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Thread: Lightning "Enters Production"

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Lightning "Enters Production"

    This just annoys the b'jeesus outta me, but you know how I get.

    In 2009 they claimed to be the "fastest production electric motorcycle". For all their specious "Firsts" claims, see this: http://lightningmotorcycle.com/about...ghtning-first/ With 3 actual sales in their entire history, and possibly less than ten actual bikes built, the LS-218 doesn't qualify for any definition of "production" in use in the English language. Above and beyond that, the bike that set the records resembles the actual LS-218 only remotely.

    Now InsideEVs is reporting they're "entering production"? So is this an admission that they weren't in production before? Or is it simply scraping the bottom of the "what are we gonna write about this week?" barrel?

    The story really pisses me off when they go on to say "If anything, Lightning has been flipping the script on the typical startup, which is: 1) Market heavily, 2) Make huge claims 3) Deliver little proof." I don't see any flipping of any scripts here.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the bike, I love the looks. I'd love nothing more than to see the bikes being built and sold. I'd also love, however, to see some honest communication and coverage.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
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    After reading that article, I still don't see any evidence of an active production line. (Even their dog looks sleepy.) Things look just like it did in the photo of their production line that I saw two or three years ago. That photo was taken from the other end of that assembly room and showed four partially assembled motorcycles in line. At the time it looked to me like the "factory" was about 40 feet long and maybe 15 feet wide, to the best of my recollection. Not exactly like the Brammo factory when they were producing the Empulse. I think I would want more evidence (such as more photos of the "factory" and fewer random promotional photos taken years ago) of an actual manufacturing facility than just that one very limited photo on the Instagram link contained in the InsideEV article. It seems to me that the author of that article is jumping to a conclusion that is supported by little evidence other than that claim by Lightning and a single, intentionally limited, photo showing the front of a single partially assembled motorcycle, on something called Instagram. Or am I missing something (again)?

    I would need more evidence than that before I starting shouting to the World that Lightning is finally producing motorcycles for sale to the public in more than single-digit quantities.

    Attached are some photos that I took in 2014 of the Lightning display at an EV show. At least those bikes looked fully assembled.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    I believe them as much as I believe Harley, or VW. Hell, we own a Bolt, and I don't believe GM. I still figure there is about a 50% chance we are driving a rare collectible.

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    Well, it does look like Lightning has established a new manufacturing facility and a Global Headquarters in San Jose, CA. The new digs shown in this article must have cost them millions to buy, or tens of thousands of dollars a month to lease. Commercial real estate is really expensive in San Jose right now, what with Google buying every piece of vacant dirt they can find in the city. It kind of makes me wonder how Lightning is going to make ends meet with those kind of expenses just selling high-end electric motorcycles? How did that work out for Brammo?
    https://electricmotorcycles.news/lig...ke-production/

    While Energica seems to be staying in business selling a few hundred electric motorcycles a year, they did have to lower their prices from something like $40K when they first marketed their bikes, to $18K in 2017 to get them to sell in the U.S., before increasing them back up to $25K this year. However Energica is subsidized by a large multi-million dollar Italian design and manufacturing conglomerate. But what has been keeping Lightning financially afloat for the past 8 or 10 years to the point when they can make this kind of investment and expect to stay in business? There must be a Golden Goose somewhere in their business plan.
    Last edited by Richard230; 21 December 2018 at 0735.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    I saw that too. "If you build it...?"

    I know what you're trying to say about Energica, but you can't really say they're "staying in business". They're under the wing of the larger manufacturing company, the CRP Group. That's always been their big advantage. I think they're doing OK, but I'm not convinced they could hold their own if they didn't have that umbrella.

    On Lightning and Golden Gooses ... things must have changed.
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 22 December 2018 at 0351.
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    I'm not very convinced Energica has really sold even that many bikes. Are we sure their current fleet for the FIM series isn't the biggest run of bikes they've ever built? But, yeah I too am seriously skeptical of Light actually building bikes all of a sudden. We've heard all of this before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazclrint View Post
    I'm not very convinced Energica has really sold even that many bikes. Are we sure their current fleet for the FIM series isn't the biggest run of bikes they've ever built? But, yeah I too am seriously skeptical of Light actually building bikes all of a sudden. We've heard all of this before.
    As of a couple of weeks ago, my BMW dealer, who also sells Energicas, still has a 2017 Eva on the showroom floor. So what do you make of that?
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    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    As of a couple of weeks ago, my BMW dealer, who also sells Energicas, still has a 2017 Eva on the showroom floor. So what do you make of that?
    I think ICE still rules the roads!
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
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    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Another high-water mark for motorsports journalism. "...but new images of bikes working their way down the production line show Lightning are serious."

    OH. I thought actually getting orders and fulfilling them showed that they were serious, not just posting some photos. SILLY ME.

    https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...h8XrMPLaLm4kuc

    If you use AdBlocker, don't bother turning it off for this little rehash of 3 salient points... hell, it's barely worth even clicking on.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
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    There are worse things than a slow-moving Lightning production line. Check out this piece of vaporware:
    https://electricmotorcycles.news/rev...nt-of-the-75s/

    The word is that the "company" even stole the likeness of a female model without compensating her and tried to hide the fact by not showing her face. What is shown of her body has been copied from a picture of her sitting on an ICE motorcycle, according to a photo posted on the Electric Motorcycle Forum.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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