Lightning Tachyon Nb Aims For Electric Speed Record
World record claims of all kinds can often be controversial and certainly come under scrutiny, as supercar maker SSC recently discovered when they said they broke the production car speed record with their Tuatara. There are always questions about the location, the measuring equipment, the official witnesses and even the governing body that would oversee these recordings. It was against this hazy backdrop that Lightning Motorcycles announced it was chasing the electric motorcycle speed record with its Tachyon Nb, which it claims can exceed 250 mph (402 km/h).
But what is it, you ask? Didn’t the electric Voxan Wattmann travel 457 km/h with legendary MotoGP and WSBK rider Max Biaggi behind bars last November? It would seem so, and Lightning’s claim of “over 250 mph” for the Tachyon Nb would seem significantly lower than Voxan’s existing record. Either Lightning is modest about the potential top speed of his bike, or he doesn’t believe Voxan’s record is legit, or he’s completely unaware of Voxan’s record.
The Lightning Tachyon Nb certainly looks fast, with an innovative fairing and front fender that blends together quite easily, with only a small seam between them for minimal aerodynamic disruption. The Voxan had a similar contoured front fender, but had more of the wheel bottom and suspension system exposed compared to the Lightning.
The “Tachyon” in the name of the bike refers to a hypothetical particle that moves faster than the speed of light, which according to Einstein’s theory of relativity is impossible. “Nb” is the chemical symbol for the material niobium, which is the primary product of Lightning’s Brazilian partner on the project, CBMM, and is used as an alloy in steel to improve its strength, and as an element of some superconducting materials. Niobium is used in brake discs, the frame and in the bicycle charging system, with the aim of making structural parts stronger and lighter, and electronic parts more efficient and reliable.
New Atlas Reports the motorcycle fairing is a collaborative effort with Corbin, the famed motorcycle saddle maker whose founder, Mike Corbin, set his own electric motorcycle speed record in the 1970s.
The original plan for the Lightning Tachyon Nb was to go for the record at the famous Bonneville Salt Pans, but the recent flooding there has certainly delayed those efforts. Interestingly, Voxan’s record was set at Kennedy Space Center’s Space Florida runway instead of the more traditional Bonneville location.