Lightning Tachyon Nb eyes Electric Motorcycle Land Speed Record… or does it?

The Lightning Tachyon Nb heads to Bonneville Salt Flats to attempt a new Speed Record for Electric Motorcycles... but its target seems a bit low to us?

Lightning Tachyon Nb

Lightning Motorcycles has unveiled the machine charged with reclaiming its World Land Speed Record for electric motorcycles, the Lightning Tachyon Nb… even though its target top speed comes in well below the current record holder.

Revealed to the world’s media today, Lightning says it will soon travel to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA to attempt a new speed record for electric motorcycles. So far, so legit.

However, where things start to get confusing is Lightning’s proud declaration that the Tachyon Nb is capable of breaking the 250mph speed barrier. 

As impressive as that is, however, it rather confusingly falls well short of what is widely referenced as the current World Land Speed Record for electric motorcycles (streamlined). 

That title (we thought) belongs to the Voxan Wattmann, which hit 283mph at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center with double WorldSBK Champion Max Biaggi at the controls in November 2021.

It’s a record parent company Venturi has proudly touted as belonging to the French/Monegasque company… but with Lightning Motorcycles making no reference to this, it raises the question of whether Voxan’s status is official. 

According to Venturi, the record attempt was verified but run to the regulations of motorcycling’s governing body for sport, the FIM.

As such, given Bonneville Salt Flats’ ubiquitousness for World Record attempts, it is plausible speeds logged with well-proven equipment in a standard location means only this can independently verify the results. Answers on a postcard, please?

Expect this one to rumble on, but presumably Voxan has some digits spare just in case it does decide to rock up in Utah any time soon… 

Introducing the Lightning Tachyon Nb

The successor to the LS-218 - a stripped back version of the electric Strike sportsbike which held the record for some years - the Tachyon Nb represents a more dedicated attempt by Lightning to build a more honed speed machine.

As such, the Tachyon Nb - so called in reference to the hypothetical particle that travels faster than the speed of light - is a slim, streamlined motorcycle that bears all the hallmarks of a high-speed train at the front and a rudder at the back.

At the heart of the Lightning Tachyon Nb record-attempt is the use of niobium, a metal considered more resistant to wear for improved efficiency, as well as having greater energy density compared with traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Referenced by the ‘Nb’ in the motorcycle’s name, this innovation has come about via a collaborative project between Lightning and Brazilian firm CBMM, the world’s largest supplier of the material.

“We are excited to announce the Tachyon Nb, our new electric superbike developed to break the current Land Speed Record at Bonneville,” said Richard Hatfield, the CEO and Founder of Lightning Motorcycles

“Innovation is in Lighting’s DNA. This partnership empowers both companies to drive electric vehicle technology to a new level. Lightning’s vision is to continue to push the limits of what’s possible and promote the adoption of electric motorcycles globally.”