The Electric Garage: Lightning Motors EV1


Before you decide I’ve lost my mind, there are two reasons why I love this bike.

Reason #1: The GM EV1 motor.  Yes, this bitch had a motor from the legendary EV1.  Nobody knew where Lightning got it, and it disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived.  Here are some shots I was able to scavenge from Plugbike and the interwebs of that.

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Dude.  It’s a car motor.  In a motorcycle.  Specifically, the “3 phase AC Induction, 104 kW heart of the Saturn EV1“, (via John at Plugbike).

Reason #2: Duct Tape.  Yellow.  Richard Hatfield ignored me when I asked him if it was really running duct tape, and if it was a special racing compound duct tape.  Maybe he was just testy after everybody called the bike the “Big Banana”.  Anyway, look at this and tell me I’m wrong.


How awesome is that?  Jake Saunders would be proud.  2010 was a special time in the history of electric motorsports…  a time when electric roadracing was new, you ran motors rescued from cars on their way to the crusher, and if duct tape worked, you used it and painted it yellow.

…and placed a respectable second, by the way, at the first race at Infineon – the first year of the TTXGP series in the US.

There aren’t a whole lot of shots of this, but there are some stories you shouldn’t miss if you’re interested.  Here’s the Gas2.0 story, the Plugbike story,  the Wired story and the Motorcyclist Online story.

So yeah, a special bike, a special, fleeting moment in time.


(photo via Gas2.0, Susanna Schick)

2 responses to “The Electric Garage: Lightning Motors EV1

  1. Pingback: Alex Tang: (Electric Motorcycle) Photographer Extraordinaire | The Electric Chronicles·

  2. Pingback: The Lightning Timeline | The Electric Chronicles: Power in Flux·


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