Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 to Debut at Quail Lodge

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We shouldn’t have to make too big of a case for your attendance at the The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, so if you’re in Northern California this coming weekend, you owe it to yourself to attend.

But just in case seeing a plethora of unique and beautiful show bikes isn’t your thing (100 years of motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats is on display this year, by the way), we submit to you the upcoming debut of the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 production electric superbike.

A long time in the coming, and based off Lightning’s electric race bike, the LS-218 aims to be the “mot [sic] technologically advanced and highest performing street-legal production motorcycle in teh [sic] world.”

A lofty statement, but then again the LS-218 has some credentials to back it up — and it starts with the electric superbike’s name: LS-218, which is an homage to the machine’s 218 mph top recorded speed at the Bonneville salt flats (a speed reach while setting an official 215 mph land speed record).

We have seen a concept sketch of what the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 should look like, and expect the final version to look very similar; but until Saturday, the above photo is the only glimpse we have of the machine. If the genuine article has the same tastes as the concept sketch, motorcycle fans (even petrol heads) should be in for a treat.

Brute power and blistering speed have never been in short supply with Lightning’s work (the LS-218 is quoted as having 200 hp and 168 lbs•ft of torque), though we hope the machines for paying customers have a fit and finish commensurate with the $38,888 (base) price tag. Thankfully all the right names are on-board, with Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and Marchesini wheels — just to name a few.

Lightning says the LS-218 will go over 100 miles at highway speed, and charge in 30 minutes from a “public fast charging station” or 120 minutes on a level 2 charging system. Tipping the scales at 495 lbs, the LS-218 is no featherweight, though we think riders will be surprised at how the lack of rotating mass on electric bikes changes the amount of energy required to make rapid direction changes.

Asphalt & Rubber will be at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, so you can count on us for a bevy of photos and articles from the event, and from the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 debut.

Technical Specifications of the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218:


  • None. Direct drive motor.


  • IPM liquid cooled 150kw+ 10,500 rpm electric motor. This generates an equivalent of 200 hp and 168 ft/lbs of torque.


  • 380V 12kwh battery pack good for 100-120 miles per charge*
  • 380V 15kwh battery pack good for 120-150 miles per charge*
  • 380V 20kwh battery pack good for 160-180 miles per charge*


  • 30 mins on a quick charger or 120 minutes on level 2 charger.


  • 495 lbs


Front suspension:

  • Öhlins FGRT inverted fork
  • NIX30 cartridge internals, TiN surface treatment, billet aluminum radial caliper mountings.
  • Fully adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping.

Rear suspension:

  • Billet aluminum swingarm with linear
  • Öhlins TTX36 Shock and linkage system
  • Adjustment for preload, ride height, high and low speed compression and rebound


  • Dual Brembo 320mm disc; Brembo radial-mount forged 4-piston calipers
  • 2 Brembo T-Drive 320mm Fully-Floating Rotors
  • 2 Brembo Brembo GP4-RX CNC Radial Calipers


  • User programmable


  • Marchesini forged magnesium 3.5? x 17?, 120/70ZR17


  • Marchesini forged magnesium 6.0? x 17?, 190/55ZR17


  • 32 inches

Source: Lightning Motorcycles