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 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

  • Mark

    Is that a Hossack front suspension I see?

  • From my previous conversations with Hatfield, I’d put money on standard forks.

  • Dr. Gellar

    WOW! If the new Lightning race bikes actually look anything like the drawing above…I will be most impressed! What a huge difference a year can make. Having seen the Lightning bike for the first time last year at Laguna Seca, I was surprised to see how fast it was…faster than even the MotoCzysz E1pc, which I was not at all expecting. And if this new bike indeed is 150lbs lighter and 50HP more powerful…YOWZERS!

    Kudos to Mr. Hatfield for fielding two riders this year. I saw this at the TTXGP website, but was wondering if it was a typo or not. Yet another positive sign that the professionalism in electric road-racing is slowly on the rise.

  • I find it amusing that you make this statement: “Yet another positive sign that the professionalism in electric road-racing is slowly on the rise” after making the previous one: “saw this at the TTXGP website, but was wondering if it was a typo or not.”

  • Dr. Gellar

    I guess it is a contradiction of sorts…lol. When I referred to Lightning running two riders as a positive sign of professionalism slowly on the rise, I was thinking more from a team perspective, rather than a series perspective. Most factory teams in MotoGP, WSBK, AMA/DMG and other series around the world tend to, but not always, run two rider efforts. Two riders are said to be a better situation than a single rider when if comes to development, and can sometimes indicate that a team is (relatively) well funded. So to me, Lightning is taking electric racing to that next step of increasing (at least) the professional appearance of teams in electric racing. Which is really cool… :-)

    From a series perspective, we still have a looooong ways to go before the professionalism of TTXGP or the FIM e-Power series truly improves…but I guess baby-steps are being made towards that too (I hope). However, until I saw the news on your site…I couldn’t trust what TTXGP’s site had to say…

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  • Isaac Chavira

    I know how they did it! Look at the sketch, it’s a riderless machine.


    It actually makes me think of a modernized Ducati 916. Can’t wait to see it fly!

  • The rear suspension has a spring over, even if in the concept isn’t seen.

    The key to this weekend with many new bikes that will make the first steps on the track will be the affidability.

    Too bad the Lightning has shelved the induction motor his sound was really nice!

  • Victor Pritzker

    Actually, I think the reason for there being two of these beautiful new bikes is that there will now be two racing classes of bikes in this series, to take into account the widely differing abilities of the entries. Lightning is indeed a very professional and serious group, and will likely use the two bikes to contest both classes.
    It is also likely, that with the newly slimmed down, and more powerful package, Lightning will go after breaking it’s own very impressive World Record at Bonneville this year as well.
    This should be an even more exciting season for eBike watchers.

  • the new team Amarok isn’t in the entry list, you have information about this?

  • Probably realized that it was fatally-flawed in design, or the trip from Canada was too far.

  • Twilight Moonhead

    If the Bike looks like whatever is in that drawing, it seems like a real conventional design with some fancy graphics. Boring!!