Translogic 178: Lightning LS-218 Electric Motorcycle

We Ride The World's Fastest Production Bike, Electric Or Otherwise

With the high cost of battery technology, electric vehicle owners are asked to pay a premium for greener transportation. That's a hard sell for enthusiasts, who are most interested in performance per dollar. Perhaps the tipping point for EV adoption exists at the intersection of increased power and decreased emissions relative to gas alternatives.

Lightning Motorcycles seeks to test this theory with its all-electric LS-218. At $38,888, the price tag is steep, but the performance is unprecedented. With a verified top speed of 218 miles per hour, the Lightning LS-218 is the fastest production bike in the world, electric or otherwise. Its 150-kW electric motor produces 200 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful superbikes on the market today.

While the Lighting LS-218 is winning races and setting records, this electric motorcycle is not without its faults. Tuned for the track, the ride is a bit harsh and the available power is overkill on public roads. The 150-kW electric motor contributes to a nearly 500 pound weight, despite carbon fiber components throughout. Most troubling, however, were the technical glitches we encountered during our test that unfortunately cut down on our saddle time with the bike.

Bumps in the road are to be expected, though, when you're pioneering new technology.

"There's been, basically, ten years of development of electric motorcycles compared to a hundred years of evolution of internal combustion engine bikes," said Lightning Motorcycles Founder and CEO. "I think we're at the beginning of where these could go."


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