Lightning Motorcycles Files Designs for an Electric Adventure Bike

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Electric ADV design filed in China

Lightning Motorcycles has filed designs for an electric adventure bike. The designs, filed with China’s intellectual property office, reveal a motorcycle with the typical ADV accoutrements, and an electric motor and swingarm design that look similar to those of Lightning’s Strike sportbike.

The design was filed Feb. 11, 2022, with the China National Intellectual Property Administration by Lightning, with its founder and Chief Executive Officer Richard Hatfield listed as the sole designer. Lightning has a factory in China, so it’s not entirely surprising the American company would register the design in that country’s IP office.

The filing included text (translated from Chinese) saying the design as being for an “off-road motorcycle”, along with “Dakar” written in English. Whether that’s what Lightning intends to call it, or if it was just a descriptor, is unclear. It’s highly unlikely the motorcycle is a full-on Dakar Rally racer (even before accounting for its potential range), but in the past, Lightning hasn’t shied away from headline-grabbing efforts like racing at Pikes Peak or attempting to set land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The design shows a motorcycle with the usual ADV design elements such as a beak-style fender, tall windscreen, wire-spoke wheels, and off-road tires. The image juxtaposition above has the Strike and the new design approximately lined up on the motor. While we don’t know any exact dimensions, it’s clear the adventure bike has much more ground clearance. The swingarms appear to be nearly identical, but the adventure bike has the pivot point lined up with the center of the motor whereas the Strike has it offset to a lower position.

The seat is higher on the design, which is what you’d expect on an ADV. Unlike the Strike’s rearsets, the adventure bike has beefy-looking footpegs positioned below the motor, almost exactly lined up with the front of the seat. Longer fork tubes and tall risers put the handlebars much higher than on the Strike, while the “fuel tank” hump is also much higher. We can speculate whether this is to allow room for a larger battery.

From the overhead view, the adventure bike design appears to be quite narrow from the seat to the tail.

The absence of a clutch lever or shifter confirm the adventure bike is direct drive like most electric motorcycles. We can’t tell definitively due to the quality of the drawings, but for its intended use as an off-road motorcycle, we assume it is chain-driven like the Lightning LS-218 and not belt-driven like the Strike.

Other features we spot from the drawings include twin front brakes, two slender headlights, a large bash plate running the length of the battery and motor, and a digital display.

As this was a design filing, it focuses only on the bike’s appearance with no details about its performance, weight, or range. There’s also no indication about when Lightning may formally announce the adventure bike. It’s been a while since Lightning revealed the Strike in 2019, so it will be interesting to learn how its technology has developed since then.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 11 comments
  • Tad Bootle Tad Bootle on Jul 17, 2022

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣great adventure, 160 mile round trip just to get to any trails and back, I might be able to there but I can't get home, am I supposed to rub two trees together to charge it? Oh yeah, I have to pay a support crew for my adventure and then schedule time to sit around charging stations instead of riding. I've never made it 18 holes in a golf cart let alone going out somewhere on that heap.

  • I shall acquire one when Yorkshire Moors or the Highlands of Scotland are dotted with chargers that provide a complete top up in less than five minutes.