Fierce winds and a steady shroud of dust greeted us as we entered the El Mirage dry lake bed on Saturday. The landscape looked more like a scene from Mad Max than an officially sanctioned speed trial.
Armed with state-of-the-art film gear and just about every layer of clothing we had, we were out to capture Lightning Motorcycles as they attempted to break the electric motorcycle land speed record.
The cold quickly became secondary to the excitement of engines roaring and pit crews bustling with activity. The gas powered vehicles’ deafening blasts down the track were contrasted by the Lightning Motorcycles SuperBike, which made a profound statement with its sheer lack of sound. Blink and you might miss it.
The race gods rewarded the dedicated work of the Lightning crew, who shattered the old record by an astonishing 14 mph, rocketing down the 1.3 mile course at a top speed of 189 mph in the record-breaking run. The coolest part of this record is that it was achieved using the power of the sun. While it wasn’t gliding down the parched desert floor, the Lightning SuperBike was charging up on a DC Solar Solutions mobile solar generator with SMA Sunny Island inverters.
Check out the feature on Discovery News to see more photos and details from the event.
Matt Marx (guest author)
Matt works as Digital Communications Specialist at SMA America. His Hobbies are Golfing, softball and anything else outdoors. He is watching sports on TV when the weather won’t allow.