Translogic 178: Lightning Motorcycles LS-218


– Now that I’ve got a bit used to this, time to go just a little bit quicker, and these roads are fantastic, by the way. We’re up in La Honda, in northern California. Sweeping turns, rolling hills, beautiful view, sunny day, doesn’t get much better than this. (laughter) Man, that sounded like a bad commercial. (laughter) (techno music) Welcome to Translogic, I’m Jonathon Buckley. We’re pretty firmly on the electric motorcycle bandwagon, but every time we approach this topic, the same questions seem to arise. Battery life, performance,
range and price. Well today, we seem to
have found a company that have an answer to at least one of these questions. Ah. The familiar whirr of an electric motorcycle. That is something that I’m starting to get used to now that I’ve had the fortune to ride a few of these. Interesting to be sitting on an electric bike that is in fact the most powerful motorcycle that I’ve ever sat on. This is the part of the job that I absolutely love because this is where the future lies. People have always said that there’s a tipping point with motorcycles, once they start wining races, that’s when we’re gonna get mass adoption. (techno music) So I’m finally here, in the office place, I should say, or the workshop of Lightning Motorcycles with Richard Hatfield,
the founder and CEO. Tell us about this, the result of all of your hard work. – This is the Lightning LS-218, the fastest production motorcycle that you can buy and ride to work, and it’s electric. There’s been basically
10 years of development of electric motorcycles, compared to a hundred years of evolution of internal combustion engined bikes, so, I think we’re at the beginning of where these could go. – [Jonathon] Was it winning Pike’s Peak that got it all the attention? – [Richard] When we
set land speed records, that created a momentum, when we won race championships, that was, you know, momentum, but the big goal we set and the biggest achievement was racing against the top gas bikes and winning. – [Jonathon] Bonneville,
on the salt flats. – [Richard] We went
through the timing lights at 218 miles per hour. – That’s incredible! 218 miles per hour from an electric motor. – Yes. – And just looking at the components, I mean, you’ve spared no expense, you’ve got all the top stuff: Marchesini rims, you’ve
got Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes. You really have thrown the kitchen sink at this bike, haven’t you? – We have, and it’s, you know, $40,000 is a lot, or $38,000, for a motorcycle, but again, this is a bike that a good rider could
take to Pike’s Peak, or take to a racing event, and win first overall. – Now when we look at the LS-218 we know that it was built for performance but when I found out that this bike was pushing 200 horsepower at the wheel that’s not at the crank,
that’s at the wheel. And then, around 170
foot-pounds of torque, I was actually getting surprisingly nervous. But what’s it like as a street bike? And that’s, I guess, why I’m out here testing it today. It’s not super-comfy, it doesn’t have a super-cushy seat. The suspension’s kinda hard, but that’s all completely forgivable, just for the sensation that you get when you screw open the throttle. Full throttle! Oh my God! (laughter) We all know weight is the enemy of the battery in today’s world, how have you gone about bringing that weight down to, is it, 495 pounds? Which is comparable to anything else on the road right now. – It’s been a lot of the focus, you know, how do we use– all the bodywork’s carbon, the clip-on bars are carbon, the fasteners are titanium. So we’ve done finite element analysis on virtually every component and worked it down to the point where we could get the weight comparable. – Was there ever a thought of maybe making a bike that has an interchangeable battery pack? – We’ve looked at that, but it adds weight to the bike. You know, 30, 40, 50 pounds. Yeah, so we’re doing everything we can to get the weight down, and right now, it seems
like a better choice to charge the batteries quickly. – And let’s do wheelie test now! Oh now, there she goes. Oh wow. That was half-throttle. Starting to feel what the bike might actually be capable of here. You turn the throttle, and it just keeps pulling
and pulling and pulling you don’t have to shut off to change gear. The torque stays the whole way through. It’s something that takes a
little bit of getting used to. But I like it. In the pipeline, there is somewhat of a, let’s call it a 600cc version, of the LS-218, coming out for the Everyman. Is that kind of like the Tesla model, where we start out with a no-holds-barred premium product, with
everything thrown at it, high price range, and then moving down from there? – It is, yeah. It’s much easier to start
at a high-performance vehicle, and work down into more mid-performance vehicles. I think this is the beginning of the level of adoption we’re gonna see in a lot of other areas, and in bikes. When does it really take off? There’s a lot of factors
that play into that. We’re probably one of the few groups of people that wake up in the morning and say a small prayer that gasoline prices go up. (Jonathon laughs) – I love that this company, Lightning Motorcycles, they’re actually playing
with the big boys now. And the big boys are actually, I’d be surprised if they’re not just a little bit nervous for what this means for motorcycling, and the
future of motorcycling. As I say that, my battery has just stopped working. All right, that’s not cool. Oh! Heh, it’s alive again. Interesting. I guess it just needed a reset. Kinda like when your iPhone freezes, I guess. That’s exactly what just happened here. Let’s see. So I’ve gone from having zero power (motor winds up) ah! Oh! It’s alive again. Wahooo, ha, ha, ha. Unfortunately, this was just the first of a few technical issues
that really cut down on our saddle time. But I guess some kinks are to be expected with a bike as ambitious as this. What I really loved about the ride was how you somehow have taken an absolute beast, with some of the craziest numbers that are out there for a superbike, and you’ve made it accessible, in the fact that, it doesn’t actually pull your arms out of the socket like I thought it was going to when I took off. Why is that? – So there is a lot of
acceleration capable. I mean you can get full power. You want it to be
progressive and predictable. The more predictable it is, the faster you can go. So we’ve mapped the throttle so 60% of the throttle movement’s only 30% of the torque and the last 40% of the throttle increases to full torque. – You’ve made it quite accessible for a lot of riders. For the guys that are
absolutely intimidated, they’re going to find
this pretty easy to ride. For the guys that wanna go blindingly fast, they’re gonna have a great time too. Well, we didn’t get to do 218 miles an hour today, but that’s not really the point. The point is that electric motorcycles are moving ahead in leaps and bounds and now they’re not only playing with but they’re winning against their gas-powered counterparts. We find that very exciting. Translogic, I”m Jonathon Buckley, we’ll catch you next time.

