2013 Pikes Peak International Hill ClimbLightning Motorcycles have beaten top gas motorbikes and set the fastest times at the Pikes 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 Pikes 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) says: “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 Dunn for Pikes 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.Carlin Dunne says: “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.Richard Hatfield says: “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.”About Pikes Peak International Hill ClimbThe Pikes 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 percent.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.