The competitors for the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb have just concluded a two-day tire test at the Colorado road course, and it should perhaps come as no surprise that our boy Carlin Dunne has posted the outright fastest lap for a motorcycle during the tire test (the Santa Barbara native set the outright two-wheeled course record last year on his Ducati Multistrada 1200 S).
What is surprising about Carlin’s result at the tire test is that he was on the Lightning Motorcycles electric superbike. That’s right, the fastest bike so far for 2013’s Race to the Clouds is a 200+ hp electric superbike that is refueled with solar energy. Petrol heads, eat your heart out.
Taking the course in parts, as is the race’s way, the motorcycles started on the bottom section on Saturday, and were on the upper section on Sunday. On the very fast and open lower course, Carlin unsurprisingly set the top time, with an impressive 4:34.03 section time (14 seconds quicker than Greg Chicoine’s 450cc supermoto).
On the tighter and slower upper section, Carlin continued his pace with the heavy “Flying Banana” from Lightning, with a 5:04.40 sector time — 3 seconds quicker than his nearest fellow two-wheeled competitor (Chicoine, again).
If those two sector times were combined to make a complete run up Pikes Peak, Carlin would have a 9:38.43 on his hands — in other words, he would be breaking his own record, set on a gas bike, by 14 seconds on his electric bike (an imperfect comparison, I admit).
However, I have been saying it for a long time now, so maybe electric motorcycle OEMs will finally take note, but the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a ripe event for electrics to outshine their ICE counterparts.
We’ll be cheering on Carlin, and the rest of the competitors, in person in only a couple weeks time. Keep an eye out for our coverage on A&R.
Source: PPIHC & Lightning Motorcycles; Photo: Lightning Motorcycles