Events, News, Victoria

Breaking speed records with human power

Driven by their passion for designing, manufacturing and racing human powered vehicles, a student engineering team has broken the record for the fastest Australian single-track vehicle. 

Monash Human Power is an engineering student team whose goal is to produce the fastest human powered vehicle in the world. Since 2015 they have been designing, manufacturing and racing fully faired human-powered vehicles to push the limits of human speed.

During the team’s participation in the 2023 World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, riders Kit Kirby and Alastair Haslam both broke the Australian men’s single-track bike record. They hit speeds of 116.39 km per hour and 116.05 km per hour respectively. This means they are the fastest and second fastest Australian bicyclists.

Kit Kirby said “I joined the team in the chassis and drivetrain sub team but I also have a cycling background and an addiction to adrenaline, so I naturally wanted to ride the bike too.”

Being a part of the 2023 World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada was an incredible experience for the team. 

Kit said “it was a great opportunity to learn about the competition, the other teams, and how Monash Human Power functions in that type of environment.”

Engineers Australia student member and ambassador Sai Ramishetty joined the team as an operational member after seeing them at an engineering expo showcasing the bicycle. 

“It has been a great experience,” he says. “We have consistently improved our records, and we hope to further improve our speeds and take learnings from the event to become even faster. This opportunity is very important and we seek to continuously improve.”

The next couple of years will be eventful for the team. They will look at all the learnings and experience gained from this year’s competition and put it into developing and manufacturing an entirely new bike.

Kit said “we are currently in mid development of a tricycle for the Victorian human powered vehicle series, which will expand our horizons and provide more new learning opportunities for the team.”

The team hopes to compete with their new bike in the 2025 World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

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