Lightning Motorcycles has unveiled its long-teased new model, the Lightning Strike. Eagerly awaited, Lightning claimed some seemingly excellent specifications at a pretty low price point.
Frankly, when most electric motorcycle manufacturers tease their new machines they pick and choose specs in a manner that they hope will create some buzz. I understand that, but it can be frustrating when the full specs are ultimately revealed.
So now that the Lighting Strike cat is out of the bag, let’s give it a full exam. It’s been enticing, but is it really groundbreaking? We’ll let you decide.
3 different versions
The Lightning Strike actually comes in three different versions. The Strike Standard, the Strike Mid Range, and the Strike Carbon Edition. They have different specs so let’s first put a summary chart on the table and go from there.
The Strike Standard boasts a starting price of $12,998 which is the price that Lightning has been teasing. For that price, the Strike Standard will give you a highway/city range of 70 to 100 miles and a top speed of 135 mph. To give you this performance, the Strike Standard utilizes a 10 kWh battery and a motor that provides 90 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque from zero RPM. Weight is listed at 455 pounds. While the price point is nice, the range is not what many were hoping for.
If you opt for the Strike Mid Range, battery power is upped to a 15 kWH. You still get 90 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque, but the range is boosted appreciably to 105 -150 miles highway/city.
The additional battery power does increase the Strike’s weight by 10 pounds bringing the Strike Mid Range up to 465 pounds. The additional range will cost you an additional $4,000 in the form of an MSRP of $16,998.
Both the Strike Standard and Mid Range come with a 3.3 kW onboard charger which allows the bikes to be plugged into Level 1 (standard 110-volt) and Level 2 chargers. A Level 1 charger plugs into any 110v household outlet and will fully charge the bikes overnight. A Level 2 charger will bring the bike to full charge in a claimed 2-3 hours using a network of 50,000+ J1772 public charging stations across the country.
A Level 3 charger is optional for both the Strike Standard and Mid and costs $1,500. For that amount, the bikes can be recharged for 100 miles range in 20 minutes or a full charge in 35 minutes. In addition, the bike’s standard onboard charger is rated at 3.3 kW and an optional 6.6 kW onboard charger available for an additional $1,500.
Lighting hasn’t indicated what other components will be used in the Strike Standard and Mid. At this point, they haven’t disclosed details on suspension and braking. In my mind, that’s a big deal. This is a motorcycle after all, and those components affect a motorcycle’s performance drastically. Could it be that Lightning hasn’t determined the final source for these components? If that’s the case I understand, but it’s awful late in the game to be working on such key motorcycle components.
Finally, if you decide you want the Strike Carbon Edition you can forget about all the above. The Strike Carbon Edition comes with a 20 kWh battery which provides a claimed 150 – 200 miles highway/city range. As you would expect with a larger battery, weight increases to 485 pounds.
The Strike Carbon’s electric motor is also more powerful and provides a claimed 120 HP with the same 180 lb-ft of torque. A level 3 charger and 6.6 kW onboard charger is standard.
In keeping with the “premium” level of the Strike Carbon Lighting further ups the performance ante. Lightning includes its “Performance Package” on Strike Carbon Edition. It includes Öhlins front and rear suspension, Brembo Monoblock brakes and AIM Strada racing dash with lap timer and GPS-based data logging. The Carbon also features full carbon fiber bodywork handcrafted at Lightning’s in-house carbon studio.
All up, a Lightning Carbon comes with an MSRP of $19,998. Considering that the Strike Mid costs $16,998 and you’d have to pay an additional $3,000 for charging options, the Strike Carbon seems like a pretty good deal.
Lightning plans to start production in July of this year with the Strike Carbon Edition. Lightning hasn’t said when the Standard and Mid versions will be released. International deliveries will start sometime in 2019.
So I’m cautiously optimistic with Lightning, but I just wish they and other electric motorcycle manufacturers would be a little more upfront with their specifications. What do you think?