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99 thoughts on “Translogic 178: Lightning Motorcycles LS-218”

  1. vladikostek says:

    Crazy that it beat out every other bike at Pikes Peak

  2. manoman0 says:

    It's electric. Of course it will beat any petrol powered bike.

  3. Calvin Klesmith says:

    Glad to hear they will be doing a more affordable bike in a few years!

  4. Winter Wonderland says:

    LS-218 FTW !!!

  5. Tim Salotto says:

    6:20 Maybe it overheated?

  6. K Wafer says:

    Cool storm trooper outfit

  7. Bruce Crossan says:

    Where does one plug-in and charge something like this? And how long to full charge?

  8. LoKiMPUSMC says:

    I look forward to a cruiser adaption that'll allow for decent power but much longer charge/ride. #brabrabrabra

  9. cmvd0812 says:

    How tall is Jonathan?? Probably around 6 feet? He looks really small on that bike

  10. Random Tangent says:

    The throttle control puts me off, being so close to tapping into full power like that, but then I'm not a racer so maybe I'm not the target audience. But having some gear-like setting or "modes" – like a city mode(1-2), touring mode(2-4), and race mode(2-6)?

  11. randy Grindle says:

    omg I'm  in love  fuck my 1000 r1   this is so much better  and faster and nice and I don't need gas just solar panels and a   inverter at my house witch I already got  wow  I need to get this bike

  12. Sriram Prasath says:

    I have a question, if you are running it on lower throttle, since its consuming lesser power would that improve the range of the bike or something like that??

  13. Maxbooze says:

    Will these guys hurry up and do a supermoto version.
    I need my stealth exploration.

  14. Ryan Cramer says:

    The power cut off incident scares me. If this happens in the middle of a corner on the track or coming into a turn this could be ugly. What about the availability of race plastics? Removing of the headlights/taillights? Does this have traction control? With that much torque would it be too much for off the shelf racing slicks? I'm intrigued by it that's for sure.

  15. Mark Corrales says:

    im already saving my money for this bike! lol but what would have me sold… if they made a single sided swingarm version ! that would have been sick!

