Fastest electric motorcycle tops 200 mph for world record

August 28, 2011 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org 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.

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: Spanish researchers build electric motorcycle prototype

More information: www.lightningmotorcycle.com/

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6 comments

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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.
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.

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