It wasn’t the outright course record that we had hoped for, but Carlin Dunne set a superb 10’00.694 time up the mountain on his Lightning Motorcycles electric superbike, besting the top gas-bike time of the day, a 10’21.323 that was set by Bruno Langlois on his 1205cc class Ducati Multistrada 1200 S.

Setting the fastest time ever for an electric motorcycle up Pikes Peak, Dunne likely would have broken his own outright record had the PPIHC race course not been extremely green after two days of intermittent downpours.

Describing the course as having very little traction, compared to the earlier practice days, Dunne cited at least a dozen spots where he could have improved upon his time, but also acknowledged that one of those twelve areas likely would have been his stopping point for the day, as was the case for a bevy of other competitors.

The first major motorsport event to see an electric motorcycle out perform its gas counterparts, the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will surely be remembered as a turning-point for the historic race, and also for motorsport in general.

We suspect it won’t be long before electrics dominate both the car and motorcycle ranks at the Race to the Cloud, and hold the outright record in each field (though, Sebastian Loeb’s 8’13.878 may take a while to crack). You can count on seeing more electric motorcycle brands in the coming years.

Asphalt & Rubber wants to send a shout out up the mountain to our boy Carlin for another 10/10ths ride to the summit of Pikes Peak, and we tip our hat to Richard Hatfield and the Lightning Motorcycles crew, for they truly are the Top Bananas at the Mountain today.

A&R also offers our best thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery to the plethora of riders who went off the race course today. Many of them got back up and finished their race, which is an astounding feat in its own right, however several racers had to be medically transported down the mountain.

Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Bill

    Meh. Most experienced rider on the course wins. Not shocked by this at all frankly. I don’t know that anyone has questioned the speed of an electric, it is always the range. Look at the TT, they could go much faster than they do but the batteries won’t last, here it is a much easier range to meet so again not surprising. Good for Carlin and Lightning.

  • pooch

    Geez, some people are hard to impress. See above ^^

    This is a milestone in the sport, and a fantastic ride, and a turning point in making others raise their eyebrows and take notice of alternative means of propulsion. To think it’s just about winning the race and besting the petrol powered machines is shortsighted, it’s about much more than that.

    Congrats to all concerned who brought about this historic acheivement !

  • Summons88

    If electric has an edge in a hill climb – use it – it is a race and winning is what counts – it had enough range to get to the finish line and win the class. Congratulations to Carlin and Lightning.

  • I’m ambivalent* about most EV claims, but even I have to admit that this result will deserve at least an asterisk in the record books, as yes, E-bikes flat our beat ICE-powered ones.

    Note that the ICE bikes eligible under PPIHC rules are almost certainly not the fastest ICE solutions; an unlimited motorcycle class would be significantly quicker than, say, Ducati Multistradas — but with or without that note, congrats are in order.

    Until range issues are sorted, EV racers will continue to cherry pick events like Pikes Peak, lasting only a few minutes. Hmm… anyone game for an outright land-speed record? EVs are ideally suited to Bonneville, too, where low air density bedevils ICE tuners. And you could count on sunlight for your solar chargers…

  • Mark, there were two Honda CBR1000RR’s and two Yamaha YZF-R1’s in the field as well. Check the Powersports Exhibition entry list. Holden’s ZXR was no slouch either.

  • Dave

    Range? There are EVs that go for thousands of miles without recharge people! An the batteries are still improving.

  • Slangbuster

    Very, Very, impressive.

  • Nick

    @Dave: Thousands of miles? What battery powered vehicle can get thousands of miles from a charge?

  • Very nice indeed.

    Worth noting that both Carlin Dunne and Greg Tracy set 9:5x laptimes last year on the Multistrada 1200. So while Mr. Dunne won the race this year, he didn’t quite eclipse his record set last year. He set all-time course records in the practice and qualifying sections on the Lightning bike, wonder why the overall laptime was slightly slower?

    @Mark: I imagine we’ll see an unlimited class open up for motorcycles in a couple of years. I don’t know why there are no turbocharged classes for motorcycles .. but the gauntlet has clearly been thrown down.

