Lightning Strike

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by voltsxamps, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

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    It is interesting to watch the roll out of both the Live Wire and the Strike at the same time. Both electric motorcycles and both new to the market place. Two very different approaches to marketing. H-D has already had press rides and the reviews are already in the major motorcycle web sites with an amazing amount of response from readers. Lightning still doesn't have a test ride bike available and is just holding an open house for local riders to help get the word out. An somehow I keep going back to ctromley's post about the findings on Glassdoor on what the work environment is like at Lightning and wonder if that really explains all of this.
  2. vasculopath

    vasculopath You are not your bike Supporter

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    I think it's fair to say that Harley and Lightning have two very different missions. As an established manufacturer going in a totally new direction, but with global name recognition and a customer base that probably has very different interests than electric vehicles, Harley needs to do things differently. Lightning is small with fewer resources and a different job ahead of them.
    MJSfoto1956 likes this.
  3. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

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    Anyone go to the Open House? There are some posts over on the electric motorcycle forum but not from anyone who actually attended. Here is a post of a member named MVetter that seems to sum up what went on there: "From what I can tell they had 3 Strikes behind a chained off area. No touching, and you weren't supposed to photograph them either. The blue and yellow one look mostly finished, but the white one is full of raw milled parts. They were never turned on or demonstrated as functioning to the public in any way. The highlights of the day included riding electric bicycles in some sort of slow race with a $50 prize for first, and a taco truck. Richard gave a presentation that revealed no new information." Here is a link that shows some photos and other info: https://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=535321&page=4
  4. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    Dang, I would have been totally bummed if that was the case and I had money down on a strike.

    E-bicycle races? For real?

    What about the "one" demo they were touting?

    Chained off and no photos?

    Too many WTF's.

    I hope they get their act together sooner rather than later.

    **edit** I just read the entire BARF thread. :fpalm Sad.
  5. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    You only get one chance to make a first impression.
  6. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

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    So it seems the three Strikes on display at the Open House were already reserved bike so they couldn't be sat on or ridden since they belonged to people already and were awaiting pick up or shipping to the new owners. Yet when asked about when deliveries would start the response was 90 days. Doesn't quite add up but then that seems to be the normal for Lightning.
  7. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    So they had three Strikes, and now they're out (of inventory)?
    (Sorry, I couldn't resistor). :wink:

    Q~
    voltsxamps and liberpolly like this.
  8. Ray R

    Ray R Long timer Supporter

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    Has anyone heard anything new about the Strike Carbon? I sent them an email last week asking "If I put a deposit on one today, when could I expect delivery?". No response yet.
    The Zero SR/F is starting to look better and better. At least Zero seems to care about their customers, and now has a solid performance bike that's more than just talk and speculation.
  9. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    As I recall, deliveries were supposed to start in July, assumed to be end of July. As of today they are two months late. I did see a report of one getting delivered on a different forum, but one single delivery is not "deliveries" as in plural.

    I would really hate to be working at Lightning right now.

    By promising big to a wide market they are looking pretty foolish at this point. Even if/when they start doing what they promise, there will be many who hold back to see if they can keep it up. I'm open-minded and wish them well, but I personally can't see buying a Strike for a year or two given what I've seen so far. They appear to be spread FAR too thin.

    It would appear that Hatfield is not a reasonable person, and reality is showing him what reasonable means. I'm not willing to put my money on the line until he gets it.
    Ray R likes this.
  10. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    https://www.motorcycle.com/features/lightning-building-electric-motorcycles.html

    Reading between the lines, it seems Lightning is in no hurry to ramp up to what anyone would call "production" levels. Their "production" bikes are being assembled by a company with a total of 20 - 30 employees. "Production" bikes are being made with some 3D printed parts, a method no one would use for real production quantities.

    The sense I get is that they don't understand how their operation must change in order to build the quantities they say they want to build. Their part supplier in China is a large manufacturer of e-scooters and bikes, so they totally get it. But if Lightning in San Jose has people skilled in high-volume production methods, they either don't have the go-ahead from management or the resources necessary to put those skills to use.

    There is a huge bottleneck somewhere in this system. Don't know if it is cultural, technological, financial, managerial or what. But something is wrong here. Whatever it is, it seems that getting a Strike that is ready for prime time (ABS, TC, ride modes, parts made with production processes, quality issues ironed out,etc.) is going to be a long wait. They simply don't have the production capacity to pump enough bikes through to work out the kinks in a real production system. So they're stuck in low gear.

    One thing not mentioned at all in the article is dealers. Dealers will drive demand, but dealers won't sign on unless there is a real dealer administration function within Lightning to support it. My guess is that they're devoting all their efforts just to getting maybe 15 or 20 built per week. (They won't say what their build rate is as a matter of principle.) That's not going to support a dealer network.

    And lacking dealers, buyers need to work directly with Lightning to resolve any customer service issues. No system for that is mentioned either. It appears that when an issue comes up, they deal with it as they can.

    So bottom line, it looks like Lightning is a company with a promising design, terrific parts supply capability, but no understanding, ability or means to reach the production numbers that had to drive the whole concept from the start. And no desire to answer the people like me who are left to speculate about why they're not keeping their promises, or how they ever will. From the outside, it looks like there is enormous potential here - that is being squandered.

    Frustration is not a great way to court a following.
    Bt10, Ray R and wheresbaoskee like this.
  11. vasculopath

    vasculopath You are not your bike Supporter

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    I'm not frustrated. I have a deposit down and will wait. I sold off a few bikes in anticipation, then ended up picking up a few more despite myself. I've got more bikes than time anyway. Glad to see they've put one in the hands of an owner, though I'd love to hear his review! I waited for a model 3 Tesla, now that I have it, it's the best vehicle that I've ever owned (Next to my 5th Gen VFR of course), and I already went solar so...no problems waiting. I've been in contact with the company and they've been good with questions, invited me to the factory, but I'm in NM, and don't get to Cali much, so happy to bide time.
  12. alienbogey

    alienbogey Been here awhile

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    I'm in the watch, wait, and see camp. I want it to work and I'd buy one tomorrow if I could see dealerships, demo bikes, and a bit of a track record.

    Or, I'd even consider them if they keep a direct sales model if they can do it as well as Tesla.