Lightning F-40 Racing
Lightning racers come in different shapes and different ages but they all have the same quest — to go fast and to enjoy riding a bike that’s free of pain. Their zeal is to go fast and faster, indeed they may have found what they had been looking for. And they don’t mind the look of their 'Chosen One'. As matter of fact they enjoy the stares and curious questions from young kids when they are on the roads or in races. The photo to the right shows a race in Whittier, Ca. The riders are Pete Penseyres, Gerry Pease, Tim Brummer, Greg Duvall, and Tom Howe.
Racing and turning heads is what 59 year old Tyger Johnson of Dakota (Ill) has been doing since he got his F-40 three years ago. Tyger was such a fast racer in his young years, that his team mates gave him this name. He is proud to keep it because at his age he has kept many young legs puzzled. Read more about Tyger Johnson here.
Our newest and youngest F-40 racer is twenty one Jesse Jakomait from Ontario, Canada. He is a very well known local cyclist with 10 years racing experience. He recently set a 15 kilometer race against the clock record in the Sault Cycling Club. Jakomait completed the course in 18:29, shattering the club’s old record of 19:49. His nearest opponent was almost 4 minutes behind him! “I didn’t know what to expect, but afterwards I was amazed at what this bike can do,” Jakomait said. “It was incredibly noisy from the wind blowing by my head because I was going close to 10 kph faster than what I normally go.”
Jesse also entered the HPRA races held at Indianapolis. Because the HPRA does not have a GT class, Jesse competed in the fully faired class against full hard shell streamliners. Even so, he placed first in the Drag Race, along with one 2nd place, two 3rd places, and finished second overall in points. Other Lightning racers also did very well at this event. In the modified class, Paul John, riding a Lightning F-40 with a coroplast middle section built to meet the rules, won all seven events in his class! Almost as good was Gary Toy and his Phantom in the partly faired class, as he won all but one event! Finally, Theresa Cheatham won every Female class event with her Phantom.
F-40 victory in Japan
The Wider Enduro Race, held at Moteki HONDA F-1 and Indy racetrack, was the scene for Lightning’s latest racing win. The course is a mixed F-1 and Indy ring. Jun, Our Japanese racer and importer, entered the race and completed the 107.2 km race (with 512m of climbing) in three hours, averaging 35.73 km/hr. The team reported that the the F-40 was an excellent choice for this race and appealed to many Japanese cyclists.
Across the U.S. in five days
The most impressive Record set by the F-40 is the 5 day, 1 hour crossing of the United States during HPV-RAAM. Held on open roads from Los Angeles to New York, the four man team of Pete Penseyres, Jim Penseyres, Bob Fourney, and Michael Coles took turns riding night and day. At first, Team Lightning riders rode for two hours at a stretch. Later in the competition, the pulls were reduced to one hour. Many real-world obstacles were encountered in this event, including high winds, hot and humid temperatures, steep climbs, high speed twisting descents, foggy conditions at night, road construction, stop lights, navigating through large cities, animals, and tires blown at high speed. But the F-40 and Team Lightning handled them all with ease. The biggest problem was if a support van stopped for gas or food, they would have to race at 65+ mph for up to an hour to catch back up with the bike!
The primary competition in the race was the Gold Rush with full Kevlar fairing. The four National Champion riders of Team Gold Rush slowly pulled away from Team Lightning the first night; and after 2,000 miles of racing, Team Lightning was 4 hours behind. But, with masterful tactics ingenously devised by “RAAM King” Pete Penseyres, and four highly experienced cross country racer hammering away with no letup,Team Lightning caught Team Gold Rush and passed them just 100 miles from the end! It was then Team Lightning that slowly pulled away to the victory in New York.
Furnace Creek 508
Barclay Brown competed in the grueling 508-mile Furnace Creek race in 1999, 2000, and 2002. In 2000, aboard a Lightning F-40, he set a new course record, despite suffering a spectacular wipe-out during the high-speed descent on Townes Pass.
For a forum for questions and sharing ideas about Lightning bikes, visit Joel Dickman’s LightningRiders.com.