  • TexusTim

    electric bikes just need more time to be accepted, there “whats next”. As charging solutions and battery life gets better it will be the answer to fossil fuel…wonder if and when the battery pack will get small enough to carry an extra one for longer rides? or maybe on board switch over and charging system,..couldnt there be a mode where wheel spin could recharge the spare unit then switch back and forth ? may make the bike slow during recharge mode but would basicaly make it run forever…hell at night you could put it on its centerstand and recharge it and your phone while your resting up.the thing with the electric bike platform is it has endless possibilitys with everything else electricly driven…even small a camplight.

  • sideswipeasaurus

    A little over a hundred years ago we might have been having a similar conversation (in person of course) where horseless carriages start beating horses and riders. I can imagine the horse guys saying some big, heavy, chugging, relatively slow contraption cannot compare to a well bred horse and rider for speed or distance. The ICE horse is now meeting the electric carriage.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    “Hi Hon it’s me. I pulled into the station to charge the bike. Be home in 8-10 hours.”..but beside that issue what is the end game with electric vehicles?

    Electric bikes actually do run on fossil fuels–where did that electricity come from? “That’s simple. The electricity came from the cord I plugged into the wall. Duh”

    Electric vehicles are proof there’s no free lunch. They use fossil fuels if coal is generating that town’s electricity. cough cough we don’t like coal! Ok, try nuclear?–we don’t like that stuff, too dangerous. Hydropower?–nope, anadromous fish impacts too great. Wind?–the native peoples aren’t keen on the sacred windy hillsides covered in windmills. Ok, ummm….

    I suppose the question is–does an electric bike more efficiently use fossil fuels (assuming the town gets its power from coal) than the traditional gas powered bike? I’d say no. Potentially. I would think if push came to shove manufactures could bring us gas powered bikes with exceptional gas mileage and tip the scales in the favor of internal combustion.

  • chf

    Looks like we have another oil shill trolling the boards. Chaz the numbers are readily available on the interwebs, if you choose not to look or refuse to believe them, that is your problem, but don’t trot out FUD as facts. Fact is the exact same fossil fuel used to generate electrity for an EV is over twice as efficient as burning it in a small gas engine. Yes, a 5-liter V8 is tiny compared to a power plant.

    But that argument is a distraction. The real beauty is that EVs can be powered by ANY fuel source, whether coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, solar or wind. Every year the percentage of power generated by coal plants decreases. A decade ago it was well over 50%. Now it’s down to almost 40%. That also means 60% of electricity is NOT generated by coal. Try that with an ICE.

    It’s MUCH easier to clean up a power plant than to try to fix the millions of beaters leaking oil and getting a fraction of the efficiency of new cars.

  • mxs

    When the EV’s can be usefully charged by any source readily available to public, then it will be interesting for the public. Why do the electric fans get all upset when people question the viable use of electric, today! … not in 5, 10 or 20 years …

    Am I shocked that special and very expensive electric bike beat gas bikes in a very special one particular race? Nope, I am not. That’s where you would expect them to excel. If they could not excel there what else could they really offer right now? Nothing, right?

    So lets stop mixing up this with me buying a new bike tomorrow kind of needs …

  • Jake

    I’d be willing to wager that some of these folks that are questioning the real world relevance of electric race bikes are the same folks that hold up MotoGP and WSBK results to validate their choice of street bike.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    @chf, its a hot button topic. I’m not in favor of fossil fuels or against it.

    EV’s can be powered by any of the energy sources you mention (that I mentioned). That’s my point. Electricity must come from somewhere and there will always be a cost involved. Ultimately, and this is where I may agree with the whole EV idea, is the cost to our resources (and our environment) going to be less with EVs? Ultimately? probably yes…(between now and 50 years from now? probably not).

    But make no mistake, where our electricity comes from is not a distraction it is a reality.

    If EVs are twice as efficient as internal combustion that’s news to me–that’s not a shot at you, I honestly haven’t heard that. Right, wrong, or indifferent I think the most practicable solution at this point is hybrid technology or more efficient internal combustion.

