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Killacycle - world's fastest electric motorcycle
July 31, 2007 6:37 PM   Subscribe

0 to 60 mph in less than a second. Drag strip record of 155 mph. And almost totally silent. Meet the battery-powered drag racer KillaCycle.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese (44 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ahh, DC electric motors: Max torque at stall. Ideal for a drag racer -- and look, ma, no engine rebuild! (much.)
posted by eriko at 6:46 PM on July 31, 2007


Hey cool, the first link's photos were taken just down the road from me at Bandimere Speedway. I've never been there not really being interested in drag racing, but have driven past it many times.

It's also cool that people are doing things like this for electric power. It can only help push technology forward.
posted by Eekacat at 6:51 PM on July 31, 2007


Drag strip record of 155 mph.

For perspective, though, there are plenty of drag racing bikes that do the quarter mile a lot faster than that.
posted by The World Famous at 6:54 PM on July 31, 2007


Cool, but where is the video?
posted by caddis at 6:55 PM on July 31, 2007


It sounds exactly like my RC car.
posted by smackfu at 7:04 PM on July 31, 2007


The video location: In the post.
posted by DU at 7:06 PM on July 31, 2007


There's a video link under "almost totally silent" and several more on YouTube.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:08 PM on July 31, 2007


That thing moves like a cartoon.
posted by SkinnerSan at 7:08 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, I think a lot of the earliest speed record holders were electrical cars. I'm not sure though.
posted by delmoi at 7:10 PM on July 31, 2007


Well the start is "totally silent" because of youtubes' shitty audio sync issues. The noise kicks in like a second later. Obviously not as loud as a gas-powered bike, though.
posted by delmoi at 7:12 PM on July 31, 2007


The audio synch (and video quality) is much better in this vid of the same thing.
posted by delmoi at 7:14 PM on July 31, 2007


Sweet. My brother owned a Ducati that won its class at several nationals (with another rider) but it was so loud I think I still hear the echoes.

With vehicles like this, it won't be long before we have our own jet cars.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:37 PM on July 31, 2007


Is it killa because it's a killa app or because it killa your body?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:41 PM on July 31, 2007


These things are incredibly silent compared to regular engines.

They test a lot of new vehicles where I work. A couple of summers ago, I was turning onto the road from main parking lot on my bicycle and heard a soft crunch of gravel behind me. I turned thinking it was someone who had walked up to say hello or something and just about had a heart attack. Our test driver had managed to sneak a full-size electric bus up behind me without me hearing a thing. I almost fell off the bike (clipped-in) and the driver just about bust a gut when he saw my face.

The lesson: electric vehicles are spooky.
posted by bonehead at 7:42 PM on July 31, 2007


Not to be totally ignint, but why isn't riding a bike that does 0-60 in .7 seconds like sitting down on an airbag? I mean, damn, that is just crazy-fast...
posted by facetious at 7:59 PM on July 31, 2007


I think they should have named it Silent But Deadly...
posted by stenseng at 8:04 PM on July 31, 2007


Not to be totally ignint, but why isn't riding a bike that does 0-60 in .7 seconds like sitting down on an airbag?

The average acceleration works out as about 4 gravities - you probably wouldn't feel too bad. Still a bit more oomph than a roller coaster ride, though...
posted by topynate at 8:52 PM on July 31, 2007


facetious, I'm guessing the bike makes some slight concessions to rider comfort by accelerating the rider without applying force directly to their junk.
posted by plant at 8:56 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now we just need to improve on the electrical sources. Lithium-ion is good. Better that anything we've had before, but it's still fairly heavy.

And racing is so specific in it's needs. I foresee a future where the power will be supplied by something like a sheet of integrated capacitors, arranged with a serial output; light weight and capable of producing a phenomenal amount of electricity for a few moments. Perfect for drag racing.

Racing in different forms, is one of the most influential ways in which new technology gets into the everyday vehicles we use. More electric racers means faster improvements in the hum-drum vehicles we drive to work.

Or to put it another way, racing is to cars, what porn is to the Internet; that specialized force which demands innovation to be competitive.
posted by quin at 9:02 PM on July 31, 2007


Amusingly, as I finished typing the preceding comment, Modern Marvels just came on and they are talking about slot-car racing. Which if the History channel is to be believed is the fastest motor sport in the world, with cars going from 0 to 130mph in a half second.

Using electric motors, naturally.

posted by quin at 9:08 PM on July 31, 2007


--I'm pretty sure they're using lithium batteries, not lithium ion.

In other words, they're not rechargeable, and they produce a lot more current per unit battery weight.

--Quin, slot cars don't have to carry their own energy source.

--I'm guessing the bike makes some slight concessions to rider comfort by accelerating the rider without applying force directly to their junk.

Or you can be a woman!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:17 PM on July 31, 2007


"because of youtubes' shitty audio sync issues."

seriously, how many billions do they have to make before they fix this??
posted by vronsky at 9:27 PM on July 31, 2007


The KillaCycle runs on 990 lithium-ion battery cells that feed two direct current motors, generating 350 horsepower.

slot cars don't have to carry their own energy source.


