206.079 MPH! Lightning Motorcycles sets electric motorcycle land speed record at Bonneville

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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