Lightning Motorcycles Does 166 MPH Bonneville Run

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Watch out Mission Motors, electric motorcycle manufacturer Lightning Motorcycles is gunning for you. This week at the SCTA World Finals at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Lightning’s pre-production prototype set a speed of 166.388 mph. While only completing a single pass down the salt flats, and not a return journey to make an official speed entry, 166 mph is still an impressive mark, and has provided the company with crucial information as they get ready to go commercial in 2010. Photos and more after the jump.

Powering the Lighning Motorcycle’s team is an lithium-nanophosphate battery pack provided by A123, and what is rumored to be a high-horsepower electric motor salvaged from the General Motors EV1 electric car. Adorned with various fairing options, part of Lightning’s process at Bonneville was to shake out its electrical systems, and test different streamlining choices. You may remember Lightning Motors from their electric R1 prototype that made the rounds on the internet a few years ago.

Piloting Lightning’s effort at Bonneville were Motorcyclist’s Aaron Frank, and  Race-Tech’s Paul Phede. Both riders were able to set the bike’s speed with progressive improvements throughout the event, with Thede making the 166 mph run. Equally impressive was Lightning’s 164 mph run without any bodywork.

Lightning is quick to point-out that this was less of an attempt to break any records, and more a process of design and engineering testing. Most importantly, the team hoped to put its battery management system (BMS), through rigorous trials before calling it ready for final production. Lightning hopes go commercial with its products next year, and will offer a bevy of electric vehicles that include an electric sportbike, ATV, and scooter.

Source: Lightning Motorcycles