The Lightning LS-218 the Electric Superbike

May 26, 2014 View Comments by

The Lightening LS-218 the Electric SuperbikeLike it or not, electric bikes are here to stay. Whether they’ll eventually replace their fossil fuel powered brethren remains to be seen, but for now it seems like a new electron driven two-wheeler hits the market every few months. Watching this new technology as it grows and evolves is certainly exciting and the latest iteration is the Lightning LS-218. Lightning Motorcycles, the LS-218’s manufacturer, calls it “the most technologically advanced and highest performing street-legal production motorcycle in the world.” You’ll notice that they didn’t qualify that statement with the word “electric.” So let’s see if they’ve got the numbers to back up such a lofty claim.

The LS-218’s liquid cooled electric motor is capable of producing over 200 horsepower and 168 pound feet of torque. Then there’s the number 218 in the bike’s name. That comes from the Lightning’s best timed run at the Bonneville Salt Flats; 218.637 mph (you can check out a video here). In fact, the LS-218 is currently the record holder as the world’s fastest production motorcycle. It is impressive to say the least. But what about range? Depending on which battery pack you select (options range between 12 and 20kwh), the LS-218 will go for up to 180 miles on a single charge. Topping off the electron supply takes a claimed 30 minutes at a public fast charge station.

In addition to the beastly engine the LS-218 is also blessed with plenty of top shelf suspension, brakes, and wheels from Öhlins, Brembo, and Marchesini respectively. The bike weighs a hefty 495 pounds, which is a lot for a sportbike, but those extra pounds certainly don’t seem to be holding it back. What will hold it back, from selling huge numbers that is, is the price. Each bike is built to order and starts at $38,888. Not to worry though, Lightning has plans to build a variety of more competitively priced models in the future.

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