By Jordan Gibbons
Lightning have unveiled the Strike – a new electric bike that’s got the looks, the tech and a very sensible list price. This could well be the machine we’ve all been waiting for…
Lighting have been going since 2009 but until now they’ve only sold the LS-218, a high performance electric superbike with a price to match. The Strike takes what Lightning have learned developing the LS-218, but wrapped it in a more affordable package.
The standard model is powered by Lightning’s new liquid-cooled AC induction motor (it’s a big twist and go), which produces 88 bhp and a whopping 180 ftlbs of torque. Paired with that is a 10 kWh battery and a 3.3kW onboard charger that can be plugged in to public chargers, but is best suited to an overnight charge at home.
What’s the Lightning Strike’s range?
Even with all that kit on board, the standard Strike weighs just 206kg and has a 70 – 100 mile range. Lightning have achieving this by fitting the Strike with an aerodynamic fairing similar to the one developed for their land speed record setting machine.
The result is a 30% reduction in drag compared to similar unfaired machines. The best bit of the whole thing by far though is just how cheap it is – a standard Strike is $12,998 (approx. £9895). If you want to go a bit further, or a bit faster, there are other models in the range too.
For those with slightly deeper pockets, Lightning are offering the Strike Mid, which has a 15kWh battery that pushes the range up to 105 – 150 miles. There’s a slight weight penalty of 4.5kg and it’s quite a bit more expensive at $16,998 (£12,960). If you want to push the boundaries further still, Lightning are also offering the Carbon Edition.
The Carbon Edition has the biggest battery (20kWh) that bumps the range up to 150 – 200 miles and also increases the output of the motor to 117 bhp. The onboard charger is also a 6.6kWh unit and it supports DC Level 3 fast charging, which can put 100 miles of range into the batteries in just 20 minutes. Again both the weight and price creep up, to 219 kg and $19,998 (£15,250). Although if you want some of the features but not all of them, battery size and charger capacity are both configurable optional extras on the standard model.
The nearest competitor to the Strike comes from Zero, however they’ve struggled to match good performance with a reasonable price. The Zero SR/F, which we’ll be riding in the next few months, is also promising a ground-breaking step forward in performance.
Prior to this, Lightning are best known for producing the LS-218 superbike, which has held speed records at Bonneville and Pikes Peak. They recently moved to a much larger facility to ramp up production of the LS-218 and no doubt to prepare for the expected demand of the Strike.
The Strike will go into production in July and although the models are only available in the US for now, Lightning plans to expand into Europe later this year.
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