American electric motorcycle company Lightning Motorcycles is working on a new plug-in adventure bike to take on Energica’s Experia.

  • Lightning Dakar is the first electric plug-in off-road capable motorcycle.
  • Set to go head-to-head with Energica’s Experia tourer.

The company patent filing recently leaked in China and showcased the upcoming off-road focused ADV motorcycle bodywork.

The company’s founder and CEO, Richard Hatfield, submitted the application to the China National Intellectual Property Administration. Why China? This is because Lightning has a factory over there.

Despite the possibility of coming up against the Energica Experia, Lightning’s upcoming machine is more off-road oriented, which immediately distinguishes it from the Experia, which is fitted with 17-inch wheels.

Lightning also included the term Dakar in the filing, which is most likely to describe the bike’s design language.

Lightning made headlines in 2012 after claiming an electric land speed record of 350km/h with the 200hp LS-218 prototype.

The company proceeded to introduce the production version of the LS-218, named the Lightning Strike Sportster, in 2019, which is currently available for orders from USD19,998 (RM89.1k).

Nonetheless, the upcoming ADV boasts entirely different ergonomics thanks to a taller seat height, upright seating position, longer travel front suspension and rear absorbers.

The motorcycle also features wire-spoke wheels in 21-inch front and 18-inch rear compared to Energica’s 17″ road-biased alloy wheels.

The bike is also equipped with a tall, humped fuel tank, conventional ADV front beak, raised front mudguard and tall (but narrow) windscreen.

While there are no precise details on the performance, it is possible it makes the same 120hp as the 2019 Lightning Strike, with an engine and swingarm that appears identical to the sportsbike.

  • Kita sudah sedia maklum bahawa model Lightning LS-218 adalah motosikal jalan raya terpantas pada ketika ini.
  • Namun, berapa pantaskah dapat ia mencecah kelajuan tertingginya?
  • Saksikan video ini di mana Lightning Motorcycles telah menguji sebuah LS-218 pada sebuah dyno.


  • We know the Lightning LS-218 is currently the fastest road legal bike.

  • But how quickly does it get “there”?

  • Watch this video as Lightning Motorcycles strap an LS-218 to a dyno.

We’ve said it before and say it again: Modern electric motorcycles are fast! They put down so much instantaneous torque that would MotoGP riders grin from ear to ear. Such is true especially with the Lightning LS-218.

We’ve written about the amazing bike before (please click here for the full article). To jog your memory, it is currently the fastest road-legal production motorcycle. The “218” in its name attests to the speed it hit on the Bonneville Salt Flats i.e. 218 mph (350.8 km/h).

It also held the Pike Peak International Hill Climb record since 2012 and was only broken last year by a KTM 1290 Super Duke R. However, the Lightning’s record still holds as the fastest electric motorcycle up that treacherous hill.

The speed is attributable to the bike’s electric motor’s torque. And it’s exactly what Lightning Motorcycles wants to show in this video.


The LS-218 is strapped down on a dyno. The roller is spun up before the bike’s motor took over, punching it to 257 km/h (160 mph) in a matter of seconds. But that’s not all, the real kicker here is how the bike pulled from 160 to 241 km/h (100 to 150 mph) in 2 seconds!

Yet, the manufacturer didn’t give the bike full throttle all the way. Lighting Motorcycles’ Matt Schulwitz told Electrek that the LS-218’s tyre would just keep spinning on top of the dyno’s roller if they gunned the throttle from standstill. That’s what 228 Nm of does. So, that’s the reason they spun up the dyno first rather than let the bike’s power spin it up.

This means the motor pulls and pulls without hiccups through the rev range. Shall we change the cliché pulls like a freight train to mean electric motors?

Lightning Motorcycles are slated to release a low-price model in March 2019.

  • Motosikal elektrik Lightning LS-218 merupakan motosikal pengeluaran terpantas dunia.
  • Ia telah mencecah kelajuan 351km/j di Bonneville Speedweek pada tahun 2010.
  • Ia juga telah berjaya mencatat masa pusingan 20 saat lebih pantas di hadapan Ducati Multistrada 1200 di Pikes Peak International Hill Climb pada tahun 2013.


