Translogic Rides Lightning LS-218

2 years ago by Ted Dillard 9

Lightning LS-218

Lightning LS-218 detail

What is it about this bike that makes reviewers giggle like schoolgirls when they’re road testing it?  Have you ever heard anyone giggle driving a Veyron?  It must have something to do with being astoundingly fun or something…

At any rate, giggling aside, Translogic (somehow affiliated with Autoblog) has posted a video review of the Lightning LS 218 in their story here.  Where they perpetuate the claim, in the headline (of all places) that this is the fastest production motorcycle you can buy. “… The World’s Fastest Production Bike, Electric Or Otherwise” to quote.

Apparently, neither Lightning nor Translogic have heard of the Kawasaki H2r, or fully comprehend the definition of a “production vehicle“, and we kind of figured Lightning may step away from that claim…  but apparently not.  Unfortunately, from where we sit, this just feeds the public perception that companies who sell EVs are fast and loose with the truth for an extremely high-priced product with a lot of unknowns.  It’s a shame, considering how many actual misconceptions about EVs we have to battle on a daily basis, to add this one, completely unnecessary one.

Unfortunately, the bike also kind of poops out for a minute as well.  After a re-boot, it starts right up, but a little disconcerting.

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9 responses to "Translogic Rides Lightning LS-218"

  1. jzj says:

    Geez, Ted, stop the paranoid hyperventilating and do a moment’s research: “The Ninja H2R is a closed course riding use only model and is not manufactured for use on public roads, streets or highways. All usage of this vehicle should be limited to riding on a closed course”: http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/2015-Ninja-H2R.

    So, to recap: yes, the Lightning LS218 is the fastest street-legal production motorcycle in the world.

    And the Lightning cost’s about half of the H2r.

    Now, if you really want to go nuts on what limits you can put or take down on the term “production” motorcycle, here ya go: http://www.sportrider.com/honda-to-unveil-final-production-street-version-rc213v-motogp-bike

    1. Ted Dillard says:

      Really? Paranoid hyperventilating? Hell, that was just quiet snarkage, there. 😛

      1. jzj says:

        Ted, Sorry, yeah, maybe a little snarky. But why did you single out Lightning for something all manufacturers do, but that Lightning has more legitimate claim to? They all want to claim the top speed bragging right, and the RC213V, H2, F4, ZX14, Panigale, Hayabusa, etc., all stake the respective manufacturer’s best effort to that crazy claim (for non-track use, anything that can go even close to the speed of these bikes is insane). But the Lightning DOES appear to be the fastest street-legal production bike, and so it’s won that ultimate bragging right, and it has the right to use it.

        1. Ted Dillard says:

          No, I meant I was being snarky lol. See my comment below.

    2. np says:

      The LS-218 is most definitely quick and fast. But as far as the fastest that is still debatable because of unofficial records and test runs.

      I’m not aware of any “official” top speed run for the production version of the Kawasaki, the H2 (sans-R).

      Furthermore, the LS-218 has two changeable gearsets, since it’s single speed. The 200+ mph run needs to be done with the taller reduction gear, while the normal gear for better acceleration tops out at about 175 mph.

      1. np says:

        edit regarding the H2: by “production version” I meant street legal version, as the H2R is full small-volume production version, just not street legal.

      2. jzj says:

        small FYI: Lightning’s 218MPH record was set at the Bonneville speed trials — it just doesn’t get any more “official” than that. Indeed, let’s see any other manufacturer take one of their off-the-showroom-floor motorcycles to Bonneville and see what its real top speed is.

        1. Ted Dillard says:

          See my comment below please, regarding the Bonneville record.

  2. Ted Dillard says:

    Snark aside, refer to the SCTA website for details.

    The record Lightning holds at Bonneville is the following:
    OMEGA
    APS-Ω Paul Thede Lightning Motors Lightning 8 /11 215.960

    OMEGA is the engine class for Steam, Turbine or Electric
    APS is the frame class and is “Special Construction Partial Streamlining”

    (There is a “Production” frame class: “P” btw, which Lightning didn’t compete in for whatever reason.)

    There are several APS class (gas) bikes that have gone over 218mph. Here’s the ECTA page with that information, for one example.

    So the “Production” claim is solely coming from Lightning, (as is the 218mph claim) and generally in the racing world it’s a designation for a) a product that has more than 20 vehicles manufactured, and b) is to keep people from competing with modified stock machines and claiming they’re not modified.

    If Lightning claims it’s a production machine on the grounds that it’s in production, the test fails (as far as a racing class goes) since they haven’t produced 20 bikes. If Lightning claims it’s a production bike based on lack of modification, it fails because it’s streamlined and re-geared.

    If you want to read a story where the writer rubber-stamps erroneous and exaggerated claims as fact because “everybody else does it”, you’re reading the wrong writer’s work. 😉