    And don’t be so certain our country even wants to break the addiction to fossil fuels (bad news for EVs). The Feds poured billions into a stimulus package aimed at rebuilding our nation’s roadways/infrastructure. A vote of real confidence in breaking our addiction to fossil fuels would have been to pour money into getting people off our roads, not on them, by investing in mass transit projects.–California high speed rail (which has seen govt money, not enough if you ask me, comes to mind).

    …and coal might be on the decline here, but where do you think China will be getting their coal from? good ole USA.

  • @TexusTim: Because you lose energy every time you convert it, you can only recover maybe 50-60% of the energy used to accelerate from a stop, best case scenario. All of the energy used to push the bike through the air is lost for good, which is the majority of the energy used by the bike. In city riding, regenerative braking can extend range by perhaps 10% .. in higher speed sporty riding, it’s maybe 2-4%.

    If you have another way to turn the wheel – for example, towing the bike behind a gas vehicle or pulling it up on a center stand and turning the wheel with some type of roller – then the bike would be able to regenerate energy into the battery pack. But you’re not getting free energy here either, the gas vehicle or a gas engine w/ roller is burning gas.

    @Chaz: the end game for EVs is a 10-20 minute “fast” charge (typically to 70-80%). Tesla’s supercharger network is a good (but perhaps not ultimate) example. #1 problem is keeping the batteries from cooking .. we’re not there yet with energy-dense batteries.

    Usage scenario 1: say you have an EV bike with 150 miles of highway range (double current battery pack size). Your daily commute is 60 miles. You charge at home overnight. Total time to charge: 10s to plug and unplug each day.

    Usage scenario 2: you take off from work and go riding. Since your workplace has EV plugs, you start with a full charge. After riding hard for 90 minutes (woops, down to 10%) you pull in to your favorite diner, plug in and grab a burger and fries. The diner only has the “slow” J1772 AC plugs, so you pick up 30 miles in a half hour and head home. Not enough range? You’ll be stuck waiting.

    Usage scenario 3: you head off along a major highway with fast charger installations for your destination 300 miles away. You ride for 120 miles, down to 10% (75-80 mph) .. plug in for 10 minutes, back up to 80%. Ride another 100 miles, down to 10% again. Plug in for 10 minutes, back up to 80%. Ride another 80 miles to your destination.

    Usage scenario 4: you want to go run into the woods on a motocamping trip after work. You ride home, grab your gas bike and take off.

    There’s no free lunch with energy production, but the lunch is costs a little less even if you’re eating at Burger King. Even in coal-heavy Alabama, my Zero electric motorcycle produces the same CO2 output as a 90 mpg gas scooter. The PPIHC-conquering Lightning bike? It’s gotta be worse, right? Wrong .. it’s probably closer to a 100 mpg scooter (due to better aerodynamics) .. compare to the 30-40 mpg Multistrada 1200S. Don’t care about CO2? Motorcycles without catalytic converters are pretty damn dirty.

    Converting the grid to renewables is the ultimate goal. Renewable grids need EVs, and EVs need renewable grids.

    @chf: not quite. I consider my Zero to be roughly equivalent in performance and capabilities to a 250cc supermoto type bike .. figure about 60 mpg. If I burn 1 gallon gas in a generator and use it to charge the Zero (~6 kWh elec), then it would get 40-50 miles of range. Do the same thing for the Lightning and you’re probably looking at 45-55 miles from 1 gallon of gas.. a little better.

    Coal recently has been declining not just because of slow increases in renewables but also cheap natural gas. Mining natural gas is not without its own issues, but it is relatively clean to burn (CO2). But yes, point taken .. you can build a true off-the-grid cabin and power it with hydro microturbines, solar and wind.

