80mph on just 10% throttle?!

Land speed racer Shea Nyquist is building an electrically powered motorcycle to try and set a new electric motorcycle land speed record


FORMER BMX legend, Shea Nyquist, has built his own electric motorcycle land speed record racer to crack 200mph. But most of the parts he’s used are recycled or saved from the rubbish dump!

The bike has also been “kind of illegal” but successful testing on quiet backroads near his home, with the bike reaching 80mph on just 10% of the throttle used. The bike currently has no bodywork, although at one-point Mike Corbin (as in Corbin motorcycle seats) was going to build a body for the streamliner, it’s now remaining uncovered due to Corbin’s workload.


The bike is powered by lithium-ion phosphate batteries and has about 200kW of energy stored within the bike that equates to about 250bhp. All of the batteries and some of the other tech used to create the streamliner have been sourced from companies in Silicon Valley, who have donated the parts to Shea as sub-optimal components that wouldn’t pass quality control for their use in commercial applications.


When the testing took place, on a public road near Nyquist’s home in California, he noted that the bike was difficult to balance, at low speed and constantly bounced off the aluminium outrigger wheels. As you can see in the video below, it’s only when Nyquist opens the taps a little more and hits speeds of over 50mph that the machine becomes more stable.


Nyquist hopes to take the bike, called the Lark Streamliner, to Bonneville to race at the famous salt flats, hoping to hit at least 200mph. Before then he hopes to give the racer a shakedown at the South California Timing Association’s time trials at the El Mirage dry lakebed in the antelope valley. As with any type of racing through, taking a racer to the salt flats isn’t cheap – even if half your bike is salvaged! – and Nyquist is asking for donations to keep the wheels turning through his website here.