Motorcycles

Video: Lightning LS-218 – the wildest ride of 2015

Loz babbling incoherently as he goes full throttle on the Lightning LS-218, our wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Loz babbling incoherently as he goes full throttle on the Lightning LS-218, our wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: some angles are so beautiful it just looks surreal (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: some angles are so beautiful it just looks surreal (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: logos are cut into the custom sprockets (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: logos are cut into the custom sprockets (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech suspension (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech suspension (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: there's even logos on the chain adjusters (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: there's even logos on the chain adjusters (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: designed by Glynn Kerr (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: designed by Glynn Kerr (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: purposeful front fairing (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: purposeful front fairing (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: projector headlights (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: projector headlights (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: rear sprocket looks enormous, but the bike is geared for 218 miles per hour (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: rear sprocket looks enormous, but the bike is geared for 218 miles per hour (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: 200 peak horsepower is equal to the best gas sportsbikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: 200 peak horsepower is equal to the best gas sportsbikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: 168 ft-lbs of torque is unheard of in the sportsbike sector (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: 168 ft-lbs of torque is unheard of in the sportsbike sector (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: clean and green, sure, but it's also fearsome to ride (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: clean and green, sure, but it's also fearsome to ride (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech forks (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech forks (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: mirrors are purely ornamental (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: mirrors are purely ornamental (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: tail section is not pillion friendly (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: tail section is not pillion friendly (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: the wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218: the wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Loz babbling incoherently as he goes full throttle on the Lightning LS-218, our wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Loz babbling incoherently as he goes full throttle on the Lightning LS-218, our wildest ride of 2015 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

You've read about the awesome Lightning LS-218 in our feature earlier this year, now you can see it in action. You might think electric vehicles are there to be clean and green and a little bit sensible, but the Lightning bike shows that battery power can deliver absolutely ridiculous levels of performance too. With 200 horsepower and a monstrous 168 lb.ft (228 Nm) of torque, this is the fastest accelerating vehicle I've ever experienced, it turned me into jelly. Riding the BMW S1000RR afterwards felt absolutely civilized in comparison, and that thing is seriously quick. Enjoy our video review!

Review: Lightning LS218 - the world's fastest superbike is electric

For more information on the LS-218, check out our feature article, or see our in-depth interview with the bike's creator, Richard Hatfield.

We've also included a gallery of photos of this beautiful machine so you can enjoy some of its design detail.

Lightning LS-218: projector headlights (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: projector headlights (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

Lightning LS-218: some angles are so beautiful it just looks surreal (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: some angles are so beautiful it just looks surreal (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech suspension (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: Brembo brakes, Race Tech suspension (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

7 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Loz, you had me with the RS review... now this. Please! My heart (and wallet) can't handle the 'lectric lovin'! Great review as usual (tho, still waiting for the "something intelligent" part... pending? ☺)
Dan Parker
Mr. Blain is not the only one impressed with the Lightning. Check out this vid with Troy Siahaan in CA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nztLjEs_2Kw The audio track isn't great, but you'll get the idea. Riding one would be quite a treat.
mojohand43
Nah bro, Quiet bikes add to the risk with no payoff. If you've never been pinged while doing everything right, you've interesting times to look forward to. The guy in the 4 wheeler (more than 1?) isn't looking for you, can't hear you and doesn't know you're there. What could possibly go wrong? And I want that bike.
Daishi
@Dan Parker I didn't get the whole transcript of that video but what I caught from the test ride was pretty much "holy shit, holy crap, wow" and "oh my god that's fast". It seems like a consensus. It's an amazing bike but I think I would want one in Ducati Panigale red instead of the light blue. You can get the bike in other colors but silver seems the most palatable of the bunch. I also dislike Suzuki light blue, Kawasaki lime green, and a lot of sport bike color schemes in general so my opinion probably doesn't count for much. I think the point of the Japanese bike themes is to stand out in a crowd but if that's the goal why stop at kawasaki lime green when you still have high viz construction worker neon to choose from. Add some reflective strips and maybe some rows of LED's and you might be able to milk some added range by not needing to SMIDSY weave approaching intersections.
Philip Heung
I am sold on the performance, but why did they have to make it so, umm, unattractive? I know Glyn Kerr penned it and all (who also did the Fischer MRX, another unattractive bike – see a trend here?), but there’s just too much going on with the styling. It’s not ugly, but it also ain’t no Panigale. The James Parker designed Mission – now there’s a dang sexy electric motorcycle!
flipside
Great review - the trombone segment split my sides! Skills' what matters.
gizmowiz
If only they would put this powertrain into an eCruiser. Sigh.
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