Motorcycles

Arcimoto and Lightning join up to build fastest-ever tilting 3-wheeler

Arcimoto and Lightning join up...
An existing TRiO-converted motorcycle (left) and the to-be-converted Lightning LS-218 (right)
An existing TRiO-converted motorcycle (left) and the to-be-converted Lightning LS-218 (right)
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The Lightning LS-218, seen here at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in 2014
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The Lightning LS-218, seen here at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in 2014
An existing TRiO-converted motorcycle (left) and the to-be-converted Lightning LS-218 (right)
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An existing TRiO-converted motorcycle (left) and the to-be-converted Lightning LS-218 (right)

What happens when a manufacturer of three-wheeled EVs teams up with a maker of super-fast electric motorcycles? Well, in the case of a new collaboration between Arcimoto and Lightning Motorcycles, plans call for the result to be the world's fastest tilting three-wheeled motorcycle.

Oregon-based Arcimoto is already known for its range of three-wheeled electric vehicles, which it designs and builds from the ground up. That said, this year it also acquired Tilting Motor Works – the latter company's TRiO kit is used to convert traditional third-party motorcycles into more stable tilting three-wheelers.

California-based Lightning Motorcycles, meanwhile, is famously the manufacturer of the world's fastest production motorcycle – electric or otherwise – the LS-218. The carbon-fiber-bodied electric bike, which produces 200 hp (150 kW) and 168 lb ft (228 Nm) of torque, successfully hit its record-breaking namesake top speed of 218 mph (351 km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2011.

The Lightning LS-218, seen here at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in 2014
The Lightning LS-218, seen here at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in 2014

In the just-announced partnership project, an LS-218 will be the subject of a TRiO conversion. The resulting trike will be unveiled on July 26th at the Portland International Raceway, as part of Arcimoto's FUV and Friends Summer Showcase event. Although it will initially be the only one of its kind, the company has stated that pricing and availability of an LS-218-specific TRiO kit will be announced at a later date.

"From the moment I met [Lightning founder] Richard Hatfield and saw the Lightning for myself at Bonneville, I knew there was the potential to create an electric trike unlike anything in the history of motorcycles," says Tilting Motor Works founder Bob Mighell, who himself broke the land-speed record for three-wheeled motorcycles in 2013. "This will be the first time we outfit an electric bike with the TRiO kit, and it certainly won’t be the last, as we drive toward a sustainable future faster than ever before."

Source: Arcimoto

4 comments
4 comments
Smokey_Bear
finally, looking forward to seeing a prototype. If I'm gonna buy a 3 wheeled toy, it better lean into the turns!
wolf0579
Stupid.

I ride a two-wheeler for several reasons. Less friction and gas mileage are the ostensible reasons. The main is, it's fun.
DavidB
@wolf0759, let’s see whethet sales support that nothing-but-your-opinion, utterly unproven “stupid” assessment, shall we?

I’ve driven only EVs for six years, now, but I’d definitely consider swapping my ICE-powered Honda Rebel 500 for an electric two- or three-wheeler if it provided the same leaning, carving, open-air fun. It would certainly offer terrific acceleration, being an EV.
Kpar
I would NEVER ride one of those trikes if they have a conventional steering system. Dangerously unstable if one cannot lean into the turns.

Camber thrust vs. slip angles.

The articulated approach is the only way to go.