Saturday, May 5, 2012

The power of 200 ft-lbs of torque on Lightning Motorcycles' TTXGP race bike

It's the opening weekend of the 2012 TTXGP North America electric motorcycle race series.  One bit of excitement in yesterday's practice round was when the #80 Lightning Motorcycles bike, ridden by Michael Barnes, suddenly pulled off to the side of the track.  The cause was both extremely mundane, and testament to the massive power put out by their electric race bike.

Lightniing Motorcycles team owner Richard Hatfield explained to me the 200 ft-lbs of torque put out by their drive train simply STRETCHED the bolts holding on the chain tensioner.  The chain tensioner is a little gizmo in the swing arm to adjust the rear wheel and chain tension.  The power of the motor pulled on the rear wheel so strong, that it stretched the tensioner bolt on one bike, and on the other bike the bolt broke.

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