TT Zero is a relatively new addition to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy road race meeting that takes place each June.

Despite its novelty, it's also raising more than a few eyebrows. None more so than this year, when experienced racer John McGuinness rode the lap you see above.

That's because over one, standing-start lap of the infamous 37.733-mile Snaefell Mountain Course, McGuinness averaged over 117 mph on his electric Mugen Honda motorcycle.

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If you're unfamiliar with the course, there's no better way of putting those kind of speeds into perspective than watching the video.

At points, McGuinness's head clears dry stone walls by mere inches. At others, his tires leave the tarmac completely, the eventual landing causing the bike to shimmy for hundreds of feet afterwards.

At one stage, the bike's bodywork can be heard scraping the ground through a compression at well over a hundred miles per hour.

Trees, spectators and houses are a mere blur throughout the lap, held on public roads opened to the world's bravest motorcyclists for a week each year.

But the importance of that average speed, and the nineteen-minute, seventeen-second lap it resulted in, cannot be understated.

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It may not be the fastest lap ever set around Snaefell on a motorcycle--that honor goes to McGuinness's Mugen teammate Bruce Anstey, running a Honda in the Superbike class. This year, he set a 132 mph average.

But it's within a couple of miles per hour of riders competing in the 'Lightweight' TT class--a record currently held by a 650cc Kawasaki.

It's also over 20 mph and over four minutes quicker than the very first TT Zero lap record, set in 2010. That's how far the class has progressed in just four years.

There's plenty of work to do, and TT Zero bikes can't yet manage the four-lap races of their combustion counterparts. But with a few more years' development, who knows what lap times electric motorcycles will be setting?


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