Lotus C-01 200hp Hyperbike Officially Debuts

02/23/2014 @ 3:55 pm, by Aakash Desai27 COMMENTS


When it comes to writing a Lotus story, it seems that most automotive and motorcycle journalists can’t go two sentences without invoking the name of Charlie Chaplin and his famous words: “In the end, everything is a gag.”

The 200-hp and 400-lb Lotus C-01 is proof that even motorcycle designers can have a sense of humor. Daniel Simon, the designer behind Tron: Legacy light-cycle, penned the C-01’s gorgeous form.

The forward-bias and stretched wheelbase couple with the carbon-fiber tank cuts a futuristic profile that looks entirely uncomfortable, but totally worth the lower-back, groin. and neck pain.

The 1,195cc v-twin engine is a modified version of a KTM 1190 RC8R engine. The “Lotus” name is also on license, as the British firm is not building the bike; German racing firm Kodewa and Holzer group will handle production.

The frame is a combination of “Aero tech steel/Titanium/Carbon fibre” which sounds terribly complex and spendy. We are not quite sure what is a “6-gear jaw-type shift transmission” but we are pretty certain the rider will be able to shift C-01 through six different gear ratios to achieve a desired combination of crank and bike speed.

The use of twin rear shocks in this registered and road-legal prototype is puzzling given the overall streamlined aesthetic. Is it for aesthetic, design or engineering purposes?

Hopefully, a combination of all three but it remains to be seen seen how much of what we see on the prototype will make it to production. Speaking of which, only 100 C-01’s will be built, and they are likely to be very expensive.







Source: Lotus

  • Lance Boyle

    Bodywork designed by Samsonite?

  • Richard Gozinya

    Looks very sleek and aerodynamic, without a rider on it. Like something a very wealthy person might put on display in some sort of private art gallery. Perhaps they’ll even place a mannequin on it, clad in attire reminiscent of a 1960’s era cafe racer. Perhaps not. Maybe they’ll occasionally fire up the engine, to impress their guests.

    It’s definitely no NCR M16 or Crighton Racing CR700P.

  • hasty Hughie

    Hmm scrambled oscar egg of carbon dustbin detritus retro marketing mongrel.. what a freaking mess, not new, not innovative unless by some miracle it actually works, but it is hard to imagine as what, drag bike maybe, power cruiser, maybe, cafe racer, not at my cafe, golf club paper weight conversation piece, for sure…and what does one wear to ride such a machine, one piece, retro two piece colours or perhaps some tasteful madras Bermuda shorts, black knee socks, a spiffy lacoste polo shirt, deck shoes and an open face half dome helmet with the british flag on it…. if this thing runs, it should run fast, it has a lot to live up to being this year’s Shrek of motorcycles.

  • Mitch

    Hughie you’ve got me laughing over here

  • ZootCadillac

    A travesty. And not even a part on it made by the famous Lotus company. Just Renault leasing the name rights to an obscure prototype manufacturer.

    I’ve a hat i’ll eat if they sell ten. Hideous.

  • Diego


    Uber rich guys that need something to show off besides their Lambos and Ferraris will be buying these. All you need to do is look at the hideous (subjective) bikes coming from OCC (Orange County Choppers) – they keep making ’em and people keep buying ’em. And regarding your hat: Bon Appetit

  • paulus

    Engineering – bespoke frame and carbon cladding on another manufacturers engine.
    Stickers by a famous British racing brand

    sounds like the Norton TT racer….

  • Mariani


    Lotus has been all about stickers since returned to F1. Shame.

    Also, only 100? Making the bike in limited numbers doesn’t automatically make it better.

    Oh, why do I even bother.

