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Old 11-14-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
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First Lightning LS218 electric superbike delivered

200hp electric bike is real and the first one has reached its new owner

The road-going Lightning LS-218 at the presentation in San Francisco

First owner Troy Helming tries his new toy

LIGHTNING Motorycles might not have the same level of hype as some electric bike firms but what it lacks in bluster it seems to be making up for in actions.

In case you’ve missed the LS-218, it’s the street version of the Lightning superbike that first set the electric land speed record (hitting 218mph in one direction, hence the LS-218 name, and achieving a two-way average of 215mph) and then went on to win the 2013 Pikes Peak hillclimb, beating all the petrol-powered bikes in the process.

The first road-going version was handed over to new owner Troy Helming by Lightning founder Richard Hatfield and the LS-218’s designer, Glynn Kerr, in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Five ‘pre-production’ machines are being delivered first before full-scale production starts, and Lightning says it already has more than 200 enquiries regarding purchases. In terms of specs, the bike claims a 100-mile range at highway speeds, 200hp and 168lbft of torque. It’s frame and swingarm are billet aluminium, with all the usual top-spec bits bolted on – think Racetech forks (with the option to upgrade to Öhlins FGRTs), an Öhlins TTX36 shock, Brembo brakes and Marchesini wheels. In theory, with the right fairing and final drive ratio added, the street version should be capable of the same 218mph top speed the record bike managed.

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