Lightning Motorcycle CEO Richard Hatfield delivered the very first Lightning LS-218 electric superbike. Over eight years in development, the LS-218 is the fastest electric motorcycle in production and perhaps the fastest motorcycle of any kind in production.
he company has followed a strategy for several years of innovation through competition, or what they call "race on Sunday sell on Monday" in motorcycle sports. Prototypes of the Lightning LS-218 have run at racing events since May 2010, with rapid advances and refinements resulting in an astonishing win at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb when Carlin Dunne beat every last motorcycle racer by over 20 seconds riding the LS-218.
The Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 is at the very top tier of electric motorcycles, offering performance rivaling the fastest of motorcycles of any power train. In August 2011, the team set the land speed record for electric motorcycles at 215 miles/hr, and the fastest speed recorded in that session (218 miles/hr) gave them the LS-218 name. In 2012 at the TTXGP/e-Power race at Laguna Seca (held during the MotoGP weekend) the LS-218, with Michael Barnes on-board, gave lap-times within the ballpark of MotoGP lap-times. Then in June 2013, as noted earlier, Carlin Dunne rode the Lightning LS-218 to an astonishing victory at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, beating the entire motorcycle pack by over 20 seconds.
Someone looking for the ultimate in clean green electric performance might skip past the Tesla Model S P85D (the new dual-motor Model S P85 that does a 3.2 second 0-60 time) and look at the Lightning LS-218. Where the P85D will run well over $100,000, the Lightning LS-218 is one of a handful of electric motorcycles that capable of beating the P85D's 0-60 performance. Of those, the LS-218 is the only one where the manufacturer has gotten the bike into production. Plus, the LS-218 can be had for a fraction of the P85D's cost - the LS-218's base price is $38,000.
Lightning Motorcycle exclusively uses the most powerful and safest best of breed batteries currently available with a charging time of 30 mins on a quick charger or 120 minutes on level 2 charger. The customer can choose between a 380V 12kwh battery pack good for 100-120 miles per charge or a 380V 15kwh battery pack good for 120-150 miles per charge or a 380V 20kwh battery pack good for 160-180 miles per charge.
The front suspensión is a Öhlins FGRT inverted fork with NIX30 cartridge internals, TiN surface treatment, billet aluminum radial caliper mountings and a fully adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping.
The rear suspensión based on a billet aluminum swingarm with linear Öhlins TTX36 Shock and linkage system and an adjustment for preload, ride height, high and low speed compression and rebound. The brakes are dual Brembo 320mm disc; Brembo radial-mount forged 4-piston calipers, 2 Brembo T-Drive 320mm Fully-Floating Rotors and 2 Brembo GP4-RX CNC Radial Calipers.
The motocycle uses Marchesini forged magnesium 3.5″ x 17″ front Wheel with 120/70ZR17 tires and Marchesini forged magnesium 6.0″ x 17″ rear Wheel with 190/55ZR17 tires.
The new Lightning has a regenerative braking and a total weight of 495 lbs.