MCN exclusive: Meet the new Langen LightSpeed LS12 - a Brit bruiser with 1000bhp-per-tonne


Three years after launch of their first model, Britain’s youngest manufacturer Langen are back with an all-new bike – and the new £44,440 Langen LightSpeed LS12 is as far away from their 250cc two-stroke as you can possibly get!

Revealed in this MCN exclusive, the new bike is the follow-up to the company’s massively popular Two Stroke work of art.

For their second release, the Greater Manchester-based firm have kept things V-twin but added some valves and camshafts, upped the cubes and piled on the power to produce an ultra-lightweight, four-stroke power-cruiser that’ll have Ducati’s Diavel V4 super-cruiser reaching for the SlimFast.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 side profile

The LightSpeed is a limited-edition carbon-clad, steel-tubular-framed 1190cc V-twin producing a claimed 185bhp in a package that weighs just 185kg (dry) – giving the new British bruiser a claimed one-to-one power-to-weight ratio (1000bhp per tonne) to put it on a performance par with the most smokin’ of superbikes.

As its name suggests, low weight was one of the Langen LightSpeed LS12’s key design goals, as company CEO Chris Ratcliffe tells MCN: “We were looking to shave off 30-40kg over the nearest competitor, which is probably the Diavel. It’s our strong belief that if you want a bike to handle well, there’s no substitute for light weight.”

To achieve that goal, Langen have relied heavily on their engineering know-how as well as deploying exotic materials – with the wheels alone saving 1.5kg of unsprung mass per rim.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 rear three quarter

“It’s carbon fibre everywhere, CNC machined components everywhere… we’re shaving grammes off everything, everywhere – which is why we made our own machined wheels,” adds Chris.

Unlike traditional performance bikes, Chris says comfort and usability were also crucial factors in development, adding: “We wanted to create something you could use everyday. It’s not just a bike for having a Sunday ride on. This is a bike you could use for long-distance trips to the Alps – you can travel in comfort, and when you get there you’ve got superbike performance.”

At its heart is Buell’s ET-V2 engine from the American firm’s current Hammerhead sportsbike.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 engine and frame

Originally developed by Rotax for EBR to race in AMA, the superbike-spec motor’s been harnessed by Langen’s own ECU.

“We’ve taken things to another level with the LightSpeed,” says Chris. “We’ve gone to a ride-by-wire Bosch throttle with a single larger diameter body and our own intake trumpets.

“Then we’ve got our own ECU which we’ve got full rein over – so we can develop whatever power curves and attributes we want. We’ve also made our own exhaust and cooling systems.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 exhaust

“Its character isn’t like any other bike. You’ve got all that low-end grunt of a V-twin but then it screams up to 185bhp and it can be equally at home on a track, which is the perfect basis for this bike because, while it is a bit of a cruiser of sorts, it’s designed primarily to go around corners.”

Its corner-carving potential is clear from the pair of Öhlins FGRT 48mm separate-function forks up front, teamed with Langen’s signature twin shocks (also Öhlins) at the rear. On the 17in bespoke aluminium front wheel, a pair of Hel Performance four-pot calipers bite 320mm discs and are backed up by ABS. You’ll also get traction control and riding modes as standard, with more electronic assists due to be revealed soon.

Digital controls aside, Chris says simplicity is still the LightSpeed’s most important feature.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 clocks

“Fundamentally, it’s just about the engine, geometry and the rider – the whole bike is simplified, you’ll see that by the fact that we’ve just got one round dial just telling you the information you. It’s just man and machine!”

The LightSpeed LS12 will be officially launched at Motorcycle Live next Monday, November 20 and potential owners will be invited to reserve one of the 185 build slots via and payment of a £1000 refundable deposit. Bikes are aimed to be delivered in 2025.

Langen LightSpeed LS12 in detail

  • £44,440 OTR
  • Engine: 1190cc 72° V-twin
  • Power: 185bhp
  • Weight: 185kg (dry)
  • Available: 2025

V is for vision – and V-Max…

Langen Motorcycles made their name with the small capacity performance retro roadster, the Two Stroke, so how did they end up on the other end of the performance bike spectrum with the LightSpeed power-cruiser?

Langen boss, Chris Ratcliffe explains that the vision for their latest model came long before
their debut machine – and from a highly unlikely place.

“I spent a lot of years on a Yamaha V-Max,” says Chris. “I got married on it, we went on our honeymoon on it, and we’ve done 50,000 miles on it. I love the bike, but it needed to be much lighter, more powerful, much better looking and most importantly handle as well as any bike with that sort of power – so I could keep up with my mates around the Alps, who were on sportsbikes. I had a couple of very scary moments at the Nürburgring!

“There were lots of things that I wanted to correct about it to make it, in my eyes, the perfect bike. So I thought, ‘you know what? It’s probably the next bike we should make!’ And our fantastic team of designers and engineers have made it happen with the LightSpeed.

“Basically, I had to retire my V-Max a good few years ago because it’s just long in the tooth and it needs a full nut-and-bolt restoration. In fact, my wife jokes that it was easier for me to set up a new company and make a brand new version of the bike than restore the one I’ve actually got in the garage!

“And it’s absolutely true, because that’s what happened!”