Motorcycles

Interview: Richard Hatfield, founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles

Interview: Richard Hatfield, founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles
Lightning Motorcycle CEO and founder Richard Hatfield with the ferocious LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning Motorcycle CEO and founder Richard Hatfield with the ferocious LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Loz riding the LS-218 and nearly losing his mind (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Loz riding the LS-218 and nearly losing his mind (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning Motorcycle CEO and founder Richard Hatfield with the ferocious LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning Motorcycle CEO and founder Richard Hatfield with the ferocious LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Beauty, brains and a hell of a lot of brawn - the Lightning LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Beauty, brains and a hell of a lot of brawn - the Lightning LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
200 horsepower and nearly 170 ft-lbs of brain-melting torque - the Lightning LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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200 horsepower and nearly 170 ft-lbs of brain-melting torque - the Lightning LS-218 (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning's LS218, beautiful and terrifying (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning's LS218, beautiful and terrifying (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS218 - an elemental experience (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS218 - an elemental experience (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
Lightning LS-218 - from some angles it looks so good it must be computer generated (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
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Lightning LS-218 - from some angles it looks so good it must be computer generated (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)
View gallery - 7 images

If you're as fascinated as we are with electric motorcycles, Richard Hatfield is a pretty special individual to sit down with. He's the founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles, and the man behind the world's fastest production motorcycle, the Lightning LS-218. Riding the Lightning bike was amazing and terrifying – check out our full review here.

We don't usually post entire interview videos online, but this one's a beauty. Hatfield speaks at length about the LS-218, the electric vehicle business, the state of battery technology and more. The full 23-minute interview video is below:

Interview: Richard Hatfield, founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles

View gallery - 7 images
4 comments
4 comments
Milton
love it. But I was a little concerned about the last comment regarding "come back in any time" to throttle-map. I would expect these guys to have an app that would allow users to perform their own throttle mapping. (Like Zero does?)
But if it's the speed/power that's cutting edge, then missing a little on the UX doesn't seem like a big deal. Still a wicked bike that a few people (with deep enough pockets or a deep enough passion) will really enjoy!
mhpr262
I wonder what a simpler version with a "good enough" suspension on the level of an R-1 or a GSX-R 1000, cast aluminium wheels and a plastic/glass-fiber fairing would cost.
Not a fan of the paintjob, it looks too loud and cheap. The bike would look really classy in plain white or silver. Maybe Lighting could cooperate with Tesla on more than just the plugs, and offer the bike in Tesla-colours? Tesla owner are already sold on electric driving, and most are pretty wealthy and could afford the 218. It would be pretty cool to have a car and a bike in matching colours in your garage.
Durojaiye Philips
Awesome bike!!!! Would love to own one..Also, Seeing the ubiquity of Tesla's charging stations, should they decide to build a bike today, where does Lightning motorcycle stand?
BENCARLIMAGES
I haven't ridden a bike for many years but this thing looks awesome. I was a little surprised that there was no mention of an Energy Recovery System (ERS). I thought the interviewer would have asked this very important question.