CRAZY WEDNESDAY: KILLACYCLE – NOT ACTUALLY AN INSTRUCTION

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I find nothing sets me laughing more than a bit of schdenfreude, and as it happens, it also generates the kind of publicity that money just can’t buy. Hence, when designer Bill Dube attempted a burn-out on his amazing electric dragster KillaCycle, and it went a bit wrong, the video naturally ended up on YouTube. With the caveat that he wasn’t badly hurt, it really is hilarious. You can see how it should have turned out here.

The stunt was part of the KillaCycle display at Wired magazine’s NextFest, held in Los Angeles on 13th-16th September. Whether this was true misfortune or marketing genius, I don’t know, but it did cause me to investigate this unbelievable machine. As drag fans will know, these kinds of vehicles are built for speed rather than handling, designed to tear along a quarter-mile strip from a standing start in the shortest time possible. Various classes exist, with fuels ranging from gasoline to a nitromethane/methanol mixture. Current leaders can exceed 330mph at top speed, and complete the run in under 4.5 seconds, burning typically around 103 litres (22.75 gallons) of fuel during warmup, burnout, staging, and the quarter-mile run.

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You wouldn’t really expect an electric bike to be competitive, but Dube’s monster creation does just that. It is powered by 990 A123Systems lithium-ion cells, similar in appearance to those used in mobile phones, except that these are the most powerful of their kind in the world. The total weight of the battery pack is about 180 pounds, and it delivers 340 Volts, and enables six or seven runs on a single charge. The recharging only takes around 10 minutes. The total weight of the bike, without the rider is 619 lbs.

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The KillaCycle’s regular rider is Scotty Pollachek, who recently completed a best elapsed-time run of 8.168 seconds at 156.77 mph at the Firebird Raceway in Arizona, breaking existing records for both electric and some traditionally fuelled bikes, and making the KillaCycle comprehensively the fastest electric drag bike in the world. That’s 0-60 mph in 1.04 seconds. The KillaCycle team recently featured in Equator HDTV’s premier episode of the series “Green Wheels” – you can see a teaser here.

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With a cost of only about 7 cents for each run, the KillaCycle is almost silent except for some chain and tyre noise, it is an incredible demonstration of the potential of electric vehicles. As their website rather endearingly says, “When you think about it, the KillaCycle is just a giant cordless drill with wheels”.

Amanda

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1 Response to “CRAZY WEDNESDAY: KILLACYCLE – NOT ACTUALLY AN INSTRUCTION”


  1. 1 Buy Cheap Electric Bikes June 15, 2008 at 3:34 am

    So far after 2 months of riding almost every day, I haven’t had any problems with the ElecTrec. As far as distance, I have gone 11 miles on a charge while pedaling before I felt the battery going weak. It takes you from a dead stop to 15 mph on flat ground fast. The only negative thing I can find is the weight. It is fairly heavy with the battery. I ordered another battery and place it on a rear wheel rack so I can go further distances. This bike I can ride without worrying about things going wrong with it. So far so good


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