Thursday, 13 June 2013

Lightning Motorcycles Strikes Top @ Pike’s Peak Hill Climb

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

Lightning Motorcycles have beaten top gas motorbikes and set the fastest times at the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb on the same machine that will be entering the FIM eRoadRacing World Cup.

In the first weekend of practice for the legendary Pike’s Peak Hill Climb, Lightning produced the quickest times on their solar-powered motorcycle, beating the long-dominant gas bikes.

Lightning is no stranger to speed. They hold the land speed record for fastest production electric motorcycle in the world at 215mph with a fast run of 218mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Richard Hatfield, CEO and Founder of Lighting Motorcycles, said: “This is the first time in history that an electric bike has beaten top gas bike competitors on the same playing field.”

Lightning Motorcycles have signed professional racer Carlin Dunne for Pike’s Peak. The current all-time record holder and two-time champion of the legendary race chose to ride the Lightning electric superbike in his attempt at a third consecutive victory.

The Pike’s Peak record holder made the historic decision to ride on the electric-powered Lightning instead of a gas-powered bike. He will race the same electric motorcycle Lightning are entering in the FIM eRoadRacing World Cup, which kick-starts in Valencia on 14 July before heading to Laguna Seca on 21 July. The suspension set-up is the only difference between the bikes.

Dunne said: "I have a chance to be a part of something even bigger, to prove something to the rest of the world by riding this amazing electric bike. I've been testing it for a month and it's insane. Its power and acceleration is like nothing I've ever ridden. When you light that fuse, hang on.”

The Lightning SuperBike is powered exclusively by solar energy through combined technology developed by SMA, Trina Solar and EnerDel Lithium batteries. That in turn is used to fuel the motorcycle’s onboard battery pack. This ground-breaking technology makes it one of the first racing vehicles in major motorsport events to leave a zero-carbon footprint.

Hatfield added: "This technology will drive the future of racing. We always knew what we had in the performance of our electric bikes but it takes time for the world to comprehend and accept a huge change like this. It took 50 years for people to accept a car was better transportation than a horse. Now here is the top rider in the world at this race, at the top of his game, putting his seal of approval on us by leaving combustion and going electric."

Lightning Motorcycles was founded by Richard Hatfield and a group of Silicon Valley engineers dedicated to the belief that world-class performance is compatible with clean tech transportation, in San Carlos, California in 1999.

By 2009, the company had created the Fastest SuperBike in the world and set the land speed record in 2010 at 215.960 mph, with a best recorded speed of 218.637. The team broke its own record in 2011 with a top speed of 218.637.

Since then, Lightning Motorcycles has established its dominance competing and winning in multiple internationally recognized superbike races. The company’s mission is to develop the most innovative competition race bike and use that technology to produce and distribute affordable two wheel electric vehicles to commuter markets worldwide.

FIM RoadRacing World Cup

FIM eRoadRacing is the evolution of TTXGP and FIM E-Power. It is officially sanctioned by the global governing body and combines races across three continents.

TTXGP are the official promoters of the FIM eRoadRacing World Cup, which will see teams racing in the US and Europe compete separately for a place in the World Final. From 2014 FIM eRoadRacing will follow MotoGP’s format through a World Championship, with every team competing in each continent for a chance to be crowned champions.

FIM eRoadRacing teams are consistently pushing the boundaries of electric vehicles and are instrumental in the development of this technology. Teams from across the globe will compete in the inaugural FIM eRoadRacing season, including entries from US, Canada, China, Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Spain and India.

The Pike's Peak Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America next to the Indy 500 and the most dangerous. The track itself measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pike’s Peak Highway to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m). This is on gradient grades averaging seven per cent.

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