Having been involved in the research and manufacturing of electric motorcycles for over six years, Lightning Motors were the first company to bring a truly electric Superbike to the consumer market, with their journey starting back in 2006, when Lithium battery technology became a viable solution to power motorcycles. Taking an old Yamaha R1, the Lightning team converted the machine to electric power, with it putting out over 60bhp,
almost 70ft-lb of torque and immediately had a top speed of 100mph!
Despite the Lightning R1 being a raw prototype, it still had a range of 60 miles and thanks to its considerable media attention from the two wheeled community, was considered as the catalyst that sparked the electric motorcycle scene – including the now famous TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT.
Following the R1, Lightning Motors went on to build the world’s first PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) capable of exceeding 40 miles in EV mode on one charge, as well as the first ever Lithium ATV. But it was October 2009 when the Lightning team really hit the headlines, breaking the world record for electric bikes – setting an incredible 166.368mph at the infamous Bonneville Salt Flats.