The Lightning LS-218: World’s Fastest Electric Sportbike

Man seat on the motorcycle under sky with cloudsWhile major companies are still struggling to incorporate electric motors into their classic lines of two wheelers, it has been left up to the smaller independent companies to develop the future of electric motorcycles. There has long been criticism that electric motors are not nearly as powerful or as fast as their gas-powered equivalents; however, car models like the Tesla S and the BMW i3 have already proven this theory wrong. So then what about motorcycles? If any skeptics remain amongst pros pursuing auto careers, they’ll be surprised to learn that the world’s fastest two-wheeler is actually the electric powered Lightning LS-218 superbike.

Motorcycles Have Caught the Electric Fever

Although the LS-218 is the fastest electric motorbike, let’s not make the mistake of thinking it’s the only electric bike out there bidding for top rank. In fact, Harley-Davidson just recently developed the company’s first ever electric bike. While some purists may cringe at the idea of classics being re-made electric, the truth is that Harley-Davidson engineers are very excited about the potential for electric bikes. The bike is not currently available on the market as developers are still running tests – so we’ll have to wait to see what consumers think about the new concept.

A California-based company Zero Motorcycles recently released the well-received Zero SR bike, which riders have praised for its smooth and simple riding capabilities. There is also the Italian Energica Ego electric motorcycle, to be released in 2015.

With electric scooters already popular in places like Italy and China, it only makes sense that people will begin to see how this electric technology could apply to higher-speed, longer-distance two wheelers like sportbikes and cruisers. With North American cities becoming more engaged with emission-free transportation, we can only assume that automotive service technicians will see a lot more electric technology pass through their garages in the very near future.

The Lightning LS-218

Lightning Motors Corp. is a company based in California whose lifework is researching and manufacturing vehicles that use renewable energy sources, including hybrid cars, buses, electric ATVs and of course electric motorcycles. So what exactly is it about the Lighting LS-218 that qualifies it as a “superbike?” For one, the electric motorcycle can travel at 200 miles/hour—the fastest motorcycle speed in the world. And for such a tiny vehicle, the LS-218 has an amazing 200 horsepower engine. Despite the incredible speed of this bike, Lightning Motors has made sure the LS-218 is street legal.

The bike is charged with an electric battery, and this is where electric technology still has room for improvement. The battery only holds enough energy for 100 miles of riding—making the motorcycle inefficient for long stretches. Lightning Motors claims the vehicle can fully charge in approximately an hour. For future dealership managers in auto sales college, this could make the LS-218 an easier sell than a Tesla S, which takes over four hours to charge a 300 mile battery.

Want to see how this sportbike rides? Check out this video!


Would you buy an electric motorcycle? Why or why not?

Categories: ATC News, Surrey
Tags: auto careers, auto sales college, automotive service technicians

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