Carlin Dunne and Lightning electric motorcycles are making a strong case for e-bike supremacy at the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. During the last five days of practice at the mountain, Dunne set the fastest times. With the course split into two halves, Dunne recorded a 4:34.03 on the bottom section, 14 seconds quicker than the nearest competitor, Greg Chicoine, on a 450cc Supermoto. He then set a 5:04.40 on the top section, only three seconds quicker than Chicoine.
Dunne’s combined time of 9:38.43 puts him over 16 seconds ahead of French champion Bruno Langlois on a replica of Carlin Dunne’s 2012 record setting Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. For reference, the current record Dunne set last year on the Ducati was 9:52.819. While Dunne’s practice times look mightily impressive, the practice sections are slightly shorter than the overall race course, and were run on two separate days. We assume the Lightning was fully charged before each run — a luxury Dunne won’t have come race day June 30.
However, the occasion is no less historic as this marks the first time a solar-powered motorcycle has beaten gas bikes on the mountain. During practice, anyway. We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of times Dunne and the Lightning team put down during the rest of practice and the race.
In other news, Greg Tracy will not be riding the Amarok P1A, as we originally reported in April. Also, Chip Yates will no longer be riding the second Lightning superbike, which we also reported on in April.