Lightning Motorcycles has dominated the all-electric class at Pikes Peak, taken the prize for fastest electric superbike at Bonneville, and now it's ready to capitalize on those successes. The LS-218 cometh, and it stands to take the crown as the world's fastest production bike.
No, the name isn't particularly inspiring until you understand that the "218" refers to the 218.637 MPH record it set at Bonneville in August 2011. That's officially the fastest "production" motorcycle to blast down the salt flats, electric or otherwise. And they did it using about 8 cents worth of juice.
Lightning began taking pre-orders for the consumer version after entering the record books, and three years later it's finally ready to deliver.
For $38,888, the LS-218 packs a 200 horsepower, liquid-cooled electric motor. There's no transmission, with the direct drive motor spinning at a maximum of 10,500 RPM and putting out 168 lb-ft of torque. Three, 380-volt battery capacities are available, with the 12 kWh good for a claimed 100-120 miles, the 15 kWh maxing out at 150 miles, and the massive 20 kWh lithium-ion pack getting 160-180 miles per charge – right in line with its combustion brethren. Juicing up through a Level 2 charger takes about two hours, although Lightning claims a 30-minute charge using an undisclosed quick charger.
As for the rest of the bike, it's all top-shelf stuff, including inverted Öhlins forks and adjustable shocks, a billet aluminum swing arm, 320mm Brembos up front, and sexy 17-inch Marchesini forged magnesium wheels. At 495 pounds, it ain't svelte, but that's still not bad for a bike that can hit 60 MPH in well under 3 seconds.
Lightning will be debuting the LS-218 at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel this weekend, and we'll be getting more details when the wraps come off.