  • The Lightning LS-218 electric motorcycle is the world’s fastest production motorcycle.

  • It hit 351 km/h at the Bonneville Speedweek in 2010.

  • It finished more than 20 seconds ahead of a Ducati Multistrada 1200 at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013.

If there’s still any fear in anyone about electric motorcycles being slow, the Lightning LS-218 should not only bat those misgivings out of the ball park but launch it into Pluto’s orbit.

That is because the Lightning LS-218 boasts these figures: 200 bhp, 228 Nm, 351 km/h.

But it’s not just a bunch of fantastical numbers on paper.

Lightning brought the bike’s prototype to the Bonneville Speedweek in 2010. It beat out all other purpose-built Bonneville bikes by clocking 218 mph (351 km/h) and set the new record as the world’s production motorcycle, both gasoline- and electric-powered.

Hence, the bike became known as the LS-218.

However, Bonneville was all about straightline speed. The manufacturer wanted to build a bike that handles well, too.

Carlin Dunne on a Lightning LS-218 at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Photo credit Asphalt & Rubber

So, they entered the Lightning LS-218 in the prestigious Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) race. The bike charged up the 20-km (12.42-mile) long, 156-turn hill in 10 minutes, 00.694 second and decimated the record. The second competitor to cross the line was the Ducati Multistrada 1200 in 10 minutes 21.323 seconds. Yes, the Lightning finished the race more than 20 seconds in front. By comparison, the majority of electric bikes ran the course in the mid-12 minute range. The Lightning was the King of the Hill among gasoline and electric motorcycles.

A number of LS-218s have been delivered to customers since 2014 but they were still built in small numbers. But the American manufacturer has since expanded their distributor network and is now mass producing of the bike.

The Lightning LS-218 boasts great componentry throughout. The froks are from RaceTech with Öhlins NIX30 internals. At the rear shock is an Öhlins TTX36 shock. Both items are fully adjustable. Braking duty is handled by a pair Brembo GP4-RX calipers and Brembo 320mm T-Drive discs up front.

Other main concerns about electric motorcycles are the range and charging time. Lightning offers three options of battery packs. The 12 kWh pack has a range between 161 to 193 km, the 15 kWh option provides 193 to 241 km range, and a new 20 kWh pack offers up to between 257 to 290 km, per charge.

Charging time is as fast as 30 minutes on a DC fast charger, and 120 minutes on a level 2 charger.

Lightning says there are more models on the way.

So, there you go. Not all electric bikes are like those KFC Delivery scooters.


  • Motosikal lumba Sarolea SP7 telah dipertimbangkan sebagai salah satu daripada calon yang berpotensi sebagai pembekal motosikal MotoGP elektrik 2019 bagi siri motosikal satu model elektrik pada tahun 2019.
  • Wakil pengarahan perlumbaan MotoGP, Loris Capirossi, baru sahaja tamat menguji motosikal lumba elektrik Sarolea SP7 sebelum bermulanya pusingan MotoGP yang lalu di Motorland Aragon.
  • Calon berpotensi yang lain termasuklah motosikal lumba elektrik Lightning LS-218 dan Shinden Roku milik Mugen yang telah memenangi perlumbaan jalan raya Isle of Man Zero sebanyak empat kali.


The Sarolea SP7 race bike has been considered as one of Dorna’s potential candidates as the 2019 electric MotoGP bike supplier for a one-make electric series in 2019.

MotoGP race direction representative Loris Capirossi just finished testing the Sorelea SP7 electric race bike ahead of the last MotoGP round in Motorland Aragon.

Other potential candidates include the Lightning LS-218 and Mugen’s Shinden Roku electric race bike which has won the Isle of Man TT Zero road race a total of four times.

It was just last week when ex-MotoGP racer and current MotoGP race direction representative Loris Capirossi conducted a private test on a very special bike at Motorland Aragon. Prior the MotoGP round, the 44 year old Italian went into the circuit on board the Sarolea SP7, a fully-electric race bike which is considered as a huge potential for a brand new MotoGP electric class set for 2019. (more…)


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