Killacycle - World's Fastest Electric Motorcycle
Straddling a 619-pound motorcycle, Scotty Pollacheck tucks in his knees and lowers his head as he awaits the green light. When he revs the engine, there's no roar. The bike moves so fast that within seconds all that's visible is a faint red taillight in the distance.
crosses the quarter-mile marker doing 168 mph, faster than any of the gas-powered cars, trucks or motorcycles in the drag sprints on this weekend at Portland International Raceway. It's particularly impressive given that Pollacheck is riding a vehicle powered entirely by lithium-ion batteries.
Electric vehicles are making their presence felt at amateur drag races across the U.S., challenging gas-powered cars and motorcycles. The "amp heads," computer geeks and others driving the electron- powered vehicles are starting to kick some major rear end.
Pollacheck and his bike -- dubbed the KillaCycle -- are part of a growing movement that's exploiting breakthroughs in battery technology and soon could challenge the world's fastest- accelerating vehicles in the $1 billion drag-racing industry. "In professional drag racing I expect to see the electrics eventually pass up the fuel dragsters," said Dick Brown, president of AeroBatteries, which sponsors White Zombie, the world's quickest-accelerating street-legal electric car, a 1972 white Datsun 1200.
"Electric gives you instant torque whereas gasoline you have to build up," he said. Brown believes electric vehicles will challenge the top drag-racing records within five years. The KillaCycle runs on 990 lithium-ion battery cells that feed two direct current motors, generating 350 horsepower. The bike accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just under a second, faster than many professional gas- powered drag motorcycles and within striking distance of the quickest bikes that run on nitromethane.
Except for the batteries he receives from sponsor A123 Systems, Bill Dube, KillaCycle's owner and designer, pays the costs of his racing team -- about $13,000 a year -- out of his own pocket. A123 makes KillaCycle's batteries.
"We have a chance of actually taking away some nitromethane records, perhaps the overall record," said Dube.
The National Electric Drag Racing Association's vehicles are posting faster and faster times at amateur meets, but they still have a way to go before matching professional world records. The fastest quarter-mile time by an electric vehicle is the KillaCycle's 8.16 seconds; that's 2.36 seconds off the nitromethane world record for drag bikes set by Larry "Spiderman" McBride last year.
Electric vehicle racers say battery technology advances will give EVs a shot at drag records.
"This is a disruptive technology, and there is a lot of room for improvement in this area," said Ric Fulop, founder and vice president of business development for A123.
Interesting KillaCycle Facts
The KillaCycle uses about $0.07 worth of electricity for each run down the strip.
0-60 mph (0-96 km/h): 0.97 seconds
Acceleration: 2.89 G (almost 3 times free fall)
Best Top Speed in ¼ mile: 174.05 MPH
Lowest ¼ mile Elapsed Time (ET): 7.82 seconds @ 168 mph
Power: over 500 hp
Battery: 1210 lithium iron nano-phosphate™ cells from
Battery weight: 200 lbs (90 kg)
Battery voltage: 374 Volts
Battery capacity: 9.1 kWh
The KillaCycle weighs 619 lbs.