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View Full Version : Motorcycle.com reviews the production Lightning



Richard230
24 August 2012, 1438
Motorcycle.com has just published a very complimentary review of the street version of the Lightning race bike. This thing is brutal and the video showing its acceleration is just amazing. The price of the production version is $38,800, but if you are looking for a race bike to ride on the street, or in an EV race, the cost is likely less than most any IC race bikes you are likely to be able to buy. Plus, you can't ride those on the street. Check out their review here:

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/2012-lightning-motorcycles-exclusive-first-ride-video-91402.html?utm_source=mo08232012&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

teddillard
24 August 2012, 1607
yeah really. Mission Schmission. :D "The Lightning, without a doubt, is the fastest motorcycle I’ve ever ridden – gas or electric.”

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nztLjEs_2Kw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

liveforphysics
24 August 2012, 1713
Very cool! I loved the video, that bike rips hard!! Very impressive acceleration!

electriKAT
24 August 2012, 1759
Oh man, that video is hilarious! It's got to be an amazing bike to make a seasoned rider hoot and giggle like that. Thank you for posting this.

Hugues
24 August 2012, 1823
Incredible !

Looks like its game over for the ICE on this kind of bikes LOL

Do we know more about what they are using ? Motor, type of batteries, torque , power, gear ratio (seems rather high)

electriKAT
24 August 2012, 2034
It's in the article, and logos on the side of the bike. Motor is from a hybrid truck (Chevy Tahoe)? Batteries are Enerdel.

Skeezmour
24 August 2012, 2106
Motor uses a Remy core http://www.remyinc.com/ and a VERY custom stressed case. The swingarm is a thing of beauty.

Hugues
24 August 2012, 2210
One of the pack from Enerdel, first time I hear about these cells:
http://www.enerdel.com/pp320-394-vigor-battery-pack/

High voltage. But energy density is not on the top end though, 150 kgs for 11,4 kwh.
My 10kwh GBS pack is just a little over 100 kgs.

Any idea what kind of torque they get on the wheel ?

podolefsky
24 August 2012, 2252
One of the pack from Enerdel, first time I hear about these cells:
http://www.enerdel.com/pp320-394-vigor-battery-pack/

High voltage. But energy density is not on the top end though, 150 kgs for 11,4 kwh.
My 10kwh GBS pack is just a little over 100 kgs.


That mass might include the "automotive grade" case and other components (charge ports, what looks like a cooling system...maybe even the charger). 65kg of cells in an 85kg case wouldn't be that surprising. Some lead acid fork lift packs are 1300 lb (600 kg) of cells in a 1300 lb steel box.

podolefsky
24 August 2012, 2254
Wow...$38k, ready in 60-90 days?

Anyone want to buy a kidney?

SplinterOz
25 August 2012, 0029
I am wanting to buy one for racing here in Australia next year.

teddillard
25 August 2012, 0152
Richard made CNN:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s2MiAX8XMJM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

jonescg
25 August 2012, 0634
I am wanting to buy one for racing here in Australia next year.

It would have some competition in my bike at least :D

Richard230
25 August 2012, 0713
One of the pack from Enerdel, first time I hear about these cells:
http://www.enerdel.com/pp320-394-vigor-battery-pack/

High voltage. But energy density is not on the top end though, 150 kgs for 11,4 kwh.
My 10kwh GBS pack is just a little over 100 kgs.

Any idea what kind of torque they get on the wheel ?

The article mentioned that the Lightning has 2.5 times the amount of torque at the rear wheel than a Suzuki GSXR1000.

I think even Top Gear :O would find this EV interesting. :)

Arlo
25 August 2012, 0743
The article mentioned that the Lightning has 2.5 times the amount of torque at the rear wheel than a Suzuki GSXR1000.

I think even Top Gear :O would find this EV interesting. :)

Na their a scripted show like most tv... They would just pull the usual **** and pretend the bike went dead etc, After the tesla and leaf episodes I will never watch that **** again!

SplinterOz
25 August 2012, 1519
It would have some competition in my bike at least :D

Indeed, however I would like to have 40,000 odd grand to get one over here. :(

podolefsky
25 August 2012, 2054
If you didn't watch it, this video shows just how amazing this bike is. It's being chased by Jake Holden (who, according to a friend of mine from AZ who knows him, is very very fast) on a BMW S1000RR. You can see Holden is almost passing the guy on the Lightning in the corners, but only because he's a better rider. The lightning pulls away easily out of the turns. Pulling away from a skilled rider on an S1000RR says a lot.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJfZzlRQXa0&feature=player_embedded

teddillard
26 August 2012, 0325
What I most love about Richard and the Lightning is that it's no bull****. I have very little doubt that this was part of the plan all along, but there was never any posturing, vaporware, noise and social networking crap. They built a bike, raced it, and built a few more... The motor enclosure is truly a breakthrough, and a very expensive part to develop, and yet it's described as pretty much only a part in a long list of parts that make the bike do what it does.

When they got it ready, BAM. Walk softly and carry a big stick indeed. It's the Tesla of motorcycles, can I say that? But without the Tesla hype... just real-world performance. Funny, even for me, who will never be able to afford that much for a motorcycle, the price was no surprise at all, it seem totally reasonable for that machine.

Clearly, the investor side of the business is taken care of, and I think that's what accounts for the different approach. I'd guess it's Richard funding the lions share of the whole thing personally, with maybe a few very close, well-heeled friends who trust him and know what he can do. He likely doesn't need to prove much to them, or do much in the way of fluff. Maybe it's a side project for his other interests... though it's a pretty impressive side project. You don't get the feeling that there are a bunch of employees working for little or nothing who have their eye on stock options, do you?

I'll say it again, congrats on a job well done to Richard, and the whole team!

Warren
26 August 2012, 1351
I was at VIR two years ago. All of the builders were very friendly folks. I was particularly surprised how gracious Richard was. He didn't know me from Adam, but took the time to show me the bike, and point out all the details.

It appears, to get fast sport bike performance, and decent range, you need at least 10-12 kWh of battery. That is the biggest single item of your budget, and alone will cost as much as a 650-1000cc bike. Given that you can't match an ICE for range and price, and in this economy the rich are doing just fine, I think Tesla, and Lightning have the winning strategy. Build a product that is beyond anything available, at any price.

jonescg
26 August 2012, 1704
No, trust me the biggest part of your budget is a powerful motor that doesn't burn up, and a controller to run it. $20k right there. Battery can be had for under 9k, and that's with 10-12 kWh.

Richard230
11 September 2012, 0727
A couple of nice photos regarding the production bike and a few words here: http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-new-bikes/production-version-of-218mph-electric-superbike/21393.html

Warren
12 May 2014, 1645
Is this a new bike?

http://www.examiner.com/article/fastest-production-motorcycle-debuting-quail-moto-gathering-it-s-electric

Richard230
12 May 2014, 1726
It looks and sounds like the previous version of their superbike. :confused:

podolefsky
12 May 2014, 2018
I think the difference is that it's a street legal production bike, from their website announcement (http://lightningmotorcycle.com/unveiling-lightning-superbike-ls-218/):

"The Lightning LS-218 presents the first opportunity that consumers can purchase a production motorcycle capable of setting land speed records and winning road racing competitions that is as easy to ride as a 250cc commuter bike."

Warren
14 May 2014, 0731
I thought the 2012 bike was a street legal bike. Didn't they say back then that they had delivered one to a customer?

http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-new-bikes/production-version-of-218mph-electric-superbike/21393.html

EV_Scoot
14 May 2014, 1521
For track use perhaps?

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