Yeah, they mentioned that some of the early hand-built ones were actually powered by electric-train motors, which I thought was pretty cool. I commented on it only because I thought it was a bit funny that just as I was typing about how electric motors are going to revolutionize 'the future of racing', the History channel was pointing out to me that I'm about 40 years behind the curve.
posted by quin at 9:40 PM on July 31, 2007


I saw something a few years ago about how electric drag racing is easy.

In fact, the limiting factors are the strength of the axle. It's apparently simple enough to just throw as much energy as you've got stored in the batteries at the wheels. Downside is that you'll snap the axle or other intervening parts.

Day to day use, well that's more difficult. :)
posted by Lord_Pall at 12:19 AM on August 1, 2007


Metafilter: a bit more oomph than a roller coaster ride
posted by DreamerFi at 1:58 AM on August 1, 2007


Delmoi, you're probably thinking of steam.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:24 AM on August 1, 2007


Not to be totally ignint, but why isn't riding a bike that does 0-60 in .7 seconds like sitting down on an airbag?

Airbags are faster. 220 mph in 0.2 seconds, if Wikipedia is to be believed.
posted by smackfu at 6:27 AM on August 1, 2007


The lesson: electric vehicles are spooky.

On TV in Japan I watched a news segment where they tested whether blind pedestrians could detect an oncoming electric vehicle in the street. It just rolled right past undetected. Finally when it was parked right next to one young woman, it gave a little "beep" and scared the bejezus out of her, and she started crying.

Lesson: electric vehicles make cute blind girls cry.
posted by damo at 7:18 AM on August 1, 2007


Interesting post; thanks. I did a little research to see how this bike compares to others. The fastest production bikes can do the quarter mile in around 10 seconds at 140-150 mph; top fuel drag bikes run low sixes at over 220 mph.
posted by TedW at 7:25 AM on August 1, 2007


Suck Amps!
posted by Western Infidels at 9:44 AM on August 1, 2007


I was thinking about this recently- Maybe drag racers are of a different breed, but does anyone think that the average self-respecting street biker would want to be seen in public riding a silent bike? I think the whole peace-shattering rumble is part of the allure. Bikers want to Feel the Awesome Power between their legs, and announce their presence to everyone within a 10 mile radius.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 2:27 PM on August 1, 2007


That's a great article, Western Infidels, thanks. And it's from eight years ago!

- TechnoLust, I don't think drag racers are any different. From Western Infidels' link:

"Then the racing starts, and it sounds as if tigers are being tortured here among the wheat fields. Screaming tires, roaring motors - it's a testosterone-fueled, head-hammering ritual as the drivers pair off like elks banging their antlers together at the start of the mating season.
....

In fact, this event reeks even more of sublimated sex than of exhaust fumes - and the noise is an intrinsic element. 'In my opinion,' says a veteran race watcher, 'the guys whose vehicles make the most noise have the shortest dicks.' "
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:34 PM on August 1, 2007


does anyone think that the average self-respecting street biker would want to be seen in public riding a silent bike?

I would *love* a quiet bike.

And besides which, your stereotyping only applies to a small fraction of the riders out there. At least around here, loud-pipe bikes are a rarity.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:15 PM on August 1, 2007


They all live in Wisconsin fff. Being the home of Harley means that people take that 'loud pipes save lives' seriously and to the extreme.

The novelty of it wears off quickly when you live within a mile of two different biker bars.

Personally, I want to hear my engine just enough to know when to shift gears and if something is wrong. No more.
posted by quin at 7:23 PM on August 1, 2007


No shifting with electric, and certainly none that can't be far better done by the bike itself. Whole different beast, electric.

Is the dragster driven by both wheels?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:06 PM on August 1, 2007


Is the dragster driven by both wheels?

No. The front one doesn't touch the track until the race is over.
posted by The World Famous at 10:33 PM on August 1, 2007


No. The front one doesn't touch the track until the race is over.

Interesting. So, accounting for the wheelie bar, this essentially becomes a front-wheel drive 8.6 second electric motorcycle.
posted by Ian.I.Am at 9:27 AM on August 2, 2007


Or a motounicycle with wheelie bars.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:25 PM on August 2, 2007


Sure, in the sense that when a car on a track gets on two wheels for a second it becomes a motorcycle.
posted by The World Famous at 2:31 PM on August 2, 2007


See, I want an electric motorcycle with dual drive. Might as well put that front wheel to some use.

Plus it'd kick ass for hill-climbing. :*)
posted by five fresh fish at 5:50 PM on August 2, 2007


The motorcycle from Akira was supposed to be dual wheel drive. (and super cool looking as well.)

I believe that they have actually attempted to make a couple of dual wheel drive bikes in the real world, but I've never seen one that really got popular. And unfortunately, as far as I know, none of them were electric.

I don't really follow it too closely though, so there could be tons of examples that I'm unaware of.
posted by quin at 5:58 PM on August 2, 2007


I believe that they have actually attempted to make a couple of dual wheel drive bikes in the real world ...

quin, you can buy one: Rokon. Not exactly popular, but not really unknown, either.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:42 AM on August 3, 2007


And now I see that's what those Jordanians are sitting on. Too eager, again. Think it would turn a 1/4-mile in under a minute?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:48 AM on August 3, 2007


Or a motounicycle with wheelie bars

I believe the preferred term is unimotorcycle, at least according to the American National Unimotorcyclists Society.
posted by TedW at 5:29 AM on August 3, 2007


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