If you happen to be in Northern California this weekend, you have the chance to see motorsports history being made (as well as a new entry in the Guinness World Records book) as international competitors gather for the first-ever 24 Hours of Electricross in San Jose. The event marks the first international endurance competition for off-road, all-electric vehicles.
The event is being hosted by all-electric motorcycle company Zero Motorcycles, and was created by the the company’s founder, entrepreneur and former NASA engineer Neal Saiki, who recently demoed the bike for wheel nut Jay Leno. The Zero Motorcycles’ 24 Hours of Electricross fittingly takes place in the heart of the Silicon Valley at the 408MX Motocross Track in San Jose. The competition itself is designed to be a grueling 24-hour endurance race that tests both the limits of a competitor’s skills as well as the durability of the electric vehicles they enter. Beyond the sporting aspect, organizers says the event is designed to spark competitive innovation in electric vehicles everywhere.
“Everyone from lifelong motorcyclists to environmentally-conscience trend-setters are fielding teams,” said Saiki. “Some are traveling thousands of miles at their own expense for this opportunity to make motorcycle history.”
The innovative company’s Zero X motorcycle will be one of the vehicles competing. A high-performance electric motorcycle that utilizes a proprietary lithium-ion power pack and aircraft grade aluminum frame to achieve an exceptionally high power to weight ratio and extended range, the Zero X boasts a 23-horsepower electric motor and a total weight of just 151 pounds. This allows the Zero X to keep pace with most conventional gas off-road motorcycles, without disturbing nature or neighbors.
Zero Motorcycles sold-out its 2008 bikes, the first year production models were available, and has just begun shipping the modified 2009 version in volume. Two models are available, the Sport, which retails online for $7,450, and the Extreme, $9,450. The Santa Cruz-based company is offering demo rides to prospective buyers, and should you decide to become an e-biker, orders are taking about one month to fulfill.