Last May, when Gizmag first featured the “truly, horrifyingly fast” Lightning LS-218, I ended by saying: “If I could take any bike in the world out for a test today, this would be the top of the list.” Well, after a 17-hour flight halfway around the globe, I have now ridden the Lightning. I have also nearly fallen off it, twice, like a complete idiot. With three times the horsepower and some 70 percent more torque than the Zero SR, which is in itself an extraordinary motorcycle, the LS-218 is the king of a new breed of electric motorcycles – one designed to take on the world’s best petrol bikes and beat them on performance, not just emissions figures. Riding it was one of the most extreme experiences of my young life.
The minute I saw the Lightning LS-218, I knew I had to ride it. It wasn’t just the looks of the thing – although it sure is a beauty. It was the fact that this is an electric motorcycle that actually out-performs anything you can buy that burns dinosaur bones.
It makes 200 horsepower, a ludicrous number but one we’re more or less familiar with in today’s modern superbikes. But, being electric, it makes an absolute mountain of torque – 70 percent more than the punchiest petrol superbike you can buy, and…