Last year SMA America and Lightning Motorcycles joined forces to break the land speed record at El Mirage, Calif. using the power of the sun. After renewing our partnership with Lightning Motorcycles for the second year in a row, I wanted to see firsthand just how powerful these bikes are, and I was not disappointed.
Richard Hatfield shows off his bikes.
Perfect Day for a Ride
The weather was warm and beautiful in the city of San Carlos, just 20 miles south of San Francisco, California earlier this month. I made the two hour trip from SMA America’s Rocklin office to visit Richard Hatfield, Lightning Motorcycles president, and his skilled team of engineering pros.
Riding the record-breaking Lightning SuperBike!
Having ridden high-performance motorcycles for the better part of my life, most recently a Suzuki GSX-R1000, I was prepared for an exhilarating getaway from the office. However, nothing could have prepared me for just how smooth and effortlessly these electric motorcycles whip around the streets.
The absence of a clutch and gears make the acceleration instantaneous, while the inaudible output of the electric motor results in a virtually silent ride. Richard was kind enough to pull out all the stops by letting me test ride four different bikes; from the practical yet swift commuter model up to the world’s fastest production motorcycle, the Lightning SuperBike.
Getting a tour of the Lightning shop.
Solar and Electric Vehicles
This rare experience reinforced my belief in the role that renewable energy companies must take in supporting the advancement of electric vehicle technology. That’s why it is so important to SMA that we once again power the 2013 Lightning Motorcycles season with clean solar energy.
A record-breaking attempt at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place at the end of June, and SMA will be documenting Lightning’s ground-breaking efforts every step of the way.
Follow us as we break the boundaries of electric vehicles!