  • chf

    @protomech & @Chaz

    I’ve crunched the numbers and done the research. What you’re missing in your figures is that power plants extract much more usable energy out of a fuel than a car’s ICE. A CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) can reach almost 60% efficiency because it harvests the waste heat. A car’s ICE throws away 80% of the energy in heat. of the remaining 20%, only about 12% actually reaches the wheels due to transmission losses and other mechanical losses (pumps, belts, etc). That’s for a brand new car in tip-top shape. An average used car would easily fall below 10% efficiency. Accounting for electrical transmission losses and charging losses, EVs are still easily over twice as efficient as ICEs. It’s not hard when an ICE is 12% efficient at best.

    The arguments that Chaz and others make equate to: We can’t solve the world’s problems all at once so what’s the point in trying? Real change takes time and is incremental. It may seem like sudden jumps at times, but the true change happens one step at a time.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels


    I’m observing what we are learning about EVs, hybrids and internal combustion engines.
    Why? Interesting ideas are happening on all fronts. This isn’t a “if you like the Stones you must hate the Beatles” debate. I’m not for or against one or the other.

    I’d like to understand your take on the USA selling coal to China and how it solves the world’s problems. Our country does not obey a policy of trying to “solve the world’s problems.” The USA wants for a more prosperous USA. Any other policy would be madness. Thus, our energy issues are complicated. Anyway, it is not our burden to solve the world’s problems.

    Finally, and to the heart of the EV bike debate: I will buy one when it makes sense to do so based on my needs as a consumer–and it isn’t my need or my duty to save the world. And that is the barrier the EV manufacturers are trying to break through.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    protomech scenario 1 or 2, provided there’s an adequate charging grid, and a EV bike that costs about as much as current gasoline powered bikes–and I (and the rest of the sane world) would buy one.

  • chf

    @Chaz – yes of course the power grid is complicated and formulating any single number is overly simplistic. But you’re not really agnostic on EVs. You’re finding any excuse to pooh-pooh the advances that show their time has come. Sit back and enjoy your eternally rising gas prices. No one is forcing you to buy an EV.

    The solution of selling coal to China is simple right? Stop selling coal to China :P

  • Combined cycle natural gas plants are really very good, but they’re the exception not the rule in installed plants. Yes, a CC plant charging an EV will have better overall thermal efficiency than ICE.

    Since we’re talking about burning the same fuel in a bike ICE, I assume we’re talking about petrol (gas in the US). An easy counterexample is burning the petrol in a small generator, for example Honda EU2000i, and using the generated AC energy to charge the bike. EU2000i runs for 4 hours @ rated load (1.6 kW) on 0.95 gallons of gas, or 6.7 kWh electrical AC energy per gallon.

    Over 10k miles I’ve averaged approximately 125 Wh electrical AC energy per mile on my Zero bike .. so a charger that could pull @ rated load from the Honda generator would charge around 53 miles per gallon of gas burned. (in practice the stock charger is about 900W, 56% load .. so figure probably 40 miles per gallon of gas burned)

  • Short circuit

    (though, Sebastian Loeb’s 8’13.878 may take a while to crack). never by an EV.

    Loeb’s car has 875+ hp & weighs <2000lbs & because of its turbocharging had lost little of it at the top. Add the fact that he is a 9X World rally champion, so that even in the virtually impossible event that your mythical record beating EV comes could be built (from as yet uninvented technology)….

    the guy driving it will be 30 seconds slower with equal equipment.

  • grande fromage

    “the guy driving it will be 30 seconds slower with equal equipment.”

    So get Sebastian Loeb to drive the EV then…

  • “ never by an EV”

    “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”

  • chf

    Even an old fashioned single-cycle steam power plant is over 30% efficient. Transmission losses are ~6-7% (of that 30%) which works out to about 28% efficiency. That’s still far and away better than an ICE car or generator that has less than 15% efficiency.

    Really though the great thing about EVs that even the highest-paid oil shills have to admit is that energy can be sourced from just about any fuel. Under normal circumstances, charge from the grid. In an emergency situation, charge from a gas generator, or solar panels, or small wind turbine, or banana peels. ICEs are at the mercy of a single source of fuel. Any disruption in that supply chain makes the car virtually useless. We’ve been in a stable supply situation for so long that people forget how delicately balanced that system is. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when” the next mini-crisis hits. Then the short-term memory crowd will wake up again and wonder why they pissed away their money on gas.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels


    It seems promomech actually has an EV bike. Where’s yours?

