Engineer To Break Electric Sidecar Motorcycle Land Speed Record

The following story of a man’s dream to beat the speed record for an electric motorcycle with an attached sidecar is proof that the Bonneville Salt Flats is as addictive as heroin. Kids, don’t do drugs! Speed is better...
Kevin Clemens on his electric sidecar motorcycle 6 photos
Kevin Clemens on his speed breaking electric sidecar motorcycleSpeed breaking electric sidecar motorcycleSpeed breaking electric sidecar motorcycleSpeed breaking electric sidecar motorcycleSpeed breaking electric sidecar motorcycle
It all started five years ago, when Kevin Clemens, an engineer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, decided he wants to set a land speed record on an electric motorcycle. So he built one, went to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and set a national record.

That was enough for the salt fever to install, so he returned the next year with an improved motorcycle and managed to break four world records. Of course, that’s not enough when you get the speed bug, so he planed to enter a new category - sidecars.

There's been a while someone tried breaking records with a electric sidecar motorcycle, so he already managed to score five of them yesterday. Basically, each pass granted him a national record, but Kevin says he’s still below the speed he wants to achieve. And overheating components are to blame for this issue.

“The salt giveth, the salt taketh away,” Kevin writes on his land speed Facebook page. “After five records yesterday we couldn't get the bike to complete a pass without the motors shutting down just as we got to speed. It is the same problem we had with the single motor drive in 2014- and that we thought we had fully solved. Three passes, all of them ending with me on an early turnout and no time. Grrrrr!”

He also says the heating problem could be solved by reprogramming the controllers, but that’s quite difficult to pinpoint the exact settings as he’s allowed only three passes a day. Even so, he’s determined to try again in the following days, and we can only wish him the best. God speed, sir!


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