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July 2, 2013

Shocking Result at Pikes Peak

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Racer Carlin Dunne beat all two-wheeled comers on a Lightning electric motorcycle to win the Pikes Peak hill climb this past weekend. Dunne rode the Lightning up the 19.98km mountain course in 10:00.694; a time that came close to beating the course record.

The closest petrol-powered machine, a Ducati Multistrada 1200S ridden by Bruno Langlois, was nearly 21 seconds adrift. The balance of the electric motorcycles set times in the mid-12 minute range.

This result doesn’t necessarily sound the death knell for gasoline-powered motorcycles while heralding a new electric world order. The rules at the famed 156-turn hill climb don’t allow four-cylinder engines, superbike spec machines or turbo chargers for motorcycles. The altitude at the top of the course leaves normally-aspirated piston engines gasping for air. The electric bikes are, of course, immune from the effect of altitude.

But it is a win nonetheless. And each success shows the advancing technology of electric vehicles.

You can have your own Lightning superbike; they are taking orders for the US$38,888 on their website.