Lightning plans to challenge speed record at Bonneville

Behold, the Lightning LS218, supposedly the fastest production motorcycle you can buy.

Lightning Motorcycles is planning another challenge at the world’s fastest production motorcycle record.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen any real activity in the electric racing scene, but about five years ago, battery bikes were making quite an impression in land speed events, as well as Pikes Peak. Lightning was arguably the most successful at that time, hitting 218 mph at Bonneville in 2012, making their RR model the world’s fastest production bike. The machine was renamed the LS-218 in honour of its achievement.

In 2013, a Lightning won the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb with Carlin Dunne aboard,  but since then, we haven’t seen a similar level of involvement from the battery bike makers.

Now, Lightning says it’s about to make another run at Bonneville Speed Week; the company has been testing another prototype machine this summer, and has already beat its own record of a 189 mph standing start mile. On its very first run, Lightning’s new machine hit 211.730 mph, so it’s obviously well within reach of being able to break the old record.

Lightning says part of the key to the new bike’s capability is a “cutting edge, higher density battery pack” that “along with a lighter more stable chassis design results in the most powerful and most ride-able bike we have ever built.”

When Speed Week arrives (August 12-18), Lightning has signed experienced land speed racer Jim Hoogerhyde to pilot the prototype to a new speed record. For now, the prototype is dubbed the LS-2??, but Lightning hopes to replace those question marks with a set of numbers indicating a new top speed record.

Of course, the ultimate question is not about how fast this bike can go, but how quickly Lightning can get the end product into consumer hands. Despite its high-speed success, Lightning has not achieve the market penetration that competitor Zero has. Is the new interest in racing a forerunner of a push to get bikes to market? We’ll see.

See the company’s full press release below.

Press release

In August 2012 Lightning brought its new electric super bike to Bonneville speed week and left with a top speed of 218 miles per hour making it the fastest production bike in the world.

In June 2013 Lightning brought its electric super bike, the LS-218 to Pikes Peak to compete in the Iconic Race to the Clouds and succeeded in beating all the other motorcycles to the top, electric and ICE, by a margin of over 20 seconds

On Sunday, 7/16/2017 Lightning took its never before run prototype LS-2?? RR to El Mirage, for a first ever shakedown run. The 211.730 mph first run was the second fastest among 90 purpose built land speed record racing vehicles running during this event and broke Lightning’s own standing start mile record of 189 mph set in 2012 with our production LS-218.

With this first, record setting test completed, Lightning is now targeting SpeedWeek at Bonneville, August 12-18, to determine just how fast this new production RR edition of the Lightning production HyperBike will go.  Lightning is targeting the replacement of the two question marks in our new bikes name, with maximum speed numbers from our official time slip. Lightning’s new design has the potential to smash our own production bike world speed record of 218 mph.

“Our rider, Jim Hoogerhyde, has an impressive resume of race wins and landspeed records himself”, said Richard Hatfield, Lightning CEO, “but Bonneville Speed Week in August is lining up to be a special event. We look forward to working with Jim to replace the ?? with an exciting number for our LS-2?? RR”.

What makes this extraordinary bike even better, even faster, is Lightning’s cutting edge, higher density battery pack developed in collaboration with Farasis.  The new battery technology powering our next step in electric drive systems provides a torque “Curve” that is not a curve at all. The dyno chart shows a straight line from 100 rpms to 9,500 rpms. This new drive package along with a lighter more stable chassis design results in the most powerful and most ride-able bike we have ever built.

At one time, being as good as a comparable ICE bike was considered the highest goal to be attained by any electric bike. For Lightning “As good as, is not good enough.” The Lightning LS-218 proved that we could deliver on that concept by setting the world speed record for any production bike.

In August, at Bonneville, the LS-2?? RR will be even better, even faster.

Innovation is Lightning’s DNA and drives our passion for building the best motorcycles in the world. At Lightning, that innovation, that drive for excellence, is not limited to the LS series of Super and Hyper bikes, it is in the design, the technology, reliability, ride-ability and the amazing fun factor of all our bikes.

Lightning will soon reveal its additional line of motorcycles. All of them were designed and engineered with the idea that being as good as the ICE bikes in each of their categories was not good enough for our bikes, and we think you will agree.

Stay tuned for more world records, and more very exciting bikes from entry level to Hyper bike, from Lightning Motorcycles, the Most Technologically Advanced Motorcycle Company in the World.

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