Suddenly, we've got a competition on our hands. While it didn't seem likely that any other electric motorcycle manufacturers would even attempt to top Mission Motors' recent 150-plus mile per hour record run for a production-intent vehicle (the team hit 161 mph at one point) at the Bonneville Salt Flats, not only did Lightning Motorcycles make the trip, the company's machine
Lightning's prototype is powered by lithium ion batteries from A123, which send their electrons to a motor taken from a GM EV1 electric car. Riding the bike for most of its test runs was Aaron Frank from Motorcyclist Magazine, and you can read about the various attempts made by Frank here. The actual 166 mph mark was set by Paul Thede from Race Tech, who was otherwise running his own CBR600RR on the salt.
There's more speed to be had, it seems. Unfortunately, the original bodywork that Lightning Motorcycles had intended to use on the electric machine was ruled illegal during technical inspection, so the bike was run with the fairing from a Ducati 1098 instead. Ultimately, the team's goal is to break the 176 mph record held by Kent Riches in a fully-faired electric streamliner. We wish them the best!