    Also, the way you lightly throw heavy words like “oil shills” I wonder what shill you are? Nobody else is calling people trolls or shills.

    Advances are happening on all fronts. Hell, a few weekends ago I watched diesels racing in LeMans. I mean, that’s progress. Who woulda thunk?

    And no, I am not holding out hope that my next bike will be run on banana peels.

    The next energy crisis will help the EV movement and the mass transit movement. But make no mistake–the USA will take any and all measures to see that it doesn’t happen.

    I bring up the USA selling coal to China to illustrate a point–the USA knows burning coal/greenhouse gasses are bad for the earth…the USA does not care. Mark that as your starting point when discussing the USA’s policy on energy and the environment. The USA is a “do as I say not as I do” country.

    @Jensen–when the EV bikes race at Laguna Seca (coming up in a few weeks) I hope they go ’round the track faster than in previous years. Everytime I’ve seen them they display comically slow subsonic speed.

  • chf

    Chaz — of course oil shills won’t admit who they are. I wouldn’t expect you or anyone of your ilk to. Duh! But nice attempt at distracting from that.

    You talk of the “USA” selling coal to China like we’re one monolithic entity. No, the coal companies are selling coal to China. It’s called capitalism, look it up. You are right that that needs to stop. Then you’ll have people screaming anti-capitalist.

    You have no idea what bikes I have so don’t go there. It’s clear you really have no idea about EVs, just myths and misperceptions that you like to throw around as fact. That’s the thing that irks people who actually know EVs.

  • Short circuit

    “So get Sebastian Loeb to drive it”

    I doubt he’ll be competitive at… 210 years old

  • Richard Gozinya

    On the subject of efficiency, electric motors are a lot more than twice as efficient as ICEs. Take the Brammo Empulse for example. It has a real world range of about 65 miles. That’s with a 10kwh battery. Now, keep in mind that a gallon of gasoline has around 33.7 kwh. How many ICE bikes can go that far on less than one third of a gallon of gas?

  • dagoof

    @ Short circuit Hey, Rossi just won… :-)

  • Seems a very USA concentric discussion guys. You are forgetting that many countries around the world now produce a very large percentage of electricity from, wind, hydro and solar. Tidal power generation is also emerging and alternative energy generation is now the fastest growing sector of energy generation worldwide. China is establishing itself as one of the leaders in alternative energy generation. The USA has been the single biggest CO2 emitter in the world despite having a much smaller population than China and India. The rest of the world is working to resolve the USAs problems. The USA is being left behind because it too easy to keep doing what you have always done. It’s time to get your head out of the sands and become a responsible member of the world community.

  • That’s almost right. Except for, well, all of it.

    China passed the US in CO2 emissions in 2007. They consume almost half of the world’s coal .. and they’re not burning it in the world’s cleanest plants.

    China does have HUGE hydro production, and they’re buying wind turbines as fast as GM can produce them. Nevertheless, the US still leads China in both nuclear and total non-fossil fuel generation .. at least as of 2011.,US,&syid=2007&eyid=2011&unit=BKWH

  • jeffclark

    Wow, hot topic. I was at the race so I will share some details. Lightning had solar panels on their transport vehicles to charge the bikes (Carlin actually practiced on two identical machines). I do not know if they were running a generator in addition to the solar.

    Speaking with Carlin in practice he told me that his record setting run on the Ducati would be hard to beat. That’s because that run was later in the year, due to the CO fires in 2012, and the road was in better condition last year. The freeze, thaw, and shift of the road requires them to repave sections every year. The road was sketchy in sections up top to say the least. Drivers of the 4 wheel vehicles reported “catching air” in some spots. Two days of rain before this years run also caused some traction issues for the riders on race day. Carlin is fast no doubt, and has been the fastest man on two wheels at pikes peak each of the three years he has raced, but to call him the most experienced is not true. There were many riders in the race that have run the course many more times than he. He probably has the biggest pair though. That is what seems to matter most at the Peak. Congrats to Carlin and Lighting for an historic victory.

