The Lightning Strike electric motorcycle is perhaps the most highly anticipated electric motorcycle of the year. Based on what we know so far, it has the potential reshape the electric motorcycle industry. Lightning has just announced that the bike will be unveiled this week, so get ready. Read on for all the details.
Lightning Strike launch date set
Lightning Motorcycles has been dripping out details of the bike for the last two months.
Now the company has confirmed that the wait for the full reveal is nearly over. The launch is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th.
We’ve been in constant communication with the Lightning team and so you can be sure that Electrek will be reporting all the bike’s details first. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; that’s four days from now.
First, here’s everything we know so far, followed by our predictions.
Lightning Strike: What we already know
The Lightning Strike electric motorcycle is Lightning’s first sportbike. Their previous model, the LS-218, is firmly in the superbike realm, meaning the Strike will be a sportier street version.
It will feature an aluminum frame and liquid cooled motor, similar to the LS-218. Öhlins suspension will also be offered on at least one version of the Strike.
The Strike will have a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) and an electric range per charge of 150 miles (241 km).
The Strike will also feature three charging options: Level 1, 2 and 3. Charging times will be as low as 35 minutes on Level 3 DC fast chargers, approximately 2-3 hours on Level 2 chargers, or as long as a full overnight charge on a standard 110 VAC wall outlet (Level 1 charging).
The Strike will start at $12,998 and is actually already available for pre-order on the company’s website. There are two versions available for pre-order, the Standard Edition and the Carbon Edition. The former requires a $500 deposit while the latter requires a much stiffer $10,000 deposit. Both are fully refundable.
The Carbon Edition should come with every available option, but the full price hasn’t yet been revealed (nor what any of the options will be – beyond presumably carbon fiber body panels).
That’s essentially everything we know so far.
Lightning Strike: What we don’t know yet
There are still a lot of mysteries left regarding Lightning’s newest sportbike.
How powerful is the motor? The motor in the LS-218 is rated at 150 kW (200 hp) and 168 lb-ft (228 Nm) of torque. Obviously the Strike won’t be quite as high performance, but will it be anywhere close?
Lightning’s current LS-218 electric superbike
Will the bike use chain drive or belt drive? What kind of acceleration numbers will it have?
How large is the battery? What kind of cells does it use? Is it liquid cooled like the motor or is it air-cooled like Zero Motorcycle batteries?
Are the 150 mph speed and 150 mile range available on the $12,998 Standard Edition, or will that base model be a lower speed and range version? How much will the Carbon Edition cost?
When will production begin and in what volume? The LS-218 took a long time to finally reach production, but the company has been overhauling their facilities to prepare for the Strike’s launch.
I don’t want to start wild speculation.
But I’ll definitely start some conservative speculation.
I think we’re going to see a fairly aggressive sportbike here. Lightning doesn’t have a lot of experience in the category yet, but they have had a lot of time with the LS-218 and so I have some decently high expectations.
For motor power, I don’t think we’ll see anything less than 70 kW (93 hp), unless the bike is incredibly lightweight. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a motor rated as high as 100 kW (134 hp).
The 150 mph, 150 miles and $13k trifecta has been getting a lot of people excited. Unfortunately though, I don’t think those will all happen on the same bike. I would love for that to happen, but I’m not sure the economics are there. If Lightning could pull off the trifecta though, they’d have a serious Zero killer on their hands.
Rather, I think we’ll see a lower speed and lower range version for the previously stated $12,998 price. It might actually feature the same motor, but with a lower electronic limit to not stress a smaller battery pack too much.
Though if the same liquid cooling system that is being used for the motor will also be applied to the batteries, it is possible that a smaller capacity battery could still provide the same motor power as a larger battery.
Regarding capacity, I suspect that the 150 mile figure we’ve been seeing is almost certainly a city range. That seems to imply a battery in the 12 kWh to 15 kWh range.
For everything else, I think we’ll just have to wait and see.
What are your predictions for the Lightning Strike? Let us know in the comments below.
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