Lightning Motorcycles is still on the salt flats at Bonneville, looking for the ultimate in speed on an electric motorcycle. After already on Sunday setting the fastest speed recorded for any electric motorcycle, the Lightning crew set back to work on crushing its own 206.079 mph land speed record. Posting a 214.209 mph speed yesterday, Paul Thede had to once again back up the team’s accomplishment with another wicked fast run today, in order to get into the record books. Battling gusty cross-breezes, Thede put in an astonishing palindromic 217.712 mph time to set another LSR for Lightning, which officially comes in at 215.907 mph in the APS-Ω class.

Talking to Lightning CEO Richard Hatfield on the phone this afternoon, the team is ecstatic about its accomplishment, but is eager to break 220mph before leaving Utah. Though the salt conditions have been favorable, Hatfield explained that Thede got knocked around pretty good during today’s run; and under better conditions, the 200 MPH Club member could make a serious bid on 220’s door.

“The reception on the salt at Bonneville has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Hatfield. “We’ve just has some really great support from some really fast guys,” he continued, and was quick to point out the exceptional help from Jim Hoogerhyde, a fellow San Franciscan and 200+ mph two-wheeled salt flat goer.

Lightning has until Friday’s conclusion of the SCTA’s Speedweek to break the 220 mph barrier. As usual, we’ll be the first to let you know if/when the team reaches that mark.

Source: Lightning Motorcycles

  • Yay, Lightning! Really happy for you guys and– WTF… that’s one gnarly finger in that photo. :D

  • Now those are the fingers of a real man building 200+ MPH motorcycles. Props. No mani-pedi BS going on in the Lightning camp.

  • vid…

  • Those cheaters! You can hear their ICE motor power assist!

  • Is Lightning going to come back for BUB week and make it official?

    Chip Yates said on twitter:
    “To set an Official FIM World Record for Land Speed, BUB Speed Trials is the way, and it looks like I’m the only eBike!”

  • What’s official? An SCTA record? An AMA record? An FIM record?

    Each club’s certification of a land speed record is a little different. I can find strengths and weakness in each one.

    Chip is right though, to set an FIM record, you need to go to BUB.

  • Mickey

    Poor Jim Hoogerhyde. Both of his bikes had issues early on. I’m glad he found something to keep him interested out there on the salt. Breaking 220mph is no joke.
    On a side note: Speed trials is a place where the E-bikes might have an advantage. Something that amazed me as I learned (learning) about going fast in a straight line is how heavy the bikes are. They fill the swingarms with lead shot, and add lead bricks for both traction and stability. So having a bunch of batteries to power an monster electric motor is not a hindrance like it would be on a road race bike.
    You can place the batteries in strategic places to help where you need it.

  • @Jensen, personally i’m not too worried about who records the record.

    @Mickey great insight, thanks.

  • No issues with altitude too Mickey. 4,200 ft. sucks a bit of power from an ICE bike.

  • elmotomadman

    Where is Chip Yates at TTXGP, FIM e-Power or Isle of Man. SCTA is a real record. The FIM is not the only game in town. I hope Lightning goes to BUB to answer the critics and set the FIM record too. If Chip Yates does 200 at BUB not 216 does that mean his bike is the only officail 200 mph bike and Lightning times do not count?

  • elmotomadman

    The SCTA has been running since 1949 and BUB 8 years.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Wow…216mph (more or less). Good job Lightning!

    I am interested to see what Chip Yates ends up doing. Whether he goes faster or not is not important to me. Just to see two big name electrics battling it out for top honors in the 200mph+ club is pretty sweet.

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  • Tom

    Impressive speed – there is no doubt. But for electric bikes to really make an impact and be taken seriously, go 216 miles between recharges with recharges taking less than 10 minutes. I understand the need to do something to market yourself, but I do hope that the behind-the-scenes focus is on this crucial area that will make the electric bike a player in the market or just an afterthought for the rich looking for a toy.

  • “But for electric bikes to really make an impact and be taken seriously, go 216 miles between recharges with recharges taking less than 10 minutes”

    @Tom Electric bikes are already being taken seriously. Lots of money and time is going into them.

    If electric could do 216 miles and recharge in 10 minutes, yeah, customers would adopt them in mass in the US and everyone mfr would drop everything to build them. However, the current thought is an electric motorcycle manufacturer can survive today on a subset of riders who feel 30 to 100 miles is enough range and $7000 to $12000 is a reasonable price range (minus incentives). And these eMFR’s can sell bikes to China and other countries that already use millions electric bikes for transportation. They are making an impact and being taken seriously. The impact is just not as large in the USA yet.

  • Stellar site. Tons of very helpful information here. I’m posting it to a few friends!

  • GoinFast

    Good job Paul Thede and Lightning Electric Bikes. Lets give credit where credit is due. They are the First to break 200+mph on an Electric bike with a pass of 217+mph. So Chip we all anxiously await for you joining the club too, but don’t knock anyone’s accomplishment. He has you covered by 25mph. Good luck at BUB.