UPDATE 2: Richard Hatfield, owner of Lightning Motors, sent this in a text message from Bonneville: “We ran 176.044 as our best speed. The average down and return FIM and AMA speed record was 173.388 mph.”
UPDATE: Just got this in an email from Michael Czysz: “we ran 163 — however they just did 174/175.”
On the salt flats of Bonneville, two electric motorcycle teams are battling for the bragging right to be called “Fastest Production Electric Motorcycle in the World”. TTXGP North America winner Lightning Motors and FIM e-Power and TT Zero Winner MotoCzysz are at the BUB Speed Trials, and from the reports we’ve gotten, the two teams have been trading land speed records all weekend. The latest news we have is that Lightning Motors has clocked the latest LSR with 173mph on the salt flats, breaking the 150 mph record set by Mission Motors at BUB last year, but there’s still time today for that record to again drop.
Information coming out of Bonneville is hard to come by, but we do know that Lightning Motors has run successively quicker sessions with a 162 mph, 166 mph, and now an official 176+ mph run, which would be an AMA and FIM land speed record. Hoping to up their game further, Lightning was in Salt Lake City last night on dyno, and is running a new battery pack today that has 10% more horsepower than the one that ran the 176 mph pass, so another LSR is likely going to be achieved by the end of the BUB Speed Trials (today).
Details from MotoCzysz have been harder to find, but we hope Michael Czysz will drop us a line when the day is over with his results. So far we know that Czysz has a 161+ mph record run on the books, with other passes in the high 150′s and low 160′s. From what reportes we’ve gotten, the MotoCzysz team hasn’t been making the strides that Lightning has been making, but it only takes one pass for that all to change.
For those not familiar with the etiquette of the salt, slower teams run before faster teams, so both can potentially be land speed record holders, even if the title is only for a couple of minutes. Also because of the slippery nature of the salt, Bonneville speeds are traditionally about 10% slower than compared to speeds on asphalt, meaning these electric bikes are flirting with 200 mph potential track speeds. More news as we get it.