Motorcycles

Lightning and Zero prepare to launch next-generation electric motorcycles

Lightning and Zero prepare to ...
Lightning and Zero prepare to launch the next generation of high-performance electric motorcycles, and we can't wait!
Lightning and Zero prepare to launch the next generation of high-performance electric motorcycles, and we can't wait!
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Zero's SR/F, due to launch at the end of February
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Zero's SR/F, due to launch at the end of February
Lightning's Strike, set to launch in March
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Lightning's Strike, set to launch in March
Lightning and Zero prepare to launch the next generation of high-performance electric motorcycles, and we can't wait!
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Lightning and Zero prepare to launch the next generation of high-performance electric motorcycles, and we can't wait!
View gallery - 3 images

Things are about to get very fun in the American electric performance motorcycle market, as Zero and Lightning prepare to release a pair of next-generation machines that sound like very serious contenders. Here's what we know so far.

Zero is celebrating 13 years at the pointy end of electric streetbike innovation with a new model called the SR/F due to launch on the 25th of February. No details at all have been released in an official capacity, but if our friends at Asphalt & Rubber have their fingers on the right pulses, it's going to be a blinder, with nearly 20 kWh of battery and as much as 120 hp (89 kW) of peak performance. Electric horsepower, too, which tends to feel much faster than their gasoline equivalents in everyday use. So 120 hp might well feel like a lot.

Zero's SR/F, due to launch at the end of February
Zero's SR/F, due to launch at the end of February

What's more, there may be both faired and naked versions of the bike in store, which is something Zero fans have been wanting for many years now. We're also enjoying a chuckle at the SR/F nameplate, which doesn't sound inappropriate for a company so close to surf-crazy Santa Cruz.

An hour or so inland from Zero's Scott's Valley headquarters, Lightning Motorcycles has set up shop in a new, much larger facility in San Jose, where the brand is looking to "dramatically expand" production of the hair-raising LS-218 superbike (to this day, the fastest and most magnificently terrifying thing I've ridden) and work on new products.

One of these new products will be something we've been speaking to Lightning founder Richard Hatfield about for many years now – a middleweight electric sportsbike for folks who don't need the outrageous speed or fearsome full power of the LS-218. And Lightning released the following teaser image today:

Lightning's Strike, set to launch in March
Lightning's Strike, set to launch in March

A range of 150 miles (241 km), top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h), 35 minute DC fast charging – these are exciting figures. But the one that's really amazing is the price tag, starting at just US$12,998. Depending on what that base price gets you, the Lightning Strike is three and a half grand cheaper than the 2018 Zero SR, and 50 percent faster flat out with a similar range. This could be a helluva bike, we'll learn more in March.

These two companies have been pushing hard to develop and promote the electric performance motorcycle market for many years now. We're very excited to learn what they've got in store, and we sincerely hope these new bikes take Zero and Lightning to new levels of success.

Sources: Zero and Lightning

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10 comments
10 comments
VincentWolf
Zero's refusal to make a cruiser style bike is why i wont dig into electric bikes until that day comes.
C P Kelley
ZEV sells a cruiser style motorcycle with good range and speeds of up to 115 mph. You can see the particulars here: https://www.zelectricvehicle.com/m-s-motorcycles
Daishi
Motorcycles are light and have a small frontal area but they have a drag coefficient about 4x worse than a Model S which hugely limits their range. Because Zero so far does not have a fairing I feel making one available is almost certainly on their todo list. They can use the air intakes on a standard sport bike fairing to redirect airflow to help cool the electric motor in the process.
Charlotte Brickman
I think if everyone switches to electric vehicles, our ecology in the world will improve many times over. The electric car will soon become the most profitable and very convenient mode of transport. We recently bought an electric scooter, which is a very comfortable and reliable personal transport. I am very pleased with the purchase, it has become much easier to get to the right place with traffic jams in the city.
Pichard Gir
It is unlikely that it will work out to switch to electric cars and electric scooters. Even in developed countries like the UK. Although it would be nice to do this for two main reasons. Such transport is the most environmentally friendly and does not consume gasoline or other harmful types of fuel. The disadvantage is that you cannot develop high speed.
Charlotte Brickman
Every year the number of motorists in Great Britain, and, accordingly, cars on the streets is growing. And today it has become more and more difficult to move on the roads. Many companies are thinking about providing consumers with alternative means of transportation. These means include electric scooters. They can ideally move around even in conditions of heavy congestion of city streets. I really enjoy riding the electric scooter.
Pichard Gir
Electric transport is, of course, a very good purchase. Electric scooters, even electric cars, are already being produced in leading European countries. Such transport is considered the most environmentally friendly because it does not pollute the environment. I got myself an electric bike so far. In plans for the future, I want to buy an electric scooter.
Leonard
In November 2017, I first rode an electric scooter, I realized how convenient and fast it is. I matured until the summer of 2018 and in July I bought myself a good scooter, not expensive here https://online-bikes.co.uk. I traveled on it for one season (a month in 2017 and two in 2018) and I want to share my impressions. You are legally equated with cyclists, so you have every right to drive on highways and send inadequate drivers away to the bank where they bought their credit car. You must always be careful not to violate traffic rules. I really like my choice, I do not regret it.
Pichard Gir
I want to buy an e-bike. The electric scooter is more for children and teenagers. Previously, it was necessary either to order from China or from Europe. Now electric transport is sold in our country as well. But the European quality is usually higher.
Charlotte Brickman
When I wanted to buy an electric moped, I thought about the parameters of the vehicle. I was interested in engine power and travel speed. It is important for someone to quickly get to their destination, someone is going to drive calmly, but cover long distances. Choosing a scooter or electric scooter - depends on where you are going to ride, how often, how far and how quickly you need to cover this distance.