World record electric motorcycle climb set in Australia

Electric motorcycles have quite literally peaked in Australia, with a local rider claiming a world record for the highest climb on one of the zero-emission vehicles.

Guinness World Records has officially recognised the journey undertaken by Adelaide man Duncan Mallord as the highest altitude change achieved on an electric motorbike following his ride to the peak of Mt Kosciuszko in NSW last May.

And the enthusiastic rider said he hoped the record would encourage other Australians to try the smooth, quiet and powerful form of transport.

Mr Mallord, a project engineer for Hatch, decided to take his Harley Davidson LiveWire on a record-seeking journey after discovering a similar title was set in a car.

“I read about Porsche achieving the greatest altitude change in an electric car and I realised no one had done it on a motorbike,” he said.

“It is a lot harder because the battery size is a lot smaller so you have to charge up a lot more.

“I thought, gosh, this is a great country to do it in and to show you can get out in the outback and ride on an electric motorbike.”

To achieve the record-making 1940.6 metre climb, Mr Mallord set off from low-lying area around South Australia’s Lake Eyre and climbed as high as he could up Australia’s tallest mountain.

The 1880 kilometre journey took him 102 hours and presented unexpected challenges, including being stopped near the summit as the road was reserved for electric bicycles and discovering a large group of kangaroos by the side of the road

Thankfully they weren’t spooked by the engine due to its low volume.

But Mr Mallord said his greatest challenge was charging the motorcycle as his meticulous plans were stymied by a broken charging station.

More charging points were being built to make rides easier, and he would like to see more riders test electric motorcycles on long journeys.

“Don’t be scared of going in the outback with an electric vehicle – whether it’s a car or a motorbike, it’s very doable,” he said.

“You can even cross the Nullarbor (Plain) now with electric vehicles so that concern about travelling long distance in an electric vehicle is no longer the case.”

Hatch managing director Jan Kwak, who supported Mr Mallord’s record attempt, said improvements in electric motorbike batteries and falling prices would also make the transition easier.

The entire record-making journey only cost $15.50 in recharging fees.

“We can see with Duncan’s experience that the running costs are significantly lower than for petrol vehicles,” he said.

Australians bought more than 17,400 motorcycles between January and June, which was down by four per cent compared to 2022.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


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