  16. tenebrousabyss says:

    Too bad he rode Skyline with all its shit-seal and bare tar corners. Good thing they're repaving it.


    why would anyone pay 38k for a motorcycle

  18. Apple Bag says:

    that's nuckin futz

  19. Docktor Jim says:

    At :55, the right headlight is bouncing in the fairing. Did you shake it loose?

  20. Pablo Exobar says:

    to expensive

  21. William Knight says:

    just time until the light battery becomes more affordable. stored energy is better than having to create it.

  22. Randy Nash says:

    I think this teck, is fantastic. A more reasonable horsepower and price would put this bike at the top of my list (hell it already is at the top but 100 h.p. is enough) I wholeheartedly  look forward to the second, more sane model Randy

  23. D. Hunter says:

    Not sure what kind of weight solar panels would add to maybe give it a little more range? I mean, it should be DC to DC, right? I'm a year-round rider in a rainy part of the world, so it wouldn't help me a ton, but most of the people I know ride spring/ summer.

  24. 505197 says:

    I'd be happy with 80 hp and 100 foot pounds of torque. Then give me a range of 500 miles, which is more than I'm going to need in a days riding. With a less powerful motor you'd think the battery would last longer. And make the bike like an R..what ever… RT BMW. Most people don't give a shit about having the fastest motorcycle in the world. and fewer yet can use one to it's potential.

  25. TSAR BOMBA says:

    hi hi plz i want to see the internal parts of this bike plz reffer me a link where i can see.

  26. Dary David says:

    218mph! that's superfast! design is stunning!

  27. schlaznger says:

    I put my socks and shoes on by myself! Wheres my bike?

  28. Lucille Petersen says:


  29. Mads Max says:

    make an electric supermoto with a 300 mile range and 50 hp. im in.

  30. ScofaUK says:

    Are Electric bikes the future, im thinking maybe they are,
    If there was someway to goto a gas station and just switchout a battery and go im sure it would convert alot of people.

  31. larry grigg says:

    when the warranty runs out. i bet it cost arm and leg replace the batteries and motor

  32. MoonBernie says:

    The real challenge is to make electric bikes affortable… Because at one point the large producers will start producing them and they will devour al the small ones. 38.000 is way too expensif for the real motorcycle fan. Most of the pricy machines end up in a collection of a rich collector, to stand there for the rest of their lifes…. besides electic cars and motorcycles are evolving extremely fast and after one or two years your 38000 is way surpassed.

  33. SF Biker says:

    That exhaust though

  34. Andrew Nguyen says:

    Seems to be like other "exotic" electric motorcycles out there – cool and "on its way to production", but struggle to actually be put in production. If no progress on making sales happens soon, it'll die just like what happened to Mission Motorcycles. Not that I want that, as I think this motorcycle is super cool, and I would love to have this in my garage.

  35. Long Island Ducati 1199s says:

    Sweet bike.. love it.. I want one!

  36. rocky walker says:

    Make this look like a v rod muscle. 200 mil range. And I'll show u my money

  37. Adventure Burns says:

    I can't wait to see what electric bikes/cars can do in 10 or so years! I Imagen the technology will be at the point where it's almost a bad idea to get a gas powered bike/car

  38. Gehtdinixan Soundso says:

    i Order 3 of them!

  39. Trondyne says:

    218 wouldn't make it the fastest anyway…. So I'm not sure what they're talking about.. :

  40. scorpion251970 says:

    Wow that red is gorgeous

  41. scorpion251970 says:

    600 version? I can't wait.

  42. blipco5 says:

    I'd need a 400 mile range. Maybe a solid 350 because I begin and end my rides on the freeway with the twisty roads in the middle.

    That and a price tag under 10 grand. Keep working on it.

  43. Bon Vili says:

    this is perfect for me,, I'll take one asap pls

  44. JimmyPtheman says:

    HAHAH at 6:14…imagine your out in BFE and your thinking…I paid 40k for this shit?

