The KillaCycle team (me, Scotty Pollacheck, Steve Ciciora, Derek Barger, and Scot Colburn) just got back from the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) event at Las Vegas. I believe that the KillaCycle was the very first non-Harley motorcycle ever to participate in the Las Vegas AHDRA event, ever. Quite an honor.
The reception was warm, but the weather was a bit chilly at times. This made it difficult to get all 880 of the A123Systems lithium ion cells up to the toasty temperature where they deliver the most HP. During the course of the event, we progressively posted better times as we figured out ways of warming up the pack. On Saturday morning, we ran a restrained 10.19 @130 mph just to shake down the bike and cycle the pack. (900 pack amps, 374 volts.) Neither the fans or the tower announcer were expecting a nearly silent drag bike, so there were a lot of puzzled looks and “What the heck was THAT!” comments after the run.
This event is the AHDRA season finale, so there were a LOT of bikes running. (Great track prep by AHDRA, by the way.) We were very lucky to get three runs in all day. (10.19, 9.217 and 9.346) The runs were many hours apart, so we couldn’t get the A123 Systems pack temperature up to the desired 70 degrees Celsius for maximum power. (Other brands of Li-Ion cells would be ablaze at this temperature, by the way.) We knew we had to figure out a new strategy for Sunday.
By the end of Saturday, all the Harley fans knew who we were and were universally positive about the bike. We had a parade of tattooed bikers patting us on the back and telling us how much they liked the KillaCycle.
Scotty worked with the AHDRA officials and scheduled our Sunday exhibition runs for the afternoon. We ran the bike in the back lot several times and charged it up several times in the late morning to pre-heat the pack. We turned the Zilla up to 1350 amps, knowing the hot pack would be able to dish it out.
We ran a bit later than originally planned, so the pack was just a bit cooler than we would have liked for the first run. We set a new record on this run, however, of 9.035 @142.79 mph! (Our old record was 9.156) We quickly returned to the pits, recharged the bike, and the AHDRA folks let us run again just as soon as we were ready. The pack was up to temperature and we were able to back up our new record, making it official.
This last run was near the end of the event and it was quite dark by then. The crowd was all ready for us and cheered Scotty as he did a truly awesome burn-out. (We will post the video shortly on You-Tube.) He then rolled out of the water box and up to the staging lights, taking his time, letting the pack recover from the burn-out discharge. He launched hard and we all knew this run was going to be even better than the previous one. Just as Scotty crossed the finish line, the rear motor splashed plasma onto the track, creating an awesome fireworks display. (You MUST see the video.)
The scoreboard lit up showing: 8.760 @ 145.44 mph
Here’s the video: