Lightning Motorcycles on Jay Leno Garage (w/video)


Lightning has been getting a lot of ink lately, what with its big delivery to their first customer, and its red carpet appearance.  The other day, the bike got featured on Jay Leno’s Garage.

Besides showing some amazing clips from the On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter film, we get a lengthy interview with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning, where we learn the company built the first “lithium-powered sportbike” (a claim we’re interested to fact-check), as well as some sweet test-ride footage (“…the biggest problem with this thing is you gotta keep slowing down to let the camera truck catch up with you…”).  The comment that the bike delivers 200hp left Leno almost speechless.  (Almost.)

Though Leno’s not quite the most critical reviewer, we are guessing from his comments on the regen mapping it’s not as refined as the Energica EGO. He also makes a comment about the bike feeling like it has a fairly high center of gravity, which, at about the same weight as the EGO is interesting.  Other than that, he seems to like it.  (“200 horsepower”.  What’s not to like?)

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6 Comments on "Lightning Motorcycles on Jay Leno Garage (w/video)"

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This bike is definitely drool worthy. Really curious about the fast charging protocol, is it CHAdeMO? The Energica went with the Combo J1772 plug which isn’t being installed here yet. It also seems like the L2 charger is 6kw or so looking at the charging times on their web site.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

That connector looked like a Mennekes? I wouldn’t be surprised if they offered a number of adapters for it.

Incidentally, a home/business Supercharger that could transform AC to DC 400V at any given input, thus not requiring additional onboard chargers for high power conversion, would be kinda nice.

Probably more useful idea for a home or business owner wanting to offer 24kW “quick” charging via CCS though, without requiring a 400VDC drop or substation.

I have personally discussed charging protocols with Richard, as well as several other EV manufacturers.

I, of course, recommended CHAdeMO for all the obvious reasons. He seems to be hoping to get in the Tesla Supercharger network, which this Mennekes Type 2 inlet will not provide in North America or Japan. I wish him luck, as I have tried the same with Tesla.

One issue with ANY of the public DC charging is that they tend to have a problem with low voltage (50-200 volt) DC charging.

That’s not always a standards issue, but a quality issue from the various CHAdeMO manufacturers who make anything specification they feel like.

Here’s Lightning’s blurb on their bike:

It’s a converted R1 with a bunch of Thundersky LiFePO4 batteries stuffed all over.

@protomech: The article you refer to is seven years old! That was the first prototype.

The Lightning superbike is purpose-built all the way, with Enerdel batteries and highest-quality components.

The spec page from the Lightning website is helpful:

Website states “Fastest production motorcycle in the world -gas or electric.” Pretty loose with the term “Production”…which typically requires 20 plus vehicles built for sale. Also, the ICE bikes are limited from the factory, although I bet the new H2 and H2R can spank this claim. No on-board charging is a deal breaker as well as single rider. Interested to see how Lightning progresses now that unit 1 has delivered.