Lightning Motorcycle Teases New Electric Bike Called ‘Strike’ Starting at $12,998

The Lightning Strike promises 150 miles of range and a 150 mph top speed at less than half the cost of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

byEric Brandt|
Motorcycles photo

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The only model that San Jose-based startup Lightning Motorcycle currently produces is the LS-218, an electric superbike that Lightning likes to claim is the fastest production motorcycle in the world, with an impressive top speed of 218 miles per hour. This low-volume electric rocket is awesome but it has a starting price of $38,888, which puts it out of reach to most riders.

Lightning is now teasing its second model which is geared towards the masses. It’s called the Lightning Strike and it’s making some lofty promises that have us itching to hear more. In a simple teaser image, it gives us specs of 150 miles of range, a 150-mph top speed, a 35-minute DC charge, a $12,998 starting price, and it’s coming in March of 2019. Lightning ambitiously calls it "the world’s first premium mass-market electric motorcycle" in an email to The Drive.

Lightning Motorcycle

There’s a lot to unpack from this one image. For starters, is that 150-mile range estimate in mixed riding or city riding? For the sake of not getting our hopes up, we’ll assume that’s city range which is still fairly impressive. What’s also impressive is a 150-mph top speed and we’re wondering what kind of acceleration numbers this thing will be making.

Speaking of not getting too optimistic, let’s assume that 35-minute charge-time is on a Level 3 fast charger, but is that from zero percent to 100 percent or to 80 percent? Also, about that March 2019 timeline—that’s only two months away. Do they mean a full unveiling is coming in March or will it actually be available to the public in just two months? Either way, it sure has us looking forward to March.

Finally, perhaps the most important specification of all, a starting price of just $12,998. That’s extremely affordable for what this bike st promising. This firmly puts Lightning in the same arena as electric bike leader Zero. Based on what we know, it sounds like the Lightning Strike will be a close competitor to the Zero S equipped with the ZF14.4 battery which has a city range of 179 miles, a top speed limited at 98 mph, and a starting MSRP of $13,995.

We can’t help but wonder if the Lightning Strike will be taking any of the wind out of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire’s sails. The LiveWire is promising an impressive 3.5-second zero-to-60 time, but its range in urban riding is 110 miles and it starts at $29,799. For that money, you’ll be able to get two Lightning Strikes with some cash left over. Granted, Lightning is nowhere near H-D in its dealer network, production capacity, or name recognition, but will David build a better electric bike than Goliath?