University of Denver engineering graduate student Eva Håkansson pushed her home-built electric sidecar motorcycle "KillaJoule" to just over 216 mph (347 km/h) last week, while setting a new world record for electric sidecar bikes at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at Bonneville Salt Flats. The top speed comes achingly close to the fastest record ever set with an internal combustion engine for a bike of that type: 219 mph (352 km/h).

Håkansson and her husband Bill Dube are well known on the electric motorcycle racing scene, especially for their "KillaCycle" electric drag bike. Unlike the KillaCycle however, the 18 foot (6 meter) long KillaJoule is classed as a sidecar motorcycle and features three wheels, with the rear providing power, the front steering, and a third wheel off-set.

KillaJoule derives its considerable power from a 375 volt, 1800 amp, 214 lb. (97 kg) battery pack, constructed from 1210 cordless tool cells manufactured by A123Systems. The bike also sports an AC motor made by EVO Electric, Ltd. and in its current configuration, its electric drive package provides 250 horsepower.

Håkansson constructed the vast majority of the KillaJoule herself (Photo: KillaCycle Racing)

The exact top speed clocked at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials was 216.504 mph (348.429 km/h), but due to the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) requiring an average time from two runs, the official speed noted was a still-impressive 191.488 mph (308.170 km/h), enough to set a new world record for electric sidecar motorcycles. Additionally, Håkansson was handed the prestigious “Female Rider” Award for her efforts.

Following its impressive BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials showing, the KillaJoule is rated as the fourth fastest electric motorcycle in the world.

The video below shows the KillaJoule hurtling along at speed.

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