    Interesting thing that happened that only those who raced might know…. After Carlin’s run he was trying to remove a glove while riding and accidentally blipped the throttle in the dirt parking lot at the summit. The lighting bucked him and took a dive! As far as I know he had to hitch a ride down as the lighting suffered a bit of damage to the controls. The only damage to Carlin was to his pride (his words).

  • Not quite how the fall happened, but he rode the bike down after hot-wiring a switch.

  • @Protomech and Chaz Michael Michaels

    “The USA HAS BEEN the works single largest…” Note I have highlighted ‘has been’ from my earlier statement as these two words are an important part of my original sentence.

    China’s population is how many times larger than the USA’s?
    The average Citizen in the USAa produces how many more times C02 than a Chinese citizen?
    What right (other than our own arrogance) do I or you have to produce 5 x as much co2 as a person who is equally effected by it?

    China’s total co2 emissions only passed the USA in CO2 production in 2007!

    China is the worlds largest producer of solar panels today having overtaken Germany some time in the last three years. (Yes some of their solar panel manufacturing is reportedly pretty dirty)

    In the last two years China has dramatically increased their real comitment to alternative fuel strategies..

    There are many countries much cleaner than both the USA and China. I only discussed China because it was referenced in earlier comments. I am not sure that Nuclear power can be thought of as environmentally clean power source – but that’s a whole other discussion.

    I only introduced this topic into this thread because Chaz Michael said “anyway it’s not our burden to solve the world’s problems” Just who does Chaz Michael think owns the burden, the Chinese who individually produce only 1/5th of the CO2 produced by the average USa citizen and much less than I do?

    I don’t own an electric vehicle yet. But I do have a diesel vehicle and my next car will not burn petrol. I live in a house that is very energy efficient ( perhaps more by accident and cost advantage than moral choice – but I am planning to use even more solar energy shortly as a moral choice AND – long payback cost advantage.)

    I love electric bikes and cars because I am a techno geek, they are bloody fast and exciting for short event racing, and they are extremely low maintenance. And they make sense too and for commuting to and from work for a small but growing percentage of people. The pioneering work done by Lightening, Mission, Nissan, Toyota, Tesla, Brammo, Ultrabatt, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW etc in alternative fuels fantastic as it may pay huge dividends for all of us.

  • Shinigami

    Quote from above:

    “Couldnt there be a mode where wheel spin could recharge the spare unit then switch back and forth ? may make the bike slow during recharge mode but would basicaly make it run forever”

    man, I wish I had been able to sleep through my 0800 physics classes the way that guy did.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels


    What boggles my mind is your assertion (if it is, in fact, what you’re tying to say) that China is pro environment.

    China doesn’t pollute as much as the USA? You cannot be serious? China is a country without environmental regulation! Anything goes in that country. Don’t believe me? go ahead and swim in their rivers. Drink their water. Tell me how that goes. The air in Beijing is so bad it’s like soup.

    China’s lack of environmental regulation for sake of profit is across the spectrum all the way to the lax regulation on baby formula. Lead, pesticides, mercury, you name it China uses/misuses it and it ends up everywhere from the water to the air to the food.

    Credit the USA for being a trailblazer in the form of setting up a vast array of environmental regulation. The USA is looking at reducing its own emissions. But don’t confuse that with the USA saving the world. It has no interest in saving the world. EVs must stack up with ICE in terms of cost to purchase and in practicality. Or people won’t buy them. Simple as that.

    Back to China…Solar panels come from China not because the Chinese have any desire for solar power. They come from China because child labor and other hideous labor practices with no regulation, (translate: very low wage and inhumane hours) add up to big Chinese profit.

    I already said EVs will come but there will be intermediate steps first. It’s not anti environment, it’s reality. And it isn’t my responsibility to save the world. Btw, I walk to work. How big is your carbon footprint? as long as we’re playing this silly game of “it must be your responsibility to save the world or else you’re @!#&!.”

