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New Lightning Strike offers an affordable way into electric bikes

Published: 18 January 2019

Electric bike manufacturers Lightning have announced a new motorcycle, which has the potential to achieve real mass market success. According to Lightning, the Strike is capable of a 150-mile range, 150mph top speed and can be fast charged in just 35 minutes.

Best of all, it will go on sale for $12,998 (approx. £10,000). If all those figures are realised when the bike comes out in March, it’s the first electric bike that delivers the performance people want from a motorcycle, for a price they expect.

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The nearest competitor to the Strike comes from Zero, however they’ve struggled to match good performance with a reasonable price. The newly announced Zero SR/F, which will be released next month, 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.

Lightning ramp up assembly line

Alongside the Strike, Lightning have also entered the next stage of mass production with their LS-218 sportsbike.

Reported by MCN a few weeks ago, while they officially delivered their first customer bike in 2014, they have been quiet in recent years. However, new images of bikes working their way down the production line show Lightning are serious.

Lightning first stormed onto the scene in 2010 when a prototype set an electric bike speed record of 173mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Two years later that record was raised to 215mph and they later set the outright record for a production motorcycle at 218mph (hence the bike’s name).

A year later Lightning took the outright record at Pikes Peak, 22 seconds ahead of Ducati. The LS-218 is not all about speed, though, its standard 12kwh battery has a claimed range of 100-120 miles, while an uprated 20kwh unit bumps that up to 180 miles, with a fast charge time of just 30 minutes.

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