Setting a Land Speed Record with a Sidecar Motorcycle

Kevin Clemens built this electric sidecar motorcycle to set a world record on the salt flats of Bonneville

Kevin Clemens, an engineer studying for a Ph.D. at the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand, has a rather unusual doctoral project: He’s researching the aerodynamics of asymmetrical vehicles. The topic is an outgrowth of his interest in setting land speed records with electric motorcycles, something that’s been a passion for him for the past five years.

His latest effort in that sphere is to establish a land speed record for a sidecar motorcycle, a three-wheeled vehicle that is rarely seen on roads these days but is still raced. But he’s not using just any sidecar motorcycle: He has converted a gasoline-powered one formerly used for racing into an all-electric streamliner, albeit one with a very asymmetric cross section.

Clemens is at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats right now, where he will be racing his electric three-wheeler. You can learn about his preparations by viewing the video above, follow his progress on his team’s Facebook page, or read about his earlier efforts chasing land speed records with electric motorcycles at his website.