Video: Lightning Electric Superbike vs. BMW S1000RR

02/29/2012 @ 11:01 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

On Monday, we got a chance to swing a leg over the Lightning Motorcycles electric superbike at Infineon Raceway. While a full review is till to come, the initial report is basically that Lightning’s bike pulls like a freight train when you get on the throttle, and despite how “big” it is, the electric superbike handles surprisingly well, even around the crucible that is Sears Point Infineon Raceway. During our test, Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield tipped us off to a video with Ted Rich at the helm of the Lightning, with AMA Superbike rider Jake Holden giving chase (and video) on his BMW S1000RR race bike.

Lapping around Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Holden and his BMW look like they could have gotten past the Lightning in several spots, though Rich and the Lightning certainly hold their own in the video. The Lightning’s straight-line speed is more than evident, as it pulls away from the 200+hp BMW S1000RR with ease, and as we experienced at Infineon, the bike is now slouch in the turns, and continues to develop in advance of the electric motorcycle racing season. Check out the video after the jump.

Source: YouTube; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Craig

    Good to see the Ebikes getting up to speed. The RR would have killed it an ran away if he wanted… How much was talent vs. bike I don’t know, but the BMW definitely handled and braked better everywhere, but I’ll give the lightning it’s props… Good work!

  • Smitch

    Yeah, wonky verbage here seems to allude to the E bike being faster than the BMW. If I’m wrong, and it really is faster in a straight line, then shame on me. However, I smell bias, Jensen!

  • buellracerx

    looks like Jake’s giving it 75-80%, can definitely tell he wants to get by him tho from the sudden rapid gains and irregular accel on exit. I’m still really impressed with how far the technology in ebikes has come, nice job Lightning! The banana really flies!

  • Smitch, the Lightning is faster in a straight line…250+ hp on tap, and it’s a big linear power curve. Faster around the course? I don’t think so, Jake is clearly backing off on some of the turns to keep the Lightning in frame, as a good chase cameraman does.

    My apologies to anyone who came here thinking this was a ride review write up (you’d think the “a full review is still to come” line would have tipped people off that I’m working on a proper article). Check back Monday-ish for my thoughts on riding the Lightning (oh, I like that line).

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  • Gadzooks, that thing looks quick. I’m definitely warming up to eBikes!

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  • Dr. Gellar

    @Craig Keep in mind the BMW is probably anywhere from 150-200lbs lighter the the Lightning machine. Even if the current Lightning bike handles much better than previous versions, it’s still a physically bigger (likely) and heavier (certainly) machine than the S1000RR.

    Cool video by the way. :-)

  • kc.

    To Jensen Beeler

    is 240hp!

  • mxs

    The chaser was backing off at every turn, not at just some turns. It’s an apple and orange comparison, but why not, I guess.

  • Cliff Eckstorm

    I agree with Craig and buellracerx…The Beemer could have still smoked it ‘in the thick of battle’ so to speak; but, the banana is definately holding its own….BTW, That IS part of the point Dr.Geller(superbike vs superbike). The good news tho, guys, is the ‘raw grunt’ the Banana has. Thus, the riding technique used to get the most out of it will change. Think riding style for a 125cc vs 600cc for example…All that said; props to the guys at Lightning Cycle…amazing achevements guys.

  • Dido Lumanyika

    That can never happen. Electric engines have more available toque over their entire power band….unlike gasoline engines where torque diminishes as RPMs increase. Has the fastest gasoline-powered car ever beaten the fastest electric vehicle?

  • Dido Lumanyika

    I see a lot of people speaking here without understanding simple physics. so here you go