7.824 @168 MPH !!!!!! at Pomona AHDRA Nov 10th

The KillaCycle made drag racing history at Pomona this weekend when we became the FIRST electric-powered vehicle to make a SEVEN-SECOND PASS in the 1/4 mile.

The 186 lbs of A123 Systems Nanophosphate cells were all warmed up and ready to deliver the 500 HP they were designed to. We had been having some trouble getting this insane amount of HP to link to the track, so we were trying out a new brand of tire (27″ x 10″ M&H Racemaster) Our bet paid off when the bike linked up hard to the cold track and posted our best ever 60 ft time (1.14).

The bleachers were quite full with folks that were waiting to see the KillaCycle make a pass. The bike sped by the stands, the only sound being the growl of the tire clawing for a grip on the cold track. I knew it was a fast run, but we all were completely blown away when the board lit up with 7.82 @ 168 mph.

The spectators didn’t clap or cheer, but, simultaneously, let out a revenant, hushed, low-pitched “whooooa” when the board lit up. They too were completely awed and nonplussed by the historic event that we all had just witnessed.

The stars aligned for us, but we could not have done this without the support and encouragement of the Jonah at A123 Systems, Jim Husted at Hi-Torque Electric, John at M&H tire, Bob at NSK Bearings, Rich at Manzanita Micro, Otmar at Cafe Electric, Steve and Derek at Denver CNC, and John Bruszenski.

We also want to sincerely thank the All Harley Drag Racing Association for their continued support and encouragement of our racing program.

Video by Susan Lefebire here:

timeslip picture here:

A few pictures and eye-witness write-up here:

Fantastic pictures from the event at HotRodHotLineBIKES at:

More information about it on the NEDRA web page!

28 thoughts on “7.824 @168 MPH !!!!!! at Pomona AHDRA Nov 10th

  1. Congrats, everyone! What an historic day for electric vehicles this date represents. Looks like all the hard work and tireless energy have paid off for the Killacycle team. You made us all proud!

    See Ya…John Wayland

  2. I am very proud of all of you, I knew you would hit the sevens this weekend. Now you are closer to being the fastest drag bike in the world. Which you will be, I am convinced of that.
    I believe you could lower your ET slightly, by getting better wheels on the wheelie bar. You can hear the friction when Scotty takes off.

  3. fantastic work! I’ve been following the Killacycle for a few years now and it’s great to see the constant progression. Hope you get some broader media coverage, this deserves it!

  4. Congratulations!

    You’re that much closer to beating those nitro bikes. Can’t wait to see what will happen with the new “super batteries” from A123.

  5. This was definitely a team effort! Without the help and support of all involved, this barrier would not have been broken. To say that it was a mad thrash would be an understatement. Great job everyone.

  6. As an ex pro stock racer here in England I find your achievments with this bike quite incredible, I would not have believed an electric powered bike could be that fast.I like the idea of no engine rebuilds, I should imagine that there is very little in the way of stressed parts in the engine itself to break.Its just so quiet, drag racing is all about noise,mybe you can rig up a stereo to play top fueller engine sounds as it runs!!.
    All the best for the future, a 6 must be on the cards. JG

  7. Is it possible to quickly share what improvements you are contemplating at the moment?

    We are planning to move up to the next generation of Nanophospate cell being produced by A123 Systems. These are called “Ultra” cells and won’t be in full production for several months. They produce twice the HP per pound than the present “M1″ cells that are in the Killacycle now.

    We are also planning to build an AC drive to replace the DC drive we have at the moment. This will be a very large undertaking, but will reduce the size and weight of the motors.

    There are also weight-reduction modifications we are considering on the frame and body. We are also considering aerodynamic improvements in the body.
    What might be limiting performance? Would there be any benefit to getting some liquid nitrogen on the high current lines to reduce resistance? Keep up the great work!

  8. Ran across your story about a month ago and fell into “EV Fantasy Land” immediately!

    Congrats to all involved on your Pomona Record!

    Questions: Besides the weight/size reduction of the A/C motors, is there any other reason for swapping over from DC? Are they more controllable at take-off?

    We want to get rid of the commutators on the DC motors. They limit the HP of the motors, and they are spinning mass we would like to remove. Without the commutators, we can go to higher RPM and higher voltages.

    Anything that spins, you must accelerate twice. You must “push” the mass up to speed, and you must also “spin” the mass up to speed.

    By going DC, do you loose the series/parallel shifting effect?

    We now shift from series to parallel because it is the most inexpensive way to extend the dynamic range of the controller. There are better (but more expensive) options. We could separately excite the fields (in both DC and AC.) We could go with a higher input voltage and/or greater output current on the controller. We could simply use two controllers. In AC, we could, if we elect to do so, switch from Wye to Delta with close to the same effect.

    How much of a “tax” will the voltage inverter cost you (I’m guessing about 10%?) meaning “only” 900 HP available at the rear wheel.

    There is a similar voltage “tax” with the commutator. However, the losses in the inverter are approximately double those in a DC controller because there are two switches in series instead of just one switch. These losses are quite small, however, just a few percent. Right now, we estimate that we put about 82% of the battery output into the track, including friction losses at the contact patch.

