The Electric Motorcycle Comes of Age – Lightning Motorcycle Hits 200 MPH at Bonneville

According to Richard Hatfield of Lightning Motorcycles, his company’s “Flying Banana Mk. II” hit 205.2 mph and 208.6 during two runs at the Southern California Timing Associations’ Speed Week at Bonneville.

That hair-raising, spit flying run made Lightning the first electric motorcycle manufacturer to have a bike break the 200 mph barrier in competition.

Once verified, the 205.2 run would shatter the current land speed record of 176.4 mph, which was set by Riches Nelson and his streamlined Airtech Lightning Bolt electric.

Lightning also currently holds the AMA and FIM land speed records in a couple of classes for electric motorcycles weighing between 150kg and 300kg.

Paul Thede took the Flying Banana Mk. I to 173.321 mph at Bonneville last year.

Hatfield says his team is confident that, having used only 3% of its battery charge and being ridden at quarter-throttle, the machine can go even faster and predicted that a cranked-on, full-throttle run should provide 210 mph.

The speed is impressive, but that’s not to say the run was without issues. Hatfield said the Mk. II ran into some light aerodynamic issues due to the rider position and the partially streamlined bodywork. Rider Thede said he had to counteract the bike’s tendency to pull to the right side of the course.


Paul Thede

Paul Thede shattered the speed record for electric motorcycles this week at the Bonneville Salt Flats

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