore further: Solar strategy needed to avoid electricity death spiral, according to report

More information: www.lightningmotorcycle.com/

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TheCyndicate
5 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2011
The 200MPH barrier is VERY hard for a motorcycle to break.

When I did it on my 1999 Turbo Suzuki Hayabusa, it felt amazing.

But even with all of the power that I had, it was still hard to break that barrier at first.

The fastest was 238MPH when I was done, but it humbled me.

I think these electric motorcycles might actually catch on.
It would be cheap and easy to get things done in a city, as long as it doesn't include loading things up.

This could really save a lot of money on gas and be great for close to home trips.

I would buy one if they make a good looking one.
Jmaximus
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
How about making one for under 10k. Doesn't need to break the sound barrier, just cheap clean transportation.
DavidHerron
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
Jmaximus: There are some electric motorcycles available under $10,000 that are "just cheap clean transportation". Both Zero and Brammo do so. Lightning is aiming for a different market, and is at a different scale of corporate development than Zero and Brammo. Both of them have several years in development as a manufacturing business, while most of Lightning's work has been on developing the technology in racing.

The thing that Lightning will be able to claim is they're selling the fastest production motorcycle, period. Not fastest production electric motorcycle, but fastest production motorcycle. They can replicate the exact motorcycle they raced.

But you're absolutely correct that ultimate speed isn't necessary for around town stuff.

I've done extensive news coverage on EV racing and Lightning Motors ... because this site doesn't let me post a direct link, search for "Green Transportation Examiner" (on examiner.com)
bland_rooker
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
"But you're absolutely correct that ultimate speed isn't necessary for around town stuff."

Nor is it necessary for range. I'd like a performance bike that has a range longer that 100 miles. That's 50 miles out and 50 miles back. A ride for me can be twice to three times that in one afternoon. The one thing that a petrol powered bike can do that this one can't is to be fueled up cheaply anywhere for (almost) infinite range with no down time for recharging.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
The thing that Lightning will be able to claim is they're selling the fastest production motorcycle, period. Not fastest production electric motorcycle, but fastest production motorcycle. They can replicate the exact motorcycle they raced.

It will be fun to watch when they start winning races with these bikes aginst the 'old' kind.
PPihkala
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
It will be fun to watch when they start winning races with these bikes aginst the 'old' kind.

With electrical motor the acceleration should be good, probably better. And being almost noiceless, these bikes are more suitable to be used in town, even at night.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2011
The drag coefficient of motorcycles makes them spectacularly inefficient at high speeds compared to cars.

Motorcycles are best confined to speeds below 50 Mph in terms of efficiency. At speeds of 40 Mph and up motorcycle type engines in an enclosed velomobile type exterior make much more sense both in terms of fuel economy, and safety.

Even when enclosed, the shell can be made to lean for cornering.

With a velomobile type enclosure, a small 150cc motorcycle engine should be able to easily get up to speeds of 100 Mph.

My understanding is that VW are bringing such a vehicle to the North American market soon, and already have such a machine on sale in Asia.

Cost for the Asian product is around $6,000, and provides 2 seats - one up - and a 30 litre trunk.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Aug 29, 2011
And being almost noiceless, these bikes are more suitable to be used in town, even at night.

Right until the number of kids that get mauled by elctric cars starts to rise because they can't hear them coming.

(I was in a quiet park last weekend, and an electric truck for collecting trash passed me by - didn't make a sound. I was *extremely* surprised how quiet it was)

I predict we'll get mandatory noise generators in electric cars that kick in below 50km/h.

Even when enclosed, the shell can be made to lean for cornering.

I like the carver
http://www.yikers...ver.html
If it were electric I'd buy it. This looks like sooo much fun.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2011
VW to unveil one-seat electric car
David Jolley
Automotive News -- August 22, 2011 - 6:21 am ET

FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen will unveil a one-seat experimental car with an electric powertrain next month as the carmaker works to cut emissions and develop future driving concepts.

The concept vehicle will be designed for limited journeys, VW spokeswoman Ruth Holling said today, confirming remarks by VW research chief Juergen Leohold to the Financial Times. The model will be presented Sept. 8 in Berlin.

Leohold declined to comment to the paper on the car's range or top speed ahead of its unveiling. He said the one-seater would be "even better" than the XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid unveiled in January, which uses 0.9 liters of fuel per 100km (313 UK mpg/ 261 U.S. mpg.)

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