Land speed record chaser Eva Håkansson added another three titles to her collection at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials last week. Håkansson hit 242 mph (389 km/h) in her home-built electric sidecar motorcycle "KillaJoule." She is now the world's fastest woman on a motorcycle.
Gizmag featured Håkansson back in 2012 when she had recently pushed KillaJoule to just over 216.504 mph (348.429 km/h), also at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials. That took her to within 3 mph (4.8 km/h) of the 219 mph (352 km/h) record for an electric sidecar motorcycle. This time around, she beat that record by 25 mph (40 km/h).
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Håkansson's speed topped out at 241.901 mph (389.219 km/h) with a two-way average of 240.726 mph (387.328 km/h), pending official certification by the American Motorcycle Association. Assuming the result is made official, titles will be also held for "fastest electric motorcycle in the world" and "fastest sidecar motorcycle in the world." Notably, the latter title also includes sidecar motorcycles with internal combustion engines.
"This is a truly historic event," says Håkansson in a press release. "It is the first time in over a century that an electric vehicle beats internal combustion for a vehicle type. The last time this happened was in 1899 when the world's fastest car was the electric car 'La Jamais Contente' driven by Camille Jenatzy at 65 mph. Since then, internal combustion has dominated everything."
Håkansson and her husband Bill Dubé, both mechanical engineers, have worked on KillaJoule for five years. It is powered by two Rinehart Motion Systems PM100 controllers that, combined, produce 400 hp. It weighs about 1,540 lb (700 kg) including Håkansson, and measures 19 ft (5.6 m) long, 21 inches (0.53 m) wide and 38 inches (0.96 m) in height.
The vehicle has a fiberglass composite nose cone, canopy and sidecar wheel cover, along with pre-painted aluminum body panels. Hard rubber compound tires are employed and speed is controlled by front and rear disc brakes, as well as two Kevlar ribbon brake parachutes.
The video below shows a front-facing view of Håkansson's record-breaking run from inside the cockpit.
Source: KillaCycle Racing