Susan Carpenter crash tests Peraves e-Tracer

Dailies -



Making 201bhp, 810lb/ft of torque (after the gearing is factored) and capable of reaching a limited top speed of 150mph, the Peraves e-Tracer is one of the fastest vehicles and the only two-wheeler entering the Automotive X-Prize. It’s also one of the hardest to operate, combining the enclosed cabin of a car with the two-wheeled platform of a motorcycle. Setting out for exclusive first ride, The LA Times’ Susan Carpenter had a little whoopsie.

YouTube Preview Image
As the de rigeur little ‘e’ suggests, the e-Tracer is the electric version of the Peraves MonoTracer enclosed cabin motorcycle. That vehicle is already exceptionally aerodynamic and exceptionally frugal as a result — 57mpg and a 155mph top speed — but the e-tracer claims an equivalent fuel economy figure of 200mpg and can travel up to 150 miles at 75mph. Presumably shortening that range, it’s also capable of accelerating to 62mph in less than 4 seconds and between 50 and 75mph in less than 3 seconds.

Susan’s isn’t the first Peraves crash that’s been caught on camera. This video was shot at an English track day, with the machine’s owner driving.

Girl on a Motorcycle

  • Mark D

    Whomp whomp. I’d get all sorts of freaked out by turning the handle bars like a steering wheel (press right…go left?!), but that is an awesome vehicle.

  • robotribe

    Great idea. Needs more work. I’m no Susan Carpenter fan, but I wouldn’t fault here either for suffering the learning curve on that thing.

  • duncanbojangles

    During the video, is Susan Carpenter leaning her head constantly to remain in the camera’s view for the sake of video journalism, or is she a bad passenger that can’t fight the urge to lean away from turns?

  • Sasha Pave

    I’m awaiting a hailstorm of positivity to counter-balance Susan’s tornado of anti-motorcycle hatred based on her “Bikes pollute more than SUVs” LA Times article.

    That single article did more harm to motorcycling in the US than any other piece of journalism I can think of. I even had discussions with Bay Area transit authorities who used that article as the basis for anti-motorcycle policy.

    • Wes Siler

      You know, I never read that piece. Although it seems fairly straight forward that a 600cc engine traveling x distance at an average of 30mph would emit less than a 3,500cc engine traveling the same distance while spending the majority of the time standing still and idling.

      • Mark D

        A lot of the article had to do with the fact that most motorcycles on the road have no catalytic converters. The math is a bit fuzzy, and obviously motorcycle CO2 emission are much lower than average car emissions, but there is a lot of unburned fuel (from old carb’d engines) plus NOx and other nasty stuff modern car engines have greatly reduced.

      • seanslides
        • Mark D

          Nuts might be a bit harsh. She makes a valid point; obviously, if you’re running high compression ratios with no catalytic converters, you’re going to have higher NOx and other pollutants. Its a harsh reality we have to balance with that ridiculous efficiency and overall greenness of bikes. Don’t shoot the messenger!

          • seanslides

            I mean, yes, that’s all true. But, and it’s a big but, there are a helluva lot of bikes that come with catalytic converters. Throw a cat on a modern fuel injected bike and the picture changes quite a bit.

            Rather than pointing out that all the major manufacturers are doing just this, she cites CARB, who are notorious for doing things like this:

            I’ll admit that she might not be nuts, but I just Really dislike her. She’s got maybe a 20% understanding of what she’s talking about when it comes to bikes, and it shows when she writes things like that.

            • Mark D

              Haha, just read that jalopnik article. ::facepalm::

            • Chris

              Yeah, most motorcycle manufacturers are putting cats on bikes now, but they’re generally not very effective because they can’t get up to a high enough temperature to work properly. I’ve pretty much stopped making the environmental and fuel efficiency benefit arguments about motorcycles. They’re just not as green as I once thought they were. Put two people in almost any car and you’ll probably get better gas mileage per person than a motorcycle carrying one.

        • jpenney

          What’s nuts about that article? That seemed pretty straight forward: bikes run higher compression, bikes extract more energy from the fuel, bikes tend to not have catalytic convertors. Seems pretty common sense to me; more like a “state of the bike” than “NO MORE BIKES!”

          Just like the car industry, bikes will have to adjust to stricter emissions and fuel consumption. In my opinion, it’s been a net gain for cars as meeting the standards has created advances in nearly every aspect of the power train. The motorcycle world will follow suit, but have the advantage to crib from the four wheeled cousins.

  • Richard

    I remember seeing that vehicle on the Discovery Channel’s Beyond 2000 as a kid. I miss that show, but I guess now that we are, in fact, beyond 2000…