  • chf

    @protomech – The more interesting figure IMHO is cumulative carbon and pollution. Over the course of the past 100 years, the US is by far the biggest polluter in total output of carbon and other industrial pollutants. Europe spewed out its fair share as well. China at this moment may be emitting more pollution overall, but an instantaneous figure doesn’t show trend lines. China is furiously adding renewable energy production for a number of reasons. Firstly, their air pollution is absolutely wretched, resembling the conditions the US saw in the 1970’s when there were weak or no pollution regulations. Second, and almost as important, China doesn’t want to be dependent on outside sources for their energy needs. That is very much counter to the US’s position of wanting to control the world’s oil supply. China has had to rely on fossil fuels to meet its exponential growth, but over the next 10-20 years they could easily outpace the US’s share of renewable energy generation. They don’t have the deep-pocketed lobbyists who control politicians’ votes like we do in the states. China wants to export energy and they will, probably sooner than you anticipate.

    @jeffclark – thanks for the first-hand update!

  • Sixty7

    Jenson SBK are running ZRX’s not ZXR’s, all 1224cc, 170rwbhp and 100ft Ibs of torque and they only weigh (with oil n fluids) 168kgs one word “Beast”

  • Thanks for that Sixty7, though if you’re going to correct a typo…best to spell my name right.

  • Sixty7

    Didn’t realise it was a typo as a lot of people get the bikes mixed up so I was just pointing that out…….Mr Beeler…..(did I get it right this time….?????)

  • @chf “Firstly, their air pollution is absolutely wretched, resembling the conditions the US saw in the 1970′s when there were weak or no pollution regulations.”

    5 times higher than the air pollution in the US in the 1960s.

  • ukoda

    When taking of range people overlook the rate of change in energy density for batteries. In the last couple of decades that change is running at a 10 fold increase every decade. So in 10 years people will have the option of a 2,000km battery pack and the question will be mute.

    China’s hidden little secret is that most powered vehicles on the road are electric scooters, they out number cars. The USD $400 new price means they are using lead acid batteries, real old school stuff, but they have enough range for 90% of the population to commute. I used on for several months, just plug it in at the office, so convenient.

    Finger pointing about the CO2 from power generation sounds a lot like an issue with slow up take of clean generation in the USA. Don’t worry, in a decade or two the USA will catch up with the rest of the world. Europe seems to be the fastest improving. Of course my homeland, New Zealand, has been mostly clean energy for many decades now, so some of us can’t wait for EV to become widely available outside of China.

  • Over the past 20 years or so battery density (surveying the field as a whole) is improving about 7% per year, which means battery density doubles approximately every 10 years. Definitely not a ten-fold increase, and of course not guaranteed to continue improving in the future. I think there’s plenty of room for growth, though.

    Electrics are super-convenient for fixed-distance commutes, where the limitations are rarely if ever issues. Long charge times mean little as long as the bike is ready to go when you are. Limited range means little as long as it gets you where you need to go.

  • Also important to note that battery density and volume limits how much battery you can practically pack into a given form factor, costs are also important.

    Zero has tripled the city range of their bikes from 2011 to 2013 in the “maximum” configuration, from 43 miles (2011 S) to 137 miles (2013 S ZF11.4). Price ($10k -> $16k) and weight (300 lbs -> 380 lbs) have also increased as well.

    Another comparison that can be drawn is at a fixed price; 2011 S ($10k) -> 2013 XU ZF5.7 ($10.5k) goes from 43 miles city to 76 miles city .. top speed moves from 65 mph to 77 mph .. acceleration moves from ~11s 0-60 to ~5.5s 0-60.

    A third comparison is at a fixed size or weight; unfortunately Zero has split the S lineup from the ~300 lb 2011 S and ~300 lb 2012 S ZF6 to the ~260 lb 2013 XU ZF5.7 and the ~350 lb 2013 S ZF8.5. I guess you could strap a third battery module to the Zero XU and get roughly equivalent weight, and 2.5x the 2011 bike’s range : )