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Buckeye Current, only student-designed motorcycle at competition, finishes second in its class at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb debut

Several Buckeye Current team members took time off from summer internships to travel to the Pikes Peak competition.Buckeye Current, the student electric motorcycle team at The Ohio State University, recently competed in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, June 28, 2015. Despite tremendous setbacks—the team’s rider had an unforeseeable accident on a practice run resulting in major repairs to the bike and enlisting the help of a new rider—the  team persevered to ensure that its bike, RW-3, made it to the summit of Pikes Peak. While the team did not break the overall motorcycle record as desired, its accomplishments in the attempt were remarkable.

Buckeye Current’s RW-3, ridden by Joe Prussiano, steered to a second place finish in its all-electric class and 16th overall out of 52 motorcycles (both electric and gasoline-powered) with a time of 11:12.756. This feat is 46 seconds faster than the leading electric motorcycle of the 2014 competition. The Buckeyes also proved themselves a strong competitor of gasoline-powered motorcycles with the bike’s blistering 121 miles per hour clocked speed.

"This year competition was particularly tough, as the team attempted Pikes Peak for the first time with a completely new electric motorcycle design," says Marcello Canova, team advisor and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "Also factoring in the major setbacks during the event, the result achieved is nothing short of brilliant, and is a testament to the talent, passion and commitment to excellence displayed by the team members."

The team is thrilled with these achievements after overcoming the initial hurdles, made more impressive by RW-3’s standing as the only student-designed motorcycle to race this year. "Pikes Peak has led the team to a higher level of engineering," says Sean Harrington, computer engineering student and team technical coordinator. "It has become much more important to focus on details outside of just the powertrain and raw specs."

All about the students

Buckeye Current is very proud of its rookie performance and hopes to accomplish even more in the future.

Still, the greatest product of this experiential learning project is arguably the students. "I am incredibly proud of every Buckeye Current team member," says Nathan Lord, mechanical engineering graduate student and technical team leader. "I have seen each and every one them grow professionally as the team took on its hardest challenge yet."

Citing this, Polina Brodsky, mechanical engineering major and team technical coordinator describes her experience as a team member. "Buckeye Current has shaped my entire Ohio State experience. I am lucky to have taken part in building some of the world’s fastest electric vehicles...and the project has shaped my technical knowledge, hands-on skills and future career plans."

Looking ahead

And what's next on the team's radar? Stay tuned as plans for next year are refined. Keep up to date by following the team's website and social media channels, linked below.

Watch a video of the team's road to success here.










More About Buckeye Current

Buckeye Current is a student team at The Ohio State University based at the Center for Automotive Research, advised by Marcello Canova, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The team researches, designs, builds, and races electric motorcycles to not only create innovative electric vehicles, but to educate both students and the community about green technologies. The team’s first bike, RW-1, set the East Coast Timing Association record for electric motorcycles at 144.3 miles per hour. Buckeye Current’s second bike placed third in the Isle of Man TT Zero 2013, an international all-electric series, and their third bike placed third the following year to defend that podium finish. To read more about the team and to follow its progress please visit and the team’s Facebook page (/BuckeyeCurrent).

Contact: Lauren Alman, Buckeye Current Marketing Coordinator,