Electric bike beats petrol rivals

Single-gear bike, based around a Suzuki GSX-R750 takes on 1000cc superbikes

EXCLUDED FROM racing against similar electric machines thanks to newly-introduced weight limits, American electric bike racer Chip Yates has put his 194bhp machine up against a grid full of 1000cc petrol-powered bikes. And ended up on the podium. Twice.

Check the video to see just how quickly his single-geared electric-powered bike, based around a Suzuki GSX-R750 frame, out-drags the 1000cc twins he was matched against at Fontana speedway in California. His bike – which can't race in the TTXGP series because, at around 270kg, it's above the 250kg weight limit for the championship – managed 158mph on the straights, and landed him on the podium twice, with third in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike class and second place in the Heavyweight Twins Superstock category.

Admittedly it wasn't a world-class grid, and at only six laps the races favoured the relatively short range of electric bikes, but it's still an achievement that could barely have been contemplated just a couple of years ago, before the first Isle of Man TTXGP race brought the idea of electric race bikes to the fore.

On Twitter, Yates simply said: “History has been made, and the gasoline bikes are on notice!!”

PS: It's always hard to get used to a new year, isn't it? Yates has marked his video as “January 9, 2010” - actually the race was yesterday, not a year ago!