  45. Stu says:

    To say that the noise a motorcycle makes isn't important (in terms of safety) is irresponsible. The loudness of a bike is important when splitting lanes or city driving. I believe that as a rider, you should use everything at your disposal to be seen and not get hit.. even sound. I'm guessing the host is a better writer than rider or doesn't have a lot of urban riding experience.

  46. David James says:

    How the hell can you quick charge this in 30 minutes? What do you have to do, climb up a power pole and connect to it? That is a huge amount of power needed. So how is it done? What voltage and amperage draw is the charger in quick charge mode?

  47. David James says:

    I think this guys logic is backwards. It seems it would have been easier to first make the "watered down" version of this and then work on the "big daddy". This is just common sense. Something weaker would use less electricity, would go slower, would take less energy to charge, would already be lighter… I suspect they could make a bike like this with the equivalent of about 100 HP (good enough for the twisties and a decent amount for city driving in traffic) being 100 pounds less (close to 400 pounds ready to ride).

  48. Zapper says:

    The battery suddenly cuts out!!!!!! WTF!!!!! In traffic he would have been dead.

  49. djnuker says:

    Si tuviera al menos 300kmts de autonomía de batería, la compro.

  50. Ajix says:

    instant power transfer huh…quite good. I'll think of this new guy as my samsung phone 😂 long charging time and few lags 😂

  51. Hannes Beukes says:

    Petrolheads runnin scared….

  52. machoneboard says:

    I was ready to buy one of these but it is taking its time. Needs some more range as has been said and the RHS headlight needs some more glue(0:57secs). Keep going lightning, export to Europe and you'll get some of my hard earned cash.

  53. John Paul Kohere says:

    I would get one if I could, sometimes I can not hear my music on my head phones when I am riding my R1 (annoying). + you would be able to hear everyone else riding this bike from people on street to push bike on road.
    Be more aware of your surroundings, Not reliant on others being aware of you!

  54. c Low says:

    Kawasaki h2rr is the fastest production bike 248mph get this electric moped off my screen

  55. In Cognito says:

    not at 40k they aint winning my 14R with mods and paint came in under 18k and tops 200 mph all day long(there are ways around the electronic speed limiters)and it takes three minutes to refuel not all night.

  56. Mrbigolnuts says:

    it's a beautiful looking machine with the nasty power to match, but if your paying that much money is got to work seamlessly

  57. Marc & Nadine TRANCHET says:

    Nice !

  58. Carlos Cervantes says:

    Wish you asked him if they could make it autonomous without too much added weight. That would look freaking amazingballs on the street.

  59. I'm the best. says:

    I think there would be a market for something with more range and less power, the equivalent of a 300 or something.

  60. Vinaykumar Pattar says:

    nice bike

  61. John Geckos says:

    No one is going to pay $38,000 for the bike unfortunately. And you can only go out for a 50 mile journey and then head home. Unrealistic.

  62. Thierry Nakaberil says:

    pay that much and u safe the world … that's good, and u dont have to waste ur money on gas hahahahahaha…. yeahhh i hope there is a time that this bike would booming the world ( + cheaper hahahaha)

  63. Anthony Gomez says:

    Don't think it's faster the the Ninja H2R. This has 200hp and top speed of 218 mph, the H2R has 300hp and top speed of 248 mph. The H2R msrp is over $50,000. Once again someone making an unvalid claim. I still perfer good old fashion combustion and boost over electric. Nice bike though.

  64. Johnny B says:

    the front right hand main led light is loose it was wobbling on the road

  65. Red Ninja says:

    at least the owner says it's the fastest production bike that you can take to work and not like the other guy's review who said the lightning was the fastest production motorcycle on the planet So there saying it's also faster than the Y2K as well..

  66. brett20000000009 says:

    150kw of power but only has a 15kw/h battery so like 6mins at full throttle before you have to recharge.

  67. gazorbo says:

    I'll take one in blue and one in pink.

  68. steven moffat says:

    stick a noise generator on it to mimic an internal combustion engine.

  69. steven moffat says:

    Awesome tho.

  70. steven moffat says:

    does it have regenerative braking?

  71. Eric Joseph says:

    only in america

  72. Andrew Freeman says:

    Make a Super Naked version of this that weighs less than 475lbs and has a range of at least 180 miles and I'm IN!

