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Lightning electric motorcycle beats gas bikes in Pikes Peak climb

July 02, 2013|By Charles Fleming

Sebastian Loeb and his Peugeot 208 T16 roadster smashed all standing records to get to the top of Pikes Peak in 8 minutes, 13.878 seconds, but for two-wheelers the big news out of the 91st annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was all about Carlin Dunne and his electric Lightning.

The San Carlos-manufactured all-electric race bike beat all other motorcycles to the top of the 14,110-foot peak on June 30, setting the fastest motorcycle time with a run of 10:00.694.

He ran the 12.42-mile ascent faster than Bruno Langlois' Ducati Multistrada, the next fastest motorcycle at 10:21.323. He almost beat his own record, too, for the fastest two-wheel time ever up the peak, which he set on a Multistrada last year by making the run in 9:52.819 -- having broken the 10-minute barrier several times during practice runs over the week prior to the race.

"We changed the history of the world yesterday and transportation will never be the same," Lightning's Art Haynie said Monday. "This is the first time in history that electric went against gas head to head on the same playing field in a major event, and we dominated them."

The race, started in 1916, was originally intended to advertise the Broadmoor Hotel, high atop the peak. The course, considered among the most challenging of American road races, features 156 turns as it climbs almost 5,000 feet in elevation.

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