Lightning Motorcycles has introduced the Tachyon Nb, a modified, optimized version Strike electric sports bike designed to set an electric motorcycle land speed record of over 250 mph (400 km/h).

The name tachyon refers to a hypothetical particle that travels faster than the speed of light. Nb is short for the exotic metal niobium, and it’s used quite extensively on the motorcycle; indeed, Tachyon Nb emerged as a joint project between Lightning and Brazil’s CBMM, the world’s largest producer of niobium.

“We are introducing brake rotors containing niobium,” says Daniel Wright, CBMM engineer and project lead, “to improve performance at high temperatures, several niobium components in the on-board charger that allow the entire system to be more reliable and efficient, and finally, niobium-containing steel tubing in the swing arm and chassis, which allows us to meet the application’s high strength and weight requirements.”

Niobium alloys are used throughout the bike

Lightning / CBMM Motorcycles

How Lightning founder and CEO Richard Hatfield told us in February, niobium alloys can strengthen metal components while making its magnetic properties more effective. This allows for lightening and miniaturization that would otherwise be impossible; the charger alone shed about 20 pounds (9 kg) with the introduction of this metal, Hatfield tells us, without losing power or overheating.

Probably the most important aspect of any land speed race is aerodynamics. Parasitic drag increases with the square of speed, so keeping the drag coefficient to a minimum has a big impact on the final performance. Lightning is working with renowned aftermarket saddle maker Corbin on a new aero fairing for this endeavor.

Mike Corbin himself is a pioneer of electric land speed; he himself set the electric land speed record in 1974, and it went unbroken for an incredible 38 years – partly because he had to “borrow” about $100,000 worth of silver from a US Navy vault to do so. It’s a great story in itself and well worth reading.

Corbin supplied the seat, the fairing - and, indeed, the room when the Lightning moved
Corbin supplied the seat, the fairing – and, indeed, the room when the Lightning moved

Lightning / CBMM Motorcycles

Corbin and Hatfield designed a carbon fairing for the Tachyon Nb with a teardrop rear end, a large screen that the rider can tuck behind, and an innovative front wing design that blends into the main front fairing by only about an inch-wide gap that maintains the overall shape and allows just a small part of the wheel will protrude into the air stream.

The plan is to take Tachyon Nb to Bonneville and take pictures for a new record on the salt flats – although exactly when that will happen is not yet known. The Southern California Timing Association’s Speed ​​Week would start right now, but it was canceled due to floodingafter heavy rain left the speedway section on the flats covered in several inches of standing water.

See the Tachyon Nb on the road in the short video below.

Electric mountain bike Lightning Tachyon Nb

Source: Lightning Motorcycles

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