Who says that lightning never strikes twice? The adage is a fallacy and so is the idea behind it. Amazing things can happen to anyone anywhere multiple times – if you are lucky or very, very good. Today we are talking about Lightning Motorcycles and their land speed record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. Their first day went very well by any measure – they set a new land speed record of 162 mph (260.71 km/h) for an electric-powered motorcycle. This placed them firmly in the record books of both the FIM and the AMA. They were not done, though…
The following day, 1 September 2010, rider Paul Thede again set the two records on fire and came in with a 166.3 mph (267 km/h) on the same machine. Of course, team boss Richard Hatfield was not satisfied with that; he knew there was more. So, he took their General Motors EV1 electric car-sourced motor to a dyno-equipped shop in nearby Salt Lake City and did some tuning.
Thede took to the salt the following day and faced an 11 mph headwind for his first run. That brought them a measured top speed of 170.97 mph. The return run had far better conditions – no wind – and the TTXGP-raced motorcycle pulled a 176 mph for a two-way average of 173 mph (278.42 km/h)! That’s the new world land speed record for electric motorcycles for both the FIM and the AMA.
The Lightning Motorcycles team will also continue their TTXGP competition by participating in the invitation-only finals in Albacete, Spain from 23 – 24 October. Keep your eyes here and we will keep you updated.