On Monday, Lightning Motorcycles announced the debut of the fastest production motorcycle in the world, a motorcycle which happens to be electric. The debut of the Lightning Superbike LS-218 will occur this weekend at the Quail Motorsport Gathering, at Quail Lodge, near Carmel California.
The Lightning Superbike LS-218 has proved its mettle by winning a number of top-notch electric motorcycle racing events. The model name, LS-218, comes from one of those when the team set the electric motorcycle land speed record in August 2011. The top speed over two runs was 218 miles/hr, for an average speed of 215 miles/hr.
The LS-218 doesn't require a gearbox, begging the question of what it would be like to ride a motorcycle capable of 218 miles/hr (or more?) top speed without requiring gearing changes.
To hit such speeds, the LS-218 is powered by an electric motor, controller and battery pack combination capable of delivering 10,000 RPM, power levels in excess of 200 hp and 168 ft/lbs of torque.
The team also racked up an enormous win at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. They won outright, beating every other motorcycle whether gas or electric. That meant beating, with an electric bike, top riders from around the world riding highly tuned top superbikes like the Ducati 1200.
If you can keep your speed down to "highway speed" the bike is claimed to have 100 miles riding range. Charging is done through a regular power outlet. Additionally, it can be charged at public fast charging stations in under 30 minutes.
“Since 2006 the Lightning team has been dedicated to developing electric motorcycles that meet and exceed the performance of the best ICE (Induction Combustion Engine) alternatives”, said Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning Motorcycle.“ To have broad acceptance from the motorcyclist community,we need to provide design, performance and value that competes head to head with the best gasoline motorcycles on the market. Lightning’s R&D team has developed electric vehicle technology through years of competition at racing events around the world. We believe that the LS-218 offers consumers the best of design, performance and value in today’s market.”
Interested buyers can contact Lightning Motorcycle to place reservations.