There's just no satisfying certain people's need for speed. While some might have been content with shattering the electric motorcycle land speed record (LSR) at a Southern California Timing Association (SCTA)-certified 206.079 miles per hour, Richard Hatfield and his Lightning Motorcycles team knew there was more top end in their SuperBike after their first successful attempt and were determined to reach it.
The triumphant result of their perseverance resets the high-speed bar at a lofty 215.960 mph. That's fast. Perhaps even fast enough to thwart the efforts of those making their own journeys to the Bonneville Salt Flats in search of LSR glory.
While we're certain the Lightning crew is enjoying said glory right now, racing and breaking records is about more than mere fame for them; it's about the future. That future involves selling the two-wheeled technology package they've been developing over the years and that future has finally arrived.
Lightning Motorcycles is now taking orders on its website for the SuperBike. With a base price set at $38,888, the company is ready to ship either of the two bikes it has on hand – the actual record setter that also saw action at the recent Laguna Seca TTXGP/e-Power race and the earlier Isle of Man TT Zero or a never-raced copy – or alternatively, in 90 days, deliver a machine with newly-designed bodywork that's fully customized to your specs. The Lightning SuperBike puts out between 160 to 180 horsepower, depending on the configuration, and is said to be capable of traveling over 100 miles at highway speed and has a combined city/highway EPA range of over 150 miles.
The single geared, Remy HVH250-powered drive train can be set up for heart-stopping acceleration or take you on your own visit to 200 mph. To get an idea what that latter journey might be like, hit the jump for video of Lightning rider Paul Thede blazing the salt-strewn double-ton trail as well as the official press release.
Production SuperBike Becomes First Electric Bike to Exceed 200 mph
LIGHTNING MOTORCYCLE SUPERBIKE San Carlos, CA - The Lightning Electric SuperBike
SAN CARLOS, Calif., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lightning Motorcycle has set a new land speed record by becoming the first electric motorcycle manufacturer to exceed 200 mph during the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week, Aug. 13-19, 2011.
The production Lightning Electric SuperBike achieved an average speed of 215.960 mph with a best speed of 218.637 mph – more than 40 miles-per-hour faster than the previous record of 173 mph, also held by Lightning Motorcycle. Lightning Motorcycle's record is recognized by the Southern California Timing Association/Bonneville Nationals Inc. (SCTA/BNI).
Driven by Paul Thede, principal of Race Tech and the developer of the Lightning SuperBike's suspension system, the SuperBike made a run of 214.209 mph, followed by a return run of 217.712 mph.
This new land speed record maintains the manufacturer's position as the fastest electric bike in the world in its class, and also makes the Lighting SuperBike the fastest production motorcycle available for sale in North America.
"Our team was confident and excited to participate at the Bonneville Salt Flats, which is the ultimate proving ground to validate the performance of our Lightning SuperBike," said Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning Motorcycle. "We not only succeeded in shattering our previous record, but we confirmed that electric motorcycles will be an important part of our industry's future."
The Lightning Electric SuperBike features a Remy HVH250™ electric propulsion motor, an Ener1 battery pack and additional enhancements. It is factory equipped with track mapping data acquisition. The SuperBike, which is equally suited to track days, weekend rides on your favorite back roads or record runs at Bonneville, has a usable freeway speed range of over 100 miles and a combined city/highway EPA range of over 150 miles.
Interested buyers can purchase the SuperBike by visiting www.lightningmotorcycle.com.
About Lighting Motorcycle
Lightning Motorcycle is dedicated to the belief that world class performance is compatible with clean tech transportation. The company believes that choosing to ride an electric motorcycle should not be a compromise, and the team has honed its understanding of vehicle development as lifetime racers, using competition to refine their technology. In addition to the SuperBike, Lightning Motorcycle is producing prototypes of electric commuter bikes, scooters and ATVs. For more information, visit www.lightningmotorcycle.com.