The Corbin Electric Motorcycle

Today at the Springfield Museums I had a really remarkable surprise- and it keeps on getting better.  Mike Corbins electric motorcycle, built in 1975, sits here in the new wing of the museum- and on the top floor, the legendary Indian Motocycle Museum has it’s new home.  His XLP-1  sported a 30-mile range and 30mph, and a 3-hour charge time with the on-board charger and was touted as “A motorcycle for Now, that insures our Future”.  Corbin has been recognized by the AMA Hall of Fame for his contributions to motorcycling for decades- since he started his career with the purchase of a Triumph Bonneville in 1959.

With the release of the XLP-1, Corbin was riding the wave of a record setting run with his first electric motorcycles at Bonneville in ’73:

Mikes first project was to build two electric racing motorcycles that ran on electricity and visit the Salt Flats in Utah at the annual Bonneville Nations. Mike went on to set the Electric Motorcycle Land Speed Record of 101 mph. The second bike set a record at 99 mph. Mike proved that electric vehicles can go fast and he became the fastest man in the world on a two wheeled electric vehicle at 101 mph.”

There’s all this and more on the MGMojo site, in the history of the Corbin Sparrow.  In 1996, Corbin released the first Sparrow. 

…and to think.  I just thought the guy simply made the best seats in the business.

Here are some more shots from the visit.  The motor was mounted on the swingarm assembly- as unsprung weight, but high and towards the swingarm pivot.

The logo, repeated from the Bonneville bike:

Sweet lookin’ switch.  On.  Off.

…and, some MADison Avenue material from the day:


14 responses to “The Corbin Electric Motorcycle

  1. Pingback: (Prof) Charles MacArthur and Electric Vehicles « The Electric Chronicles·

  2. I have an original orange one of these with 23 miles on it. I am going to take it to six national AMCA meets in 2013 so that others can see it. I wonder how many have survived?

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  7. At the Indian Museum!
    my 2 favorite bikes Indian & Evmc
    Mike made more than one?
    How many made? how many left?
    I saw one at his shop in 2000, thought only one
    can you guys post your bikes on the EV photo album?
    I’d like to see them

  8. mike corbin–one of the most coolest guys I have ever known–a very sharp mind and has mind to hands ability-most folks have one or the other—he is multi venued–that is to say his talents are varied to say the least– he has photographed his catalogs for years–nice work–he still has his (or he did last I was at the shop) electricians truck that was his before the seat deal took off–at least he has that to fall back on he told at one time–he has such a memory–if he met you once go back In 5 years and see him –it will be like it was yesterday (at least it was for me) iam so fortunate to know this guy–JOE LOOSE

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