After our Bothan Spies brought back photos of the new Lightning Motors electric race motorcycle, we got this concept sketch of the new 2012 “Flying Banana” that gives us some idea or what to expect this weekend at Infineon for the first round of the North American TTXGP series. It is hard to glean any real information off the sketch, other than of course that the machine will have two-wheels, a seat, and some fairings.
What we can tell from this information though is that the Lightning is suspiciously svelte compared to last year’s racing machine. Though it’s easy to hide a motorcycle’s mass in two dimensions, it looks like Lightning Motors has gone on a diet with its design philosophy, which backs up the information we got that the machine has lost 150 lbs from its previous bulk. Time will tell what sort of sacrifices the team had to make in order to achieve that feat, but with two bikes listed on their card, Lightning seems to mean business this year.
Taking a quick look at the TTXGP entry list for Infineon, we also see that Lightning is listed as running two bikes for Sunday’s race, with Mike Hannas riding Lightning’s #88 machine (Michael Barnes returns with the #80 machine). This makes Lightning the only team running two bikes at Infineon this season, which could be interesting. Hannas was formerly tied to the ElectricRaceBikes.com team, which suffered the tragic loss of Matthew Dieckmann last year.
Unless our Bothans can come through again, we’ll likely get out first glimpse of the “Flying Bananas” (do you see what we did there?) on Friday, when the TTXGP grid has its first practice session. Lightning will have to contend with a small, but distinguished grid, as only seven bikes are listed on the TTXGP website.
Hopefully making the outing a fruitful one, other teams named on that list includes the marquee brands of Brammo and Mission Motors, along with the familiar names of Thad Wolff, Ely Schless, and Kenyon Kluge. More as we get it.
Source: Lightning Motors