The Fastest Electric Production Motorcycle in the World & the future of transportation.

Engineers, eco-friendly commuters, and avid motorcyclist have awaited a solid line of first-rate high-performance electric motorcycles for some time, this year they will get a taste from renowned sectors worldwide including the chance to purchase the fastest production motorcycle in the world.


2014 Zero SR

Motorcycle technology has been advancing at an astonishing pace and just weeks ago the Lightning LS-218 set a land speed record making it the world’s fastest production electric motorcycle in the world. The interesting ecological and technological movements the automotive world is trending towards between fuel efficiency, hybrid-electrics, and full-electrics have been topics that blanket both economical and sociological discussion for quite some time. We can see in the United States alone and in other countries with highly dense populations and heavy-trafficked cities that gas still rules with an iron fist, however, iron as we know it is a great conductor for electricity to flow.


The film Who Killed the Electric Car?  is a U.S. documentary film that explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the mid-1990s. Important questions of how our society can maintain it’s current course and reliance on the oil industry, automotive manufacturers, and how government roles have limited both the development and adoption of this technology are prevalent themes that have spilled over into the 21st century. The public has slowly started to become more aware of these issues as media coverage helps bring many of the socially sensitive topics covered in Who Killed the Electric Car? to light. We’ve seen a large increase in hybrid car options over the past decade and now we’re finally beginning to see a real boom with motorcycles which can be 100% electric without nearly the high costs of what cars are aiming for. These electric motorcycles help leave cars in the dust..literally.


As our electric grid gets cleaner, as do our plug-ins. Plug-in cars and motorcycles can help move emissions away from highly populated centers reducing pollution and smog in large cities. Output from a few thousand power plants is easier to control than 200 million vehicle tailpipes, many which are beyond “terrible” as far as being outdated versus the cleaner emission standards set in present-day vehicles. However, if the masses can’t afford high gas prices or these hybrid vehicles, how can anyone possibly update to a lower-emission modern-day vehicle type? The solution to pollution isn’t solved so simply.


With the ability to produce fewer emissions, the electric motorcycle has a real chance of making a positive environmental impact worldwide. Plug-ins would provide carbon emissions reductions in 49 U.S. states, including some that are heavily dependent on coal, for a car – about a 70% reduction in emissions, for a motorcycle – over 90%-100% reduction in emissions. A complete summary from Plug in America regarding Emissions Comparisons can be found here.




Beyond the advantages, environmental impacts, charging and solar technology integration we find in these vehicle types, the government is finally helping out the “e-motorcycle” public sector by providing tax incentives. These incentives paired with the drop of gas expenses can help save the owner money on fuel and maintenance from day one. In fact, over the life of their motorcycle many owners would save more with a Zero than if they would have purchased an internal combustion model (a gas-powered bike). The Zero Motorcycle pictured above has one of the longest ranges in the lineup, the +Power Tank can get 171 miles in the city. According to the US Department of Transportation, the average driver travels up to 13,476 miles per year which breaks down the average travel to 37 miles per day. The Zero Motorcycle translates this into a 37 cents per day there is no routine powertrain maintenance.

Interestingly enough, we’ve seen electric motorcycles take leaps and bounds beyond the electric car industry in many ways because of the accessibility and versatility that a motorcycle’s body can provide (not to mention it needs so much less power and engine weight to actually make it move based on their fraction of size as compared to the car.) Some of the technology featured in the 2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle above features a motor that is completed sealed and requires no maintenance. It boasts a compact brushless motor that requires no liquid or forced air-cooling. The company placed the heat-producing elements towards the outside, where the heat radiates away via aluminum cooling fins. Pair this up with some mobile solar panels and you may have a very interesting combination. Check out the Road Test Review to check out this electric performance by clicking here.


The Fastest Production Super Bike in the World: Lighting LS-218

Enter the world’s fastest superbike available and now in production. Last year it made history by winning against the world’s best gas bikes in the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb, this was the first electric bike to ever do so and thus set a precedence for all motorcycles, electric or gas, to follow. The following video helps illustrate the innovative technology of the Lightning’s race team’s solar charging stations and features two “solar islands” to help charge the bike very rapidly. Check it out here. Also be sure to watch the video of the lightning breaking the world record by clicking here.




The Lightning at a mobile solar charging station

Consumers are no longer required to pay more for less performance to support green technology especially when it comes to the adrenaline junkies of the motorcycle world. The Lightning LS-218 has competed against the best gasoline race bikes available worldwide and has proved it’s capabilities. Last year it beat out over 93 motorcycle teams (both electric and gasoline) by over 20 seconds in the Pike’s Peak race. With a liquid cooled 10,500 rpm electric motor that can produce in excess of 200 hp and 168 ft/lbs of torque, the lightning has more horsepower, more torque, more speed, and more performance than any other production motorcycle on the market. It’s standard battery can move you in distances of 100 miles per charge and it can easily be recharged at public fast charging stations in less than 30 minutes. Lighting’s Motorcycle Specs can be found here.



Though these bikes are somewhat smaller steps in the motorcycle or racing communities, these are huge innovations for transportation as a whole by showing how effortlessly the merging of power, speed, electric, and solar power technology can help shape the way we look at vehicles and perhaps our transportation infrastructure as a whole moving forward. With the news of the “New” lithium-ion battery design that is also making its way around the media, which boasts a design that is 2,000 times more powerful and recharges 1,000 times faster, we may see some interesting capabilities for electric platforms globally when the technology is perfected. Companies like this will hopefully continue to push the boundaries and not be hindered by some of the past limits that larger corporations have placed upon the emergence and necessity of the electric vehicle.

By Daniel Muschiana , Social Media Director – Parts Pit Stop 

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