  73. Lifted_Above says:

    Price: Let me answer the question. If you're rich, you can afford one. If you're not, join the rest of the motorcycling community not reading a book at a charging station.

    I don't mind electric motorcycle technology. It's interesting. But I can't stand the hype from people who feel the need to bash petrol powered vehicles. Sounds like a weakness in your product. Cocky attitudes from Tesla and Zero and Lightning and others. Such a put off.

  74. paulochuky says:

    0:57 look the left light it fucking lost!!!

  75. victor flores says:

    Interesting, motorists don't see bikes now. Imagine motorist glancing left clear, right clear, left clear, right clear, left……shit! BIKE!!!

  76. Ali Genç says:

    İts engine is 3 phased Ac motor ?

  77. Moetoe Scooter says:

    I'm Sorry but 40,000 for a motorcycle can suck a duck! Rich people are retarded.

  78. wesoly757 says:

    0:57 loose headlight on the left side on the bike for 40 grand? Hmmm

  79. Random Dude says:

    A simple flash bumps the hp of this bike up to 400 at the rear wheel.

  80. edmaluf says:

    Has this gone bankrupt too?

  81. Robert Zeurunkl says:

    60/30 40/100 is a brilliant strategy for controllable power. Hat's off to these guys!

  82. MasterCarguy44 says:

    Mr Buckley, that's lb-ft of torque, not ft-lbs.

  83. MasterCarguy44 says:

    And the poor range is why we won't want one of these, not to mention the lack of sound. And the us has one of the worst power grids in town.

  84. MasterCarguy44 says:

    Power gets knocked out by an emp and your bike is fried. Or a Lightning bolt or storm surge knocks the power out and bmmm, there goes your new bikes ECU. No thx. Kool as this is, we need to go after the countries causing the most pollution: China, Korea, India, etc. 92% of CA pollutants come from yes, CHINA.

  85. MasterCarguy44 says:

    I don't care about it's 218 mph top speed. People don't want a sporty bike that does 200 + mph. Infact I hear that top speeds will get limited to 165 mph on sport bikes by 2019… what we want is something that'll say, See Ya to a Tesla P100, 0-60: 1.7-2.1 sec. and 1/4: 8.5 [email protected] 160…. A. No, there's no Dodge that can get to 60 mph in under 3 sec on the street. That includes the Demon.

  86. MasterCarguy44 says:

    I'd pay 28k for this, but def not 40k after taxes.

  87. Bladen Rexroth says:

    Anybody make an awd Enduro Ebike yet? Give me that with 100hp and a 500+ range

  88. Khalil Hart says:

    If they want some real publicity they should look into linking up with Tesla. They'll blow up really fast.

  89. b888 says:

    Why do you look so uncomfortable on that bike, like ur shittting ur pants?

  90. Dirty Blond says:

    At 40 grand, the damn thing better not [email protected] up on the review ride…

  91. CANYON KILLER says:

    Tesla p100d of bikes!! I want to see a roller race to 180mph against a s1000rr and then I wanna see it's isle man tt time!!

  92. dragonlee1000 says:

    That sound though 🙁

  93. meth0d says:

    Why would you want one of these? They look weak, sound weak, feel weak, are weak.

  94. Taino Ruben says:

    6:30 terrible if this happens to you on the highway 🤦‍♂️

  95. Jane Mander says:

    Fantastic looking bike but what happens when you're doing "218 mph " and granny no eyes pulls out on you because she can't here you coming.

  96. Madcatdave says:

    Waiting for a electric cruiser. I am to short for sports bikes.

  97. ryan warren78 says:

    This bike is totally freaking amazing. I want one so bad I cant stand it. You dont have to wait 10yrs in future anylonger to see where bikes are going. The future is here!

  98. Jonathan Spears says:

    They need to design one that takes horesepower back maybe 40 and add range for the people that don’t want to be on the track. Because you can’t instantly charge at the gas station like you can fill a gas tank , so this bike needs like a 300- 350!range would be awesome l!!

  99. Patryk says:

    heh, sprawdzę na allegro :p

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