Last night, under the cover of darkness, an alien silhouette eased its way off the Santa Monica pier towards a long, but relatively quick, journey. The main clue as to the identity of this unfamiliar craft was the broad, easy smile of its pilot: one Terry Hershner, he of Guinness World Records fame.
It seems the electric motorcycle advocate and all-round green guy has finally had enough of California (for now), and has decided to wheel his way back to Florida. In true Hershner fashion, he's figured that while he's at it, he might as well go for the glory and attempt to set another record, this time for the fastest coast-to-coast trip by a battery-powered bike – much to the chagrin, no doubt, as another team planning on making the same journey on Monday.
As you can see from the photo above, he's hacked his trusty 2012 Zero S even further, teaming up with streamlining legend Craig Vetter to gain uber-aerodynamic efficiency. Between the gains made by the new bodywork and a boost to the battery pack by the engineers at Zero Motorcycles (now boasting 18 kilowatt-hours), what was once a 63-miles-at-highway-speed bike now has the capability of exceeding the 200-mile mark whilst cruising the Interstate.
Despite all the improvements, the mission may not be accomplished quick enough to shut out the competition. While the machine might be capable of doing great distances and charging pretty quickly – the bike now sports a veritable raft of chargers beneath its Vetterized skin for a potential 18 kilowatt fill-up rate – the man might not be quite as well prepared. According to a note we just received, Mr. Hershner started out somewhat sleep-deprived and may only be able to complete his trip by Tuesday.
While breaking records is cool, we'll be happy with a successful completion. You can follow Terry's progress and see more pictures off his bike at his Off The Grid Facebook page and, in the immortal words of a certain Sgt. Esterhaus, let's be careful out there.