• Aug 16th 2011 at 9:58AM
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Rider Paul Thede with Lightning Motorcycles bike in with APS-Ω LSR configuration

Lightning Motorcycles has just demolished the electric motorcycle land speed record (LSR) with a set of Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) certified runs averaging 206.079 miles per hour. Wearing a purpose-built streamlining tuxedo that puts it in the APS-Ω class (special chassis, partially streamlined, electric), the bike backed up a 205.238 mile-per-hour excursion made on Saturday with a Sunday morning outing of 206.981 mph. It might have been even faster. Rider Paul Thede had hit 208.38 mph at the 2.25 mile mark but slowed slightly as the machine passed through the 3rd mile.

We knew this 2011 build by Lightning Motorcycles was fast. This is the same bike that Michael Barnes rode at the recent TTXGP/FIM e-Power race at Laguna Seca, and while the team had to settle for the low step on the podium at that event, they actually achieved a faster maximum speed than any of the other entries. We also knew the team behind it was capable, having set the FIM LSR last year at 173.388 mph with the original "flying banana."

The new accomplishment puts a serious shine on the company and the components used, and we look forward to seeing how they translate their victories into product. While the likes of Chip Yates and Kent Riches, builder of the formerly fastest electric motorcycle, will also attempt to make the land speed record books this year, their successes can never rob Richard Hatfield's Lightning Motorcycles of the recognition of being the first to break the 200 mph mark. A heart-felt congratulations to them.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Congratulations to them, I hope they enjoy their record because its only going to last a day or so. Kents bike is running at full power now on a fresh battery pack. His previous record setting run was limited by a motor controller glitch that only allowed for 34% throttle.
      • 8 Months Ago
      They made it up to 217 miles/hr today, with a 215.96 average over yesterday's and todays runs. See: http://www.examiner.com/green-transportation-in-national/lightning-strikes-again-with-214-mph-electric-motorcycle-record-at-bonneville
      John R
      • 8 Months Ago
      Before anyone tries to put a big fairing on their bike, let me point out that this was purely designed for record-breaking in a very specific environment. In regular driving, such a large fairing will react dangerously in side-winds. (Don't believe me? Google it and find out for yourself.) That said, this was a tremendous accomplishment! I'm very happy for their success in setting a very fast new record, and their part in helping to advance electric motorcycle technology.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Amazing how fast EV technology is advancing... now if we could just get capacitors up to speed power output could be almost limitless! By that time Ferrari (hybrids?) will be considered slow and outdated...
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ducati Desmosedici goes up to around 350 kph or 220 mph, so with nearly 210 mph electric motorcycles we're not that far away from other Prototype Class motorcycles.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Cool. It is nice to see these electric racing pioneers continually breaking records. The technology continues to get better & better.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I love seeing how they are getting such speeds out of electric bikes. Anyone that will ride a 2 wheeler at 200 mph has some real big,,,,well,,,,balls. I have had a bike up to 120 mph and that was plenty fast.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I heard from friends at Bonneville Speed Week that the Lightning bike went 216 mph today. I don't think they are finished yet. We will have to wait until the final day.
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