Mike Swallow made history at Infineon Raceway March 13, powering his electric motorcycle to victory during the track's weekly Wednesday Night Drags program.
The win marked the first time in the 20 years of Wednesday Night Drags that an electric-powered machine took the victory. Swallow piloted his 2008 custom 102 volt AC motorcycle to the win in the Motorcycle Class, riding the quarter mile in 11.561 seconds at 107.96 mph.
Swallow, who works for ThunderStruck Motorsports in Santa Rosa, Calif., was testing the company's latest battery-powered dragbike down the Sonoma Valley drag strip. They use the quarter-mile to find the right parameters around which the batteries run most efficiently. He defeated Petaluma's Ron Love in the final round. Love rode a 2005 Triumph.
"I get to come out to races because I'm the lightest guy at the shop, so it was great to get a win," said Swallow, 28. "I went up to the press box after the race, and the guy told me I'm a part of history at the track. This is the biggest trophy we have at the shop so far."
TS Motorsports is a small research, development, manufacturing and consulting firm that also retails electric vehicles and components. A member of the North Bay Chapter of the Electric Auto Association and the National Electric Drag Racing Association, the company has developed electric drag race and off-road motorcycles, go-carts, electric-assist bicycle trailers, a junior dragster, cars and even boats.
TS Motorsports retails three electric motorcycles, the AC-GPR-48 and AC-GPR-84 sportbikes and AC-M-48 supermoto.
The sportbikes are small, about 74 inches from front to back, but seating is a near normal 30 inches from the ground.
Powered by a 48-volt/44Ah, 350 amp AC motor developing the equivalent of 18 hp, the AC-GPR-48 ($7,200) is geared to top out at 62 mph and offer a range of 20-plus miles. Dual Hydraulic Disks brakes provide regenerative braking; plug-in charge time is 3.5 hours.
Featuring an 84-volt motor in the same chassis, the AC-GPR-84 ($8,000) achieves 80 mph.
Offering a 78-inch length and 36-inch seat height, the AC-M-48 supermoto ($7,200) is driven by a 46-volt/33Ah, 350 amp AC motor and is geared to a top speed of 60 mph.