    Finally, Are the driver’s forearms strong enough to hold onto the handlebars with a 1.0 second 60 foot time?

    You will notice that the seat has a vertical “step”. :-)


  9. ‘Dustbin’ fairings, where the front wheel is enclosed in the main body fairing, were outlawed long ago for road racing in Europe and the rule has been adopted almost universally. I’m not sure what the drag racing associations allow, but this fairing shape is the most efficient. As for cooling the busses, superconductivity is now found at much higher temperatures, for cubic dollars of course. Then again, it might be cheaper to add batteries, increase buss cross section and/or reduce buss length. Skin effect may prove to be important with the switch to ac, thus stranded conductors might be useful. As for traction, the quicker one stages after burnout, the more heat will remain in the slick. Finally, tire warmers are used in road racing and it might be possible to adapt them to the much wider slick. Good luck to all the team members.

    I don’t think there are any restrictions on fairing in the NHRA for general motorcycle racing, just for the stock and pro stock classes.

    When you add the insulation weight, I don’t think you will win with superconducting wire. You also must transistion to normal resistive wire, and that can be complicated. (There are serious AC losses with superconductors, so it would all be incompatable with an AC drive.) In the abstract, it isn’t the cost, but the weight that you care about. If you can’t come out ahead with the weight, then the cost need not even be calculated. Also, if a small section of the superconducting cable goes normal, the fireworks will be quite spectacular. “To finish first, one must first finish.”

    There are two aspects to the burn-out sequence with an electric. You must heat the tire, but you are also heating the cells (on purpose.) The slightly-extended burn-out we routinely do is to get heat into any cells that might be a bit cooler than the rest. We then must pause a bit to let the reactants in the cells diffuse back into place and relensh what we just used. We slightly overheat the tire, and then wait a bit longer than usual so it balances out. This costs me a bunch in tire replacement, but we are out there to go fast, not to save money. Also, the burn-out looks a lot bigger than it really is. This is because we have no exhaust to blow away the smoke cloud. It just billows and gathers around the bike.

    As long as we wait ~20 seconds, the A123 Systems Nanophosphate cells have the same power output even though we are pulling some charge out of the pack. Actually, the rise in temperature increases the power output of the pack.

  10. G’day from Australia!

    Great to see EV’s pulling ever closer times to their piston counterparts.

    The drag racing sanctioning body here in Australia, ANDRA will be holding a rules meeting in February 2008 in which the technical department will be recommending that EV’s be allowed to race as an exhibition class – at the moment there is no provision for EV’s.

    However, if this is approved it would be absolutely fantastic to see EV’s such as KillaCycle attend one of the Nitro meets at Sydney’s WSID venue.

    Visit http://www.nedra.com and go to the rulebook section (“NHRA Rules Explained”.) The NHRA condensed the original NEDRA safety rules made them a chaper in the NHRA rule book. You folks down under are more than welcome to do the same.
    I don’t think that everyone that attends drag meets even realizes that there are EV dragsters and that they are so fast. Certainly to see KillaCycle Downunder would really push the sport in a new and better direction here.

    We are just regular guys doning this out of our own pockets. We can’t afford to ship the bike to OZ. However, if you folks could pass the hat and come up with the fare, we’d love to race the bike “upside down”. :-)


  11. Keep it up! The bike keeps getting more and more impressive. The performance is just incredible, when I read 0-60 in .9 seconds the back part of my brain fell out of my skull.
    I am planning to build a racing kart with about 75kW of power. Very interested in what you guys have created.

  12. I’m a firm believer of the A123 system.
    I just bought 48 of the lithium nanophosphate cells for my 400 watt electric bicycle and am now in the process of building a battery pack and charging system for it.
    I think Dewalt should have a nice yellow drag bike similar to yours and I can see that a whole new class of drag racing is about to begin.
    Thanks for setting the pace!

    You need to have a battery management system to monitor the voltage on each parallel group of cells during charge AND discharge. Without such a system to make sure the cells stay within the allowed voltage range, your pack will likely fail after only a few cycles (instead of lasting many years.)

    I’ve attempted to interest DeWalt in electric racing via phone and e-mail numerous times without success. They never write or call back. It is a mystery to me.

  13. What’s the latest on the upgrade to A.C. and with doubling the output of the battery pack?

    I think you were estimating being off-line (pun intended) for about 5-6 months for the upgrade.

    Are you on track?


  14. Nothing new since Nov. 07??
    I’m dying to see a sub seven second run…
    Electrifying motorsports!

  15. Thanks to ALL who have been involved in this project!
    It’s just the type of JOLT that is needed around the world to break the stranglehold that big oil has on our beliefs and behaviors concerning transportation–and of course on our pocketbooks and world politics.
    I encourage all readers to “spread the word.”

  16. Great job! I would be very interested in learning more about the motors and the availibility of all the parts to build a bike like this. In this area we pay 4.50 a gallon for fuel and it makes me sick! This concept is awesome and the bike is too cool!! keep up the great work.

  17. These might be a great reason for swapping out battries at a fueling station, it only take a few minutes to change them out and your back on your way. You would only get charged for the energy used to charge the battery, I want one now!

  18. what happend to the videos of the bike

    Still seem to work for me. They are all on YouTube. Search for KillaCycle and you will find plenty of them

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