Lightfighter Electric Superbike: The Mini-Series. Part 1
Part 1 of the Lightfighter v2.0 journey: its maiden voyage
Back in December of 2020 I wrote about the second coming of the Lightfighter electric superbike I’ve been fortunate enough to pilot over the course of the past two seasons. For those unfamiliar, in early 2019 two electric motorcycle die-hards – Brian Wismann and Ely Schless – designed and built a battery-powered racing motorcycle in their free time focusing on a geometry-first design ethos as opposed to the battery-first design that had basically become de rigueur in the e-bike world.
Through some miracle twist of fate, my phone was the one they called to be the rider of the bike, which Wismann would later name the Lightfighter. Beyond just sounding cool, the name carries with it a few meanings: on the surface, Wismann thought of the name because it was the name of a street he’d pass on the way to his day job as VP of Product Development at Zero Motorcycles. On a deeper level, it was a simple descriptor for what Brian and Ely had in mind with the bike: to create a lightweight electric racing motorcycle that could compete – or fight – with gas bikes. It wasn’t until later that Wismann learned about the name’s military background, which then raised the importance of the name even more since his father is a veteran.
Over the course of the 2019 season, we tweaked and improved Lightfighter v1.0 to make it an incredibly potent weapon that turned heads both on and off the track. We were even lucky enough to bag a few race wins. But there were some fundamental issues with the bike needing to be addressed. Chief among them was the lack of chassis flex when the bike was fully leaned over and the suspension wasn’t able to do its thing.
Hence, Lightfighter v2.0 was born. Once again, Brian and Ely went back to the drawing board to reimagine the ultimate electric racing motorcycle, this time with my input in mind. We had big plans in store for 2020, too, but like the rest of the world, the Coronavirus pandemic quickly scrapped all of those plans. Still, the fact the bike exists is a testament to Brian and Ely’s determination. And although the year that was threw a humongous wrench in our plans, we were still able to ride Lightfighter v2.0 a few times – now in preparation for 2021 instead.
The link at the top of the page will take you through the journey in written form. Here, we present to you part 1 of a three-part mini-series about the Lightfighter v2.0 saga. This one’s called “The Maiden Voyage.”
Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.
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