  • Mark Griffiths

    Hmmm a new contender for world’s ugliest bike ……

  • Andrey

    Having watched numerous other websites display this new machine over the last week or so, and after reading the viewers comments therein, it is clear the general motorcycling community see little or no worth in this offering tagged with the name “Lotus”.
    Lets look at a few facts:
    1. Wheelbase and rake will NOT provide “outstanding” handling. Slow steering is the result of steep rake and excessive trail.
    2. Heat dissipation from what is already renowned as a “hot” powerplant, in this highly constricted bodywork, will be nothing short of an engineering “cock up” at anything less than freeway speed.
    3. ANY machine emblazoned with a “designers” name, in a manner such as this, clearly prioritises form over function.
    4. Any “designer” (lower case “d”, intentional) pursuing the pomposity of ascribing their name as a brand, on an item so critically dependent on function over form, where the execution is so clearly in question, lords themselves above all else.
    5. A riding position with such high pegs, low thinly padded seat and such a long reach to the bars, places form over function and is NOT rider friendly.

    And if I may now offer my opinion:
    1. F******g ugly,
    2. How does one carry the rear track stand on a ride? Doesn’t Daniel Simon know a bike needs, at a minimum, a side stand!!
    3. Have you seen the Daniel Simon website? Talk about a self congratulatory ego trip! (Aside from the shocking grammar and lack of substance, it’s fraught with nonsensical sentences and vague designo-babble).
    4. What a terrible shame that a name as great as “Lotus” is now associated with something as poorly thought through as this.

  • Shawn

    It’s clearly not road ready; it’s missing a few small things like a sidestand and any apparent place in which to to pump fuel, but I like it a lot. Too bad even if it ends up going into production as is (and actually happens to handle well), it will be priced to be “art.”

  • Nikolay

    Where is the back brake pedal ?!?
    200hp this will cause windproblems of the biker without windshield
    This bike is unrideble for me after 140

  • Nikolay

    I saw the back brake pedal sorry

  • zipidachimp

    first sight thought ‘electric’. crap body for gas bike.
    designer must be from video games, not a bike guy. silly!

  • proudAmerican

    Ummm, where would somebody actually ride this thing?

    There’s not a single light on it (or speedometer, odometer, etc), so it can’t be street legal.

    Hmmm, a number plate on the front usually signifies “track bike”, but I don’t see that thing going around a race track either.

    So, no race tracks, no public streets…again, where would this bike actually put wheel to pavement?

  • michael uhlarik

    Those are renderings, not photos of a real motorcycle.

    As mentioned above, this is a branding / marketing exercise. Another in a long line of attempts to float the Lotus name for $$$.

  • starmag


  • Sixty7

    Totally pointless

  • Gutterslob

    Needs a Cosworth or Coventry Climax engine.

  • switcher

    Bit early for April Fools Day.

  • Bluey

    we need to stop thinking of it as a motorcycle.
    in all it’s uselessness this bike still looks cool.

    the designer clearly isn’t a biker, so this expensive pile of bits should be considered an artwork insead.
    but if one shows up at MY trackday i reserve the right to stuff it up the inside of the rich knob riding it.

    just sayin’

  • Bruce Monighan

    Here is all you have to know about the designer, Daniel Simon, to understand why this looks the way it does. No I did this up, it is what he has posted on his website:

    Daniel Simon is a German-born concept designer, author, and producer, with professional roots as a senior designer at Bugatti and Volkswagen. Clients include Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Lotus, and Hamilton. After working in Spain, England, Brazil, and Japan, Simon settled in Los Angeles, where he focuses his acclaimed style on creating iconic fantasy vehicles for Hollywood blockbuster films such as Tron: Legacy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Prometheus, and Oblivion.

    With clients like Warner Bros., Universal, Disney and a plan to create Hollywood film fantasy vehicles you can understand the mindset and hence the “product” you see labeled Lotus

  • Singletrack

    I can’t wait. This will look nice parked next to my Dodge Tomahawk and MTT Y2K.

    But I’m going to wait for the second production run of the Lotus. I want them to iron out the bugs.
    This’ll likely be my daily driver. The others are just for weekend fun.

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  • B-ry

    Nope. My everything hurts just looking at this. “Get a free vasectomy with every purchase, no surgery needed!”

    I wanted it to be at least borderline useable (like the NCR Desmo beast thing) but this isn’t good enough to be a bike, too much bike to be art and too meh to be anything else.

  • najib


  • Jeffrey

    Awesome! Beautiful! If I could afford it…