Lightning Motorcycles has been impressing us for years. In 2012, former editor Troy Siahaan gave its electric-powered superbike a spin, and he probably still giggles like a schoolgirl thinking about its phenomenal acceleration, as he did in this article’s video. Later that year Lighting brought the bike to Bonneville and came away with a 218-mph top speed, making it the fastest production motorcycle in the world and giving the streetbike its LS-218 monicker.

This year Lightning has upgraded its e-bike, bringing its power output to 246 hp measured at the wheel, and Lightning CEO Richard Hatfield told us he thinks there’s at least 20 hp extra to be unleashed. A pre-Bonneville shakedown run at El Mirage saw rider Jim Hoogerhyde take this streamlined version to 212 mph. The trip to the salt was next, but the loose and bumpy surface supplied inadequate traction. Telemetry showed a maximum ground speed of 209.8 mph, which is slightly higher than the 207.8 mph timing slip it earned. What’s astonishing is that tire speed reached more than 230 mph and telemetry revealed the throttle achieved a maximum of only 58%! Much more to come…


    The Spirit bike from Indian is beautiful. The old Honda reminds me of a bike my neighbor had. A lot of interesting machines.

  • Starmag

    My votes are for that tractor thing because it has a cartoonish moose hood ornament, and also for the dual engine scout because it’s beautiful and street legal. Flat heads V-twins have a cool blaaaty sound so two must be even better.

  • john phyyt

    Hey Bob (Lewis) that is one great looking motorcycle. And you ,if anything, you look even better. If i see you around . Drinks are on me if you tell me about how you stayed faithful all those years

  • Great roundup!

  • You missed Steve “Brew Dude” Garn and his record setting 1972 350 RD. Great little bike and he set 3 AMA records this year. Not too bad for 60 year guy from North Carolina! This was great round up of shots from my favorite place.

  • Daimyo

    “80 years old and he’s still competing on the bike he bought in high school”

    A god among men.

    Great to see so many Indians, that twin scout sure is something.