The Electric Garage: Purdue #5492 (72)

Purdue Bonneville Salt Flats Record150x150

I love me a good, naked bike, and it doesn’t get much more naked than this.  Form follows function indeed, and there’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t belong there for one sole purpose: making it go fast.  And who doesn’t love a pinkish windscreen and white wheels?  Above is Purdue #5492/72, with Clayton Smith, Drew Westrick, Dr John Sullivan, Grant Chapman and Sean Kleinschmidt, (l-r).  5492 is with fairing, 72 is without, by the way.

This is the Purdue entry to the BUB Speed Trials this August, and it’s now the record holder at an average of two passes of 114.488mph.  That’s a first pass of 112 something, and a second of 116 something.  Before heading out to the salt, they’d run it at 100mph, and since the record was 70-something for the  Under 150kg class, it looked like they had a good shot.

It’s a 1994 Honda RS-125.  This is what it looked like before these boys got their hands on it:


More info can be found here.  This is not a common bike, by any means, as you can gather, here.  Suffice to say, it’s an aluminum frame, and very very light.

Here are the complete specs:

Overall EV-LSR Specifications

Drivetrain Output

28 kW (38 hp)

Top Speed (Bonneville)

116.4 mph

Battery Charge Time

45 minutes


  1994 Honda RS-125


100 kg (220 lbs)

Battery Information

Manufacturer & Model

Turnigy Nano-tech A-Spec (130C)

Module Configuration


Module Voltage Range

44.4V (30.0 V – 50.4 V)

Module Capacity

5000 mAh

Pack Configuration

24S – 4P

Pack Voltage

88.8 V (62.0 V – 100.8 V)

Motor Information


ME1305 Prototype


Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC)


Liquid (Stator Jacket)

Magnet Configuration

4 Pole (8 Magnets)

Coil Turns

28 per phase

Phase Resistance

0.013 Ohms

Torque Constant

0.15 Nm / Amp

Max Torque

147.22 Nm

Max Recommended RPM

6000 RPM


40 lbs

Controller Information


Sevcon Gen4 Size 8

Max RMS Current

550 A (660 A Boost)

Voltage Limits

39.1 V – 116 V


8 lbs

This is apparently the lovechild of Dr. John Sullivan, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at Purdue, and he enlisted the help of the Purdue Electric Vehicle Club, founded in part by none other than our own Tony “Danger” Coiro, along with Sean Kleinschmidt, Drew Westrick and Grant Chapman.

Purdue Bonneville Salt Flats Record2150x150


Credit Chris Yamamoto / Purdue University


Credit Chris Yamamoto / Purdue University

They’re running Nano-Tech A packs from HobbyKing, which qualified them for an honor beyond honors: an official shout-out on the HobbyKing Facebook page.  How can life get any better?  How can one go on, when such a pinnacle of success is achieved at such a tender age?  One can only wonder…

A little information on the details of the powertrain, from Drew:

The motor is essentially a Motenergy ME1115 with a liquid cooled jacket.

We were running a Sevcon Gen4 Size 6 (controller) pretty much full tilt. I think we took the motor within a couple inches of its life, We used the “gas” tank to hold water and ice and we pre cooled the motor before each run.

Probably the best story on the attempt is via the Purdue Public Radio site: “Purdue group hopes to break a land speed record”.  There’s a little piece on it, with details on the record, here, on the Purdue Engineering page.
More photos, some tech details  you won’t find anywhere else:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s a little iPhone video of their first roll-out on the Salt:

Before you pass this off as a shoo-in record simply because there wasn’t any other competition, take a look at this:


 (Courtesy of Kevin Clemens)

“Kevin Clemens’ electric motorcycle — dubbed “The Fabulous Photon Torpedo” — raced through the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah at 98.7 mph last week.

Clemens’ speed was much higher than the previous national record speed of 68.8 mph, but it wasn’t fast enough to beat the speeds posted by Purdue University in the altered, partially streamlined class using 150-kilogram (330-pound) electric motorcycles.”

So yeah.  114mph? pretty much slammed some stiff competition.

But I’m sure they’ll be back.  Both of them…


2 responses to “The Electric Garage: Purdue #5492 (72)

  1. Pingback: NEW PMAC 38 kW Liquid-Cooled 120V Motor (from Electric Motorsport) | The Electric Chronicles·

  2. Pingback: Spīr Bikes Launches, Targets First Responders·


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