Lightning Motorcycles has signed up a new rider for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb at the end of June. The rider, Carlin Dunne, is a top choice as he is the current all time record holder, and two-time consecutive champion of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Hence, this not just "Lightning adds another rider" but a top racer in the Hill Climb community is choosing to race electric, rather than race gas.
The 2013 Hill Climb was already looking like a tipping point for electric racing, with many electric cars and electric motorcycles entering the race, and with two electric teams predicting they'll win the Hill Climb outright. This makes it look even more so.
"I have a chance to be a part of something even bigger, to prove something to the rest of the world by riding this amazing electric bike. And I have to say, I've been testing it for a month, and it's insane. It's power and acceleration is like nothing I've ever ridden. When you light that fuse, hang on" said Dunne.
Dunne is a life-long racer who has risen to the top of several racing genres including the Baja 1000, mountain bike racing, and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The first year he entered that race he won, as a rookie, and won again the second year setting a time/speed record that still stands today.
"I still can't believe our good fortune in teaming up with a guy like Carlin. Not only is he the top talent, but he's a great guy. I'd root for him even if he were riding for someone else. But this is much bigger story than Carlin, or Lightning. This is a historic moment for the world. It's the tipping point in global transportation as we know it. The very best guy in the world at this race who won and set records on gas bikes, has chosen us, an electric motorcycle company, to try and beat his own records. Combustion engines are long from dead, but they were just passed by in performance" said Art Haynie, director of marketing for Lighting.
Richard Hatfield, Founder and CEO said, "This technology will drive the future of racing. Gas engines have been around for over 100 years and pushed to their limits - and they’re at a late stage of development. But we're just starting with this. It's like we're in the early 1900's all over again when it comes to the development of electric racing - and we're already breaking new ground. We always knew what we had in the performance of our electric bikes, but it takes time for the world to comprehend and accept a huge change like this. It took 50 years for people to accept a car was better transportation than a horse. Now here is the top rider in the world at this race, at the top of his game, putting his seal of approval on us by leaving combustion and going electric."
Chip Yates is also racing with Lightning at Pikes Peak. Actually ... what's going on is that Chip Yates is being replaced with Carlin Dunne after Yates quit.