After weeks of teasing, Silicon Valley electric motorcycle manufacturer Lightning pulled the wraps off the Strike on Thursday, which will be the company’s first two-wheeled EV for the broader market. Starting at $13,000, the sporty Strike can last for 70 miles on the highway or 100 miles in the city on a single charge, but can be optioned up to a battery pack with double the range. The company is already taking preorders, and deliveries of the more expensive versions will start shipping in July.
The $13,000 base version of the standard range Strike carries a 10kWh battery pack and a liquid-cooled electric motor with the equivalent of 90 horsepower. The 455-pound bike generates 180 pound-feet of torque, and can reach a top speed of 135 miles per hour. The onboard 3.3kW charger allows the bike to be plugged into Level 1 (standard 110-volt) and Level 2 chargers. Level 1 chargers will fill the battery from zero overnight, while Level 2 will take about two to three hours. Lightning is selling a quicker charging option for $1,500 that will make it possible to fully charge the battery in about 35 minutes at Level 3 DC fast chargers.
A step up to the $17,000 mid-range Strike will bump the range to 105 highway miles or 150 city miles thanks to a 15kWh battery. The mid-range Strike is 10 pounds heavier, but otherwise largely mimics the standard range version. Same top speed, same charging, same horsepower and torque.
The highest-end version Lightning is making is the Strike Carbon Edition, which will retail for $20,000. It gets a 20kWh battery pack, which will enable 150 highway miles or 200 city miles, and includes the 6.6kW onboard charger for Level 3 charging. It will weigh 485 pounds, but will have a bit more pep thanks to the 120 horsepower on offer. The Carbon Edition also has a slightly higher ceiling of 150 miles per hour.
The specs of the Carbon Edition line up favorably with those of the newest flagship bike from fellow California company Zero Motorcycles, the SR/F (as well as some of Italian manufacturer Energica’s pricey bikes). The Strike will also offer a far sportier look than what customers can find with Zero’s motorcycles, too, giving it a chance to fill a niche in what is still a niche market.
But even though it was founded in 2009, Lightning is a bit newer to the game of selling motorcycles to the broader market, as its previous focus was a specialty bike called the LS-218 (which, to be fair, holds the title of fastest electric motorcycle in the world). Lightning also can’t claim that its bikes will be fully built in the US like Zero can — while they will be assembled in California, the company will make many of the parts at a factory outside Shanghai, according to Electrek.
Lightning is not the first company to try and follow Zero into the broader electric motorcycle space. Even more startups are trying to bridge the gap between e-bikes and electric motorcycles. Typically that means customers need to be wary when deciding to plunk down cash on some of these two-wheelers. That caution should probably be applied to the Strike, too, as Lightning spins up its larger-scale manufacturing for the first time. But it’s refreshing to see a company with some kind of pedigree bring a new product to market — especially when it’s as fast as something like the Strike.